By George Bate & Josh Reilly B.
WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Episode 5
The Bad Batch takes a page out of the Indiana Jones playbook for its latest episode “Entombed.” The second season’s fifth episode sees Clone Force 99 team up with Phee Genoa (voiced by Wanda Sykes) to follow the directions of a compass to a lost, hidden treasure…
As opposed to leaning into a broader, inter-episode arc, “Entombed” represents another isolated, contained mission-of-the-week episode. With episode 5, The Bad Batch’s second season is about ⅓ through and it’s evident now that this season is adopting a different structure than the previous one. The Bad Batch’s first season started with grand episodes about the aftermath of Order 66, the rise of the Empire, and the changing role of Clones in the galaxy. It then adopted a structure of mostly isolated episodes, before rounding out the season with a return to an overarching narrative. The Bad Batch’s second season is, in some ways, doing the opposite. That is, season 2 takes its time to get back into some of the series’ broader plot points (as will be discussed in our reviews for later episodes of this season). And, in the meantime, Clone Force 99 go from mission to mission as they adapt to their new roles in the galaxy. With episodes more so serving as standalone adventures, some inevitably land better than others. Thankfully, “Entombed” is a win in this department.
After being briefly introduced in an earlier episode, the “liberator of Ancient Wonders” Phee Genoa is given more time and character development this week. Not just another Cid, Phee has shards of Hondo Onaka and Han Solo to her character, bragging to Omega about her truth-stretching treasure hunting escapades. Sykes lends an endearing quality to Phee and adds plenty of charm to the character, especially in her interactions with Omega. Also, Phee’s “Brown Eyes” nickname for Tech is the perfect blend of flirtatious and condescending that fits right in with Star Wars humor vis a vis Han and Leia’s romance. Are we shipping a Phee and Tech relationship? Maybe…
Upon arriving on the planet the compass directed them toward, which looks somewhat like early concept art for Exegol in The Rise of Skywalker, the episode unfolds like a fast-paced Indiana Jones adventure. The compass activates upon the team’s arrival, which leads them to the hidden entrance of a cave. From here, Clone Force 99 and Phee avoid dangerous creatures and tackle complex puzzles as they encircle the dark tunnels of the tomb. It’s a nail-biting, intense adventure that proves more entertaining than some of the series’ more action-oriented episodes. Eventually, Phee realizes that the treasure they are after is the legend of Skara Nal, a treasure that traces back to the Ancients and is even older than the Jedi. It’s always intriguing when Star Wars stories sprinkle in references to elements from hundreds of years before the Skywalker Saga, as Phee does in this episode.
After surviving the various obstacles in their way, the crew finds themselves with their hands on the Heart of the Mountain treasure. However, upon displacing the treasure, the mountain in which they are in unleashes a massive explosion and reveals itself as a gargantuan, Godzilla-like structure. They’re not in a treasure vault, but, rather, have unlocked a massive, destructive, planet-destroying weapon. The visuals of this sequence are stunning and capture a sense of scale that harkens back to the Zillo Beast episodes of The Clone Wars.
Eventually, the team return the Heart of the Mountain and destroys the massive weapon, thus ensuring their survival. Similar to a previous adventure this season, the team leaves without a treasure, although at least no one can activate the weapon again, as the team remarks. The episode concludes by teasing more treasure-hunting / treasure-liberating adventures with Phee to come…
The Bad Batch’s latest episode highlights how the series’ second season is placing an emphasis on isolated, contained mission-of-the-week episodes over a broader, overarching narrative. This week’s adventure borrows various tropes from the Indiana Jones franchise in an episode full of treasure hunting, exploring, and puzzle solving. Wanda Sykes’ Phee is a likable addition to the series as a treasure-liberating mix of Hondo Onaka and Han Solo, and each of the Bad Batch have fun moments to shine in this episode. Although lacking more serious implications and an examination of deeper themes, “Entombed” is yet another engaging escapade with everyone’s favorite group of rogue Clones.