What did you think of the plot?
Oky: While the previous episode could be considered a filler episode as it didn’t really bring Obi-Wan much closer to unveiling Eval’s plan, this one started to get closer to it, but in a pretty strange way. As we know, the CW likes to take inspiration from other sci-fi movies, and this episode is quite obviously a spoof of the indie sci-fi horror movie The Cube, although it was much less gruesome of course. Count Dooku and Eval put a group of the best bounty hunters through a series of trials inside a giant box that consists of rooms filled with booby traps in order to determine which ones are fit for the operation. Eval said that he designed it in order to simulate situations that they might face during their kidnapping, but the challenges the bounty hunters faced seemed to be more geared towards acrobats and puzzle solvers than mercenaries. I mean, what the hell do poison gas, wiggling lightsabers, platforming, species-specific ray-shield antidotes, and floors made out of flamethrowers have to do with kidnapping the chancellor?? I can understand the lightsabers since they could represent the Jedi knights guarding the chancellor, but the rest just seemed like random death traps. Plus, some of the challenges were based on “luck”, which was just silly. If they wouldn’t have been lucky, they would have all died and Dooku wouldn’t have any bounty hunters to carry out his mission. Not to mention that it wasn’t really luck since Eval was in control of the whole thing, and I’m pretty sure that he rigged the last challenge so that Hardeen would fail. This cost him his spot as team leader in the end, and Cad Bane was put in charge of the operation since Count Dooku seems to like his style. Dooku reveals that the plan is to hold the chancellor hostage in exchange for the release of all the Republic’s Separatist prisoners. We still don’t know, however, how exactly they are planning to kidnap him, so Kenobi is only a small step closer to fulfilling his mission.
Somewhere in between there was a small conversation between Anakin and Yoda where the latter confirms that Obi-Wan is indeed still alive. It was just a small random segment where Anakin gets angry and Yoda says something foreboding. You know, the usual. It didn’t have anything to do with the main plot, and according to the trivia on StarWars.com, it’s a left-over from a subplot which didn’t make it into the final episode, so it was very pointless and didn’t need to be included in my opinion.
Clone O’Patra: One word describes the plot of this episode: useless. It was absolutely, unequivocally useless. Yes, it brought us closer to Dooku’s plan, which had been mysterious thus far, but it did so in one line of dialogue at the very end of the episode. They could’ve just as easily worked that into the last episode and thrown this one out altogether. What was the purpose of this ‘competition?’ Why would Bounty Hunters actually want to do this instead of just taking some other jobs for a little less money (or even maybe not less)? And in the end, when Dooku says ‘The leader of the mission will be… Cad Bane,’ the episode is revealed to just be a bad, nonsensical joke. Cad Bane did nothing the entire episode! Dooku didn’t need to do this pointless ‘box’ thing if he was just going to pick Cad Bane anyway! There was so much screen time wasted with stupid challenges in the box; I wish they had kept in that Anakin subplot that Oky mentioned. Besides, I found it laughable how the show just ‘forgot’ about the previous episode. There was no mention of it in the opening narration; nothing. I guess that’s why they kept in the one Anakin scene, but still, that’s a terrible story arc if the last episode was irrelevant (and this one is, too).
Brickdoctor: Bounty hunter tournaments run by Dooku are nothing new. Really, this was just a more elaborately set up version of the gladiator battle on Rattatak in the ’03 series. Except that instead of an all-out battle, we have this thing called The Box. I really didn’t see the point of The Box. Eval claimed that it was designed to simulate possible challenges. Escaping the dioxis-filled chamber made some sense, but walking through ray shields? Granted, we saw ray shielding used to capture intruders during Sith, but if only one bounty hunter can get through the shields and the shields are in all likelihood controlled from a central security room… Ray shields are never turned off with only one button, and if they are, the button shouldn’t ever be right outside the shield. And why test the sniping skills of the hunters when Eval has already expressed his lack of respect for kills made with a sniper rifle? I don’t see what the tournament accomplished, other than to reduce the eleven hunters to five in a series of challenges that did nothing to help assess the hunters’ various strengths.
What are your thoughts on the characters?
