“Devil’s Deal” presents a bit of a quandary for “The Bad Batch.” It offers an intriguing story with familiar characters that you know and love. It gives us more insight into how swiftly the Empire moved after “The Clone Wars.” We get glimpses of the inner conflict of many that fought alongside the Clone armies. It even shows more of how some of the Clone troopers themselves feel torn between sides. The only problem is we don’t get this growth from the main characters of the show.
This week, the focus is on Ryloth, where Cham Syndulla, Gobi Glie, and senator Orn Free Taa adjust to the planet’s Imperial presence. The senator is all for it, and is somewhat imperious in his behavior about it. We’ve never seen that kind of behavior in US politics, have we? (Insert snide look). Cham and Gobi are a different story. Cham has mixed emotions, whereas Gobi’s mind is clear – The Empire must go. The conflict for Cham is they spent so many years fighting for peace. Why would they give that up when they now have it?
The introduction of the Syndulla’s, of course, leads to meeting Hera as well. In many ways, she then becomes the star of the episode. Gratifying to fans of “Star Wars: Rebels,” but a bit frustrating for those who came to watch “The Bad Batch.” Even Chopper is there with her. All we need is a young Kanan to show up. Oh, wait, he’s already been there.
Hera is young and idealistic but shows all the biases that will shape her as a leader in the rebellion. She wants to be a pilot so that she can fly away from Ryloth. Her “uncle” Gobi seemingly takes advantage of this to push Cham into fighting the Empire. He brings Hera along on missions that he knows will cause controversy if caught. A mission to replenish the weapons the people of Ryloth turned over to the Empire goes awry, and Gobi and Hera become prisoners of Admiral Rampart. The Empire decides to push things along and frame Cham for the attempted assassination of Om Free Taa. The beginnings of Hera’s journey, but also a clear sign of what the Empire is becoming.
“The Bad Batch” continues to be an exciting show, and “Devil’s Deal” adds more to its mythology. It’s unfortunate, though, that we aren’t given any connection to our lead players. Remove Clone Force 99 and Omega, and for the most part, the series so far could have played out as individual stories and still gotten us to the same place. There is a deeper story of Omega. What does she mean to the future of Kamino, the Empire, and the Rebellion? We haven’t seen enough to know, leaving us with not enough thread to pull for this series.