A familiar face from The Clone Wars returns in this episode so let’s waste no time and get right to my thoughts on Cut and Run:
We Are All Deserters Now
How poetic that the first person the Bad Batch visits is, not only someone we’ve seen before in The Clone Wars but the only clone who has an adopted family. That’s right! It is the return of Cut Lawquane from one of the more pivotal episodes in The Clone Wars for Rex’s character growth (where he learns that he could potentially have had a life from fighting) and decides not to turn Cut in as a deserter (refresher for “The Deserter” if needed). Apparently somewhere along the way, the Bad Batch met Cut as well and developed a good enough rapport that his children, Shaeeah and Jek refer to Wrecker as “Uncle Wrecker.” It is heartening to know that multiple clones protected Cut and let him live his life. And I am glad that Cut made it out of the episode alive as there was a brilliant moment of tension when he is about to board a ship with his family and gets stopped by a clone who seems to be the only one that notices that he looks like them. It is not clear when the clone army gets retired in favor of inferior Stormtroopers, but until that happens, Cut might want to think about wearing some sort of disguise because he would draw attention to himself as a clone. This is a problem that the Bad Batch doesn’t have because they don’t really look like everyone else, however, I imagine that the Empire will be putting a bounty on their heads if they have not already. But at least they have their own chain codes and are not stuck on Saleucami for more than one episode.
The Dangers of Withholding or Omitting Information
There are several instances in this episode where characters choose to or have chosen to do things without telling other parties and the result is never positive. First, let’s talk about Tech and his tendency to assume others can draw the same conclusions he can. He did it in the first episode where he assumed the others knew that Omega was a modified clone and in this episode, he assumed they knew when he said “programmed” that they would know it would be from a chip. He should have been more specific and, since misunderstandings have come up in both episodes because of his miscommunication, this feels like an important plot point that might snowball into a bigger problem down the road.
Staying with Tech, he also decided to get their ship impounded by Imperial forces so that they could easily access the chain codes to get Cut and his family off-world…without telling Hunter. This led to Omega being stuck on the ship along with Tech and Echo as they were taken to an Imperial impound lot. Come on man!
Of course, Tech was not the only one keeping secrets in this episode. Hunter, deciding Omega would be better off with Cut and his family, also decided not to tell the little girl (and some of his teammates). Omega did not end up going with the Lawquane family and had a heartfelt talk with Hunter at the end where they both came to an understanding that they have a lot to learn.
Rex is Around the Corner
There have been two episodes of The Bad Batch, and both episodes have mentioned Captain Rex. The first being in regards to Saw Gerrera being trained by Rex during the Clone Wars and in this episode as having just visited Cut before the Bad Batch. While it is not touched upon that Echo is surprised that Rex knows Cut (especially since Echo was one of Rex’s closest friends along with the fallen Fives), hints that Rex will be making an appearance soon are clear. Rex is looking for answers regarding the inhibitor chips (possibly to free more of his brothers from its’ programming) and the Bad Batch could use that knowledge as well for the inevitable showdown with Crosshair. And using Cut as the in-between for information exchange until the two parties meet makes perfect sense.
Even though the clones are trying to figure out what happened to their brothers and why it is not a mystery for viewers as we are already aware of Darth Sideous’ master plan. The big mystery for this show revolves around Omega. The first episode wasted no time in confirming that she was, in fact, a female clone that is genetically enhanced. So now the question is why? The Kaminoans have a reason for everything and Cut brings this up to Hunter that there is a reason why Omega exists. And another part of that mystery is what exactly her enhanced power is (though I am still leaning towards super empath as she did really catch on to why Hunter wanted to send her off with Cut). However, something more sinister could also be in play which would bring more conflict for the team and Hunter’s growing attachment to the little girl. I hope the next few episodes really focus on her and learning more about her time on Kamino.
Also, it was nice seeing her being able to be a kid and I hope that she gets more moments like that before her accelerated growth starts kicking in (if that is going to happen).
It’s Kevin Kiner’s Time to Shine
As Star Wars moves away from the orchestral majestic-ness of John William’s scores, much credit has been given to Ludwig Göransson for his unique earthy tones mixed with electronic for The Mandalorian (the young composer recently added an Emmy to his list of accolades for the score and is on his way to the EGOT). However, Kevin Kiner has flown mostly under the radar of the majority of Star Wars fandom, even though he has done the scores for both signature animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels. But for The Bad Batch, Kiner’s score shines brighter and feels refreshingly different than his other scores for Star Wars animation. The Bad Batch theme is catchy and reminds me a little of “He’s A Pirate” from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which would later go on to be the main theme of the franchise. Kiner stated in a recent interview that he was leaning towards The Dirty Dozen and Guns of Navarone and, despite the grim situation the galaxy finds itself in, the music is more upbeat. Perhaps because this show seems to be through the perspective of Omega, a child who is seeing the galaxy for the first time. Kiner is hyping up the music in the first four episodes so I am excited to hear the continued evolution of the score.
I am still not sure whether I will do one of these for each episode this season but, in the absence of the one-sentence theme that precluded each The Clone Wars episode, it has been fun to think through the takeaways of these episodes. Star Wars fans were spoiled this week with two episodes but it is back to a weekly schedule for The Bad Batch so we all have to wait another week!