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The third episode of The Bad Batch squeezes a surprising amount of character work into its 24-minute runtime. While Echo fixes their shuttle and Tech works on a scanner to better understand the chips implanted in their heads, the Batch adjusts to life on the run—to having Crosshair gone and Omega as their newest, youngest member. On the other side of the galaxy, the fledgling Empire puts a new squad of conscripted soldiers to the test, with Crosshair as their leader, in order to see if Kamino’s cloning program has a future. The rest of the episode, then, is a kind of small-scale creature feature in which Omega takes on a trial of her own.
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What happens in this episode of ‘The Bad Batch’?
“Replacements” starts off with the Bad Batch dropping out of hyperspace due to a blown capacitor. “Get ready for your first crash landing,” Wrecker tells Omega, helping her get strapped into a safety harness. After a rough but successful descent, Echo and Tech head outside to make repairs. But, before that happens, we get a couple small scenes to let us know where the characters’ heads are at regarding Crosshair’s betrayal. The Batch admits to missing their turncoat brother; Omega reminds them it wasn’t his fault but rather his inhibitor chip working as intended. Plus, as we discover later, he misses them, too.
Meanwhile, on Kamino, Nala Se and Governor Tarkin continue meddling with Crosshair’s head and closely monitoring the results. Tarkin worries that, in time, the clone could change sides yet again. (“We’ll find a way to get him back,” Omega says later. “Somehow.”)
A new Imperial officer named Rampart—Admiral Rampart by the time the credits roll—shows up on Kamino to oversee something called Project War Mantle. Accompanied by several newly enlisted soldiers, Rampart is charged with proving the clone army to be obsolete. In the next 20 minutes or so, we find out that there are a handful of strategies under consideration, but we also know from the classic Star Wars trilogy that most stormtroopers are ultimately non-clone recruits. By the time of the First Order, the bad guys develop a hybrid approach: drafting children and training them for war at an early age. Pretty cruel, though the Jedi weren’t much better under the Republic.
Rampart’s first “elite squad” wears black armor with green visors, making them resemble the death troopers first seen in Rogue One; it’d be interesting to see them undergo that transformation on-screen, but the design might be incidental at this stage. In any case, they’re tasked with heading to Onderon to finish the Bad Batch’s abandoned objective: eliminating Saw Gerrera’s small band of rebels. In a callback to Finn in The Force Awakens, one of the recruits refuses to play executioner, and Crosshair kills them without hesitation. “Finish the mission,” he tells the others. They comply.
Elsewhere, the latest space monster of the week turns out to be an Ordo Moon Dragon, which looks like a Dug, sounds like a varactyl, and feeds on electricity. When it chomps down on the starship’s fresh power capacitor and runs off into the night, Hunter and Omega put on oxygen masks and track the creature to its lair. Once the beast slaps off Hunter’s mask, however, Omega has to go it alone—her own brief True Grit moment—to retrieve the capacitor. She manages to do so without harming the lizard, further highlighting her vast emotional intelligence.
Omega always seems to know what those around her are thinking and feeling, lending some plausibility to all those fan theories about her being Force-sensitive (or even part Palpatine). Regardless, she’s a charming, complex character who continues to steal the show.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: The Bad Batch season one, episode three recap: Replacements