The Clone Wars Review: Massacre

What did you think of the Plot?
Brickdoctor: It was a decent plot. Still no clones in wars, but it was decent. The motives all made sense, unlike those of the last arc. One thing that did bug me was how few droids there appeared to be on the ground during the battle. Grievous took a massive fleet, including, if I recall correctly, around a dozen landing craft. On the ground, we see three AATs, a couple MTTs, and perhaps a few hundred various droids. Also, when Ventress is shot in the shoulder, she apparently becomes unable to walk without stumbling everywhere, which I found a little odd. The episode did have overall good action, though. The Ventress-Grievous duel had too many lightsaber locks, I think, but it was pretty good. Even if I was rooting for Grievous just because Ventress was acting so…un-Ventress-like.
Clone O’Patra: The plot was tolerable. Picking up a story that hasn’t been around since last season was a little strange, but acceptable. I was surprised and intrigued when Mother Talzin tortured Dooku with voodoo; nice plotpoint there. I must say I wasn’t thrilled by the battle. I expected to feel bad about the Nightsisters being wiped out (which I knew was coming from the title), but the episode didn’t wind me up for that at all. I appreciated the whole LotR army of the dead thing, but traditionally in a movie or show reinforcements are called in at a point when the main team is losing. That creates an ebb and flow of tension. In this episode, however, the Nightsisters are basically winning, the dead ones help them win for, then Ventress goes up against Grevious and somehow they all get wiped out. That sin’t nearly as exciting as it would’ve been if they won at times and lost at times during the battle. Then I would’ve felt more invested in them.
Oky: There was hardly any plot here. Ventress wants to become a Nightsister and she does. Dooku wants to get revenge on the Nightsisters and he does. End of story. Since the episode is called “Massacre”, it was quite obvious what would happen to the Nightsisters from the start, and since Dooku and Grievous are two of the “untouchable” characters of this show, there was no real danger for them. The whole thing was very predictable, and it was hard to decide who to root for in this conflict since it was basically bad guys versus bad guys. Also, I have to agree with Brickdoctor that there was a bit too much magic for my taste. From glowy mists and crystal balls to voodoo dolls and zombie witches, this episode had it all. However, just because the plot was lame doesn’t mean that it was a bad episode.

What are your thoughts on the Characters
Doc: There were a few new characters. There was Old Daka, who is sort of like a shaman. Both she and Mother Talzin make extensive use of magic, in the form of green energy. Personally, that was a little to magical for my tastes. This is Star Wars. There is Sith alchemy, but that doesn’t use the weird green stuff. Talzin also apparently had a voodoo doll of Count Dooku, which I also thought was too magical and didn’t fit in at all with Star Wars. The Nightsisters, though, bugged me the most. When Ventress is ‘baptized’ into their ranks, they start clapping and yelling and jumping up and down like little kids.
COP: It’s always been hard watching an episode full of horrendously ugly characters, and this is no exception. Ventress’ look and voice is just off-putting. Other than that, I don’t know. The characters were fine. Grevious wasn’t a total wimp this time, so that was good. Also, no ‘battle droid antics’ in this episode, which is always a good thing.
Oky: The plot may have been somewhat weak, but what this episode was really about was character development. You could really see how Ventress is getting more and more lonely and desperate. With the only people in the galaxy that she could turn to gone, she has nothing left, and even though she used to be one of the bad guys, I feel bad for her. It will be interesting to see how she will recover from this. It was also interesting to see her fight Grievous after all the rivalry the two had working together in the past. The duel was short and kind of dull, though, considering that it involved six lightsabers. I imagined it to be much more epic, but it’s not the first time that a lightsaber duel disappointed in this show. And while the outcome of the battle was clear from the start, it was still a welcome surprise to see Grievous and his moronic droids finally win a battle for once.
It was nice to see him crush those zombies and their puppet master with ease, but he still has a long way to go to make up for all the pathetic defeats of previous episodes. Daka was even creepier than Talzin, but didn’t play a very big role. In this episode, we also see Dooku vulnerable for the first time. Usually he never looses his cool, but here he was reduced to begging Grievous for help, which shows that he is only human too. I just wonder how the heck Talzin got her hands on a whole lock of his hair, considering that not even the best of the Nightsister warriors could sneak up on him.
Anyway, lots of good character development here.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Doc: I don’t think there were any new vehicles. For one reason or another, Ventress used an HH-87 Starhopper to get to Dathomir – the same weird Sand Barge-ish ship the Zygerrians and Hutts used in previous episodes. It kind of made sense for those two factions, but for Ventress to be using one just seems like CW animators are being lazy. We did get a look at MTTs deploying Super Battle Droids from racks, which was nice.
COP: Dathomir still makes no sense; a planet entirely flooded in red light all the time? Ok… Seeing the Super Battle Droids pop out of an MTT was neat. I was a little confused by the magical ‘cave’ that Mother Talzin goes into. It seems she has to enter it through some magic, but Greivous just blasts his way right in? That’s not a very magical location then.
Oky: The misty blood-red environment of Dathomir really aided the eerie atmosphere of the episode. There was lots of nice eye-candy with all the magic going on, and it was nice to see the defoliator again, although it seemed a bit silly that the Nightsister could just outrun their shock waves.

Doc’s Rating: 2/5 – The plot was good. The execution, not so much. Too much magic and a bunch of annoying Nightsisters bring this down to Below Average.
COP’s Rating: 3/5 – This episode wasn’t done very well, but there was nothing glaringly terrible about it. Just average.
Oky’s Rating: 3/5 – Even though the plot was weak, the character development was strong in this one. The episode had a nice dark and creepy tone and had some decent action. Also, it was nice to see an episode that does involve Anakin, Obi-Wan, or Ahsoka again. There was a bit too much fantasy in this, but it wasn’t quite as “out there” as Mortis was. I look forward to seeing how Ventress’ story continues.

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