“Entombed” finds Omega and Wrecker scavenging parts from a crashed ship. Back at Ord Mantel, Tech takes the piece Wrecker secured but says Omega’s parts are junk. However, Phee identifies one as a compass, and they all head off to find treasure. Within the ancient mountain of Skara-Nal, the team is split up by a giant attacking creature. Phee and Omega use the compass to locate the Heart of the Mountain, a legendary gem known to all pirates. However, removing it activates Skara-Nal – really some type of weapon. They struggle to return the Heart, and doing so destroys the weapon. Phee tells Omega about another ancient treasure to investigate.
“Entombed” is another episode that seems like filler but is probably intended to establish character traits and relationships, especially regarding Phee. Phee is a smuggler voiced by Wanda Sykes. At first, the Batch feels they can’t trust her because she keeps changing the details of her great exploits. Is she even a real adventurer? What are her intentions in cozying up to Omega? Why do Cid’s cronies buy into Phee’s ever-changing stories? Phee appeared in the series premiere, but only at the beginning to introduce the war chest. I have nothing against Wanda Sykes, but much like Rhea Perlman, I never would have expected to see/hear her in Star Wars. I wouldn’t call Phee a serious character, but she’s very different from Sykes’ usual schtick. Phee is an optimist who believes there are great treasures out there, and she wants to be the one to discover them. “Entombed” does a good job of establishing why Hunter wouldn’t trust Phee and Omega’s wonder at stories of treasure and glory. Echo’s background as an ARC trooper also puts him at odds with a money-motivated smuggler, but Phee proves her worth when she rescues Hunter. She doesn’t have to do that. It seems disingenuous when she first proposes splitting the treasure with the Batch. I even wondered if she was planning to betray them as soon as they found anything of value. After all, why was she so insistent that they go with her? Does she really need their help to do her job? I admit I’m a little surprised that she holds up her end time and again on this mission. I don’t love Phee, but this is a good character introduction, and I’m intrigued to see what they do with her in the future.
With The Bad Batch, it’s often the little moments that make the show for me. When Omega and Wrecker find the parts in the junkyard at the beginning, I love Omega’s quick glance at the glass component. She doesn’t say anything, but I get the impression she’s seeing if it’s like the kaleidoscope from the season opener. I like Omega the best when she’s overtaken by childlike wonder at her surroundings. After all, in-universe, she just recently got off Camino and experienced the world out there. It also makes her stand out from precocious Ahsoka in The Clone Wars and street-smart Ezra from Rebels. I like Ezra and love Ahsoka, but it’s good to have variety with these child characters.
I think there have been times when The Bad Batch developed Omega’s abilities too quickly or without buildup, like when she shot as well as Crosshair in season 1. I understand that she’s genetically unaltered, 100% pure Jango. I still don’t know how she’s female in light of that, but I get it. But shooting is a learned skill, not a genetic predisposition. I’ve enjoyed Omega’s vulnerabilities and the moments when we’re reminded that she is just a young child on this intergalactic voyage with trained soldiers. Her differences are one of the things that keep the show interesting. Another big one is Crosshair, but he isn’t in “Entombed.” This season, they’re devoting entire episodes to him or the rest of the Batch instead of cutting back and forth between them. This benefits episodes like “The Solitary Clone,” letting them focus on the central conflict more. But episodes devoted to Omega or the other Batchers could do with some Crosshair action.
The music and cinematography in “Entombed” give off big Indiana Jones vibes. Kevin Kiner is the MVP this season; I’ve always loved his Star Wars work, but he went off in season 2! I’m loving the unique sounds for each episode. Last week sounded like a racing video game (in a good way), and this week is a big adventure serial. The impact his scores have on the tone and atmosphere of an episode can’t be overstated. The shots, particularly within Skara-Nal, are breathtaking. This episode is gorgeous visually, and I love the look of the mountain. It’s really a ship or a gun of some sort, but I don’t know what to call it. At one point, I thought they were going to pull a Strange World, having the ship be a living organism. Thankfully, the episode didn’t play out that way. I do have one gripe with “Entombed” in the technical department: it’s too dark! I couldn’t see what was happening once the Batch entered the cave. I wasn’t even sure which guy got dragged down by the creature, which I also couldn’t see. This has been a big issue with TV for the last few years, and it’s getting old. You can make it clear that they’re in the dark and still allow the audience to see what’s happening. TV is a visual medium, and I want to see what I’m watching!
“Entombed” is a decent episode. Highlights include some of the quieter moments with Omega, the look of the mountain, and Kevin Kiner’s dynamite score. However, I couldn’t see much of anything once the guys got into the darkness, which is frustrating when watching TV. I did miss Crosshair quite a bit, and I don’t like Phee that much… yet. I hope she grows on me. This episode is more good than bad, and I’m sure it will lead to bigger things down the road.