The HoloFiles

REVIEW: Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episode 14

By George & Josh Bate

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episode 14

The 46th of 47 episodes of The Bad Batch is here. That’s right – the penultimate episode of the enthralling third and final season of the newest Star Wars television has arrived. Titled “Flash Strike,” the episode sees the Bad Batch continue their mission to rescue Omega as the young clone plots an escape from the Imperial science facility Tantiss.

The last episode left off on a tantalizing cliff-hanger. In the nick of time, the Bad Batch secured their ship onto the bottom of a departing Imperial shuttle to Tantiss before the screen agonizingly cut to black. We mentioned last week that it’s a testament of a good television episode when you don’t want it to end and, at this point, the same can be said for the series more broadly. The Bad Batch Season 3 has been immensely endearing and captivating, which makes “Flash Strike” being the penultimate episode simultaneously exciting and heartbreaking.

In an unexpected turn, Hemlock becomes wary of Clone Force 99’s presence almost immediately. Hemlock is alerted by Scorch that the Bad Batch infiltrated the orbital station with Rampart and are likely on their way to Tantiss. This comes as a surprise as one wouldn’t expect Hemlock to find out about Clone Force 99’s arrival so quickly, preemptively evenly. In an already incredibly suspenseful situation, the writing team of The Bad Batch always know how to kick the intensity up a notch.

After pursuing the location of the planet for so long, the Bad Batch finally arrive on Tantiss. They’re given a rude welcome, however, as they are greeted by a fleet of fighter ships sent by Hemlock. Their ship is shot down and crash lands in the forest below, which has already been established at the beginning of the season as dangerous territory.

With the Bad Batch’s arrival, the Tantiss facility goes into lockdown. This leads into what is easily one of the coolest moments in the entire show. Jax, one of the imprisoned children, asks, “What’s going on?” Omega responds, “They found me.” Jax asks, “Who?” There’s a pause and then, with a smirk on her face, Omega says, “My brothers…” Not only is this moment goosebump-inducingly cool, but it also is yet another example of the kind of warm emotions The Bad Batch regularly taps into. Hearing Omega refer to her team as her “brothers” is lovely and endearing, two words that accurately describe Omega as a character and The Bad Batch as a series overall.

The main Imperial ship (with Echo aboard) arrives on Tantiss and Hemlock orders it to be searched thoroughly. Although it’s great that Echo is involved again, it’s also kind of a shame to see Echo reintroduced to the team only to be separated from them once again. The handling of Echo as a character has been somewhat perplexing this season, especially in light of the Bad Batch already being down a member following Tech’s death. Echo made a sensible choice in joining forces with Rex for the achievement of a common goal. Unfortunately though, this choice also means that his reintroduction at this point so close to the end of the series feels disappointingly out of place.

After a humorous moment involving Echo donning a stormtrooper disguise and using the hand of a disposed droid to be less conspicuous, Echo covertly makes his way through the Tantiss science facility, hoping to find Omega. Instead, he finds Dr. Emerie Karr, who finally decides to turn her back on the Empire. Emerie’s betrayal felt inevitable from the character’s initial introduction and yet she’s been handled in such a manner in the last few episodes that it is still an effective emotional beat to see her turn back on the Empire and volunteer to help Echo.

Meanwhile, Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Rampart journey on foot toward the base. At first, Crosshair and Wrecker are separated from Hunter and Rampart. When Crosshair and Wrecker come across Hunter, Wrecker asks, “Did Rampart make it?” With one of the show’s more humorous lines, Hunter responds, “Unfortunately, yes.”

Given how long it has taken Clone Force 99 to locate Tantiss, seeing them on the planet is accompanied with an epic feeling and sense of accomplishment. During their journey, Crosshair remarks, “I owe her” when discussing why he has come to rescue Omega. Even when the two are not together, Crosshair and Omega’s bond is the strongest emotional element of the season. A harsh critic may say that attention to this bond has come at the expense of attention to the relationship between Hunter and Omega, although doing so would negate the enduring effects of attention to this bond from the last two seasons.

On their journey toward the base, Rampart and Crosshair have a telling exchange about loyalty. Rampart tells Crosshair, “You’re like me. Loyal to no one but yourself.” Crosshair responds, “I’ve changed.” Like many Star Wars stories before it, The Bad Batch explores themes of redemption and change. These themes have been actualized through Crosshair’s character arc this season. At this point, it must be said that Crosshair is among the most interesting Star Wars characters in recent years.

Less interesting, however, is the appearance of yet another massive monster in the show. After leaning against what he thinks is a tree, Rampart is shocked to learn that he has actually awakened a giant creature camouflaged in the forest. Soon, not only do they have the creature to contend with, but they also have a battalion of stormtroopers in the mix. Hunter, Wrecker, and Crosshair manage to get away, while Rampart is caught. With Rampart back in the clutches of the Empire, it’ll be interesting to see how Hemlock and colleagues deal with his appearance (which continues to be surprising. Who expected Rampart to play a fairly sizable role this season?).

Back in the Tantiss facility itself, Omega sets her sights on an exit. Omega asks the kids to cover her as she explores the tubes in the cell walls, following which one of the kids says that they don’t know what ‘cover’ means. This subtly shows Omega’s different upbringing as she knows about things like cover as she’s been raised by soldiers.

Omega travels through the tubes of the facility searching for an exit when she comes across another experiment, which, like her, presumably has to do with Project Necromancer. In captivity appears to be the same Zillo Beast from Season 2! The creature’s appearance creates all sorts of questions about the kinds of experiments Hemlock is conducting on Tantiss. We have presumed for quite some time that Hemlock’s plan and Project Necromancer involve making Palpatine immortal (or at least prolonged his life using a Force sensitive clone body). But how does a Zillo Beast fit into all of that?

It may be unclear what role a Zillo Beast plays in Project Necromancer, but it becomes clear that it will play a role in Omega’s escape. After another extremely suspenseful scene in which Omega just barely avoids being noticed by Doctor Scalder again, Omega returns to the kids and tells them, “I found something big. I have a plan, and I’m going to need your help.” On that note, the episode agonizingly comes to a conclusion. The stage is set for a finale that will likely involve a Zillo Beast unleashed on the Tantiss base.

VERDICT: 8/10

The penultimate episode of The Bad Batch picks up where the last installment tantalizingly concluded and sets the stage for an exciting and high-stakes final episode. Featuring one of the show’s coolest moments and also one of the show’s funniest remarks, “Flash Strike” is a Star Wars story epic in scale and rapid in pacing. All of the series’ plot threads come together as Omega launches an unexpected escape plan involving a Zillo Beast, Rampart is captured by the Empire, and the Bad Batch do everything they can to retrieve their youngest member. With simultaneously great excitement and great anxiety, Star Wars fans head into the final episode of The Bad Batch next week. The last season finale didn’t go so well for the Bad Batch (RIP Tech) and, with this being the final season of the show, seemingly anything can happen to these characters. Get your tissues ready and keep your support systems close, because the series finale of The Bad Batch will likely pack an emotional punch.

The HoloFiles

The HoloFiles is a website and series of social media accounts, including Star Wars Holocron, Marvel Tesseract, DC Motherbox, Film Codex, and Horror Necronomicon. We love cinema and television, and aim to spread positivity across different fandoms. Come to us for news, reviews, interviews, trivia facts, quotes, behind the scenes photos, analytic features, and more!