Saturday, November 19, 2011

Clone Wars Recap S4 E10: Carnage of Krell

WHOA! Shit just got real, yo! The first three episodes of the four-part Umbara arc on The Clone Wars left us with a serious feeling of deja vu as key plot points continued to repeat themselves - again, and again. But fourth time's the charm, and all eyes were on the finale to see if this whole thing was actually going somewhere, and specifically if douchebag Muppet Jedi Krell was finally going to have a throw-down battle with the increasingly disenchanted clone commander Rex, where only one of them walked away. And I'm thrilled to say that I wasn't disappointed.

This was a pretty hardcore and uncompromising cap to the story, so much so that I'd be surprised if Lucas and Co. even had any balls left after banging them up against the wall so long. Huge SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven't seen this one and intend to, then I sincerely suggest that this time you watch the episode first.

The rest of you? ONWARD!

Okay, so do you remember how Fives and the other clone guy were threatened with court martial and possible execution for disobeying Muppet bastard Krell in Plans of Dissent? Well as this episode opens (i.e. explodes into your unsuspecting face) Krell decides that a court martial is a pretty limp dick waste of time with a war waging outside, so he decides to have the clones executed immediately - by their own doodz!

So yes, in one of the heaviest scenes we've ever witnessed on the show, Rex is forced to put Fives and friend up against a wall in the hangar while a row of troops raise their weapons and prepare to murder them while Krell watches from a tower above. Rex is pretty cut up about it, and the soon-to-expire clones make a pretty moving speech about how this is all bullshit and they shouldn't be blindly following orders and that even clones can know when to do the right thing. It works, and the execution squad deliberately miss - much to Krell's chagrin, and Rex heads up to face the music.

It should be no surprise that Krell's pissed, but in the midst of threatening Rex he is notified of a new Umbaran attack and decides to spare the troops for the moment. He sends Rex and his team to specific co-ordinates to greet an ambush, warning him that the crafty glowing Umbaran bastards may now be wearing captured clone armour and weapons in order to trick them. Sure enough, when arriving in the pitch-black jungle they are attacked by Clone armour sporting Umbarans and big firefight ensues... But wait! WTF!?

These aren't Umbarans, you guys! They're CLONES. Just like you and me! Two squads of clones have been firing on each other. Oh yes, in a supreme act of dickish bastardry Krell has engineered a scenario where the clone brothers have been obliviously slaughtering themselves. It's both cold-hearted and genius, and it's finally enough to make Rex snap. He gathers the survivors and votes for treason. They will storm the tower and arrest Jedi Krell for his crimes. Oh shit, you guys, this is getting so good!

So this is the moment we've been waiting for. In a homage to the Order 66 Jedi temple invasion, Rex and team march up to Krell to cause some shit. And then, in a homage to the attempt to arrest Palpatine scene, Krell just frigging hulks out and starts attacking wildly with all lightsabers blazing (he has four arms don't forget!). This battle is pretty epic and crazy, and bursts out of the tower and carries into the jungle. Clones are getting continually sliced up and impaled, and its really not looking too great for them at all. They only manage to defeat Krell when he is tricked into tangling with a carnivorous tentacled native beast, and a plucky clone manages to stun him while he is down and distracted. Krell is captured, handcuffed and returned to base. I am totally pumped.

And now the "why". Why, Krell? Why you do this to us? I thought we were cool!? I've been hoping that Krell was put here (by Palpatine/Sidious) to sow seeds of distrust in the Jedi (I was particularly hoping for an end scene that would show Sidious in his chambers speaking to someone about how well this has worked). But no, Krell is clearly a Jedi gone bad, warning the clones that the Jedi will soon be defeated and that he will join a more powerful and sinister force which is on the rise. It's a spooky scene and everyone gets the willies, especially Dogma...

Okay, I have neglected to mention Dogma in the last three episodes. He's the clone who has blindly followed orders - no matter how ridiculous they may seem - and has snitched on the others when they've stood up to Krell. And he's called Dogma? Oh I see what you did there. Anyway, the message is clear - Dogma is bullshit. This will be important in a moment.

And this is where the episode gets really dark. There's no running to Yoda for advice. Rex decides that it's too dangerous to let Krell live, so he will execute him himself. Stone-cold Rex forces Krell to turn around and face the wall and prepares to shoot him in the back of the head. Seriously! This is what is going on in the Clone Wars right now! It's a far cry from the first series where Anakin was called "Skyguy" by a pre-teen in a croptop and given a mission to rescue Jabba the Hutt's son Stinky. So, oh yeah, killing Krell in cold blood...

Rex can't do it. He's pussying out and getting the shakes and Krell is going all badass again and psychologically tormenting him. Is Krell going to win? BAM! HELL NO! Dogma shoots him in the back and kills him. Krell is dead and the clones rejoice. The episode ends with the clones standing victoriously as Dogma is (handcuffed?) and led onto a gunship (is he being arrested for doing what they all wanted to do? I'm really not sure). I would loved to have known what Obi Wan or Anakin made of all this as Krell's fate became known. Rex got some 'splaining to do.

Overall a dark, tense, and amazing episode. I think Clone Wars might be going on a little break now, but I'm certainly looking forward to what they serve up next!

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