In “Rampage,” episode 5 of The Bad Batch, our titular weirdos find themselves reduced to accepting mercenary work. Echo tells the others he knows where they can find Cid, an old Jedi informant who may be able to help them. They find Cid’s shop, but the proprietor denies any knowledge of the person they’re looking for. Through her keen senses, Omega deduces that the shopkeeper is Cid. Cid decides to help the Batch identify and locate the bounty hunter trailing them only if they’ll pull a job for her. They accept, and she sends them to intercept a slave being trafficked by the Zygerrians, but this proves to be more than the Batch signed up for. The slave they were sent after turns out to be Moochie, Jabba the Hutt’s pet rancor. The guys are captured by the Zygerrians, and Omega is forced to leave the ship when it’s investigated by guards. When nobody answers her on coms, Omega finds the Batch and helps them escape. They help the other slaves to escape, and Wrecker fights Moochie, beating her and establishing himself as the alpha so they can take her home. Moochie is handed to Bib Fortuna, and Cid tells Hunter about Fennec Shand. She also tells him she can continue offering jobs to the Batch in the future.
“Rampage” is much in the vein of “Cornered” in that this is another smaller, one-off mission. The Batch finds out who Fennec is but not why she’s after them. I think the obvious answer would be that the Kaminoans hired her to return Omega to them, but time will tell. This is also the second episode in a row not to check in with the Kamino subplot. I like the Batch a lot more than I expected, especially Hunter, Wrecker, and Omega. But seeing the formation of the Imperial army and the tension between Tarkin and the Kaminoans added a lot of urgency to the plot. I imagine they’re focusing solely on the Batch in these middle episodes since the runtime is so short, but it is a shame nonetheless. “Rampage” is also the third episode where Wrecker complains about hurting his head. I think we all know where this is heading; something must be wrong with Wrecker’s inhibitor chip. I’m sure there will be some crisis where the other Batchers have to remove it.
Although the overall plot doesn’t develop much in “Rampage,” I liked a few small character moments. Echo’s explanation of slavery to Omega was very heartfelt and brought to mind his time on Skako Minor. He was forcibly used as a tool, so he can empathize with what the slaves are enduring. I also enjoyed the scenes where Wrecker and Omega bonded with Moochie. I didn’t care much for the extended action sequence with the Zygerrians and Moochie, but it was nice to see the former again. They were featured in a story arc of Clone Wars season 4, and I don’t believe we’ve seen them again. They’re really building a strong sense of cohesion with the Star Wars shows, something that was sorely lacking in the Disney-era films.
However, I have to admit, I have some feelings about how they’re presenting Omega and Tech in particular. I’ve praised Omega for being a different kind of child character for a Star Wars series, and the sense of wide-eyed wonder she brings to the show. That’s all still true, but I think she comes close to being a little too self-reliant and capable in both “Rampage” and “Replacements.” It’s okay so far, but if she keeps saving the Batch single-handedly, it’s going to be a bit of a problem for me. I like Omega because she’s a little more low-key compared to the overconfident Ahsoka or arrogant Ezra. She’s curious and eager to learn from Hunter and the other Batchers and acts like a real kid. She sees new things as toys, as we see when she’s given Crosshair’s old commlink in this episode. I find that very believable for a kid like her. And, to their credit, she makes rookie mistakes, like when she knocks over some rocks trying to get the Batch’s gear in this episode. I don’t think this is a problem yet, but if she outshines or overpowers the other Batchers as the show goes on, it would be disappointing. Not only because Omega is just a little girl at this point, but also because I think teams should be able to contribute equally, or close to it. As for Tech, he’s the least developed and focused on thus far. He even gets outsmarted a couple of times too many in “Rampage.” I like his design and Dee Bradley Baker‘s voice for him, but if he’s the team’s go-to smart guy, why is Omega “the brains of the operation,” as Cid so delicately put it? Why does Omega frequently figure out what they need to do to achieve objectives? This ties back into what I was saying about Omega; it feels like she could replace Tech rather than fill Crosshair’s empty slot on the team. I’m sure Tech will get his time to shine and probably star in an episode or two down the road. After all, this is a 16-episode season, and we’re only on episode 5. But these are my concerns right now, and in a show that’s mostly pretty great, it’s still worth pointing out.
It almost feels redundant bringing it up every week, but Dee Bradley Baker‘s voice work on the Batch is terrific. Michelle Ang brings a lovable naivete and sense of wonder to Omega. I enjoyed her conversation with Tech and Echo early in the episode, where she asks about the Zygerrian slavers. Usually, this would seem like an excuse to hammer in a message, but Omega was isolated from the outside world on Kamino and truly doesn’t know what many of these things are. Rhea Perlman plays Cid in this episode, and she’s okay. I don’t think she’s as funny as they intended, and the “tough girl” tone she goes for doesn’t work that well with the character. But I get the feeling this will be a recurring character, so maybe she’ll grow on me. Kevin Kiner’s musical score and the series’ animation continue to impress in “Rampage.”
Overall, I think “Rampage” is a pretty good episode of The Bad Batch. I would have liked to check in on Tarkin and the Kaminoans, and this is another filler episode for sure. But I’m eager to see what happens with Wrecker’s headaches, and there are some interesting character moments.