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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 4 Episode 3: Prisoners

What is it ? : With everyone captured except Ahsoka and Prince Lee-Char, they visit the prison camps and see the conditions that the Mon Calamari and Gungans are being held in. Lee-Char cannot believe the Quarren who were allies of his father really want this.
Amidala, Jar-Jar and Anakin are tortured to try to get them to reveal the Princes location, but since they don't have this information they can't, and Amidala's helmet is fractured and she is left to drown as water leaks in. Using the force they temporarily force the water out of her helmet, and then Jar Jar spits a stick goo, which seals the crack.
The Prince surrenders on the grounds he can speak to the leader of the invasion, and gives a speech on how the Quarren are now slaves to the Separatists, and have nothing to lose by helping their allies. And as he is taken to be executed the Quarren come to the aid of the Mon Calamari, Gungans and Republic forces. As defeat looks certain, Riff Tamson attempts to kill the Prince, but is killed by the Prince with one of his own knives.

High Points : I commented on it at the start of the season, but the animation quality has really stepped up a level this season, and while I still have some problems with the design choices, it's really looking beautiful.

The torture scene is surprisingly long for a kids show, but is needed to show how badly the heroes have been defeated, and how bad things have gotten. Also surprising for a kids show is when Riff Tamson is killed, he get blown apart, and they do show fragments of him, recognisably his face floating in the water afterwards.

Finally, the Quarren attack on a Separatist submarine, using spears to puncture the windows, allowing water to leak in and damage the battle droids within. I thought was well realised, with the initial attacks only pricking tiny holes into the hull of the vessel, but the effects of those being cumulative and leading to it's defeat. Just a notable moment which impressed me and made me sit back for a moment.

Low Points : I've no real complaints about this one, I continue to be mildly annoyed that the Prince's name is just Charlie with the syllables reversed (Lee-Char), and even my 12 year old son made sure to point out Riff Tamsons death ('You've got to watch this, hehe . . . in a kids show!')

The storyline isn't exactly innovative, and is really obvious long before it comes around (I think I even predicted it yesterday), but it's enjoyable enough, and the whole three part story has been fairly interesting.

So what do you really think ? : There's some interesting storylines hanging around in the Clone Wars which we're waiting to see resolved, with Savage Opress, Asajj Ventress and Boba Fett, all waiting to see stories completed, so starting off with this fairly pointless storyline has been a bit of a disappointment, but fingers crossed we'll get back to the story arcs that were building so well last season.

Final Words : Even though I've been pretty critical of this three part opener, it's just because it's not as good as they've proven Clone Wars can be, but it's still pretty darn good, I've enjoyed this storyline, and it's looking more spectacular than it ever has before. Fingers crossed that it keeps going from strength to strength like this.

Score : 7.5/10

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