THE BAD BATCH – S1:E4 – “Cornered”
“Cornered” starts what I hope will be a true story arc. We are re-introduced to Fennec Shand, who we first met in season one of The Mandalorian. Without getting into spoilers, I’ll just say that her story line was not wrapped up in this episode. With Fennec Shand, bringing in a character that’s not an Imperial to act as another obstacle for The Bad Batch, gives depth to this growing story.
Looking for a place to hide out for a while, our rogue clones find an uninhabited planet to set as their next destination. Unfortunately, they do not have enough fuel to get there and they are out of rations. They need to find somewhere closer to set down, get supplies and make some repairs to the ship, which includes scrambling their comm signature to make it more difficult for their ship to be identified.
They land at a bustling space port on the planet Pantora. Upon exiting their ship, Wrecker and Tech are met by a Sullustan who tells them that he needs to scan their ship in. But when Wrecker confronts him about that step, the Sullustan says he could “skip about that step”. The naive clones start to walk back to the ship when the Sullustant clears his throat and insists that skipping such a step would require financial incentive.
After returning to his work station, the Sullustan contacts someone to let them know that the ship they’re looking for is there. The person on the other end is a bounty hunter, who based on the hologram she’s looking at, is looking for Omega. Those who have been watching The Mandalorian will recognize the bounty hunter as being Fennec Shand. Ming-Na Wen, who portrays the character on The Mandalorian, returns to voice her here.
While Wrecker and Tech stay behind to work on the ship, Hunter, Omega and Echo (who is disguised as a droid) head out to get supplies. In town, Omega is in awe of everything going on around them. They come to a crowd of people cheering as a squad of Imperial clones march down the street. In the distance, they see a chain code post like they saw on Saleucami, with citizens excited to turn in their local currency for Imperial credits.
At a local merchant shop, Hunter is trying to sell an explosive device to get money for their other supplies. The three eyed Gran shopkeeper isn’t offering what Hunter was expecting for it, but takes interest in the “droid” that’s with them. He offers Hunter 2000 credits for it. Hunter goes to Echo and convinces him to play the part and be “sold” to the Gran, and once they have the supplies they need, Echo can leave and return to the ship. Echo reluctantly agrees, but feels he’s worth more than 2000. While Hunter haggles with the shopkeeper, Omega, who is holding a clone trooper doll that the shopkeeper is selling, is distracted by a vehicle that stops nearby with a couple voorpaks in the back. (Voorpaks are puppy-like creatures, first seen on the animated show Resistance.) One of the creatures snatches the doll out of Omega’s hand, just as the vehicle starts to pull away. She starts chasing after them, all while Fennec Shand watches from the shadows. After finishing his transaction and handing Echo off to the Gran, Hunter turns around to find Omega is missing.
While running to catch the vehicle, the voorpak with the doll tosses the toy aside. Distracted, Omega runs into a Gotal male and falls to the ground. Realizing she’s all alone, a scared Omega is approached by Fennec, holding her helmet to the side and offering the girl assistance. She takes Omega’s hand and offers to help her find her friends.
Briefly back at the Gran’s shop, Echo is being put in charge of the shopkeeper’s other droids. A protocol droid is very annoyed because that is her job. Echo lifts his helmet, revealing that he is not a droid and as the protocol droid notices that, she threatens to report him. Echo, who still has his blaster, pulls it out and “offers” to take that complaint himself.
As Hunter tracks Omega, Omega and Fennec walk through the town. Fennec asks the girl if she’s hungry, to which Omega replies, yes but she doesn’t have any money. Fennec then sees a woman approaching carrying a basket of fruit, and pretends to accidentally bump her, causing a bunch of her fruit to fall. Apologizing and bending down to help pick it all up, Fennec sneaks a couple pieces into her helmet. Omega notices this, along with the blaster on Fennec’s hip. As they walk away, Fennec hands Omega a piece of fruit to which the girl points out, they didn’t pay for. Fennec tells her it’s ok to break the rules sometimes. Then Omega asks her about her blaster and if she’s a soldier. Fennec tells her it’s for defense.
Hunter catches up to the pair and calls out to Omega. He warns the girl to step away from the woman. Omega is puzzled and just then Fennec puts her helmet back on and draws her blaster. A fight ensues between Hunter and Shand. Hunter yells for Omega to run, which she does. Local law approaches and Fennec gets the best for Hunter, just enough to run in pursuit of Omega.
The action cuts short as we transition to the ship and Tech and Wrecker working on the alterations of the signature key. Hunter’s voice comes through their communicator, telling them that someone attacked him and that he’s lost Omega. Wrecker runs out to start looking for Omega and the attacker, Tech is put to the task of searching surveillance cameras for Omega and Echo readies the dorids he’s now in charge of, going to help finish the ship’s repairs.
Back to Omega, running through the town’s busy street, with Fennec on her tail. Tech reports to the group that he’s spotted Omega heading into a maintenance tunnel and gives the others her coordinates. Tech sees that, unfortunately, Fennec Shand has caught up and found the tunnel as well.
In the tunnel, Omega bumps into Wrecker but the relief is short lived as Fennec finds them both. Wrecker sends Omega up a ladder and runs toward the bounty hunter. She uses his brute force against and pushes his head into the wall, knocking him out and follows Omega up the ladder. The ladder leads to an opening that is high over the town’s traffic of air speeders. While Hunter tries to contact Wrecker, Tech chimes in saying he’s found Omega, hanging from a maintenance tower. Hunter is bumped by a guy on a speeder bike who parks right in front of him. Needing to hurry, Hunter hops on the bike and speeds away. Meanwhile, Omega loses her grip and just as she starts to fall, Fennec grabs her hand. The both see Hunter approaching on the stolen speeder bike. Fennec drops Omega onto the bed of an air truck and jumps down next to her. Fennec starts shooting at Hunter and clever Omega finds the switch to lift the bed of the truck and pulls it, causing the bounty hunter to fall onto another speeding vehicle. Fennec throws the driver out of the speeder and takes the controls.
Hunter catches up to Omega that is hanging on to a strap, dangling from the air truck. Just as he’s about to grab her and put her on his bike, Fennec catches up and rams into Hunter, causing him to fly away. Just then, two security officers on speeder bikes come up behind Fennec. She shoots one, which makes him crash into the other. They both hit a building and their bikes explode. Hunter catches back and shoots at Fennec’s engines. It slows her down just enough to allow him to grab Omega. Still in possession of the explosive that the Gran wouldn’t buy, Hunter tosses it onto the speeder that Fennec is driving. She sees it and jumps out, just as the vehicle explodes. She lands on the ground and limping, she sees her quarry get away.
Back at the ship, Echo and the droids finish the ship repairs. Echo releases command of the droids back to the protocol droid. Happily, she instructs the others to follow her as they leave the spaceport. Hunter and Omega reach the ship, with Wrecker right behind. They board quickly and take off. The Sullustan, who was sleeping, wakes up and screams, “Don’t go! She hasn’t paid me yet!”
Safely in space, the clones explain to Omega that the woman they were fighting is a bounty hunter and that clearly Omega was the bounty. Hunter exclaims that they need to find who she is and who hired her.
As Fennec gets ready to leave Pantoran, the scared Sullustan is afraid she’s going to kill him. Instead, she tosses him a credit and tells him, if they return, he’s how to contact her. Walking to her ship, she stops and speaks into a communicator. She tells whoever is on the other end that the target got away, but she’ll find her.