It's been a question for a while, just how much does Cid care about the Bad Batch beyond her obvious liking for Omega, and the thirteenth episode Infested answers that to some degree while also revealing that it goes both ways as Clone Force 99 once again put it on the line for little reward thanks to Omega. It's the bug hunt episode, something Star Wars admittedly does regularly, and as usual, it's well-conceived and laid out. Elements of Aliens, Starship Troopers, and Fellowship of the Ring (how Cid didn't shout 'Fool of a Took!' at Wrecker when he clumsily dropped his flashlight is beyond me) combine to make it another thrilling episode.
Indeed, many other shows would struggle to make such a basic, cookie-cutter concept shine, but with its ever-developing cast of characters, The Bad Batch manages to pull it off. We're back on Ord Mantell, home of the best popcorn in the galaxy as the batch return to Cid's cantina, overrun by unfamiliar faces, revealed to be the goons of Devaronian wannabe gangster Roland who has taken Cid's Bar for himself. We know Cid well enough by now to know she doesn't back down, and once her plan to take her bar back is set - steal six crates of spice from her office that Roland planned to pay to the Pykes - we're off to the races, as we head to the underground tunnels of Ord Mantell and a very Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-style mine car chase as they sneak through a nest of huge Irlings, bugs that are susceptible to light and noise and not above munching on a gaggle of heroic clones and their trandoshan associate. Naturally, it doesn't go according to plan and the sneakily nabbed crates are lost in the tunnels, the batch barely escaping with their lives.
We know that the Pykes are a major threat from their prior appearances in Star Wars animation, and as Omega is held by the Pykes while the batch retrieve the crates it's a close call in a scene crafted for tension and played to perfection. Again it shows how in the pocket the makers of the show have their characters and plots, elevating a standard plot into something much more. Cid is a keeper who clearly wants the best for her boys, and for Omega who she's taken under her wing and the batch continue to learn more and more about the workings of the galaxy and who to trust. For now, Cid's either a great friend or a genius at playing the long game - who knows what she'd do if the right offer came along to betray them - but for now, the 'partnership' is working a treat as we head into the final three episodes of the season.
Read our previous reviews of The Bad Batch here: