The Bad Batch Season 2, Highs and Lows

Nik Chrissanthos, Assistant Arts & Entertaintment Editor

This review contains spoilers for season one of The Bad Batch, and for season two after a certain point.

Season 1 of the Bad Batch was quite entertaining for me as someone who grew up watching Star Wars The Clone Wars. There were plenty of episodes in the first season that might be described as filler, but the main overarching story of Clones finding their way in the galaxy following the Clone Wars was very interesting to see, and led to the show’s best episodes. This is definitely still the case with season two, but with some improvements to spotlight more of the Bad Batch and the overarching plot of the series.

The Bad Batch are still acting as mercenaries following the events of the first season, going on various adventures throughout the galaxy and helping wherever they can. This ties in to the aforementioned “filler” episodes of the show. It was exceedingly clear which episodes would impact the overarching narrative and which ones would be one off adventures. And while still enjoyable as a sort of “Star Wars adventure of the week” I would be lying if I said I didn’t begin some episodes, see the setup for a one off adventure, and get a little bummed out. But in all fairness, this show is meant to be accessible for kids, so these sort of episode by episode adventures are totally warranted. That being said, I still found these episodes to be weaker than the rest of the series. If you just want the big overarching plot, I would recommend skipping episodes 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11.

The rest of the review will contain spoilers.

The reason I take so much issue with these one off episodes is because I think the show is at its best when it focuses on the overarching narrative of the Clones themselves. Starting with the main characters themselves, the Bad Batch all get more screen time individually whereas season one was mainly about Hunter, Omega, and Crosshair. I think Tech especially got a lot of warranted screen time, further fleshing him out beyond his role as the team’s smart guy. All of this culminates in a sort of will they, won’t they relationship with an Indiana Jones style adventurer, and his tragic sacrifice to save the rest of the Bad Batch made all the more effective because we saw so much of him this season.

Echo also got a lot of time to shine, as throughout the first half of the season he is audible about how the Bad Batch should be doing more to help the galaxy and their fellow clones who are being left by the wayside by the Empire. Eventually his frustration gets to the point where he leaves the Batch for half of the season. And while it was sad to see him go, I think he is totally in the right here. Maybe because I am so eager for them to put the one off adventures behind them to focus on something bigger, but that’s besides the point.

And that’s not to say they stole the spotlight, Hunter, Omega, and Crosshair have also grown considerably and had some great character development. Hunter has learned to trust Omega’s abilities more which is good to see, even considering settling down so she can have a normal childhood. Omega has grown up slightly, both age wise and as a character. Crosshair finally shook off his loyalty to the Empire, which was satisfying given how horribly the Empire treats him. The episodes he is in are the best of the series, episodes 3, 12, and 14.

I also want to make special mention of episodes 7 and 8, as fans of Andor will likely appreciate the similarities these two episodes have. They deal with the Senate and the passing of legislation regarding the clones, and just shows how much of a master manipulator Emperor Palpatine is. Despite the Bad Batch’s plan going exactly as they planned it, Palpatine was still able to twist the result into something that benefits him.

And the season ends with an absolute gut punch in the form of Tech’s aforementioned death, Cid betraying the Bad Batch to the Empire, and Omega getting captured with no hope of rescuing her any time soon. This is very much the Empire Strikes Back of the series, ending on a cliffhanger we’ll have to wait to see resolved. Effective storytelling to be sure, but a bit of a bummer to end the season on.

To conclude, there is a lot to love about this show and I have not even covered everything. I left out the brief return of Commander Cody, the answer to what happened to that Zilo Beast from The Clone Wars, some of the amazing new Clone characters like Mayday, and the plethora of fun cameos from the larger Star Wars universe. That being said, the one off episodes, while sometimes fun, did kind of ruin the season’s pacing, which could be seen as detrimental to some. But I still loved seeing the main plot evolve over the course of the season, and the further expansion of the Bad Batch as a whole. And with that ending cliffhanger in mind, I eagerly await season three.