There's a very good reason why the eighth episode of The Bad Batch - the halfway point of the debut season - is called Reunion. On the face of it, the obvious link is the return of Crosshair, very much in Imperial mode and tasked by Admiral Rampart to hunt down Clone Force 99 and their batch sister Omega, but also because the Kaminoans send their own man to Bracca in the form of The Clone Wars' legendary bounty hunter Cad Bane who goes from returning hero to villain in seconds, reminding us if such a reminder was needed that Cad Bane was very, very good at his job.
We're picking up where last weeks episode Battle Scars left off. Captain Rex has blasted off Bracca and we join the action as the Batch start to scour the ship for much-needed supplies. They're keen to move away from relying on Cid and make their own fortune, but Hunter knows time is short, and that is quickly shown to be an astute opinion when scavengers start to attack and the Batch quickly defend themselves, very clearly using stun settings to incapacitate their attackers. However, a signal has already been sent to the Empire and it's Crosshair and his team of three attack shuttles that are dispatched, landing on Bracca and quickly surrounding Clone Force 99, intent on wiping them out as Rampart - a staunch believer in enlisting soldiers rather than breeding them - has ordered.
Naturally, our team are smarter than that, evading capture and making their exit through the Republic cruisers huge ion engines, but not before Crosshair is injured badly in the aftermath of their seemingly impossible escape, almost burnt to a crisp in the roar of the collapsing engines. Just when it looks like a clean escape is about to be had, Hunter and Bane face-off, leaving the clone down and injured after the Duros bounty hunter outdraws him and Omega taken, presumably back to Kamino where the cloners are desperate for more DNA material to continue their work. A superb episode, full of character - Wrecker and Omega together are a joy - action, character development and foreshadowing. This really is the strongest start to an animated Star Wars show, bringing us questions that are quickly resolved, returning characters that are very much welcome and a viewing experience that is deeply satisfying.
Read our previous reviews of The Bad Batch here: