Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 1 Episode 3 "Replacements" Spoiler Review

There is nothing I hated about episode three of The Bad Batch, but I would not say I enjoyed either.  The best of the episode for me was the focus on Tarkin, Crosshair and the new recruits brought in to work under Crosshair.  The episode is titled Replacements, and it is a very good title choice, we see that Crosshair is now the leader of his own unit.  In the first episode of the series, Crosshair challenged Hunter for leadership of Clone Force 99 (CF99), now he is the leader, but he does seem to miss his old team.  There was also a surprise appearance by a character who appeared in The Mandalorian, Fennec Shand made her animated debut in episode three.  Fennec was one of the new recruits, she was never named, nor did she have any lines of dialogue.  A producer for The Bad Batch confirmed her appearance in an interview before the season began, and now we got to see her.  These new recruits will be appearing again and will likely have bigger roles in future episodes.  

The episode's least interesting parts all belonged to our heroes, this was an episode where they did little to nothing.  Omega definitely is special, not only did she offer her ration to Wrecker, but she also volunteered to accompany Hunter.  Omega is special, but to showcase her bravery they were forced to sideline Hunter, Wrecker, Echo and Tech for most of the episode.  Echo and Teck basically did nothing in this episode, Wrecker though did have something interesting happen to him which I will discuss in the wrap-up.  My thoughts on episode three are similar to my thoughts on episode two, with 16 first season episodes there are going to episodes where not much happens.  This is not a bad thing, but this is also why some shows aim for fewer episodes so as to make each episode impactful.  I am still excited for the series, but I do know there will likely some episodes I will not care for.  "Replacements" is not a bad episode, but I wish our heroes had a more interesting story in this episode.    


Episode three opens with CF99 flying through hyperspace, Hunter is giving out the rations and Wrecker eats his and wants more.  Omega offers up her ration, and Hunter reminds Wrecker that she is a child, Wrecker turns down the offer.  The ship has taken some damage on their escape from Saleucami, Tech is making a scanner that will be used to check on the functionality of the inhibitor chips.  A broken part causes the ship to fall out of hyperspace and crash land on a planet.  Tech says they need to replace a part before they can leave, Omega accidentally brings out Crosshair's weapon kit thinking it was the needed part.  Wrecker admits that he misses Crosshair, Tech says that Crosshair's inhibitor chip is what caused him to shoot Wrecker.  Echo is surprised the chip can do that, but Omega confirms that is the function of the chip.  

We go to Kamino where we see Crosshair is undergoing tests, Tarkin is joined by Rampart who is working with Tarkin on the defence of the Empire.  Tarkin asks for an update on Project War Mantle, Rampart replies that the new recruits are to be of service under their new commander.  Rampart shares Tarkin's belief that the clones are too expensive and that an army of recruits would be just as effective.  Rampart wants to use volunteers and have them be trained by the clones, this is not a bad idea, and we know that this is what will eventually happen.  Echo and Tech are outside making the necessary repairs to the ship, Echo hears a nice and inspects.  Echo sees that the hull of the ship has some large scratches (claw marks), and we see a creature take the new part that was just installed.  Inside the ship, Wrecker is complaining that his head hurts, and Omega sees the creature fleeing with the part.  Hunter is going after the creature, and Omega says she will accompany Hunter on the search.  The new recruits are undergoing medical testing, Rampart says that people who willingly enlist give the recruits a loyalty that the clones lack.  Tarkin sends the new unit on a mission to Onderon, he wants to see if the new unit can complete a mission that CF99 failed to do.  

Hunter and Omega are tracking the creature, Omega is copying the moves that Hunter is using to track the creature.  Hunter is mad at himself for leaving Crosshair behind, Omega tells him that they will find a way to get him back.  The new unit is on the way to Onderon, and one of the new recruits is questioning if Crosshair should be the leader of the unit.  The unit assaults a camp of resistance fighters, they overwhelm them but Saw Gerrera is not there.  Hunter and Omega are closing in on the lair of the creature, it attacks Hunter and escapes with his blaster.  Hunter loses his breathing mask, Omega gives it back to him, but he is temporarily incapacitated so Omega goes after the creature on her own.  The new unit is questioning the survivors, after learning nothing from them Crosshair shoots one.  Crosshair then orders the rest of the survivors to be shot, when one of the recruits refuses to comply Crosshair kills him and orders the remaining recruits to complete his orders.  The remaining troops carry out his order.  

