It is not easy to be the episode that follows the two-part political thriller “The Clone Conspiracy” and “Truth and Consequences.” But “The Crossing” makes an impression by focusing on the fallout of Echo leaving the team amidst a Cid mission-of-the-week.
A Certain Point Of View
Tech has been a fascinating character since he first appeared along with the others in The Clone Wars season seven. Along with Crosshair, he looks the least like a clone with a different facial structure. He is also the most logically-minded Bad Batch member, which puts him at odds with the emotive Omega, who is greatly bothered by Echo’s absence. Wrecker tells Omega that she will get used to it, but that is not comforting. This is familiar territory for Wrecker and the others with losing Crosshair; however, Omega had a different life experience before joining the team. She stayed on Kamino and never trained to be a fighter. She has attachments (first to Nala Se, then to the Bad Batch). And she is traumatized by the loss of her homeworld, followed by the loss of Echo. When a poacher steals the Marauder, Omega is even more distraught, which comes to a head when the team is trapped in another mine. Tech comments that they are unlikely to retrieve the ship. Omega does not understand how Tech can be flippant about losing the Marauder and Echo.
Tech also comes across as irritable in this episode, consistently yelling at Wrecker for messing up and getting annoyed with Omega when she expresses her sadness at Echo leaving. He commits a great sin and asks Omega, “what is your issue?”
Omega, angry, leaves the guys behind while she wanders the mine alone. Hunter and Wrecker push Tech to talk to Omega. The two end up falling down a black hole in the mine and end up by a waterfall, where Omega asks Tech why he does not act like he cares.
Tech, to his credit, takes a beat to think about his response.
This moment is brilliantly cut by Wrecker screaming as he falls over the waterfall, but it still impacts. Fans have embraced Tech as being on the spectrum, and this moment is meaningful to many people.
Perhaps what truly bothers Omega is that if her brothers are that casual about losing Echo, they would not be concerned with losing her. Omega views the Bad Batch as a family unit that has lost a crucial member. Similarly, the Marauder is their home and Omega’s safe space in an increasingly dangerous galaxy.
But Tech is right. He does not feel less than Omega. When she falls down the crevasse, Tech jumps blindly in after her. That is love.
Tech and Omega come out of it understanding each other better: Tech has opened up as much as he can to Omega, and Omega accepts that people process loss differently, and none of that reflects how the team feels about each other.
The Ole Western Touch
The episode begins like the second part of an epic western film. The group arrives on a planet with an instrumental track that sounds like it belongs in the recent HBO series The Last of Us. And it is a pretty desolate planet to match.
It turns out the team is there on behalf of Cid to check the mine she just purchased for traces of ipsium (the latest highly volatile mineral). Omega and Wrecker are assigned lookouts while Tech and Hunter enter the mine. Of course, things do not go as planned, but it is even worse than usual: their ship gets stolen when Omega has to help extract the ipsium from a particularly tricky hiding place. So they make their way towards the nearest outpost but come across a stampede of Star Wars deer escaping the dangerous storm that changed course towards them. Wrecker saves the ipsium only for Tech to drop it moments later, where it promptly gets struck by lightning, explodes, and traps them in another mine.
These are all elements of an exciting Space Western that Star Wars has perfected with The Mandalorian (the lead, Pedro Pascal, is also the star of The Last of Us). The name of the series, The Bad Batch, shares a name with a not-great 2017 dystopian western and is mirrored from John Ford Westerns where the star of the show is the landscape (not John Wayne) as he captured fictional versions of the days of the Gold Rush and the colonization of the American West.
I wonder if this will truly complete the Western by exploring the natives of the planet. One of the poachers that Cid warns the group steals their ship. The person, who looks like a kid, has feathers where their hair should be. Or is that their hair? We should find out in the next episode, as surely this is not the last time we see the Marauder. They would not pull a Razorcrest on us again. Although it certainly would be more realistic, I cannot accept that Gonky would be gone forever. But I do look forward to learning more about this poacher.
Are We Done With Cid?
It is hard to imagine that there will be no hard feelings between the Bad Batch and Cid, whatever happens in the next episode. She has proven Grini Millegi correct, leaving the team stranded on a planet with an encroaching storm. Omega has been the most sympathetic to Cid because she was the first to treat Omega like an adult. And that is something that Omega seemed to want in the first season. But now Omega is learning more about the darker elements of the galaxy and how Cid might fit into that more than she initially thought.
These lessons come with growing up in the Star Wars universe. Millegri warned them in “Faster” that loyalty with Cid does not always go both ways. And while Tech pointed out all the times the team helped out Cid, he lacks any emotional resonance in his demeanor, so he is easier to ignore. This brings us back to Tech’s opposite in Omega. There is a real weight with Omega when she is angry or disappointed. The last time she was disappointed in someone was with Crosshair in season one, which led to him helping the team. And we are overdue for an Omega/ Cid confrontation.
Unlike many, I do not mind the adventure-of-the-week format. Still, with Echo gone and everyone figuring out the new dynamic, hopefully, the writers can continue to weave the adventures with further character growth.