REVIEW: ‘The Bad Batch’ Pays a Heavy Toll in Two-Part Season Finale

Tech in a scene from “STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH”, season 2 exclusively on Disney+. © 2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Season 2 of The Bad Batch has spent a great deal of time establishing the titular team as a burgeoning family. Following the harrowing events of the Season 1 finale, the team slowly retreated from their mercenary missions and turned their focus towards building a new life for themselves in a galaxy that continues to rapidly evolve around them. In Summit and Plan 99, the two-part finale to the sophomore season, Clone Force 99 is reminded just how much they have evolved and that you can only lose what you already have.

While the preceding episode, Tipping Point, seemed to put al the ducks in a row for the finale, writers Jennifer Corbett (Plan 99) and Matt Michnovetz (Summit) did wonderful work in subverting expectations of a predictable sequence of events–thanks almost entirely to Saw Gerrera’s interloping–in the finale even if the end result was probably on everyone’s bingo card. The dual episodes made good on quite a few of the season’s ongoing developments and left enough hanging to allow Season 3 (Lucasfilm hasn’t officially announced a third season yet but it seems extremely likely even as Disney cuts back) to get off to a strong start.

(L-R): Wrecker and Hunter in a scene from “STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH”, season 2 exclusively on Disney+. © 2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

The sacrifice and subsequent loss of Tech is probably most emblematic of the progress the series–and Clone Force 99–made this season. Undoubtedly the most annoying member of the team over the first season, Tech’s growth into an almost identifiable human, complete with emotions and everything, is a constant reminder that these clones are all more than their special purposes. While he didn’t wear them comfortably, Tech’s father-daughter relationship with Omega along with his new, romantic relationship with Phee were evidence that there was more out there for the Batchers than running merc missions. And just as they began to realize what they had, it was taken from them by the sheisty Doctor Hemlock and a vengeful Cid.

Speaking of Hemlock, the full scope of his and Sleepy Sheev Palpatine’s sinister plan isn’t revealed in Tipping Point, which includes a great cameo by Ben Mendelsohn’s Orson Krennic updating Tarkin on Project Stardust, or Plan 99 but Omega’s role in it is. While the easy money was on Omega’s DNA being so special that it would crack the whole cloning process wide open, the finale revealed that Hemlock simply wanted Omega as a means to further manipulate Kaminonan clone queen Nala Se to work for the Empire. For the time being, Omega’s unaltered genetic code seems of little to no interest to Hemlock. Can the same be said, however, for Emerie Karr, whose identity as a sister clone of Omega’s was revealed in Plan 99? Karr does seem to have her own agenda and revealing herself to Omega only furthers that suspicion.

Summit and Plan 99 worked together to provide an emotional gut punch that wouldn’t have been possible without some of the groundwork laid throughout the season. With Tech seemingly dead, Omega and Crosshair in the clutches of Hemlock and Ord Mantell no longer a safe haven for the remaining members of the Bad Batch, the not-yet-announced-but-all-but-a-sure-thing two-part Season 3 premiere is set up for an emotional return to Pabu before a high stakes rescue of the imprisoned clones. Season 2, taken in its totality, feels like the second act of a three-part story which would mean Season 3 would be the end of the line for the stories of Clone Force 99. Now that they have so much to lose, Season 3 is set up to be a helluva ride.

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