Season 3, Episode 5 – The Return

When I think about this episode I think about unfinished business. Crosshair has unfinished business with Hunter. He also has unfinished business with Barton IV, where most of this episode takes place. Finally, Omega has unfinished business in that she feels an obligation to help save the Clone Troopers left behind.

The Clone Force 99 brotherhood is strong. They grew up together. They trained together. They fought together. The Bad Batch is a tightly bonded unit. It seemed inevitable that Crosshair would return.

While Wrecker, Omega and Echo happily accept Crosshair back into the fold, Crosshair must earn Hunter’s trust. Hunter is concerned about Omega’s welfare first and foremost. Naturally, he will be suspicious of anything and everything Crosshair has to offer until he has proven himself.

Barton IV brings back tough memories for Crosshair. Barton IV was the last planet he was on prior to his incarceration at Mount Tantiss (see Season 2, Episode 12). He was not completely at peace with himself. It was easy for him to be a “good Soldier”. Yet, he began to lose his center when the Empire asked him to do things that ran counter to his training, and his brotherhood. When he realized what the Empire really stood for, he acted at his own detriment. He rebelled.

Crosshair is naturally apprehensive about being accepted back into the team. Wrecker helped ease the transition by providing him his Armor. It took Hunter and Crosshair a bit longer to gel. However, mortal danger forced them to trust each other in the most meaningful of ways.

This episode doesn’t move the overall storyline needle by much. However, it is an extremely meaningful episode from a relationship standpoint. Close bonds are not easily broken. When they fracture, it takes time for those fractures to heal. Hunter and Crosshair took important steps forward to patch up their relationship. Hunter observes how Crosshair genuinely cares for Omega. He also observed how Crosshair put his own life on the line to save his brothers.

Dogs are usually exceptional good judges of character. Batcher does not seem to be an exception to the rule. He has formed a bond with Crosshair that is reciprocated. They worked well together to save Hunter from being lunch.

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