THE BAD BATCH – S1:11 – “Devil’s Deal”
For the first time in the series, we have an episode that is almost entirely devoid of the title characters. This week’s episode focuses on issues happening on the planet Ryloth, and in turn becomes another tie in to The Clone Wars and Rebels. It’s largely focused on the Syndulla family, including Cham and his daughter Hera. I know what they’re going for here, making it all feel connected. And who can blame Dave Filoni for wanting to include and expand on these characters he’s created. But I was missing actually having a Bad Batch adventure. That being said, I have faith the next episode will have a payoff making it all worthwhile.
We again open on a newly Imperial occupied world with a gathered crowd. This time it’s Ryloth, home of the Twi’leks. Crosshair is observing the ground and radios in that Gobi Glie and some of his freedom fighters are in the crowd.
Moving into an interior space, Admiral Rampart is discussing his disappointment that the people of Ryloth appear troubled by the Empire’s appearance. Senator Taa assured him that he speaks for the people and that their partnership is welcome. Also in the room is General Cham Syndulla and his wife, Eleni. Taa asks Eleni if she agrees with him and she responds that she will always support that which helps Ryloth. When Cham is asked how he feels, he says that after years of fighting, peace is what is needed.
They all walk out to a platform and Taa addresses the crowd. He tries to assure them that the Empire is there to protect Ryloth and that it’s time for the Twi’leks to step down from their military posts. The crowd starts shouting for Syndulla. Cham steps up and reminds the crowd that during the war, the clone army was there to help them and that he trusts them to continue to protect them. As the crowd cheers, Admiral Rampart says to Eleni that it’s a shame her daughter was not there to share in the celebration. She’s says that Hera has other interests. (Yes, that would be Hera Syndulla from Rebels)
On top of a cliff, we find young Hera and her droid Chopper. looking down at a mining facility and clone troopers loading crates into a shuttle. Hera admits that nothing seems out of the ordinary but tells Chopper they can’t leave yet because Uncle Gobi told her to stay and gather intel. As she lays back to relax a moment, she is confronted by a group of clones.
As Twi’leks are turning in their weapons to Cham and some clones, Captain Howzer approaches with Hera and Chopper. He tells Cham they were found in a restricted zone. Hera says they were just exploring. Captain Howzer says he won’t report it, but it can’t happen again. Cham assured him it won’t. After Howzer leaves, Gobi and Eleni approach. Gobi tells Cham that he sent the girl. They argue about the Empire’s intentions and Gobi leaves saying the Empire is up to something and that Cham just doesn’t want to see it.
Hera is on a balcony looking at the sky when Cham comes to her. She says that she wants to do her part to keep Ryloth free and that Gobi feels like she’s ready. They discuss that Cham and Gobi want the same things for Ryloth but have different approaches. Cham tells her that fighting takes a toll and that he hopes she never has to live a life like his.
At the mine, Admiral Rampart walks with Cham and Eleni, stating that the doonium mine there will help rebuild parts of the galaxy affected by the war. Looking around, Eleni questions the need for soldiers and cannons. Rampart says it’s for Ryloth’s protection. Crosshair approaches and hands Rampart a data pad, who then says he has a matter to address and walks away. Cham and Eleni have a disagreement about what the Empire’s true intentions are.
In a hanger, Hera arrives as Gobi is prepping to leave on a supply run. She tries to say that she shouldn’t go with him, but he entices her with the promise of letting her do some piloting. As they take off, we see Crosshair spying on them and her shoots a tracking device onto the back of the ship. They land on one of Ryloth’s moons and as they exit, Hera asks what supplies they are there to get. Gobi tells her they are there to get weapons. A ship arrives and we finally see the Batch. Cid sent them with the weapons they requested. As Gobi inspects the delivery, Omega gives Hera a tour of their ship. Once the inspection and tour are over, the Twi’leks and the Batch go their separate ways. That is the last we see of the Batch in this episode.
Upon returning, Crosshair shoots down Gobi’s ship and instructs his troopers to move in. Gobi, Hera and a Twi’lek woman that’s been with them are arrested and put onto a prisoner transport. Three of Gobi’s freedom fighters are watching from above and report back to Cham. Chopper rolls in and says that Gobi and Hera have been found guilty of treason.
Cham, Eleni and others catch up to the transport and start taking out troopers and taking their speeders. They manage to stop the transport and get inside. Rampart, with Taa, surrenders. Chopper arrives piloting a speeder and Hera gets in. She sees her father holding a gun to Senator Taa. Eleni approaches Cham and puts her hand on the blaster saying that Taa’s time will come, but not that way. As he lowers his blaster, Rampart signals up to Crosshair who has watching from above and a shot is fired right into Taa’s head. More troops arrive and Eleni yells for Chopper to get Hera out of there. He speeds off as Hera’s parents are being arrested for the attempted assissination of Senator Taa. Rampart instructs Captain Howzer to find the Syndulla girl. The episode ends with seeing Hera in the speeder, watching as the clone transports take off with her parents on board.
So… will this storyline continue next week? Most likely. My theory is that somehow Hera will get word back to Cid or to Omega directly, that she needs help. Hopefully we’ll get more Batch action in the next episode.