The HoloFiles

REVIEW: Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episode 4

By George & Josh Bate

Bad Batch season 3 episode 4 review

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episode 4

“A Different Approach” is the title of the fourth episode of The Bad Batch’s final season, which coincidentally also fittingly describes how Season 3 of the series marks a change in storytelling from Season 2.

Picking up where the three-episode premiere concluded, “A Different Approach” sees Omega and Crosshair (with their new animal friend Batcher) flee from the clutches of Doctor Hemlock and try to avoid capture by Imperial forces. A natural extension to the previous episode “Shadows of Tantiss,” episode 4 earns its title “A Different Approach” in emphasizing that the creators and writers of the series have taken a different approach in how they crafted this new season. Whereas The Bad Batch Season 2 started with a series of one-off, more contained episodes that did not play into the mechanics of the broader plot, Season 3 dives headfirst into the central narrative without wasting any time. This is of benefit to the series as it has always excelled when focusing on the dynamics between its lead characters and the central narrative related to finding their new place in the galaxy as the Empire mysteriously continues cloning operations, as opposed to one-off episodes with more variability in quality.

The standout element of this episode results from the team-up between Omega and Crosshair. Although Omega has frequently talked of Crosshair as a “brother” and a fellow member of Clone Force 99, the two have spent little time together during the duration of the show. This makes sense given that Season 1 began with Crosshair pivoting away from the Bad Batch and aligning himself with the Empire, just when Omega became a member of the team. Omega has shared plenty of intimate and endearing moments with Hunter, Tech, Echo, and Wrecker, leaving her relationship with Crosshair unexplored. This is not the case in this fourth episode, however, as Omega and Crosshair are paired together for a perilous escape from the Empire.

Seeing Omega and Crosshair interact is simply a delight. Stuck in the middle of such a dangerous situation, on the run from the Empire on a planet full of Imperials, affords plenty of tense and humorous moments for the characters. This is best exemplified during the gambling scene in which Omega plays sabacc with an unsavory character and, eventually, an Imperial captain in order to earn enough credits to fund an escape off the planet. From this scene and beyond, the tension surrounding the possibility of them getting caught remains high throughout the episode, and it’s endearing to see a reluctant Crosshair step up to be Omega’s protective father figure during such stress. 

Much of this stress is brought about by the episode’s antagonist – Captain Mann. Voiced by Harry Lloyd, who has had notable roles in Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, the Imperial captain with a Yorkshire accent represents a different side of Imperial villainy. More aligned with the sorts of opportunists within the Empire that are portrayed in Andor, Captain Mann is a refreshing change from cold and calculated imperials like Thrawn and Tarkin. Fining Omega for gambling after engaging in a game of sabacc with her showcases the pettiness and hypocrisy the Empire can exhibit, and how many among their ranks use their station for personal advancement. 

Bad Batch season 3 episode 4 review

As Crosshair and Omega seemingly avoid detection from Captain Mann and his colleagues, the two argue over whether they should attempt an escape now or rescue their new animal friend Batcher. Omega’s insistence that they save Batcher and bring him along is not only endearing, but, once again, highlights a humanity of her character that makes her one of Star Wars’ most easily likable heroes. Omega is a genuinely kind and pure-hearted person, one who is more than willing to put her safety on the line in order to save those she loves. It’s through Omega and, in turn, her relationships with other characters that The Bad Batch has shown its real heart. Three seasons in and the emotionality that Omega’s kindness can evoke in an audience has not wavered even slightly.

After rescuing Batcher and narrowly escaping Captain Mann’s forces, Omega and Crosshair rendezvous with Hunter and Wrecker. Although they were only separated for a few episodes overall, seeing Omega reunite with Hunter and Wrecker proves to be an extraordinarily heartfelt and intimate moment. Although Tech is gone, Clone Force 99 is more complete now that Omega has returned to the fold.

But she’s not the only one who has returned. While Hunter and Wrecker emotionally welcome back Omega, such warmth is not found in their reception to Crosshair’s arrival. Crosshair’s role in The Bad Batch has been fascinating ever since he aligned himself with the Empire in Season 1, while Season 2 episodes like “The Outpost” portrayed Crosshair’s devastating realization of the Empire’s true brutality. Now, after going head-to-head with his former brothers for so long, Crosshair finds himself before Hunter and Wrecker in a decidedly uncomfortable situation. The episode cuts to black before the rest of this interaction unfolds, which creates a tantalizing cliffhanger ahead of episode 5.

VERDICT: 7.5/10

Omega and Crosshair attempt to avoid capture from the Empire in the fourth episode of The Bad Batch’s final season. Continuing the season’s focus on matters directly related to its central narrative, as opposed to the more contained episodes that characterized the start of Season 2, “A Different Approach” earns its title on a number of levels. The tension and suspense are high, even if The Bad Batch isn’t breaking new ground or offering up too many surprises with its storytelling in this episode. Where this installment really excels is how it explores the bond between Omega and Crosshair, a relationship that has received relatively little focus during the course of the show. This relationship, coupled with a different take on an Imperial villain, make the episode enjoyable and humorous, which leads up to the emotional reunion in the episode’s closing moments. Omega being welcomed back by Hunter and Wrecker proves to be a truly heartfelt moment, highlighting once again how Omega is the emotional heart of this series. But, with Crosshair met with a colder reception from his former brothers, this installment leaves the audience in a tantalizing place waiting for how this interaction will unfold in episode 5.

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