Rebels Review: Secret Cargo


What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: This was one of those episodes that fall into the “nice idea, but lacking execution” category. At least where it concerns the bulk of the plot, since some moments were really great and the action was great to watch throughout the episode. The “nice idea” part of this episode is putting Mon Mothma in contact with the Ghost crew and showcasing how the full on Rebel Alliance came to be. But how did Mon Mothma get introduced into the episode? Rather clumsily, with a news report on an Imperial network which would never show something ‘dangerous’ like that if you ask me. It felt a bit forced, just to let the crew talk about her a bit, and made the reveal of her being the secret cargo far from unpredictable. Exactly the same thing happened with the effect of the proton torpedos in the nebula: clumsy setup to come to a predictable conclusion. It took the suspense out of the otherwise beautiful action so that the lack of contact between the Senator and the crew became more obvious, although some steps were taken in the right direction. The lack of connection with the Senator led to the conclusion of the episode feeling a bit disconnected, which really is a pity for such a major event in Rebel history. At least it was a nice speech and great visuals.
Oky: The plot of this episode was very predictable for the most part and not very well executed, which is a shame since this is the one that they use to introduce Mon Mothma into the show. There were several clunky exposition dumps that were so obvious that you could always predict what was going to happen next. This happens right in the beginning when the rebels watch a broadcast of Mothma condemning the Empire on the HoloNet. It was clear from that point on that she was going to be the titular secret cargo, or at least be involved in the episode in some way. Also, it seems very unlikely that the Empire would play such a treasonous speech in its entirety as part of their propaganda. Later, when Hera tells them not to use their proton torpedoes because it would ignite the gas in the nebula, it was obvious that this is exactly how they were going to defeat the Imperials. However, despite these telegraphed plot points, at least we got some decent action. The part with the probe droid in the beginning was fairly suspenseful and the dogfight between the TIE Defenders and Y-Wings was pretty cool and unique. And I have to admit that I got chills when Mon Mothma gave her speech to start the Rebel Allaiance and all those rebel ships jumped out of hyperspace to answer her call.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
318-trivia-gallery-01_dd298a86.jpeg?region=0,0,1280,720BEAVeR: The big problem with this episode was that Mon Mothma in particular didn’t get to shine. I liked her character with her helpful, practical and pragmatic approach to things, but she felt so generic. Anyone could have given the motivation she gave, so she didn’t really stand out as an extraordinary character. Maybe it’s a metaphor for the fact that everybody can change the course of the galaxy, but she felt more like a nobody in this episode. I didn’t expect a roaring speech from her, but we could at least have gotten some nice personal insights into the way she looks at things, more of those moments like when she assures her presence at the meeting isn’t optional. That could have been way more inspiring and thought provoking. This would also have had a more interesting effect on the Ghost crew, giving them a huge personal boost. Now, Hera seemed more casually interested rather than completely inspired.
Genevieve O’Reilly did a nice job reprising her role as Mon Mothma again. I like how she seemed a lot more engaged and optimistic here than she did in Rogue One. Her speech was quite inspiring and really gave you a sense of hope. It will be interesting to see what happens to her that will make her so unmotivated to fight the Empire in Rogue One. I liked the idea that she represented, that some wars cannot be won in the senate, only on the battlefield. It was interesting to see someone as diplomatic as her being forced to become more aggressive, but the episode never delves into this too much. It would have been nice if they would have focused on her character arc a bit more, but unfortunately we don’t get to know too much new about her. Also, the rest of the characters mostly just acted like they usually do and none of them really stood out which added to how forgettable this episode was. It was kind of cool to see Gold Leader here though, as well as seeing Thrawn once again anticipate the rebels’ every move.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
BEAVeR: Seeing the TIE Defender in action was pretty sweet, but it wasn’t as menacing as I’d hoped: it just seemed like a TIE that was just a bit more difficult to get rid of instead of a real threat. Maybe this will still come. Anyway, the backdrop of the Nebula was gorgeous. I love how this show shows that space is about more than planets and emptiness, and incorporates those elements in the plot to boot.

Archeon pass

Oky: After not seeing anything new for a few episodes, it was quite refreshing to see so many new locations and vehicles in this episode. I’m surprised the Empire is still employing those infiltrator droids from “Warhead” since that literally blew up in their faces last time, but the debris field where the Ghost was hiding from it was pretty neat, especially when you recognize that the parts are from Clone Wars era ships. The Archeon Nebula also looked very pretty and made for cool setting for the climax. We finally get to see the TIE Defender in action, although I’m a bit disappointed as they weren’t able to hold their own against the rebels for much longer than regular TIEs. The Y-Wings used here were a nice mix between the Clone Wars design and their appearance in the movies. Seeing these two rare fighters go up against each other in front of such a colorful backdrop made for a pretty unique action scene. Also, seeing a Mon Calamari Cruiser and Nebulon-B frigate pop up for the first time in this show at the end gave me all kinds of nostalgia and I can’t wait to see more of these classic ships!

TIE Defender

BEAVeR’s rating: 3/5 – In retrospect, this episode was only remarkable for the last scene. Both the speech and the image of the ships answering the call was quite unforgettable. The rest, however, was not. There weren’t really any interesting character moments and the action was pretty but not extraordinary, making an episode that’s easy to watch but also easy to forget. And that’s a pity for such an important event in Rebel history.

Oky’s Rating: 3/5 – This episode had some potential as it had a nice looking climax and marked the beginning of the Rebel Alliance. That ending with all the rebel ships coming together after Mothma’s moving speech was quite powerful, but unfortunately the rest of the episode wasn’t executed very well and so it fails to leave much of an impact. If they would have made the plot less predictable and explored Mon Mothma’s character more, this really could have been something, but as it is, it’s a fairly average episode.


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