Saturday, January 28, 2012

Clone Wars Recap S4 E16: Friends and Enemies!

After a rollicking, hand-stabbing, mass-murdering, bounty hunter filled episode last week, the Clone Wars returns with part two of the "Let's Foolishly Lie to Anakin About Obi Wan's Death" quadrilogy. And seriously, at this point just about anything could happen. Maybe Obi Wan will blind a child with a spoon.

Lock, load and join me after the jump to find out everything you need to know!

Now, this is a really solid, enjoyable episode with some visceral action and stunning visuals, but there's not a huge amount of plot going on. Which isn't, in this case, a bad thing, because the series actually takes a breath to give us some satisfying character moments, and I was caught up in the ever snowballing dynamics between our three main bounty hunter characters, Moralo Eval, Cad Bane and Obi Wan (still disguised as baldy Rako Hardeen).

Ever wanted to see a trio of happy-go-lucky bounty hunters buying hats? What's an underworld space milliner like anyway? And what about cheesy bith ship salesmen who profit through nepotism and shamelessly wave at the camera? This is the real meat of the first half of the episode.

The escaping hunters crash land on the swampy gaseous hutt world Nal Hutta and decide it's a good time to buy some fresh duds and new weapons. Cad Bane nearly opts for an Indiana Jones hat, before rocking a new cowboy ensemble that removes his seemingly unnecessary breathing aparatus he's had in the past. Obi/Rako gives a nice nod to the art of Star Wars legend Ralph Maquarrie by choosing a new helmet based on the prototype design for Boba Fett. I greatly enjoyed the shopping scene and felt it injected a Sex-in-the-City-esque flair into the Star Wars universe, at least until Cad Bane spoiled it by nearly stabbing the rodian vendor in the throat with his nasty toothpick.

Cad is shaping up to be one of the best new Star Wars characters ever, and his unbridled contempt for everyone - but especially Obi/Rako - leads to more infighting and backstabbing as Obi Wan is left behind with a pack of gamorrean thugs while the others escape the planet. Obi is strung upside down and has the shit beaten out of him for perhaps the tenth time this season, but his plucky forethought planted a tracking device on the ship and Cad Bane and Moralo are soon shot down and forced to grudgingly re-unite with him on the planet's surface.

Really, it's all standard part-two-of-four treading water, and the real intrigue doesn't happen until Anakin gets involved. That conniving bastard Palpatine gives Anakin the tip that Obi Wan's "killer" (who is really Obi Wan in disguise) has been spotted on Nal Hutta, and Anakin and Ahsoka head off to exact their revenge, oblivious to the fact that they will actually be trying to kill Obi Wan. It's brother against brother, yo!

Anakin unleashes some darkside shit on the planet, choking hammerheads and spitting on everyone. His "investigations" lead him to a nearby fuel station moon and in the episode's climax he catches up with the retreating hunters and starts recklessly smashing his ship against theirs. Seriously, this incarnation of Anakin is more badass than Gordon Ramsey riding Wolverine.

More crashes and soon Anakin and Obi Wan/Rako are going at it one-on-one in the dust. Does Obi Wan confess to Anakin that this has all been a ridiculous ruse? Nope! He punches him in the face a few times and Anakin kicks him in the nuts. Finally he whispers for Anakin to piss off and gives him a Vulcan nerve pinch that sends him down for the count. The promise of a Cad Bane versus Ahsoka battle are quickly diffused and the bounty hunters retreat (Obi Wan still with them) and Ahsoka is left to lick her master's wounds. (Which sounds like a fan fic). Anakin revives with the startling realisation that perhaps Obi Wan isn't actually dead! Long shot of the character's backs and roll credits!

It's all a lot better than my recap makes it sound, and I certainly recommend it if you enjoyed the last episode. It's worth seeing for Cad Bane alone.

And check out this preview for next week's episode, The Box! It's a bounty hunter roll call!:

Embo is back! But still no Dengar? And what is this box they speak of? When I first heard that this episode was about entering the box I assumed it was about Luke and Leia's conception.

Looking forward to finding out!


  1. I've finally caught up. This was a pretty great episode. What I like is how everyone takes turns driving a space ship (it happens in other eps as well). In the previous ep Cad and Moralo are in the drivers seat but this ep begins with obi flying the ship and crashing it into a planet.

    How did that happen? Was Obi just back seat driving and Cad got fed up and said "fine you drive ahole' then Obi goes ' I'm crashing the ship now LOLZ"

    Haha oh Obi Wan

  2. Obi Wan has been acting like he's been sipping too much port in between takes this season. From his crappy plans in the slave trilogy to this idiotic idea - plus getting the crap knocked out of him all the time - we perhaps begin to understand how he ended up as a sand hobo in A New Hope.

    1. he's like the jar jar of the jedi counsel. They keep sending him on suicide missions but he keeps lucking out.

      I did like how beatup and actually scared he looked on the wolverine slavers arc

    2. Seeing as how you're someone who went from skipping the show, to ingesting it all over a few weeks, I'd love to know more of your detailed opinions about things.

      Probably the biggest success for me is the treatment of Anakin. He's one of my least favourite characters in the films, but probably my favourite on The Clone Wars. I think they've got a great fleshed out rogue's gallery too with Assaj, Cad Bane, Pre Visla, Hondo Onaka and Savage Oppress. And I dig Captain Rex's arc, and even Ahsoka has her moments.

      Some of my favourite episodes have been the weirder one offs. I think an all time favourite is the one with Sy Snootles on the hutt planet. That one is incredibly bizarre.

      Would love to know how it's progressed for you.

    3. I have to say I need to distance myself from the films and just treat the show as it's own thing. Not that I hated the movies (quite the opposite actually) but that scene in the movie where Anakin kills all the jedi kids that affects my liking of Anakin. Also knowing how things are going to go does take the excitement out of a Dooku or Grievous fight except when an unknown is fighting them.

      I quite like all the characters in the series. There's such a great range of characters here. All individual and magnificently designed. I like Ahsoka. She is much better than that Buffy clone wars movie version. It's like they read all the feedback from the clone wars movie and made all the right changes. I love how she fights and moves. It's a lot slicker and reptile like than Anakin's brute force style.

      If I have to pick what I like most it would have to be the war sections that feel like an old pulp war comic book. I like how the episodes are introduced to. "shits going on, lets go here and check it out" and you're straight in no dicking around with boring establishing and setup.

      I really like the clones to. It's great they've all got individual personalities and there's the whole question of their existence which have made for some interesting episodes. Also captain Rex is pretty badass

      If I had any flaws, it comes down to OVER using quotes from the original starwars movie. Like on paper that might sound like a good idea but it's painful. "I've got a bad feeling about this" that's been used more than the Skyrim "arrow in the knee" meme. There was a great moment in this season where a trooper sees a little guy riding a flying bug thing and he goes "Oh its going to be one of those planets" That was effin hilarious and I wish we had more of those moments where characters delivered real reactionary dialogue instead of starwars movie quotes (I have friends for that)

      I also feel sorry for the droids. A lot of the times they are just bros just hanging out and the jedi come in and murders them. It's funny with all the droids and clones how they've found away to have a high death count and keep a pg rating (decapitated shark guys head was amazing..he was a fucking scary character)

      The series feels like my favourite starwars book 'Tales of the bounty hunters' as they've really tried to be creative with the writing with its structure/concepts and that really matches the visuals that have so many great fun ideas going on.

      now I have to wait for new episodes...dang it