Oky: Obi-Wan continues to amaze me how well he plays a bounty hunter and how much knowledge he has of alien biology and language. And while it was a bit corny how he was the key to the group’s survival in every challenge, it almost got him appointed as the leader of the mission, but unfortunately he wasn’t since he couldn’t bring himself to kill Eval. Cad Bane was pretty cool as usual. He showed that he sticks to his morals by saving Hardeen’s life even though he hates him, just because he thinks he should be killed like a man, and Dooku apparently liked that too. It was also pretty badass how he killed a fellow bounty hunter who somehow got into the possession of Bane’s hat, just because “it’s a nice hat”. It makes me wonder, though, if he has a Indiana Jones-like hat fetish. Moralo Eval finally showed a bit more character, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing since he turned out to be just a coward who can’t do anything except hide behind the Box’s defenses and who tries to impress Dooku by any means necessary. The only thing that would make his character interesting would be for him to betray Dooku and the bounty hunters in the next episode. Otherwise I wouldn’t mind never seeing him again.
The other bounty hunters were quite boring since they hardly did anything other than die or follow Hardeen around. Embo didn’t even throw his hat once! But to be fair, he didn’t have anything to throw it at. All the new bounty hunters were quite forgettable, except maybe for the electrified plant guy, Derrown, who looked like a character out of Pixar’s Monsters Inc and was kind of interesting.
CoP: Nothing new to say here. We got to see some more Bounty Hunters; and yes, actually got to learn about all of them, because the episode took the time to introduce every single freaking one! Here’s a little film making tip: characters who are useless, who we don’t care about, and who we are never going to see again do not need to be introduced. It just went to show how little interesting material they had for this episode.
Doc: Morallo Eval is weak and mostly useless. If nothing else, this episode confirmed that. At first I thought he might be a puppet, but now I’m convinced that he’s just a character with no skill at fighting who has been placed in this position only for the sake of the story. All he really succeeded in doing was creating The Box, which, as I said before, was pretty much pointless. Oh, and he looks like a toddler when he runs.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: Most of the episode took place inside the Box which is a very generic place that only consists of smaller identical squares. They did a nice job trying to make it interesting with all the little lights and the sci-fi patterns on the squares. However, there was one thing that really bugged me: There always seemed to be a strong light coming from above, but there were no lights on the ceiling, or anywhere else in the room for that matter! It made no sense! Anyway, I’m sure this will make a fun level if they ever do another Lego videogame based on these episodes.
There were no new vehicles, just the luxury yacht from the last episode. They did a nice job making it look like it crashed, but it flew too smoothly for such a damaged ship in my opinion.
CoP: The box was a dumb location, plain and simple. They should have come up with something similar to the Clone training course, or at least come up with a box that has challenges that require skill and intelligence to figure out, not just some traps designed to kill you.
Doc: I was really unimpressed with how Serenno was depicted. It should have had elegant buildings with spires, balconies, and the like – sort of like Naboo. It also should have a good amount of forests and mountains and the like. Like Mandalore before it, it’s been transformed by CW into an industrial, futuristic sci-fi setting. The majority of the episode takes place inside the Box, though, and I’ll say it again: it was a pointless challenge.
Oky’s rating: 3/5 – The episode was alright, I guess, but the whole concept of the Box doesn’t make sense to me, so unless the bounty hunters really do face such strange situations in the next episode, this episode seems silly and pointless to me, which is a shame since it had a good premise. I’m only rating this so high because I love the Cube movies. I think it would have been better to have the bounty hunters compete in gladiatorial fights rather than these videogame-like challenges, but then again, that might have been too similar to Chapter 6 of the original Clone Wars series. I guess the writers were trying to think outside the box, but ended up inside The Box. 😀
CoP’s Rating: 1/5 – This has to be one of the most worthless CW episodes I have seen yet. I thought the last one was bad, but at least it had something going on. I was amazed at the sheer amount of screen time wasted on the antics inside ‘The Box,’ and not amazed in a good way. I am still willing to hope that the next one will be good, though, since anything with Cad Bane doing stuff is pretty cool. ‘Hostage Crisis’ is an excellent episode.
Doc’s Rating: 1/5 – “Let’s make a bounty hunter challenge! It’ll be like an obstacle course. We’ll introduce a bunch of new characters, and then kill them off in challenges that probably have nothing to do with whatever they’re going to do in the next episode! Oh, and we’ll also confirm that the guy who was their leader is completely useless. The fans are gonna love it!” I debated whether to give this episode a 1/5 or a 2/5, but I gave the last episode a 2/5 and this one was worse, so… Poor.