With the recently rescued Echo in tow, the Bad Batch infiltrates Admiral Trench’s ship to sabotage his intelligence, but can Echo be trusted given that he was unwittingly supplying the Separatists with intel for years?
Spoiler alert: Yes.
The Bad Batch arch is over and, if you ask me, it’s not a moment too soon. The last four episodes have been uneven, seemed dumbed down, and have progressed in the simplest and most non-complicated fashion. They were written to go down easy even though they held the promise of tackling sensitive and complex subjects.
The result is a arch that feels like a convenient cheat.
Here’s my issue: As I’ve said before, The Clone Wars has never shied away from showing characters dealing with the horrors of war. We’ve seen characters mentally damaged, physically damaged… we’ve seen them question their own existence, the war itself, and their place in the universe and so, I don’t see why barely a hint of that in these episodes especially when you’ve got a character like Echo who is literally a tortured and mutilated POW whose loyalties are constantly being questioned by his own men.
Why is this not more impactful?
Simply put, I don’t think that the struggle was respected. Almost from the moment that Echo was released from Separatist control, he is portrayed as battle ready and dependable. He never had a moment to break down, show his damage, or even have a meaningful character moment short of staring at the camera in haunting but ultimately meaningless ways.
“Unfinished Business” continues this increasingly ridiculous trend by having Echo become, essentially, a bionic superhero, able to hack the tallest servers in a single bound. This is a guy presented with no damage, making the best of his hacked up body which is amazingly idiotic.
Sure, every now and then, someone questions his loyalty, but it was always brushed off by Anakin and Rex and never went anywhere… barely even acknowledged by Echo himself.
The end result is a character that barely exists. Echo is stunningly two-dimensional and static which is amazing considering what has happened to him.
It doesn’t help that the Bad Batch are, once again, a collection of cartoon cliches from the smart one to the dumb strong one to the silent introverted one… If you’ve seen an episode of GI Joe, you’ve seen these cardboard cutouts.
I was far, far more interested in the goings on of Mace, Obiwan, and Anakin – especially Anakin who is showing a deliciously violent and dark streak in this episode, strongly hinting at his ultimate destiny.
In any case, I’m glad that this particular story is over. It was a chore to get through, lacked hardly any emotional resonance, and was incredibly insincere… telling the most cookie-cutter simplistic story possible in a series that had no excuse to do so.