By Josh Reilly B.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Episode 5: Rampage
The Bad Batch and Omega? Ord Mantell? Zygerrians? Bib Fortuna?? An adolescent Rancor?!? The newest Star Wars series on Disney+ more than delivered once again this week with tense and unexpected delight of an episode. Rampage sees Clone Force 99 seek an old contact of the Jedi in order to discover who placed the bounty on Omega.
The Bad Batch certainly kept up the momentum from last week’s stellar episode with Rampage. The series continues with the adventure-of-the-week style seen in the last few episodes and, more broadly, in Star Wars television. This approach can yield mixed results, with more uneventful and flat episodes like episode 3 of The Bad Batch, but, fortunately, this isn’t the case with episode 5.
Rampage is anchored by a great, very straightforward premise – retrieve a child from Zygerrian slavers in exchange for information on the deadly bounty hunter on their tracks. The set-up feels distinctly Star Wars, showcasing a beautiful planet and different species interacting in a cantina-setting within its opening moments. Both during and after this set-up, Omega continues to be a highlight of the series. At this point, she’s most certainly a member of Clone Force 99. Her growing relationships with the different members of the team continues to be really endearing, as are moments like high-fiving Wrecker and playing with her new com link. It’s interesting that Omega has somewhat taken the role of Crosshair in this crew (whose reemergence in the series we’re eagerly awaiting). The Bad Batch don’t overtly mourn the loss of Crosshair to the Empire, but his absence is felt and continues to be powerful.
Cid (voiced by the wonderful Rhea Perlman) provided a unique character for the Bad Batch to interact with. She definitely evoked Amy Sedaris’ Peli Motto in a show that continues to draw upon The Mandalorian in more ways than one. The Zygerrian slavers provided formidable threats to the Bad Batch. Seeing their endorsement of slavery and the horrors they committed in The Clone Wars made them feel more imposing than the typical villain of the week. Merely the threat of Omega being captured by them is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the episode.
The real takeaways, though, will surely center around Muchi, the MacGuffin of the episode. Muchi being an adolescent Rancor was a really unexpected twist and led to a string of exciting action sequences. Who would’ve thought a Rancor could be so…cute? And, where Rancors are concerned, Jabba also comes to mind, which was confirmed with the surprising appearance of Bib Fortuna. This inclusion opens several interesting doors for the Bad Batch, especially as the crew continues to hide from the Empire and delve deeper into the underworld.
Rampage ends on an intriguing note with Cid and Hunter’s conversation. Fennec may be new to the field, but she’s dangerous and mysterious. Who is hiring her and why? Is it the Kaminoans wanting Omega? This seems like the obvious answer, so let’s hope the twist ends up being more unpredictable than that. But either way, there’s a mystery in The Bad Batch that we’re eager to see unfold.
The Bad Batch continues it’s impressive first season with an unpredictable and action-packed installment. Omega’s relationship with her new friends continues to develop in intimate, if not nuanced, ways in Rampage. And surprises including a Rancor, Bib Fortuna, and a mystery surrounding Fennec were particular highlights.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+