What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: What do you call an episode that tries to be funny, serious, scary and smart at the same time? I’d call it a bit of a mess really. At times, I was really invested in the episode, and at other times I was bored by it. The beginning was really tense, and the confrontation with the droid was genuinely thrilling at times, but then you have those “funny” moments with Zeb, AP-5 and Chopper having some mindless banter. It’s okay to have a bit of that, so that your atmosphere can really evolve from carefree to incredibly tense, but the tension was constantly broken. This resulted in the conclusion not having the payoff it deserved. The eventual solution to the problem really made me stop for a moment to appreciate it, being pretty clever and original, but it just comes out of the blue. We only have ten seconds of the Rebels trying to figure out how to deal with the problem. Then it doesn’t look difficult, and you don’t feel the fear of not being able to come up with a solution yet. You don’t start to panic yet. So you get the time to be bored by all of the shenanigans, and get to think about certain odd points in the story (what if they didn’t went to retrieve the droid? Then it would just have stayed their buried by spiders, wouldn’t have reported back and the Empire would have come anyway? Then they will be dealing with a lot of false alarms!). In the end, it was an episode with a great conclusion, but it was just the conclusion without a proper foundation.
Oky: It seems that after re-opening the season with such a heavy, two-part Rogue One crossover episode, the creators of the show wanted to follow it up with a lighter, much more small-scale episode, which I would have been fine with if it was executed well. But unfortunately, you could tell that this was originally going to be the B-plot to another episode as the plot was very simple and tonally all over the place. The entire episode revolved around the Empire sending an infiltrator droid to find the rebels base and Zeb trying to catch it and figure out what to do with it. The resolution was not particularly surprising to me as it was the only logical solution to the problem, but it was still good to see Zeb reach that conclusion. Also, it was nice to see Thrawn cleverly turning this loss into a learning experience for narrowing down his search for the rebel base. The episode tries to be funny and scary/suspenseful at the same time and mostly fails at both.
What are your thoughts on the Characters?
BEAVeR: Zeb is really starting to confuse me. It is as if he has some kind of split personality. One moment, he’s a very capable leader, worthy of his heritage. Just look at The Wynkahthu Job. And at others he is in Fighter Flight mode, acting like a six year old without thinking of the consequences of his actions. You could argue he is only like that because he’s so accustomed to a life on the tip of his toes that he easily gets bored and will do anything to get in trouble just for excitement. But I think it’s just lazy characterization. This episode could have felt like only Zeb would have been able to resolve this situation, but instead it only felt as if he had luck and didn’t learn a thing out of the experience. AP-5 was a bit double as well, with his interesting comments about the chaos of the Rebels at one hand, and his overly sarcastic comments at the other. It was nice to see Kallus in his role as Fulcrum, but the danger of his situation didn’t really come through. Thrawn, finally only seems a man of common sense. When I learned that those infiltrator droids were actually technology banned by the Empire, his ruthlessness begins to shine true, but that should happen in the episode itself honestly.
Oky: One good thing about this episode is that we get to see Zeb handling a dangerous situation on his own with only two unruly droids to help him. On the other hand, he has shown that he can use his wits and be a responsible leader before, so he didn’t really have much to prove here, and he acted more inexperienced and immature than in those other episodes, making it seem like his character had regressed a little. But his change in character was nothing compared to that of AP-5. Remember how fairly likable and relatable he was when we first met him? Well, this episode throws all of that out the window. Aside from helping to reprogram the infiltrator droid, AP-5 only did two things: Obsess about the rebel bases inventory and be class-A jerk towards Zeb for no reason. It seems like they were trying to turn him into a similar sarcastic comedy relief as K-2SO was in Rogue One, but it just came across as uncharacteristically mean spirited. And I thought he hated doing inventory, so why was it so important to him? This along with his terrible attempts at helping the rebels during The Wynkahthu Job (which was another sub-par episode where Zeb was in charge and involved killer droids) made me like him a lot less. It is no surprise to me that both of these episodes were written by Gary Whitta who clearly doesn’t know how to write these characters.
What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: We had seen the exterior of the infiltrator before in Droids in Distress (which made the comments of this being an unknown model a bit weird to me), but the transformation was new. The design with the disproportionate limbs was fairly standard, but just good to give him that creepy look. The pod was in the same category of unoriginal but nice to see.
Oky: The episode starts out with a nice homage to the opening scene of The Empire Strikes Back where pods are being deployed by a Star Destroyer. The pod itself looked similar to other pods we’ve seen, although more blocky. The infiltrator droid was pretty neat with its seemingly harmless protocol droid mode and fairly menacing fight mode, and the Predator-style countdown on its chest was a nice touch. The only somewhat new location was the supply depot of Chopper Base which wasn’t particularly interesting, although it did make for a suitably eerie maze for the climax to take place in after nightfall.
BEAVeR’s rating: 2.5/5 – The conclusion of this episode was awesome, but all the rest was a mess with a lack of building of tension and some really weird characterization. I feel like it was an interesting concept they came up with, but didn’t really know what to do with it to make it into a complete episode (it was conceived as a B-story in another episode originally). At least it moved things forward and gave us hope that the confrontation between the Empire and the Rebellion will give rise to some original and clever situations!
Oky’s Rating: 2.5/5 – This was a sub-par attempt at taking a B-plot and trying to stretch it out into a full episode. While the plot was fine, it could have been executed better as the comedic and suspenseful moments didn’t quite mesh together well. The attempts at comedy felt more mean spirited than funny and the characters didn’t act like their usual selves at all. I do like however how it ended with a logical conclusion and a cliffhanger that shows that the Empire is narrowing in on the rebels, so hopefully there are better episodes to come.