The Clone Wars Review: Friends And Enemies

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What did you think of the plot?
Oky: This episode continued the solid story of the previous one, although it wasn’t quite as clever and solid this time around. The episode begins with Obi-Wan and his new bounty hunter friends crashing their ship deliberately in a swamp in order to “leave no trace of their crash”. But they hit about half a dozen trees and rocks during their crash, so wouldn’t their followers notice that or at least be able to find some debris? Anyway, they get some new gear and a new ship and get ready to leave, but Bane leaves Hardeen behind. However, they soon have to come back for him since he cleverly puts the local authorities on their tails. Hardeen buys their trust with a new ship, and so they manage to escape together. Meanwhile, Palpatine tells Anakin about the whereabouts of his master’s killer, much to the dismay of Yoda and Mace, and so he tracks the bounty hunters down together with Ahsoka. They have a short fight which ends with Anakin laying unconscious on the ground and the bounty hunters escaping. The end is a bit confusing. Anakin says that he “felt a connection” and that he knows that Obi-Wan is still alive, but he doesn’t seem to realize that Hardeen is Obi-Wan. He probably felt the strong force in Hardeen, but can’t he figure out that that must mean that Hardeen is Obi-Wan?
Brickdoctor: On a positive note, this episode explains the reason Eval wants to kidnap the Chancellor. On a negative note, that reason doesn’t make much sense. It’s obvious that Eval is working for Dooku, but there is no reason for Dooku to attempt to kidnap Palpatine. If the plot failed, the Jedi would be on their guard during another attempt, and with Palpatine supplying info concerning hyperspace routes through the Deep Core, it was easy for Grievous to get his entire fleet around Republic defenses and into position to attack Coruscant in a plan with a much better chance of succeeding. It simply doesn’t make for Palpatine to want Dooku to hire bounty hunters to kidnap him. It is possible that this is a plan of Dooku’s own doing – an attempt to take his master’s place – and Palpatine allows Dooku to live after the plan fails only so that Anakin could kill him, but Dooku doesn’t strike me as one to attempt such a thing until the Sith have taken control of the galaxy. That would be a poor move, since, if it succeeded, it would remove Palpatine from a position in control of the government with no way for Dooku to take such a position.
COP: The plot went nowhere. Shall I repeat? No. Where. The whole point of this undercover mission was for Obi-Wan to find out how Eval was going to kidnap the chancellor. But did we come closer at all to knowing that? No. Alright, so we found out why he wants to (because of Dooku), but even that was lame. I know I slammed us having basically no backstory for Eval last time, but now he’s even worse. Wouldn’t it have been cool if some independent group of thugs just weren’t happy with Palpatine and wanted to kidnap him? Heck yeah, that would’ve been cool. But a dumb Dooku plot again? No thanks. Even putting that aside, this episode was uninteresting. The description promised a subplot with Anakin out to avenge Obi-Wan’s death, but that didn’t really happen. His investigation took about two second, and then they all had a big fight and went their separate ways, without much changing. All of this boils down to one thing: the CW can’t do multi-episode arcs any more. Four is just way too many for them, and even three ends up having useless filler. So implore you CW, even though I know you’re not listening: stop it. Do a two episode arc if you have to, or better yet, stick with one. You can have a cliffhanger and come back to the same characters (like what I hope will happen with Lux), but stop this multi-episode arc thing. It’s not working.

