REVIEW: Star Wars the Bad Batch Season 2 Episode 12, “The Outpost” by Darth Slobo
This week we see another excellent character development episode for the rogue Clone Force 99 clone—Crosshair. It was an intense episode where we saw how the Empire treated the Clones as they transitioned to Stormtroopers. While Crosshair has been dogmatic in his belief that “good soldiers follow orders,” even to Commander Cody, we finally see a Clone shake his beliefs to the core by asking Crosshair: “For what?”
This episode gets 8.5 disrespected Clone Troopers out of 10
Crosshair Finally Snaps
Crosshair made a powerful connection with the Clone Trooper Mayday, forcing him to challenge his beliefs in a way that Commander Cody or even Hunter never could as they navigate a winter planet together to retrieve stolen Imperial cargo. The whole episode was a build-up of anticipation to see how far Crosshair could be pushed in his blind loyalty as the clones around him continued to face discrimination. We finally see him pushed over the limit, seeing just how harsh the Empire is towards their old clone army.
Awake on Mount Tantiss
After his outburst, Crosshair awakens in a medical facility that looks to be inside Tantiss as a cloning scientist informs him that a Doctor will meet with him shortly. We can only assume she is talking about Doctor Hemlock, and this leads me to believe Dr. Hemlock will be trying to use Crosshair to get to Clone Force 99 and OMEGA which could build up to another explosive stand-off between the Batch and their old comrade. It will be interesting to see where Crosshair’s loyalty lies after his “awakening.”
“The Outpost” Summary:
We open by overhearing Imperial officers forcing several Clone officers into retirement as we are introduced to Lieutenant Nolan, who informs Crosshair of their mission to Barton-4 to retrieve stolen Imperial cargo. Immediately we see Lt. Nolan’s disdain for clones as he complains about commanding “used equipment,” and the tension between Crosshair and Lr. Nolan begins.
As the Imperial command lands on the snowy planet of Barton-4 we are introduced to the Clone Unit who has been guarding the cargo that has been stolen. Mayday, their supervisor, has an interesting interaction with Lt. Nolan as Mayday informs them that he had requested back-up a long time ago. Their squad has mostly perished due to the insurgents stealing their cargo.
After this interaction between Mayday and Lt. Nolan, Mayday and Crosshair make their acquaintances and we see the helmets of the perished soldiers sitting on the shelves. Mayday informs Crosshair of their mission, and the challenges they have faced; as they chat, they are interrupted by the insurgents that are back to steal more of their cargo. Crosshair manages to shoot one on the insurgents, allowing them to track the thieves by following their blood trail to a tunnel dug to bypass the outpost’s security.
Mayday mourns his last two fallen soldiers, and has another tense interaction with Lt. Nolan who commands Mayday and Crosshair to retrieve the two stolen cargo units from the raiders.
Crosshair and Mayday go through the tunnels and find the dead raider, but no cargo. At this point, there is a seemingly insignificant interaction between the two as Mayday voices his concern that the raiders just left their fellow soldier. Crosshair notes that taking the body is meaningless because it is just dead weight. This interaction becomes more important later.
As they proceed through the tunnel Crosshair steps on a pressure mine and Mayday is forced to disarm it. As he disarms it, Mayday shares his displeasure with the roles and respect towards clones as the war ends. After Mayday disarms the mine, the two find the insurgent camp and begin taking out their camp. They get pinned down behind a rock forcing Crosshair to shoot an explosive that takes out the raiders, but unintentionally causes a rock slide, and blows open the cargo they are supposed to recover.
With the cargo now open, Mayday notices that the cargo is in fact gear for Stormtroopers, which causes Mayday to break down as he realizes they need more resources protecting new gear for the Empires new troops. At this point he poses a question to Crosshair, that affects him deeply from this point forward.
This is also the first time this saying has been posed in the past tense, Mayday says: “we’re good soldiers, we followed orders. And for what?” This challenges Crosshair’s beliefs as finally the clones have been forced to think about what comes after war for them. While they cannot dwell on this point for long, an avalanche is caused from the blast that happened during the skirmish. Mayday pushes Crosshair out of the way of a large rock, saving his life. As Crosshair emerges relatively unscathed, Mayday is critically injured.
This is where the previous conversation becomes important as Crosshair is now faced with the decision of saving himself and leaving Mayday, or hauling “dead weight” back to base in the arctic temperatures and rough terrain. We even hear a change in Crosshair’s voice at this point as he actually sounds concerned about someone, for the first time all series.
Crosshair elects to carry Mayday back, and it is a long, cold, hard walk. They finally make it back to the base with the ice vultures overhead as they both collapse. Lt. Nolan and the Stormtroopers see them on the ground and Lt. Nolan instructs the stormtroopers back to work as Crosshair pleads for him to give Mayday medical attention to which Lt. Nolan says that the Empire will not waste the resources.
At this point Mayday dies, and this is the event that pushes Crosshair over the edge. In a more symbolic conversation, Lt. Nolan says that Mayday served his purpose as a soldier of the Empire, and now Crosshair gets to see what happens to good soldiers that follow orders—they are left for dead by the Empire they served. As Lt. Nolan turn to walk away, Crosshair gets up addresses the Lieutenant, then shoots him in the chest. Crosshair collapses, and we end the episode with him waking up on, what looks to be Mt. Tantiss, inside a cloning facility where a scientist informs him that a doctor will be there once he has healed up.
Watch The Bad Batch,Wednesdays on Disney+