Episode 3 – Replacements

Replacements. This week’s episode title is a double entendre. The backdrop for this episode focuses on Omega and Crosshair’s new realities. The first part of the entendre is Omega’s inclusion into Clone Force 99, replacing Crosshair. Simultaneously, we see the mirror image of Crosshair replacing his former squad mates with new recruits who are top Soldiers from across the galaxy assigned to him for training and missions. Now, for my 12 points.
  1. The inhibitor chips remain a constant theme in the show. Instead of helping Echo fix the Havoc Marauder, Tech is building a scanner to test the functionality of the inhibitor chips.  Tech wants to see if the chips are defective.  Knowing Tech, he is also likely trying to figure out how to remove them…he just hasn’t told anyone yet.

 

  1. The Havoc Marauder needs some armor modifications. The clone troopers damaged it with small arms fire during the Bad Batch’s escape from Saleucami.

 

  1. A team is a team. Wrecker and Hunter miss Crosshair. Tech appears to give the team a bit of hope stating the inhibitor chip influenced Crosshair’s action. However, Tech was not allowed to finish his thought. I suspect his thought was the inhibitor chip enhances traits already innate in the individual clone. It is unclear what exactly this proposed thought means for Crosshair. Perhaps Tech’s study of the inhibitor chip will reunite Clone Force 99. If this happens, Omega will likely play a key role in that endeavor. She continues to drop new tidbits of information regarding the inhibitor chips. During the hunt for the capacitor, Omega states Crosshair can’t help his actions. Hunter expresses regret in leaving him behind, tacitly acknowledging the chip is likely influencing his actions. Omega commits to finding him and bringing him back to the team.

 

  1. Project War Mantle. This appears to be testing ground for what will likely be the storm trooper program.  It could also be the genesis for the death trooper program.  Whatever it is, clearly this is the start of how clones were replaced by conscripts.  Project War Mantle starts with Crosshair, a skilled enhanced clone, training highly skilled Soldiers to be elite troopers.
  1. Creature of the week. Ordo Moon Dragons feed on raw energy.  In this episode the dragon steals the capacitor needed to power the Havoc Marauder.  Interestingly they posed no real threat to the organic humans.  Fortunately, the ordo moon dragon was unable to open the capacitor and the Bad Batch was able to fix their ship and get off the moon.

 

  1.   The realities of desertion is hitting the Bad Batch.  They are running low on rations.  They had to use their last capacitor to replace a damaged one during a fire fight.  Clone Force 99 is going to have to figure out how to earn a living to support themselves and their ship.  I expect future episodes to include jobs in order to support themselves.

 

  1. New Squad Member. Omega desperately wants to be a valued member of the team.  Echo is skeptical.  Tech is curious.  Wrecker’s head hurts.  Hunter gives her a chance and brings her on the hunt for the capacitor.  Omega shows her quick thinking, bravery and innate skill in this episode.  First, she saves Hunter by putting his rebreather back on him after the dragon attacked them.  Next, she grabs Hunter’s blaster, and shows her bravery by crawling thru the tunnels until she finds the capacitor.  Finally, she thinks critically and quickly by throwing her flashlight she gets the dragon to focus on the light while she curries away with the part needed for the Havoc Marauder.

 

  1. Conflict between Kamino and the Empire is brewing. Kamino wants to remain relevant by continuing to provide well trained clones for the Empire.  Tarkin on the other hand wishes to find a more cost-effective way to maintain order in the vastness of the new Empire.
  1. The missions show that the inhibitor chip reconditioning of Crosshair is working. Crosshair is efficient, cold and brutal.  He does not hesitate.  He simply fulfills the mission as ordered.  Whatever conscious he had has been erased.  His commitment to orders leads him to execute a conscripted recruit who decided to secure prisoners, instead of executing rebels.  Crosshair is in charge because he is willing to do what needs to be done.  To Crosshair, whatever the Empire orders him to do, is what needs to be done.  His actions will have a palpable effect on any troopers under his command.     Good Soldiers follow orders.

 

  1. The reconditioning on the chip appears to be working. The interesting thing is that it he has to continue to get the reconditioning.  Why is that?  It is hard to tell what he is really thinking about in between missions.  It seems as though part of him is hesitant.  There are pauses.  There are distant stares.  After the mission was complete, he surveyed the room and then went to sit down at his bunk.  What was he thinking about?  Crosshair was raised with his brothers of Clone Force 99.  That is not a bond that is easily broken.  I wonder if we see a character arc similar to Anakin Skywalker with Crosshair.  I think there is internal conflict within him.  How will that conflict resolve?

 

  1. Jango Fett’s genetic material is degrading. Nala Se has an experiment of some sort.   What is it?  She hints that the clones required will not return willingly.  Who are they?  Is it Clone Force 99?  Is it Rex?  Could it be ARC Troopers we have not seen yet?  Or is it someone else altogether?

 

  1. Wrecker provides the ultimate surprise. He spent his time wisely.  While Echo and Tech worked to fix the Havoc Marauder, Wrecker made Omega her own room.  This is the most heartwarming scene of the show thus far.  Echo and Tech give their nods of approval to Wrecker.  Hunter affirms that Omega is a part of the squad now.  The team is bonding with a new teammate.

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