REVIEW: Star Wars the Bad Batch Season 2 Episode 14, “The Tipping Point” by Darth Slobo.
The Bad Batch is heating up! This fast-paced episode featured all of the members of Clone Force 99 for the first time in a while! We catch up with what Echo has been doing helping his brother clones, see how Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, and Omega are adjusting to life on Pabu, and find out what is happening with Crosshair on Tantiss. This episode went by in a flash, with many important stories taking place between fast-cut scenes of Echo, Crosshair, and the other Batch members as all of their paths become intertwined now that Omega is the prime focus of Imperial attention. This episode makes us feel like we are heading toward another explosive season finale with only two more episodes left!
A change of heart?
This week we see Crosshair doing whatever he can to warn his former squad that the Empire’s cloning division is targeting Omega. He resists and fights through captivity to send a coded message to the Batch. This leaves the Batch in a tough spot. They find out that the Empire has captured Crosshair for what they suspect is turning on them, but they are still unsure if they can trust him or the message he has sent. Maybe I will get my wish from season one, and we will get a full-on Bad Batch reunion in their collective glory? Fingers crossed!
This episode gets 9 IT-0 Interrogation Droids out of 10.
We open on an Imperial base where new Imperial Storm troopers lead former clone troopers onto a ship as prisoners. Soon after their launch, the ship is attacked by none other than Echo!
Echo and a squadron of clones launch a rescue of the clone prisoners by docking the ship at multiple points and taking out all of the troopers. Echo and another clone, Nemec, take the ship’s bridge and the other crew of clones led by Fireball goes to rescue the clone prisoners. The Imperial commander realizes they are in trouble and begins erasing the ship’s data. As Echo and Nemec take over the bridge, the Imperial commander avoids divulging any information by biting down on one of the electric suicide pills from The Mandalorian. Tech begins extracting any data he can, but Imperial reinforcements arrive, and the Clone troopers are forced to make their escape into hyperspace.
Back to Tantiss, Crosshair sits in his prison cell and is escorted to an interrogation room by two Storm Troopers. Crosshair is greeted by Emerie Karr, who informs him that Dr. Hemlock is on his way and encourages him to cooperate with his wishes. Dr. Hemlock enters and informs Crosshair that he can have his slate wiped clean if he gives up the Clone Force 99 location and the clone Omega. Crosshair refuses to give up his former team, and Dr. Hemlock begins his ‘interrogation’ with a classic IT-0 interrogation droid that we first see in A New Hope. Dr. Hemlock is informed that their Clone prisoners have escaped, and we cut back to Coruscant with Senator Chuchi, Echo. The rescued clone talking about the number of Clones being incarcerated and transported to an unknown location.
Echo says that he knows a guy who can likely crack the Imperial data they stole from the ship, and we quickly cut back to Crosshair’s interrogation. Emerie Karr orders the droid to stop to prevent it from killing Crosshair. Crosshair quickly steals a blaster from a trooper, takes them out, and obtains the keycard from Emerie Karr before stunning her and escaping through the facility. We can see that Crosshair is in rough shape as he misses quite a few shots but still manages to take out all the Stormtroopers in his path on his way to a control room. He uses the keycard from the Emerie Karr to send out a message, “Plan 88,” to who we can assume is the Bad Batch, and the room fills with gas knocking him out as Dr. Hemlock watches Crosshair choke on the gas.
Back to Padu, we see the Batch becoming part of the community as they take on jobs helping the residents. The Mayor politely pressures Hunter to give real consideration to staying on Pabu, and we see Omega continuing with her flying lessons in the Marauder under Tech’s tutelage. Omega executes what she calls a “Tech Turn” and guess who makes his comeback to greet Omega, Echo!
Omega greats Echo with a big hug, and Hunter and Tech get re-acquainted with their former squad mate. Echo asks Tech to help decrypt the Imperial data, and we cut back to Dr. Hemlock. Dr. Hemlock is now reporting to Governor Tarkin, and they discuss the Imperial transport unit that was attacked and the growing number of clones questioning the Empire.
Back to Pabu, Echo and Hunter talk about the Batch’s future as they watch Omega, Wrecker, and friends playing. Hunter still voices his concern to Echo over the fight against the empire, and if they can have any impact because of the Empire’s sheer size, when Tech interrupts letting them know that he has decrypted the data.
Tech shares all of the information he found, which identifies the Advanced Science Division of the Empire and their leader Dr. Hemlock, but no location. We learn that Dr. Hemlock has been conducting questionable experiments since the days of the republic, even being expelled for his work. This data also revealed that Crosshair has now become a prisoner of the Empire, and that Crosshair sent them a message, “Plan 88.” They reveal this message as the “seeker” plan informs them that they are being targeted, and they debate the validity of the message, whether it is a genuine warning or another trap to bait them.
Back to Tantiss, Crosshair is strapped back into his interrogation bed (similar to what we saw Grogu strapped into in the Mandalorian). Dr. Hemlock again attempts to get information on Omega’s location out of Crosshair, but Crosshair again refuses. The episode ends with the Interrogation Droid injecting Crosshair while Dr. Hemlock and company watches.
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