The Clone Wars has just finished its first major arc of the show so far with “Unfinished Business”, and I absolutely loved it. This is the strength of this show right here. It might not have the most jaw-dropping start, but by the time it wraps up, a good chunk of the time you will be beyond satisfied. That’s exactly what this arc has done. Provided a solid beginning, middle, and end to a story I wasn’t sure I’d like all that much, and yet here we are.
So fair warning, I’ll be hitting major spoiler territory here, so if you haven’t seen the episode, then go watch the episode! It’s really good, why are you still here, just go watch the-
Anyway, so we pick up pretty much immediately where we left off. Last week, with Echo now back behind Republic lines, and eager to help the Republic take Anaxes. But with his recent experience with the Confederacy, and the fact that he still has confederate technology in him… there are questions on where his true loyalties lie. Echo however persists that he can assist them, and can turn the algorithms that he used with the Confederacy against the Droid Army and give Anaxes to the Republic. So it’s pretty obvious that we’re going to be formally smacking down a few of my theories, particularly theories regarding that Echo might be a sleeper agent for the Confederacy, or that he’d betray them. None of those things happen. But I concede that I was never good at predicting what would happen in any show most of the time.
Give me the smackdown, Ross!
We do however get some more conflict between Echo and the Clones, which can play into the first episode of this little Story Arc, when we were first introduced to the Bad Batch, and saw the issues of trust being tested between everyone. In some ways, this can be pretty decent in execution, but in other ways, it really kinda feels forced. It’s like the episode is trying to spell it out that the clones don’t all trust Echo, because he’s a Confederate Cyborg now. I guess I should just be thankful that none of the conflict feels pointless. And thankfully, for as center an issue as this is in the episode, it doesn’t take up a whole lot of screen time.
What does take up a whole lot of screen time is well worth watching!
This feels like the first action-oriented episode of this final season of The Clone Wars, and it absolutely positively delivers in every meaning of the word. Not only is the action in this episode 100% fun, it feels like everything that happens here matters, and it feels like an amazing send off to a group of characters I personally have grown to really like. I’m actually kinda sad to see the Bad Batch leave. Not only do they kick ass and take names in this episode, not only do they make me laugh, not only do they even get genuinely heartwarming towards the end, I almost feel like I know them as well as I know clones like Rex or Fives. This episode is a well deserved last big hurrah to the Bad Batch.
Echo’s arc even left me guessing. As I said, not only was I wrong on my predictions regarding him, but I’m actually surprised that bringing him back actually felt impactful. I’m usually a guy who tends to criticize a show that kills off a character, only to bring them back. It makes death lose impact. It’s one of the big reasons I really appreciate Star Trek: Picard right now. Echo had a really good send-off in Season 3, and had I seen the unfinished Rees dealing with Echo here before watching these episodes… I likely would have rolled my eyes and said to myself, “Maybe it’s best this show got cancelled when it did.” But not only did they make me care about Echo again here, they really brought the character to life in a new manner. The conflicts that were introduced felt real, his struggles felt good, and by the time the episode ends, I was left pleasantly surprised in my expectations. I 100% expected Echo to die in this episode, and he didn’t. Him getting an invite to join the Bad Batch might be a borderline happy-sad moment of the series. I really applaud them for making this arc matter in its handling of Echo.
But…. let’s talk about what everyone wants to talk about. It was only a matter of time before we saw it, and this episode finally delivers on some fucking awesome, intimidating, badass Anakin Dark Side Slippery Slope material once again.
Anakin’s role in this episode is absolutely jaw-dropping. When he confronts Admiral Trench in this episode, I could immediately see where this was going. And holy shit is it ever so satisfying. It’s this kind of thing that makes me say that I’m very happy this show doesn’t go the Prequel route of just having lightsabers dismember every single limb out there. It feels dumb after a while. So when we see Anakin confront Trench in this episode, with a mindset of “I’m a Jedi, but I’m still gonna intimidate the shit out of you”, him severing those IMC’s (even if they are mechanical) feels impactful. This show doesn’t do this very often, but each and every time it has done it, it feels impactful. Tell me Obi-wan cutting off the arm of Savage Opress in Season 5 is not as impactful as Dooku getting his hands cut off by Anakin in Episode 3. Is it perfectly executed here? No, but it still feels impactful.
Anakin absolutely steals the damn show in this scene, and as predictable as it might be (I mean… you don’t see Admiral Trench, as awesome as he is in episode three, so…), seeing Anakin’s interrogation of him, before eventually straight up killing him? And giving zero fucks while doing it? You can tell that Anakin just took a giant leap towards his eventual fall to the Dark Side of the Force. Dammit, why is this show so damn good at showing this???
There’s honestly very little this episode does wrong in terms of wrapping everything up. Not only am I very excited now for what’s to come in the rest of this series, but if there was ever any doubt in any viewer that this show wouldn’t have that same magic it once did back in the day, that doubt should be as dead as Admiral Trench. This Arc feels like it’s just an amazing taste of things to come, especially since we know that some very heavy material is coming involving Darth Maul and Ahsoka Tano. I’m about as excited to see where this series goes as I am to see this debut season of Picard wrap up. The sky is the limit for this show’s final season.
If you want a score for this first arc of the show, I’ll go ahead and give it a nice solid eight out of ten score, but will reserve official verdicts until this show ends. But I really don’t want it to end.