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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Unfinished Episode 5: The Bad Batch

What is it ? : The fighting on Anaxes isn't going well for the Republic, Separatist Leader Trench seems to be predicting their plans ahead of time, defeating their efforts at every turn. Anakin and Mace Windu are discussing this, when Cody and Rex come to them with a theory, that the Separatists have possibly captured a copy of an Algorithm that Rex constructed for Clone Troopers to predict weaknesses in their usual tactics. This could have been captured when Echo was killed as carried a copy of the Algorithm.
Ordering Cody and Rex to go to the cyber centre on Anaxes to capture this if it is being used, Cody arranges for them to use an unusual team of Clones, Unit 99, The Bad Batch.
The Bad Batch are defective Clones, whose mutations are considered desirable, enhanced strength, hand eye coordination, etc. The squad consists of, Sergeant Hunter, the team's leader; Wrecker, the squad's brash strongman and assault specialist; Crosshair, the team's grim, sarcastic sniper; and Tech, the hyper-intelligent and knowledgeable tech specialist. Mounting a gunship, the assembled team departs for the cyber center.
Their ship is shot down on the way to the cyber centre, and Cody is trapped under the wreckage, Wrecker is strong enough to lift the entire LAAT/i clear of the trapped man, but they are attacked by a massive number of Battle Droids. The Bad Batch use a door from the LAAT/i as armour and take out the Battle Droids.
Rex declares himself in charge because of the wounds to Cody, and leads them to a nearby Separatist Outpost, taking it easily using the rush tactics the Bad Batch had just used. Tech uses the computers there to discover that Trench is sending reinforcements to the Cyber Centre, So Rex leads the attack immediately, taking the Battle Droids by surprise. They gain access to the records, but discover that the Algorithm is actually being broadcast from Skako Minor, they identify another signal, which seems to be a human voice, repeating Echo's clone number over and over, indicating that he may still be alive, and may be being used to defeat the Clone Tactics. Leaving with the data before the reinforcements arrive, Rex is concerned about this revelation, and the Battle Droids find and report to Trench about the Clones discovery of the signal.

High Points : The concept of the Bad Batch is solid, with the defective Clones turning out to have useful abilities, even if they are a little too like superpowers for me.

This is another Clone Episode, which I hugely approve of, buy with a twist that I'm not sure I do approve of, since not all the Clones are the same. But the Clones continue to be excellently scripted and portrayed.

Low Points : The mutations of the Bad Batch, as well as being a little too like superpowers for my liking, Wrecker can lift a LAAT/i, Hunter can sense all electrical signals on the entire planet, etc. But the mutations are severe, since the Clones look completely different to all the other Clones, in fact the only one who looks like a mutation of a Jango Clone is Wrecker, since the others have completely different skin tones, bone structure and hair colour. It's hinted that perhaps these were experiements, which would explain the severe changes as they grafted in dna from different subjects, but I think the whole idea would have been better had the Bad Bunch just been Jango Clones with severe changes in a similar fashion to Wrecker.

The Bad Batch and the Clones led by Rex accompanying them are constantly squabbling, which would make sense if the other clones treated the Bad Batch as unwanted mutants, but there's no sign of that. The only sign that the Bad Batch may get treated like assholes, is because they act like it, by using their ships pressure wave as if flies at speed to knock clones in the landing area from their feet.

So what do you really think ? : Another enjoyable episode, the action is rapid, and the introduction of the Bad Batch is interesting, especially as their tactics do seem to throw Trench and confuse him.

Final Words : A good start to the final storyline of The Clone Wars, hopefully it will continue for the final three episodes.

Score : 8/10

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