Season 2 of 'The Bad Batch' needs to hit new goals fast
Season two of the Star Wars spinoff has felt aimless so far.
Bad Batch follows interesting characters during one of the funniest, most tense periods in the history of the Star Wars galaxy, but the series is getting stale in its second season. The last two episodes, arguably the most lackluster to date, make it clear why. As it stands, the titular team isn't actually seeking or trying to accomplish anything in particular, making individual episodes' stories feel isolated and meaningless. In short, Bad Batch needed a new goal to pursue, and the series needed to give them that ASAP.
In Season 1, Batch had a simple but compelling goal, to survive. The series begins with the violent transformation of the Republic into an Empire. Clone Trooper 99 had a mutation that caused the suppression chip placed in them to malfunction, meaning they weren't forced to follow Order 66 and turn on the Jedi like the other clones. Terrified by the Empire's evil ways, the squad goes rogue and rescues the unique clone Omega (Michelle Ong). They then start working as mercenaries for a broker named Cid (Rhea Pearlman), while avoiding the Empire's pursuit.
A Lackadaisical Season
Things didn't change much in Season 2, but by this point Batch had been so routinely eluding the Empire that neither they nor the audience were as worried about them being captured or killed as they used to be. Because of this, the major solo missions they take on seem no longer necessary risks, but instead are seen as whimsical outings, most of which are meant to satisfy the Omega's curiosity and adventurous spirit. This is especially evident in the last two episodes, where the rationale for batches performing their respective tasks is particularly weak.
In season 2, episode 4, "Faster", Omega has Tech and Wrecker (Dee Bradley Baker) intervene in one of Cid's failed bets, eventually forcing Tech into a life-threatening contest to pay off Cid's debt to Grini Millegi (Ernie Hudson). In the next episode, "Buried", the Omega becomes captivated by Phee Genoa's (Wanda Sykes) treasure hunt story and convinces Batch to accompany Phee on his next excursion, leading to a dangerous battle with an ancient mech. The reason why the team gets involved in these situations so vulnerable that their actions lack meaning Urgency, so it's hard to care about how the story turns out. Batch has no real tension or reason to worry, because it's ridiculous that anything majorly dangerous happens in such a frivolous story.
Lack of Character Development
To make matters worse, the stories don't contribute much to developing the characters or the series' themes, which is usually the best reason for a standalone series. "Faster" puts Tech in the spotlight, but doesn't reveal or add any new facets to his character. Considering how he plays the intellectual, "nerd" archetype in the actor, it should be surprising that he ends up at the center of a dangerous physical situation, but he's always kept himself in the action scenes before, so the character Conversions are bland. Likewise, Millegi's suggestion that Batch couldn't trust Cid was hard to take seriously, as the team had no reason to believe anything Millegi said. The only real theme or lesson of "Entombed" is that treasure hunting can be dangerous, but aside from being a random addition to the series, that falls on deaf ears because Omega is still obsessed Phee's story is at the end. Previously, the beloved Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels had their fair share of standalone, boring installments. But even the silliest of them, like the infamous Droid episode, were inspired by the series' underlying themes, which respectively showed how the Clone Wars affected different parts of the galaxy and how citizens of the galaxy rebelled against the Empire. different ways.
The Bad Batch season 2 does not yet have this overarching theme. The crosshairs-focused third episode is by far the strongest, as it's clear the show is shaping the character and reconsidering his allegiance to the Empire. But the rest of the team didn't develop in a defined way like this, and the series needs to correct that. It doesn't really matter what the new purpose is (although Batch joining the rebellion to actively oppose the Empire seems like an easy choice) the show just needs to find one fast if it wants to avoid becoming completely aimless.