What are your thoughts on the characters?
Oky: The characters were somewhat weak here. Moralo Eval turns out to be a rather shallow character who agrees to anyone and anything, as long as he gets what he wants, which apparently is to get to Dooku as soon as possible. All he does is whine about the delays and refer to himself in the third person. I do find it humorous how he tries to stay neutral in the fight between Bane and Hardeen though. Obi-Wan does a pretty good job again, doing everything to stay undercover and not to provoke Bane’s suspicions of him, while not acting out of character. The way he silently seemed to say “I’m sorry” after Bane threatened Pablo was a nice touch. But he just didn’t seem as clever as he did in the previous episode. While Bane is still one of my favorite characters in The Clone Wars, it was hard to like him in this episode. He keeps picking fights with Hardeen even though he does nothing to provoke him, and he was very reckless in that he chose to dress in his signature desperado style and make trouble in the pawn shop without caring about the consequences, which nearly got them killed at the end of the episode. And who the heck threatens somebody with a toothpick??
Anakin acted very much like he did in the movies. His relationship with Palpatine was portrayed nicely. Palpatine was his sly old self too. The fact that he told Anakin where to find his master’s killer so that he could get revenge kinda makes you wonder if this whole thing was planned by him in order to push Anakin to the dark side, just like he did at the beginning of RotS. But how could he have known that Obi-Wan would fake his own death? Either way, it seems like just the sort of thing he would do. Ahsoka was once again just okay, but I still don’t like that she just stands by while Anakin hurts people. She really should speak up. It was wise of her, though, not to engage the bounty hunters by herself after Anakin got knocked out.
Doc: Eval fails to impress me. He doesn’t seem formidable in any regard. He seems almost like a puppet leader of a crime syndicate controlled by a more powerful individual, such as Cad Bane. Obi-Wan seems rather helpless while he waits to find out what Eval’s plan is. Anakin, again, though, was portrayed well. He and his relationship with Palpatine both continue to take on a darker tone. This arc also seems to love stealing ideas from Jedi. Bane pulls the same ‘tie-up-Jedi-with-wrist-grappling-hook’ that Fett did.
COP: I can’t add much to what Brickdoctor already said. Eval just seems like a goon, Bane is awesome, Obi-Wan isn’t doing much, and the CW is actually getting good at portraying Anakin and Ahsoka. I never thought I’d be saying this, but more Ahsoka episodes please. They seem to be good now.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: Nal Hutta was more interesting (and much, much less disgusting without Ziro and his *shudder* mother) than the last time we saw it. It had a nice mixture of species and almost felt like a swamp version of Mos Eisley. It even had Bith! Although the fact that Obi-Wan was able to easily communicate with him in separate languages bugged me a bit, but it’s not the first time this has happened. Kinda makes you wonder how many languages they teach you at the Jedi Temple.
There were two new vehicles that the bounty hunter trio used: a yacht and yet another freighter, both of which were recycles of old concept art again, and were previously seen in the EU. However, neither of them looked very exciting to me. The freighter in particular was very blocky and silly-looking since it looked like a Sandcrawler with wings.
Doc: In reality, there are no major new vehicles in this episode. Right off the bat, the fugitives crash the freighter that they stole at the end of the last episode. By the way, no matter how good your inertial compensators are, you don’t crash a ship, flipping it head over heels, and come out without a scratch on you. They then buy a new ship, a SoroSuub Personal Luxury Yacht 3000 – previously seen in the EU as Lando Calrissian’s ship, Lady Luck, and one of Mara Jade’s ships, Jade’s Fire. After that ship is shot down by those wierd Hutt sailbarge-starfighter thingies, they then buy a YV-666 light freighter – also previously seen in the EU, as Bossk’s ship, Hound’s Tooth. Both those ships are used by various smugglers and bounty hunters, so their roles in this episode make sense.
COP: The new vehicles were pretty lame. The one thing I was happy about in the vehicle department was that Anakin and Ahsoka just took the old T-6 Jedi Shuttle. For once they didn’t pointlessly introduce a new one. As for locations, Nal Hattu was nice, but it didn’t seem that formidable. Something about it was a bit too low-key, but it was still alright.

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Oky’s rating: 4/5 – This episode was basically just a cat-and-mouse chase between the bounty hunters and Anakin and Ahsoka. I didn’t like the quibble between Bane and Hardeen, and Eval’s whining is getting a bit annoying too. Despite having a less cliche plot, this episode just wasn’t quite as good as the last, but it doesn’t have any apparent plot holes, so it was still pretty good. It also had some more subtle Original Trilogy reference, such as the lines “The deal has been changed” and “Who is going to pay for this mess?”, as well as a very obvious Indiana Jones reference. The story still intrigues me, so I’m looking forward to the next episode.
Doc’s Rating: 2/5 – The previous episode in this arc already had some holes in the plot and characters. This episode doesn’t do anything to fill those holes, it had much less action, and its mostly disappointing characters failed to make any scenes without battles interesting. Below average.
CoP’s Rating: 2/5 – This episode went nowhere, and only about two minutes out of twenty-two helped to move the arc along. It was just pointless filler. I don’t have high hopes for this arc.


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