Sunday, January 22, 2012

Battle Meditation Review: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 4.15 Deception

Having the mentor to the emotionally unstable "Chosen One" fake his death in front of said Chosen One with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance of the Clone Wars doesn't seem like Yoda's best idea ever, just saying.
"All warfare is based on deception."
When the Jedi learn of a Separatist plot to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine, one of them must go deep undercover as a hardened criminal to extract information from the conspirators.

In an episode directed by Kyle Dunlevy and written by Brent Friedman, James Arnold Taylor does double duty as both Obi-Wan Kenobi  and Rako Hardeen, and Stephen Stanton returns to the series in the role of a new villain of the week as Moralo Eval.

This was a fun episode.  I loved the scene between Mace and Yoda discussing killing a Jedi, taken out of context that sounded very dark.  It was an interesting set up that they have a plan hatched between the three Masters (Yoda, Mace, Obi-Wan) to hire a bounty-hunter/sniper in Rako Hardeen to assassinate Kenobi.  Of course the Jedi plan is for Obi-Wan to fake his death, but in order for Hardeen to buy it and to establish the necessary cover for Obi-Wan, it means that Anakin and Ahsoka also have to believe Obi-Wan is dead and cannot be in on the plot.  Not only do Anakin and Ahsoka have to deal with this but Padme and Duchess Satine also have to deal with their sense of loss at the death of Master Kenobi.

This seems like a very curious decison for the Jedi.  Is Obi-Wan the only one capable of going undercover? Clearly Obi-Wan and presumably the rest of the Masters know how close Anakin is to his former Master and tag team partner.  They also know Anakin's flaw of attachment is his shatterpoint (couldn't resist), this charade strikes directly at that flaw and risks shattering Anakin.

We see just how emotional and how perilous Anakin's control of his emotions are in this episode, and from the previews it certainly looks like this theme will be explored in the rest of the arc with Anakin potentially hunting down and battling his former Master in disguise.

The transformation scenes were a bit nasty, whether it is nanotechnology or some other means that Obi-Wan was transformed into Rako Hardeen, and the spider like vocal droid that crawled down his gullet, it is clear that Obi-Wan's season of pain is continuing.  I really liked Obi-Wan taking Hardeen's clothes like Arnold did in the Terminator films.

The episode itself is well paced and brings back some classic characters, Boba Fett, Bossk, and Cad Bane all return as residents of the Republic's Panopticon prison.  I really enjoyed the prison scenes, we get to learn that the Republic apparently doesn't have a Juvenile detention facility as  Bob'ika is in with the big boys.  We also learn that even in the galaxy far, far away convicts enjoy a good bench press.  The hulked out Rodian made me laugh.

We learn that things are really coming full circle for Stephen Stanton, who last season voiced Captain Tarkin who killed a Phindian in Osi Sobeck, is now playing a Phindian in Moralo Eval.  Eval isn't alone in his prison cell however as his cell mate is none other then Cade Bane.  Bane of course has a plan to break them out of prison and allow Eval to enact his own plan to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine at an event on Naboo.

Once Obi-Wan is undercover he has to try to win the trust of Eval, which he does by aiding in the trio's escape from the prison.  Of course Obi-Wan and Cad Bane instantly are at odds and it sets up an interesting dynamic as Obi-Wan departs the planet Coruscant with Eval and Bane in a stolen freighter, setting up next weeks episode.

Rating: Deception gets a 7.5.  A solid story with some really cool scenes and visuals. This episode will work much better watched in conjunction with the rest of the arc, because it's really just the story of Obi-Wan going undercover and introducing us to Eval.  It's nice to see Boba, Bossk and Bane back and I look forward to exploring angry Anakin.

Direct Link to view Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Deception (4.15)

Next time on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Friends and Enemies (4.16)

In part two of a four-part Obi-Wan arc, while undercover Obi-Wan and Cad Bane become Frenemies as Obi-Wan tries to unravel Moralo Eval's plot to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine.

"Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer."
Fleeing across the galaxy with criminal fugitives, a disguised Obi-Wan, Cad Bane and Moralo Eval are tenaciously pursued by Anakin and Ahsoka, who have no idea they're chasing their friend.

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