Saturday, November 12, 2011

Clone Wars Recap S4 E09: Plan of Dissent!

Third verse. Different from the first? Uh... no, not really. The third part of the Umbara Quadrilogy Plan of Dissent brazenly retells the same story, beat for beat, as the first two parts. The exponentially frustrated clones are trapped in Space Groundhog Day, but does the episode do it well?

Join me after the jump where I'll desperately attempt to justify how this one still has a kick, even though we know everything that is going to happen before it starts...

So if you hadn't already guessed, giant Muppet Jedi Krell is still a gigantic douchebag who has no other goal than to sacrifice clones. And he's having an impact because I listened to a couple of Clone Wars recap podcasts (which will remain nameless) and the panels were all distraught at his behaviour. "He is a total jerk! Why does he have to be such a jerk! No, I don't like him at all! This guy needs to go! Why he is so mean? Booo!" It was like watching kids at a pantomime. Dance, monkey, dance!

I actually quite like the General because he adds some much needed tension - although every time I think he's going to completely fly off the handle and start murdering everyone and tearing off their identical heads in his huge muppetty jaws, he seems to just huff and puff and then wander off. I guess they're stretching things out to the final part and then (hopefully) the shit will hit the fan one way or another. In this episode he was just warming up.

You see, in part one he made the clones do a full frontal assault against an enemy base, and it looked like they would be slaughtered and they all got upset about it, and then they won against the odds. And in the second part he wanted them to do a full frontal assault against an air base, and it looked like they would be slaughtered, and then they won against the odds, mainly because a couple of troops took it upon themselves to hatch a sneaky plan with involved commandeering enemy fighters. And then in this episode Krell wanted them to do a full frontal assault on the capital city, and it looked like they would be slaughtered, and then they won against the odds, because a couple of troops took it upon themselves to hatch a sneaky plan which involved commandeering enemy fighters. But this time Krell cracked the shits about it at the end and told them they'd be executed for insubordination. I had an uncle who was charged with full frontal assault.

So all that said... it was still actually pretty good. In fact if you watched any of these three episodes in isolation then you would have a great time - it's only when you watch all three in a row that you get the dread feeling of deja vu. The much-needed development of the clone characters is very well handled, and the scenes where the clones huddle in their quarters and philosophise about their role and worth, are well written and well performed. Let's not forget that it was that bastard soon-to-be-Emperor Palpatine that paired up Krell with the clones, and it definitely feels like the seeds of dissent are being sown and the clones are getting prepped to murder all the Jedi in Revenge of the Sith. Either that or some key players (Captain Rex) are going to leave the war completely. And then there will be a spin-off series called Hobo Rex: Space Drifter which will be about Rex hitchin' rides on space trains, playing the space harmonica, and shivving gungans in the ribs.

Also of note is a surprise (not any more SPOILERS) space battle which is a visual treat - packed with hundreds of ships, and with some familiar shots. Speaking of which, there's a great moment where the disobedient clones cause shit in their own hangar while trying to fly the enemy ships, and one of the clones takes a call from Krell which he awkwardly handles like Han on the Death Star. The performance and the angle from which it is shot is virtually the same. I like it when they show me things I already like. I don't even think I'm being sarcastic. 

Look, we've come this far, and it's a beautifully crafted episode - we've just seen it before. Here's hoping that the final part totally explodes and kicks our arse. Let's wrap this puppy up!

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