While it wasn't initially obvious last week, Devil's Deal was the first in a two-parter that continues this week with Rescue on Ryloth, an episode that ramps up the tension and the action as Clone Force 99 rescue the captured Twi'lek's Cham and Eleni Syndulla along with their comrade-in-arms Gobi Glie... but not after we watch a lesson in clone psychology from Omega as she persuades Hunter to help after he refuses the job, claiming the mission was too hard. We're back to Ryloth as the plight of Hera becomes clear, and as Admiral Rampart clamps down on the potential of a Ryloth insurgency, his clone Captain Howzer can barely hide his discomfort. You have to wonder if Howzer has secretly had his chip removed, or perhaps those loyal soldiers bred to fight for the Republic are themselves starting to rebel against the terrible lure of their inhibitor chips, leading to a second 'clone war' of enlisted Imperial soldiers versus former Republic clones?
While The Bad Batch naturally retains a distinctly Clone Wars edge, the last two episodes have been imbued with a very Star Wars Rebels flavour. That keeps the show fresh for newer viewers who are perhaps slightly overwhelmed by the many references on display, but as always, it's a brisk 20 minutes of character, heart and action as Omega persudes her brothers to put it all on the line to find Hera and rescue her parents. Additionally, it once again highlights the tactical mind Omega has, displayed as she works up a rescue plan with Hera, who much to the satisfaction of anyone invested in the character gets to take to the skies in an Imperial shuttle and cause some havoc.
There are some interesting take-aways from the episode. Orn-Free Taa is indeed alive, injured but not killed after last week’s apparently lethal headshot, and Crosshair is increasingly edgy and frustrated when it comes to the actions of the Bad Batch. Captain Howzer is a character to watch, risking his life to protect his squad and making a stand for Ryloth. Interesting that Crosshair doesn't take the shot when Howzer is wide open, and as we end the episode with Crosshair requesting permission to hunt Clone Force 99 down the table is set for a thrilling final quartet of episodes to wrap up season one.
As ever, excellent television and another engaging episode (and yes, yet another 3 out of 5 stars for this consistently entertaining series).
Read our previous reviews of The Bad Batch here: