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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 2 Episode 9: Grievous Intrigue

What is it ? : And we break the chain of stories we've been following and move to a different part of the Clone Wars. Jedi Eeth Koth's ship is ambushed by General Grievous and his Magnaguards, and a bunch of Droid Commandos, and the Jedi is captured. Grievous sends a communication to the Jedi Council showing them Koth has been captured and is being tortured, however Koth takes the opportunity to reveal his location using a series of Hand codes which allow the Jedi, Obi-Wan, Anakin and Adi Gallia to lead an attack and attempt to rescue Koth.
During the battle Obi-Wans escort class vessel is caught and boarded by Grievous, however this is a distraction, allowing Anakin's shuttle to hyperspace in undetected and board Greivous's ship and rescue Koth.

High Points : While the description of the episode above is brief, there's a lot of action that happens, with a space battle and two interesting lightsaber fights occurring within this episode.

The new ships introduced in this episode are excellent, with the Eta class shuttle being an early Lambda type shuttle, which has a little more style. And the Escort Class Vessel used by Obi-Wan being a fantastic piece of design, with the forward hull being reminiscent of a Star Destroyer, but the engines being obviously those of the Consular-class space cruiser as seen in Episode 1. It's a lovely hybrid of the two, and I'm a big fan of the smaller cruisers in Star Wars, the ones which must perform most of the work of the Imperial fleet, but not get the recognition of Star Destroyers.

The Droid Commandos show up again, and prove themselves to be far better than the Magnaguards, these are astoundingly efficient opponents for the heroes, who actually provide a challenge rather than just be cut down like Battle Droids.

I'm especially impressed by the tactics used in this episode, providing a Jedi to lure Grievous away from his prisoner, using small fast ships to out maneuver the Separatist vessels. But even the counter tactics are impressive, with Grievous realising that where-ever Obi-Wan goes, Anakin is likely to follow, so creating an Ambush for when Anakin tries to rescue Koth. There's thinking and planning going on in this episode, and it keeps the viewer guessing too, excellently done.

And the ambush on the Separatist Bridge when Anakin is trying to rescue Koth is especially worthy of mention, with not only the Droid Commandos providing a challenge, but the damaged Tactical Droid desperately scrabbling around to try to execute Eeth Koth before he can be rescued, and only failing due to his arm having been cut off and not having a finger to press the button. An enjoyable and exciting action set piece, very well done.

And the final battle in the episode, with Adi Gallia and Obi-Wan fighting Grievous in the docking tunnel between their vessels, from the early tactics of trying to get the Republic Vessel to undock to trap Grievous, through to the Republic vessel being damaged and beginning to drift causing the corridor to tilt (putting Grievous and his claw feet at an advantage), until the two vessels separate and the atmosphere begins venting, this entire scene is massively well done, using the environment in a way I haven't seen them do in the series yet, extremely impressive.

Low Points : No major criticisms of this episode, only a couple of comments.

General Grievous proves himself to be a massive poser early in this episode, as he captures Eeth Koth, he uses his lightsaber to cut through the door to the bridge of Koths ship, however before pushing the segment he's just cut open out of the way, he switches off his lightsaber, puts it away, and makes sure he's standing with his hands behind his back in an imposing manner. Rather than be ready for combat with a dangerous opponent, he's posing, 10/10 for style, 0/10 for tactics.

When Grievous communicates with the Jedi to inform them of Koth's capture (and to try to lure out more Jedi to kill), the Jedi council takes the call in a room with numerous other Jedi, as Koth is tortured, Ahsoka comforts some Younglings who are scared by this. Wait a second, firstly why is the Jedi Council taking this important call in a common area, and secondly, why the hell are they letting kids watch the communication from an Enemy who gratuitously butchers Jedi, for all they knew, he was going to cut off Koths head in front of them, definitely not kid safe viewing.

One tiny moment of slight out of character behaviour from Anakin, while he and Adi Gallia are running through the Separatist ship with a rescued Eeth Koth, they hear Obi-Wan needs help to stop Grievous escaping. Anakin lets Adi Gallia go, so he can continue to help Koth. It's a sensible decision, but just a little off for the ready to prove himself against any opponent Anakin, especially when it involves helping and potentially saving Obi-Wan, his friend. Just a very minor quibble, but I felt it worth noting.

So what do you really think ? : An absolute cracker of an episode, which I really enjoyed from beginning to end. Grievous was well used, and although he runs away at the end, it doesn't feel like the cowardly escape he often performs, it feels like a sensible tactical withdrawal (especially as the ship he retreats from blows up seconds later).

Very, very impressed.

Final Words : This season has been excellent so far, and looking towards the next few episodes, it looks as if it could continue. Has Clone Wars really found it's feet and established itself, or is this a short respite from the often poor quality the show has shown before. I'm intrigued to find out and keep watching.

Score : 9/10

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