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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 5 Episode 9: A Necessary Bond

What is it ? : So Ahsoka and the Younglings are fleeing Hondo and his pirates, both are aboard Speeder Tanks, leading to a prolonged battle as the heroes race towards a rendezvous with their ship. Their speeder takes multiple hits as they begin to scramble aboard the ramp of their ship as it matches their speed and course mere feet above their heads. However the pirates target the ship instead, leading to it crashing and the heroes being caught.
As they return to the pirate camp in handcuffs, the pirates notice that a separatist army led by General Grievous have landed and taken control of the pirate base. Dooku has sent Grievous to get revenge for Hondo holding him prisoner and trying to auction him off.
Ahsoka makes a deal with the pirates that she and her younglings will help rescue Hondo, and they sneak into the base and reach Hondo, who as always wants to make a deal.
The deal he agrees to is to watch one of the younglings build their lightsaber, which he does then frees his men.
The heroes flee the base, chased by Grievous, and get separated into two groups. Ahsoka and some of the Younglings battle Grievous in a spectacular battle, and Hondo and the remaining Youngling reach a hidden cave where he has stored some ships. Boarding Slave 1, Hondo is convinced by the youngling to help rescue Ahsoka, and they force Grievous away using the starship weapons.
Hondo returns Ahsoka and the younglings to Obi-Wan's new ship, and tells them he'll send them his invoice as rescuing people is an expensive business.

High Points : Hondo is softened in this episode, but he's just being more charming, and remains a dangerous character, albeit one who sticks to his deals. He gets some amazingly good dialogue.

Hondo: “And I may be a pirate, but I do not like taking children into battle.”
Ahsoka: “That didn’t seem to bother you when you attacked us.”
Hondo: “Well, today is a new day, and lucky for you, today, I like children.”

But the absolute highlight is the Ahsoka vs Grievous lightsaber fight, Ahsoka is absolutely at the top of her game here, and although I've made it clear that Grievous is usually a poor villain, he does at least entertain here. The flips and jumps of Ahsoka's two handed fighting style, versus the brutality of Grievous not only using four light sabers but also his claw feet to grab her and smash her to the ground is delightful. Their styles are so different that the fight stands out and impresses..
A final comment, Grievous's laugh as the heroes leave aboard Slave 1, I took to be him laughing as usually the one knocking the enemy to the ground and running away is him, and it must have been refreshing for him to not have to do it for once.

Low Points : I can't criticise much in this episode at all, it's action packed leading from a speeder chase, to the jail break of Hondo, to another Speeder chase to a lightsaber battle all within 22 minutes.

Although the continuity shows itself to be all wrong again, as the Jedi Training Cruiser crashes on Florrum in this episode, but is seen as wreckage in the earlier episode "Revival". So I can only guess that Hondo returns and claims his Florrum base at some point.

So what do you really think ? : A great episode, which has ended the Younglings storyline which has been pretty darn good even if it did start a little uneven. The use of Hondo here has been an absolute joy, and the story has been an action packed detour from the normal Clone Wars stories, all while connecting to multiple storylines such as Dooku's capture by Hondo way back in season one. I heartily recommend all four parts of this storyline.

Final Words : Well, the second four parter of the season is done, we've got the remainder of the Maul/Opress story to come, and just two other 4 parters this season, which seems to be flying by at the speed of light.

Score : 9/10

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