“Common Ground” retracts previous character development in favor of a dull side-quest that has nothing to do with what The Bad Batch ‘s last two episodes have established.
*Warning: This piece contains spoilers for episode 10 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch*
Well, it seemed too good to be true, but alas. Star Wars: The Bad Batch has gone from bad, to decent, to amazing, to decent again, and now has retracted any type of character growth we’ve seen in the previous few episodes for…a mindless side-quest that acts as nothing but pure filler without purpose. What’s the side-quest, you may ask? Rescuing some random separatist senator who got kidnapped from the Empire after speaking out against their rule of Raxus. Yeah, isn’t it exciting? The Bad Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) has to rescue some random dude to pay off Cid (Rhea Perlman)’s debt, while Omega (Michelle Ang) takes a literal backseat and complains about how the team doesn’t value them, as the clones force her to stay with Cid this time around.
What happened to Cad Bane? Fennec Shand? What about Lama Su, or Nala Se? What about Crosshair? We left every single character in a highly interesting position, while The Bad Batch are on the run against the ones hunting Omega…and you’re going back to CID?! The person who wouldn’t hesitate to backstab the clones if it meant more money for her? Are you guys crazy?! Haven’t we learned anything about The Bad Batch’s past missions, to not trust anybody as everyone is now wanted by the Kaminoans? The most interesting plotline of the entire series has been completely dropped in favor of more side-quests that sacrifice the important progress the show has made to build character for more “pew! pew!”. Ridiculous.
It really doesn’t help that Omega’s character development has been the most abandoned here, as she is reduced to a mere object instead of a legitimate member of the team. Granted, some will say that “it’s because Hunter has developed real affection for her and doesn’t want her to get in trouble again, as the Kaminoans are likely working for the Empire!” And to that I say, true. However, do we really need to go back to the days in which she needlessly complained and purposefully got in trouble for the team to care about her, instead of Omega feeling like a legitimately important character? Jesus, she’s of the same lineage as Boba Fett, and you…leave her in Cid’s building to do nothing! Why? Because there’s a higher Imperial presence? OK, but once you see the mission, you quickly realize that it’s far less dangerous than any other situation Omega has purposefully put herself in in previous episodes! As the current president brilliantly says from time to time, “Come on, man! Give me a break!”
There’s literally no reason for Omega to stay seated at Cid’s bar, other than playing Dejarik and showcasing her strategy skills to earn enough money to pay off Cid’s debt to the clones. That’s it! If she’s so good at strategy, maybe her skills would have definitely been useful on the mission instead of…gee…I don’t know…playing Star Wars chess? The series’ flaws stick out like a sore thumb, which is a damn shame, considering how rarely flawed The Clone Wars has been.
The rest of the episode is a fairly standard one, with a standard action sequence featuring no emotional impact or any reason to care about the senator, the clones and the citizens of Raxus. The episode’s ending is far more engaging than anything that came before, with Hunter realizing the mistake he made by keeping Omega at bay and offering her a friendly game of Dejarik as an important part of the team. That’s what I would’ve loved to see happen during the mission, rather than after. Otherwise, it just feels like a surface-level and hollow moment of “bonding” that could’ve had a bigger impact if there were important stakes at bay. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Man, I would’ve hoped this episode would push the story further and clearly establish the stakes of its remaining seven episodes, but I guess we’ll have to wait until next week? I sure hope so…please don’t disappoint me again…
Star Wars: The Bad Batch: Common Ground (Ep. 10) is now available to watch on Disney+.
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