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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 2 Episode 4: Senate Spy

What is it ? : This episode all about the Battlin Skywalkers and their rocky marriage, with a bunch of interstellar politics thrown in, well, maybe not completely but it certainly felt like it to me.
Anakin is spending the night with Amidala, when the Jedi Council calls him in, to convince his friend Amidala to spy on the Senator from the Banking Guild that they believe is working with the Separatists, a man named Rush Clovis she had a close relationship with years before.
She hook up with him and then heads off to a meeting with him on Cato Neimoidia, with a very jealous Anakin in tow disguised as her pilot. Anakin rocks the ship around during the flight to deliberately cause the Senator to bash his head and to stop him getting frisky with Amidala.
On Cato Neimoidia, Amidala spies on a meeting between the Senator, the Neimoidians and Poggle the Lesser from Geonosis, where they discuss how the Banking Guild is loaning the Trade Federation the money for the construction of a new droid factory on Geonosis, and that the Banking Guild now basically owns the Trade Federation and the Neimoidian homeworld (expensive factory), and Amidala steals the plans to the factory slipping them to Anakin.
To gain traction with the Senator, they poison Amidala (because they see her as his weak point), but discover she's a spy and the plans are gone.
They make the Senator trade the antidote for the plans, but Anakin double-crosses him, getting the antidote without handing over the plans, and flees with Amidala as Battle Droids surround the Senator, presumably to kill him.

High Points : The story is well enough done, but there's nothing too much to like here, Anakin and Amidala squabbling isn't fun and just makes you wonder why she bothers with him at all. Anakin isn't a hugely interesting character at the best of times, and without Ahsoka and Obi-Wan to provide some balance or contrast to him character he's stroppy, sulky and difficult to watch much of the time.

Low Points : Now, I've commented before on the confusion in the Clone Wars with who's on what side (here), but the fact that Amidala is on friendly terms and often negotiates with the Trade Federation (one of the most major backers of the Confederacy), and that the Banking Guild (which openly fields forces and ships in the Confederacy military) has a Senator in the Republic Senate, just seems wrong.
I know there's lines here and there about the Trade Federation blaming Nute Gunray and other rogue elements on their involvement. But it's difficult to believe they'd get away with it on this scale. At the end of this episode Amidala gets away with evidence that the Banking Guild is helping the Trade Federation fund construction of the Droid Army, and I bet there's never anything done about it.
Palpatine/Sidious being behind everything would help block any investigation, but surely the Jedi would suspect something if there's nothing being done about people walking around the Senate who are funding the war against them. And surely less well off planets getting drawn into the war, and losing money and people to Confederacy attacks would have major problems sharing the Senate with those who are behind it all.

It stretches credibility unnecessarily, do the Trade Federation and Banking Guild really need to be still in the Republic at this period in the Clone Wars? Having other worlds secretly allied with them seems credible, but them openly fielding armies against the organisation they are part of seems too obvious treachery for me to believe.

So what do you really think ? : Now, I've kind of panned this episode and I'm giving it a low rating, but it wasn't a disaster, it just wasn't very good. There's no real action in it, the drama between Amidala and Anakin makes him look like a childish asshole, and the politics make no sense whatsoever.

But . . . the dialogue is good, and there's some reasonable chemistry between Amidala and Rush Clovis, and some tension as Amidala spies on the meeting and their plans, which continues as she becomes affected by the poison but manages to complete her mission. And to be completely honest, Anakin being a childish asshole is really true to the character as he was portrayed in the movies, so maybe that's a plus after all.

Final Words : When I saw the title of this episode, I thought it was going to be a Jar-Jar episode, by the end I kind of wished it had been.

Score : 6.5/10

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