Director: Saul Ruiz
Starring: Dee Bradley Baker, Michelle Ang, Rhea Pearlman, Tom Taylorson, Liam O’Brien
In ‘Infested’, the newest episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Episode 13), untrustworthy bar owner Cid (Rhea Pearlman) has been ousted by a crime family.
It falls on the Bad Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) to help get her back in place.
However, things are not as simple as that. Roland Durand (Tom Taylorson) is dealing with the Pyke Syndicate, a known group of underworld smugglers and dealers in spice.
Roland was the one who removed Cid and the Bad Batch seek revenge by stealing his spice, thus bringing him into conflict with the Pykes.
But, of course, not everything goes to plan when the group disrupt a hive of Irlings, insectoid creatures that have infested the lower levels of Ord Mantell. After Cid and Wrecker rappel into the caverns, however, and retrieve the spice all is forgiven.
Fool of a Took: The Lord of the Rings in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 13?
A fun reference to The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring when Wrecker dropped his torch down the mine shaft was probably the best bit about the episode.
As the team slowly crossing an infested pit, Wrecker’s touch bounces deeper into the caverns – the scene goes silent until the distant rumbling of aliens can be heard.
It’s the mines of Moria all over again and Wrecker is certainly a fool of a Took.
Roland was also a curious inclusion. Polite and calm, there’s a distinct sense of him trying to live up to the reputation of his mother, crime lord Isa Durand (who has yet to be introduced to the Star Wars universe).
Again I’d like him to return, but in what capacity I’m unsure.
Crime doesn’t always pay, but in this galaxy is certainly helps to have friends in bad places.
Roland also has a sweet conversation with Omega (Michelle Ang), continuing the latter’s education in the way of the galaxy.
All of these characters must be having some impression on Omega, and she serves as the moral compass of the show in a way that only a child can.
More spice, less filler, please
This episode would have been better served by being placed in a less important position in the season.
It seems its only purpose is to give Cid some character development (and even then, it’s negligible) and so definitely not worth being placed in the final quarter.
The fact is the episode is not bad. Writer Amanda Rose Muñoz packs in interesting characters like Roland and it ties into the wider Star Wars universe through the menacing Pykes.
But why could it not have come earlier in the season, perhaps not long after we’d first met Cid?
That way we would’ve learnt that she’s not just all about the money and that she’s driven by some morals.
Instead, this episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Episode 13) has to hold its position in the last quarter of the show, which it frankly cannot do.
We’re past the time for introducing characters, which when you think about it is all the show has done: think Hera Syndulla, Avi Singh, Cad Bane.
The show has felt like a classroom register of characters designed to make the fans go ‘Ooo, I know them!’
It’s time however that this sort of pandering finishes: we now need to see how the show actually ties into the future of the Bad Batch themselves.
If ever my hesitancy about Star Wars: The Bad Batch in other reviews have felt excessive, this episode vindicates my concerns.
The definition of filler, ‘Infested’ did nothing for character or plot development.
There’s nothing wrong with filler, of course, but it needs to come at the right place in a season and this was not it.
The episode’s events may have some importance in the final three episodes of the season, but after last week’s ominous ending of Crosshair now having permission to hunt down the team this proved a disappointment.
In short, we need more spice if the show is to hold its own in the Star Wars canon.
What do you make of this episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Episode 13).
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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