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The Bad Batch Episode 3 Review: ‘Replacements’ Course Corrects & Gives Crosshair a Deadly Direction

Photo Credit: Disney Plus/LucasFilm Ltd.

The Bad Batch Episode 3, ‘Replacements’ was an episode you had that very Han Solo-ian “bad feeling” about. The bad feeling didn’t feel unearned, especially given the narrative and artistic deficiencies of the second episode.
Luckily, this episode course corrected the tired Lone Wolf and Cub storyline implemented in the second episode, allowing Omega to a character whose surface-level innocence and childlike wonder act as an effective cover for the big secret looming inside of her. The episode is very direct about there being more to the youngest “member” of Clone Force 99, and this episode absolutely picked up the ball that was dropped after the big reveal at the end of the premiere episode.

Omega as both a source of suspense and mystery is a very effective way to keep this character away from the trope of the annoying, precocious kid in the Star Wars universe that we’ve seen in the prequels and elsewhere. It allows the audience to become generally frightened for her wellbeing – as evidenced in this episode when she rushes headlong into a creature’s cave in order to save a replacement part for Batch’s ship – while also leaving us scratching our heads when she’s able to escape harm in the most unexpected way.

The episode also does a fantastic job of giving former Clone Force 99 member Crosshair (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), a new, nasty direction in the series. Instead of slotting him into the expected role of chasing down his former friends (which still may happen), he’s placed in charge of training some of the best non-clone soldiers from across The Empire (including a yet-to-be-named Fennec Shand). Crosshair’s obsession with being a “soldier that follows orders” is heightened to maniacal, dictatorial levels in the episode. Despite his hardened exterior that was shown in the premiere, there was still a shred of decency in the sharpshooter. Now, all of that (thanks to the chip in his brain) has been erased and replaced with ice-cold apathy.

This apathy is evidenced in one of the more shocking moments in the episode, and quite frankly in the Star Wars universe itself. In a scene shown via shadows and sound, we see Crosshair give the order to execute a group of Saul Gerrera’s soldiers and some innocent civilians looking for safe passage. This kind of action, though not explicitly shown on screen, is not something you’d expect in Star Wars. Yes, we’ve seen some limbs chopped off during battle, soldiers killed, planets blown up, and we’ve heard about Anakin’s slaughtering of innocents – but we’ve never really seen Star Wars go quite this far. While it’s a jarring moment, it’s still one that works perfectly to solidify Crosshair’s villainy as well as remind everyone that The Empire really is a malevolent entity.

The Bad Batch Episode 3, ‘Replacements’ was a marked improvement over last week’s episode. While this was a bit of a placeholder for the Bad Batch themselves, we firmly saw the establishment of Crosshair as the series’ big bad and how his work is intrinsic to the future of The Empire. Throw in some political intrigue on Kamino, and we’ve got some nice storylines heading into Episode 4.

The Bad Batch Episode 3, ‘Replacements’ 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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