Omega is crawling through a tunnel chasing the creature, she finds the part and also the creature.  Hunter awakens and searching for Omega, Omega chooses not to shoot the creature; instead, she hands it the flashlight and while it is eating the flashlight she escapes.  Omega finds Hunter outside the tunnel and she gives him back his blaster and the missing part.  The new recruits return to Kamino, Tarkin is impressed with their results.  Tarkin admits that using the clones to train the recruits is a good idea and leaves the operation with Rampart.  Lama Su and Nala Se are discussing how to keep the clones essential; Nala Se says that the original genetic material from Jango Fett is continuing to degrade and that if Nala Se's experiment can yield a superior clone then it may make the clones essential to the Empire.  Nala Se says the required clones are gone and will not return willingly; Lama Su says only one is needed to return.  The new unit returns to their barracks which are the same one as CF99, Crosshair looks around the room and seems sad.  While Omega and Hunter were out, Wrecker converted a small space into a room for Omega.  Omega gets into her new room; she grabs hugs her doll while thanking Wrecker as the episode ends.  


The episode might not have had any big action or reveals, but it was full of little things that I believe are being set up for future episodes.  On my first watch, I noticed Wrecker complaining about his head hurting and I instantly thought it was as a result of the chip.  On my second watch of the episode, I am more convinced that Wrecker's head hurting is as a result of the inhibitor chip, Tech saying he was working on a scanning device is a setup for the next episode.  I think when Tech is finished with the device, he will use it and notice the device is causing issues for Wrecker.  The device could/will also be used to help remove the chip, once Tech figures out how to safely remove the chip, we will see them go after Crosshair.  Crosshair in this episode is under the Empire's control, not only did he shoot non-combatants, but he also shot one of his own men for refusing to comply with an order to kill the remaining captives.  I am not sure if we are supposed to think Crosshair is not in control, but him showing no emotion about the killings makes me wonder if he can be saved.  Crosshair's only emotional reaction was when they returned to the barracks and they were put in his old unit's barracks.  Crosshair looked around the room, and he seemed sad like he missed his old team.

I still have no idea what to make of Omega, there are a lot of theories out there, but nothing has been confirmed.  In this episode, Omega showed to be compassionate not only to Wrecker and Hunter, but also to the creature; she could have shot it, but she chose not to.  Omega also is showing to be very brave, she might be new to action and adventure, but she is just as brave as the rest of CF99.  There are two theories about Omega that I like.  The first theory about Omega is that her special ability is she can mimic or learn the abilities of others.  Omega used some of Hunter's tracking skills to locate the creature, this could also just simply be her watching and learning.  The second theory is that Omega might be a force-sensitive clone, a big part of the second season of The Mandalorian was the Empire remnants hunting for Grogu.  The hunt for Grogu was because the Empire had yet to be able to make a clone that was force-sensitive.  It would be an interesting choice if Omega is revealed to be a force-sensitive clone, but I find that unlikely.  I think Omega might be a Trojan Horse, she is with The Bad Batch because Nala Se and Lama Su want her to be with CF99.  The conversation between Lama Su and Nala Se makes me think that they need one of CF99 to make their new superior clones.  Though Lama Su is declining to share this with Tarkin, I think they will track Omega and use her to lead them to CF99 when the time is right.  

I want to end the article by talking about where I think the show is going, I think enough crumbs are being dropped that we will continue to see the clones struggle with the inhibitor chip.  In episode two, we heard Cut mention that Captain Rex had visited him shortly before CF99 had arrived.  Captain Rex is another clone that is on the run from the Empire, and likely he will join forces with CF99 to rescue Crosshair.  The Empire's plan to use the clones as a means to train an enlisted force has finally answered a question, but I do feel like there is a tragic ending being shaped for the clones.  Tarkin is continuing to be a figure who will do whatever it takes to keep his power.  Tarkin does not care how many people will die, he only cares about results.  I think we may not see Tarkin for a little bit, and from now on when we visit Kamino we will see Rampart as the villain until he fails Tarkin and is removed from duty.  Even though "Replacements" had no significant story for our heroes, the episode did a solid job showing what the Empire is planning.  The episode also has revealed that Lama Su does not plan on giving up on the clones.  Lama Su wants CF99, CF99 wants to free Crosshair, and the Empire is planning for a post-clone future.  I am curious how Omega will fit into the story, does she also have an inhibitor chip, is she force-sensitive, or is she the most advanced clone made so far.  

Join me next week as I review episode four, let me know what you thought of "Replacements".   

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