I’m sensing a disturbing trend here.
A long time ago — and I can’t remember which one it was — I read an interview with the director of a Batman movie in which they likened Batman to Ed Sullivan and the bad guys as the Beatles… no one tuned in to watch Ed Sullivan.
I never really agreed with this analogy, but I understood it. It seems like the writers of The Bad Batch are starting to understand it as well as they are drawing more and more from the expanded cannon of the Star Wars animated and live action universe. The Bad Batch themselves are Ed Sullivan and no one tunes in to watch Ed Sullivan.
They tune in to see Cad Bane, Fenric, Hera, and Chopper.
I think that this is unfortunate as there is definite potential for characterization in The Bad Batch, but time and time again, it is eschewed for all except Omega and maybe, when the stars shine just right and the universe is aligned, Hunter. Everyone else is, as I have said countless times, a stereotype and, in some cases, not even a good one. Tech is supposed to be the smartest person on the team, but the plot requires that he be staggeringly stupid at times.
It’s clear that, until this writing team allows The Bad Batch to become actual characters (as they’ve been skating around for the last few episodes), the guest stars are going to have to carry the show and, let me tell you kids, when I saw Hera and, most importantly, Chopper show up, my smile must have been enormous. I am one of the few brave individuals who have the brass tacks to say that I enjoyed Rebels more than The Clone Wars and to see this often overlooked series get some love and revisits has been such a treat.
Moreover, the episode itself was very powerful. The themes of freedom fighters trying to escape war even when it’s obvious that the price is too high was incredible. Cham Syndulla is tired… he wants out… he wants a normal life. You really feel for the guy and can understand him even when the decisions he makes are the wrong ones. You get the feeling that even he recognizes it as well.
“Devil’s Deal” was a smartly written episode with intelligent characters doing intelligent things, even the normally cowardly Imperial officers were deviously clever, leading up to a very downer and tragic ending. Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the ending. I like that The Bad Batch isn’t going to be a constant savior and that the Empire is reigning supreme. It’s always darkest before the dawn, but in this case, the dawn is twenty years away and it’s going to be very dark for a very long time.
Heck, even the backgrounds and settings in this episode were spectacular.
“Devil’s Deal” is one of if not the best episode of The Bad Batch so far. I would like the team to get a little more development and direction, but if they’re going to be the Ed Sullivan of the Star Wars universe and take more of a tertiary role in things, that could be an interesting format as well and I wouldn’t be too mad if it means we get to revisit some classic characters and get introduced to some new ones.