Monday, January 23, 2012

Clone Wars Recap S4 E15: Deception!

This week the Clone Wars kicks off a new four part story which continues the downward spiral into darkness and depravity. Ever wanted to see a beloved childhood hero impale a guy’s hand with a piece of cutlery? I’ve been wanting to see that for over 30 years, and Deception did not disappoint! (Unless it was a spork. That would be mildly disappointing). And did I mention that this episode is also jam-packed with some of the most notorious bounty hunters in the galaxy?
This is one of the good ones, folks, so if you have any interest then please be sure to check it out before joining me after the jump - because, seriously, I am about to spoil the shit out of it for you!

So Obi Wan Kenobi totally dies, you guys.


Well, at least it certainly seems that way for a little while. Obi Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka are out on the beat, trying to uncover an especially nefarious plot to assassinate Palpatine, and out of nowhere a ballsy sniper starts shooting at them, and somehow manages to blast Obi Wan in the chest. One quick (perhaps a little too quick) vitals check later and Obi is pronounced dead, Anakin totally wigs out, and before we know it we’re at an impromptu Jedi funeral. Yoda and Mace are there - Anakin is brooding. Is it really pyre time for Obi Wan? It seems like a stretch seeing as how he’s alive and well in Episode III.

Is there a slim chance that an episode called Deception is trying to deceive me?

I kind of wish that they’d pissed everyone off and really just killed Obi Wan and replaced him with a clone or something (preferably called Ben). That would have caused so much angst in the fan community that we’d still be feeling the tremors of stamping feet in tear-soaked basements. It would have been a great a trick for George on his way to retirement. “So.. uh.. yeah... Obi Wan is a clone... and Chewbacca is really just Han Solo’s hairy hippy brother.”

The plot thickens and it turns out that the lying rat-bastard Obi Wan isn’t dead at all, he’s just pulling a Jim Gordon in the Dark Knight. He faked his death as a first step to drawing out the people behind the conspiracy, and his non-existent vitals were drug induced. And he was wearing a huge blaster-proof chest-plate under his robe. So he was kind of lucky that the sniper didn’t shoot him in the face and that Ahsoka and Anakin failed to touch his chest.

Now it actually appears to be Mace Windu who’s driving this crazy plan, and Yoda’s involved too but he’s not so sure about it (“Bullshit this deception is”). But here’s the big twist. Anakin doesn’t know! He actually, really, truly thinks Obi Wan is dead, and the other jedi have deceived him because they wanted his performance to be real. So Anakin has been going through an emotional rollercoaster about the death of his former master (including a funeral) and looks like he might explode into darkness and violence at any time. Seriously, is Anakin really the kind of person you want to trick like this? Isn’t that like sneaking up behind a tiger and flicking a rubber band at his balls? I don’t think this is going to work out too well...

Now it’s time for phase 2 - Obi Wan is going to attempt to take the place of the bounty hunter who killed him. So a robot totally shaves off Obi Wan’s hair and beard, instantly turning him into that guy from Trainspotting. They then inject his face with some crazy deux ex machina that makes him morph into the surly, bald, tattooed bounty hunter who killed him: Rako Hardeen.
Rako Hardeen.
Rako is drunk and boasting about his kill in some seedy shithole and Obi Wan has no problem busting in and switching places with him. But then in another twist, Anakin is sent to arrest Rako (who is now really Obi Wan) and damn near kills him, he’s so enraged. The only thing that stops him is the realisation that Obi would have rather have seen this douchebag behind bars, so Rako/Obi is shipped off to a high security prison where even the guards don’t know Rako/Obi’s secret.

Okay, so now it’s where it all gets super hardcore and awesome. We have orange jump-suited criminals in a badass prison doing disturbing things to each other PLUS it’s Star Wars at the same time! Rako/Obi knows that the also imprisoned alien a-hole Moralo Eval is the mastermind behind the plot and does his best to win his favour. But first he has to prove what a Rorshach-esque badass he is, so when some shark-bastard starts getting sassy in the canteen, Obi impales his hand to the table with a piece of space-cutlery!

Moralo Eval.
At first I thought this was pretty harsh, but then I remembered that this is the same dude who - when Walrusman got drunk and pushed Luke - cut off his entire frigging arm. Obi Wan has always been pretty hardcore about personal space. And he would cut off your dick for looking at his sister.

So it turns out that Moralo Eval is working with (the also imprisoned) Cad Bane, who is the best new bounty hunter from the Clone Wars series. And they are absolutely planning to break out and murder Palpatine (so god knows who hired them because, as we all know, everyone in the galaxy is in Palpatine’s pocket). Rako/Obu is all, “ZOMG you guys, can I join your bounty hunter gang?” and Cad Bane is all like, “STFU noob!”

But then their breakout begins thanks to a paid distraction by none other than Baby Boba Fett Jr! This young rapscallion is still causing chaos and he gets his partner - Empire Strikes Back lizard Bossk! - to totally raise hell in the prison canteen. I love Bossk so it’s a real treat to see him taking out waves of guards and thugs with his crazy lizard ways. It’s a real bonus in an already great episode.

Turns out Morallo and Cad aren’t getting through security without Rako/Obi’s help so they reluctantly let him tag along like an annoying little brother. And it gets pretty dark too, they are slaughtering many guards and officers on the way out, and although Obi never pulls the trigger himself, he watches an awful lot of innocent people die. It’s like he’s trapped in that airport level in Call of Duty. And at one point he even smuggles himself in a coffin next to a dead rodian who was killed in the riots. Clone Wars is getting dark, y’all.

The trio escape and Cad Bane affectionately punches Rako/Obi real hard in the face for being a pussy during the breakout. (Liar Obi Wan claims his blaster was jammed). They steal a ship and head off into the stars to cause some serious shit.

Did I mention I love this episode? I also can’t wait to see how this all pans out during the next three parts. The little preview we got is certainly promising.

Also, I recall supervising director Dave Filoni saying that Dengar would be in this series, so looking forward to that. I also wonder if we’ve already seen him? My hit prediction is that the real Rako is going to get his face and head messed up and become Dengar. BUT WHAT THE HELL WOULD I KNOW?

Let me know what you think. Or don’t.

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