What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: Wow, this mid-season finale was a powerful one. It echoed a lot of the themes from the first season’s mid-season finale “Gathering Forces” as it also dealt with Ezra’s fear for his parents and it even seemed like he tapped into the Dark Side again when he defeated the stormtroopers and almost attacked the Inquisitors guided by his emotions. The episode also had an Empire Strikes Back feel as we do see the Empire striking back against the rebels and our main hero finds out something devastating about his parents at the end, leaving on a gut-punch of an ending. There was a sense of both hope and dread throughout which made for an emotional roller coaster ride. First we get the hope that Ezra’s parents might be alive, but then the Empire attacks. Then we follow the clues from Ezra’s vision to where he thinks he will find his parents, but then we find out that they died after all. It did seem a bit anticlimactic that after all this build-up we are told that they died off-screen, but hearing how much they were inspired by Ezra and proud of him made it worth the journey.
BEAVeR: I love myself a great character driven episode. And as far as character development went, this was a phenomenal episode with great emotions and conclusions. I loved everything that had to do with Ezra, as it so neatly continues on lingering themes from the previous season and because it all felt so sincere. However, the backdrop for it wasn’t ideal. It seemed like the creators were trying to cramp too much into one twenty minute episode. That way, events that could have had a major impact on the entire season feel more like an after thought with some missed opportunities. The battle distracted a bit from the character arc, unlike the one in Return of the Jedi for example, because whatever happens in that battle affects our hero. I’m imagining scenarios with half of the crew being captured or the attack taking place while Ezra was away, adding further to the character drama, but it was not to be. Instead, we got a quick battle thrown in for a bit of action that stands completely loose from everything else and doesn’t actually contribute a lot to the plot. It wasn’t the only point that felt forced: the sequence of events that lead Ezra to prisoner X-10 was all just a bit too convenient for my taste. So it felt a bit lazy, but it certainly worked, and one can argue Ezra’s ‘abilities’ with Loth cats tell a lot about the way he sees the Force and the way he’s still tied to his past. But when looking at it from a plot standpoint, this episode hadn’t too much to offer.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: Ezra was once again the center of this mid-season finale and you could really feel his emotional struggle. He was very relatable here and even though I had a feeling that his parents were dead (this is a Disney show after all), I was still rooting for him to find them. And when he talked to them through the force at the end, it honestly brought a tear to my eye. Hera was also great in this episode as she not only demonstrates her excellent skills as a pilot and a leader, but also how much she cares about Ezra. It was very touching to see how much she has been trying to find Ezra’s parents for him ever since she found out about their capture. Kanan also did a good job again of guiding Ezra and being his new father figure. The Empire, now that Agent Kallus has joined forces with the Inquisitors, felt like a real threat again, although I’m still a little annoyed that they only discovered the rebels because of Ezra’s stupid mistake in the previous episode. Ryder Azadi was a likable new character, although I feel like they wasted Clancy Brown on such a minor character. Hopefully he will return to voice a more prominent character.
BEAVeR: An episode with a basic plot can still be a great episode, and that’s exactly what we got here. Because the character development alone is worth watching this episode over. Heck, it even makes watching the entire season over worth it, because of all of the nice ways character motives come together. I especially loved the parallels with Gathering Forces, where Ezra talked about his greatest fear of living in uncertainty, and the way it brings out a bit of the Dark Side in him. Here we get the perfect next step with him putting all restraint aside now he has the chance of knowing, charging the Inquisitors just because they’re in the way and almost not even willing to wait for the people he calls his family. It’s a bit of a dark moment, but it didn’t make him annoying because I found it all very relatable. I loved the way he dealt with the news of his parents being no more, solemnly accepting it, glad with the certainty of knowing and with the knowledge he still spoke to them. I’m really fond of the title of this episode by the way, with its great double meaning of Ezra now having to go on with the Legacy of his parents, but also of his parents accepting the legacy of Ezra and sacrificing themselves. I loved that bittersweet story, and was really touched by it and the quiet, peaceful and beautiful (that music!) at the end.
The image of Kanan appearing in the place where Ezra’s parents were mere frames ago was very strong as well. It spoke of how well Kanan did in this episode, letting his padawan find his own path but being there. That’s completely the Jedi who never had the knowledge to deal with all of that, but has the heart and wisdom to understand. Him and Hera trying to make the most out of Tseebo’s information in secret was a great testament to that. Yes, it really was an episode with a heart. Lovely.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: There wasn’t any new vehicles or locations in this episode, although we do get a glimpse of what Capital City used to look like before the Empire took it over. It looked gorgeous and went along with that beautiful emotional moment very well.
BEAVeR: How can we not think back of that great moment at the end? Let’s forget about the binary sunset and marvel at the binary moonrise instead, ponder at the symbolic meaning it might have (try it, it really gets you thinking!) and get carried away by the beautiful backdrop, the intricate city, the haunting music and the feelings that all have passed in the last one and a half seasons.
Oky’s Rating: 5/5 – This was a great episode to leave on for the winter break. It had good action, great visuals, and lots of strong emotions. It wraps up the story arc about Ezra’s parents with a somber note and leaves on an ESB-like open ending as the rebels are now once again on the run from the Empire. Any episode that makes me fret for the main characters and makes me this emotional deserves a full score. I look forward to seeing where they go from here when the show picks up again next year. Until then, we have a little movie called “The Force Awakens” to keep us busy.
BEAVeR’s rating: 4.5/5 – I’m quite conflicted about this episode. On one hand, it has quite a few flaws in its plot, but on the other it really managed to touch me like no episode before in this series (and not in a lot of series in general to be honest!) with its powerful, overwhelming and beautifully simple stories, emotions and images. Yes, it would have been better to have it spread over two episodes or not to round up the battle or something like that, but who has time to complain about that when there are such beautiful moments to live where the Force truly awakens?