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Bad Batch Episode 2 Review: ‘Cut and Run’ – Tired Storylines Saved by Thrilling Suspense

Photo Credit: Disney Plus/LucasFilm Ltd.

The Bad Batch Episode 2, ‘Cut and Run’ is a step backwards for the new Disney+ Star Wars series.

This should come as no surprise as most second episodes often are relegated to tablesetting mode, often times establishing narrative and emotional plot points. In the Bad Batch Episode 2‘s case one of the potential main emotional arcs of the series is established.

Unfortunately, that arc is a very tired and worn out one — a variation on the Lone Wolf and Cub storyline. It was established in the premiere that Omega (Michelle Ang, Fear the Walking Dead) idolizes Clone Force 99 and that its leader, Hunter (Dee Bradley Baker, American Dad) has a soft spot for this kindred clone. However, the episode leans far too heavily into the “this kid can’t stay with us/why can’t I stay with you guys?” storyline.  Storylines like this typically result in the cub character (in this case Omega) desperately trying to prove they fit in and belong with the lone wolf — only to needlessly place themselves in peril resulting in the lone wolf lashing out in fear and anger over the situation. We’ve seen it in countless movies and TV series — including The Mandalorian.

These situations occur multiple times throughout the episode. It’d be forgivable if this overly used storyline was just an annoyance to the viewer, but it actually is a bit worse than that. Omega’s desperate need for validation — which causes her to more often than not be in harms way — actually undercuts the big reveal at the end of the premiere — there’s something very special about Omega. She literally guns down an entire platoon of stormtroopers and now she has a hard time fending for herself. One could argue that this is because she’s a fish out of water who’s never stepped foot outside of Camino. If that’s the case this needs to be hammered home a little stronger and would work better than her seeking validation from the Batch.

Another issue with the episode comes from the animation and sound with Omega and the children of Cut Lawquane (a former clone solider also voiced by Baker). These characters look and sound less slick and polished as the main heroes do. At times, especially early in the episode, their look and sound feels like they came straight out of a bad YouTube video as opposed to a series on Disney+. This eventually does course correct by episode’s end, but it’s a jarring issue throughout the first half of ‘Cut and Run.’

Yet, despite these flaws The Bad Batch Episode 2 is still a solid watch. While the first half of the episode is setting up the aforementioned emotional storyline; the second half is a tension-filled shoot ’em up. The series does an excellent job of creating this uncomfortable white knuckle atmosphere as The Batch tries to get Cut and his family off Saleucami (Cut and his wife are both wanted by The Empire). The build — centered mostly around Tech and Echo working in the shadows to steal and encode the newly instituted Imperial chain codes for Cut’s family — is straw that stirs the tension-filled drink. When the tension does fully come to a head it explodes into this wonderfully directed symphony of destruction with each member of the team — Omega included — doing their part to help Cut and his family.

By episode’s end, the viewer is left with some semblance of relief that this tired Lone Wolf and Cub arc could have a bit of a different pay off as Omega once again proved her worth to the team. Maybe the series will drop this arc for the series and it will be a self-contained story within this episode. If they keep going back to it, it will absolutely undercut Omega’s mystique and will deaden potential high drama that could be implemented in the penultimate episode or the finale (e.g. Hunter or a member of the team sacrifices their lives/their freedom in order to save Omega who ultimately saves them).

The Bad Batch Episode 2 ‘Cut and Run’ is not the glorious epic filled with action and rich characterization of the premiere, but it is — despite all its faults — is a fun and filled with big tension and action.

The Bad Batch Episode 2, ‘Cut and Run’ is Now Streaming on Disney+

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.
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