Season 1, Episode 5, “Ras”
Before this recap of Star Wars: The Bad Lot begins, a moment of clarification: Luke Skywalker does not kill Muchi on Tatooine in Return of the Jedi. It’s a totally different grudge.
“Rampage,” directed by Steward Lee and written by Tamara Becher-Wilkinson, takes great care to differentiate the grudge at the center of this week’s shenanigans from the grudge that met its untimely fate at the end of Episode VI. On the one hand, Muchi is Muchi, not “Pateesa,” the name of the grudge that tries to cook young Skywalker’s lunch some 18 or 19 years after the events of this episode. Plus, Pateesa is a man while Muchi is a woman – a spiteful teenage girl who, yes, might be fit enough for her age to fit into Pateesa’s role as Luke’s titanic adversary, but who remains a grudge nonetheless. totally different. So there is no need to panic.
Perhaps. Muchi is still a resentful pet that belongs to notorious gangster Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba’s grudges grow big and well-nourished or end up being crushed in a tournament for their owner’s sport – or a combination of the two. We may never know Muchi’s true fate, but we can guess what the odds are for Muchi to find a semi-happy ending as a Jabba familiar: 50/50. For now, at least by the end of this week’s episode of The bad lot, Muchi is relieved to return home.
Score one for the lot, who needed a win after being kicked out of Pantora last week by bounty hunter Fennec Shand and found one on Ord Mantell courtesy of Cid, a Trandoshan bar owner (voiced by Rhea Perlman!) who charges up Clone Force 99 with a perilous rescue mission on behalf of the Hutt Syndicate. A dirty job done for the wrong people, but they don’t know it’s for the wrong people. In this turbulent post-republic galaxy where an Empire stalks them and friends are scarce (and money is even rarer), the Bad Batch have been forced to adapt or die. And it looks like evolution has some mercenary work in store for this tired clone unit.
From a story standpoint, it’s a good fit. After all, The bad lot is a show about finding your family and finding out who you’re meant to be, and we don’t really know what Hunter, Tech, Echo, Wrecker, and Omega are going to become at the end of their series. There are clues in “Rampage” that might hint at their fate, such as Wrecker’s recurring headaches (likely a symptom of his faulty inhibitor chip), Omega’s newly acquired crossbow, and the ease with which Hunter accepts a suitcase full of credits for a hard day’s work as a gun. But right now, for this besieged crew of renegade clone troopers, “Soldier of Fortune” is a role that works.
It certainly helps that Cid isn’t really coming up with the bundle at the start of the episode; Hunter and his Batch believe their grumpy work has a selfless bent. Cid, who runs the court behind his desk in a dirty office filled with gills with Star wars Easter eggs, informs the team that their mission is to save “a child” named Muchi—Which one is technically true– a group of ambitious Zygerrian slave traders looking to consolidate their operations now that their former Jedi enemies are dust. (The Zygerriens, separatist sympathizers, are all from the fourth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.) Saving a child from slavers is a good thing, and getting a little extra spending credits to keep them ahead of their pursuers (not to mention a certain sniper’s crosshair) is just an extra frosting on the cake, right? In addition, there is more to the game than just a small box of credits for the prize; Hunter needs to know who almost ran off with Omega on Pantora and, more importantly, who hired her to do it. Cid is someone who can get that kind of information for the right price, and right now that price does that one job. So when the “child” comes out of his cage and stands nearly a story higher than they originally thought, the Lot is still determined to bring Muchi back to his owners.
“Rampage” is an episode of The bad lot which has fun in the confines of moral complexity, a gray area in which most Star wars the stories are found, without diving completely. Echo, who knows exactly what it is to be stripped of humanity by cruel masters, aims to save Muchi, whoever he is, but Tech is quick to remind everyone that credits are always a primary incentive to take this job. The Lot delivers Muchi from Zygerian imprisonment, and while they may not know who Bib Fortuna works for, we do, and for that matter: imprisonment, no matter who holds the chains, is is it not always imprisonment? The episode softens the rough edges of those quagmires with the lot saving a Falleen family from the Zygerrians as a bonus for their efforts, as well as bidding a sweet farewell to Muchi, Omega, and Wrecker (the latter is seen earlier wrestling with Muchi until ‘until they finally collapse into each other’s arms, a They live-type of grudge match where you just want to see those budding friends hugging her).
There are great moral questions ahead The bad lot, and they get more and more complicated. The main one of these dilemmas is how they will handle their impending confrontation with former brother-in-arms Crosshair, now in command of his own Imperial Kill Squad? There is certainly forgiveness in the heart of The Batch for a brother who couldn’t get past his own lineup, isn’t there? In addition, there are still these gigantic unknowns surrounding Omega and its Kaminoan origins. How will Hunter accept Omega once his true purpose is revealed? And let’s not forget Cid.
Cid’s tee shot at the end of the episode evokes Fennec’s particular caliber of lethality and skill, implying that the bundle is incredibly valuable to anyone looking for it. “Don’t worry; I’m good at secrets,” she said to Hunter, whose usually scowl frowns a little deeper. We’ll probably see Cid again – and when we do, Hunter can- Will he really trust him? Cid, who had a good relationship with the Jedi, could seek revenge on those who share a face with the soldiers who brought down his reliable former clients. Cid, who has connections within the bounty hunter guild, and can easily lead Fennec straight to the boarding ramp of the Havoc Marauder himself. She might not sell Omega to the Empire on the first taunt, but what about the second taunt, if not the third? It could be a different story.
- The Trandoshan known as “Cid” shares a name with Cid Rushing, Naboo’s security corporal who was played by Roman Coppola in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. (For real.)
- Gonky, who finally gets his name this week, is once again put to work as an exercise droid by Wrecker. This week: Squats.
- Omega escapes the Zygerrians in search of Marauder through a panel in his rear blaster though, which doesn’t sound so safe for interstellar travel, but that’s okay. (Also: Has anyone else spotted the orange curtains for the well? Which were permanently installed by Wrecker?)
- The Lot initially believes that Muchi is a Falleen, of the same race as Prince Xizor of Shadows of the Empire and, perhaps more aptly, Xomit Grunseit of The Clone Wars’ season five episode, “Eminence”.
- And speaking of Falleen, could the girl who says goodbye to Omega become Grega, the royal Falleen who delivers a rebel spy to Chewbacca in Marvel’s? Star Wars: Han Solo # 2? He is a small galaxy, after all.
- Echo: “The grudge is Muchi? (If anyone could make a gif of this moment, I would appreciate it, because it’s perfect.)
- How did this episode work for you, band? What could be Muchi’s final fate, or does it matter? Does Omega’s New Zygerrian Crossbow Mean Clone Force 99 Has A New Sniper? What Happens With Wrecker’s Sporadic Headaches? Pop an aspirin with me in the comments below.