REVIEW: The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episodes 1, 2, and 3, “Confined,” “Paths Unknown,” and “Shadows of Tantiss”


In “Confined,” an Imperial shuttle crashes just outside of Dr. Hemlock’s compound. Omega assists Nala Se, becomes familiar with Emerie, and befriends a lurca hound. She intermittently visits Crosshair to convince him to escape with her. “Paths Unknown” picks up with Hunter and Wrecker as they search for Omega. They bring a Pyke prisoner to Isa Durand (Angelica Huston), head of the Durand crime family and mother of Roland (Tom Taylorson). In exchange for the prisoner, Lady Durand provides coordinates to where Omega may be. On this mysterious planet, Hunter and Wrecker encounter three abandoned clone cadets and a destroyed Imperial base. Mox (Daniel Logan) and Stak, two of the young cadets, refuse to help Hunter and Wrecker, but Deke guides them to the base. There, they’re attacked by sentient vines developed by the Empire. The other two scheme to steal the Havoc Marauder, but ultimately, they respond to Deke’s requests for backup. Together, they overcome the Slither Vines and leave aboard the Marauder. Hunter promises to take the boys to Pabu, where they’ll be safe and cared for. The mission to find Omega is ongoing.

“Shadows of Tantiss” sees the arrival of the Emperor to inspect Dr. Hemlock’s work. Hemlock orders Nala Se to join him in presenting to the Emperor, leaving Emerie in charge of the lab and Nala Se’s tests. Nala Se warns Omega to get out before Emerie tests her blood, pushing the girl into action. Omega asks a reluctant Crosshair to create a distraction for the guards as she disables his cell, freeing him. The Emperor impresses the importance of Hemlock’s work on him as they discuss Project Necromancer. An all-too-eager Hemlock asks for a promotion, prompting Palatine’s response, “All in due time.” Emerie finds Omega missing from her room, searching and eventually finding her and Crosshair in the kennels. Emerie offers to put them back in their respective jails without saying anything, but Crosshair stuns her. Emerie’s beacon informs everyone of the breach nonetheless, and Nala Se is imprisoned as Hemlock sends out the lurca to find the escapees. However, Omega and Crosshair had already gotten out through the kennel chute that used to house Omega’s canine friend. They find the crashed ship from “Confined,” using it as cover from lurca hounds and search parties. “Batcher,” Omega’s lurca ally, defends the pair against her own kind. When troopers land nearby to search, Omega, Crosshair, and Batcher steal it and vacate the planet.

Wow, what a season premiere! The Bad Batch usually shines in season premieres and finales, and this three-parter didn’t disappoint. While I was watching, I preferred “Paths Unknown” to the Crosshair/Omega episodes. However, now I find myself thinking more about “Confined” and especially ”Shadows of Tantiss.” “Confined” contains some remarkable cinematography, if that’s what you call animated shots. The image of Crosshair through one of the bars in his cell is a striking, harrowing idea masterfully communicated. This reminds me a little bit of my favorite Avatar: The Last Airbender episode, season 3, episode 6, “The Avatar and the Firelord.” There’s a sequence in Iroh’s cell when Zuko visits him to confront him about a hint Iroh sent about Zuko’s lineage. Iroh is the one in prison, but the shots of their faces are framed to emphasize Iroh’s spiritual freedom and the confinement Zuko feels. It’s not exactly the same since Crosshair is literally in a cell, but they frame it similarly but zoom in even more on his face. This man isn’t just jailed; he’s broken. This makes complete sense following his experiences with Cody and Mayday in season 2. Crosshair has always been the show’s most interesting character, but some truly harrowing, bleak story beats in season 2 made me love him even more.

The shots of the Durands and the exterior of their palace in “Paths Unknown” are stunning as well. These episodes feature some excellent set design and animation. And I can’t talk about this show without praising Kevin Kiner’s original music. He shines a lot here, the cold, mechanical hiss of synthesizers highlighting the direness of Omega and Crosshair’s situation. Roland Durand has his own theme song that sounds downright regal. What can’t Kiner do at this point?

The Bad Batch season 3

The way the showrunners display the passage of time in “Confined” is brilliant. It’s not exactly subtle; we transition from about three weeks’ worth of hash marks on Omega’s wall to a number I couldn’t count. Omega’s hair is suddenly longer and pulled back into a ponytail, not unlike Emerie’s. I appreciate details like showing how Omega has become compliant over time, at least on the surface. She still sneaks to see Batcher and Crosshair, but she begins saying “good morning” to Emerie and stops pouting. Although she’s outwardly happier, it’s sad because it seems she’s breaking. It’s good she escapes before this can completely happen. One of the most interesting aspects of the Crosshair/Omega episodes is Emerie. She seems to be becoming less robotic as she shows Omega more affection and consideration. This is most apparent when she gives Omega back her homemade doll at the end of “Confined,” especially when Emerie offers to cover for the duo in “Shadows of Tantiss.” I also enjoyed Crosshair’s progression from telling Omega he wouldn’t think twice about leaving her to helping her escape. Of course, he escapes, too, but he easily could have taken Nala Se’s datapad and left Omega in the woods to die.

Crosshair’s insistence that he “belongs in here” is heartbreaking, and if anything, I would have liked more of this. I know two 25-ish-minute episodes isn’t a long time, and a lot goes down. But Crosshair is my favorite, and I love any insight into his state of mind. These episodes left me with questions like, does Nala Se love Omega? I’ve been assuming since season 1 that she saw her as a daughter of sorts. It would explain the lengths she goes to in keeping her safe. But she never shows any outward love or affection to the child despite doing everything possible to protect her from the Empire. Emerie shows more humanity and empathy in her treatment of Omega, but Nala Se’s actions are more in the girl’s best interests. I’m still so curious to see how it all plays out and what is going on in the Kaminoan’s head.

The Bad Batch season 3

 Is Lady Durand a weak leader like Satine was in The Clone Wars? Her brief appearance in “Paths Unknown” shows her dissenting followers, although only one is willing to stand up to her. I love that Angelica Huston plays her. She’s a great actress and has a wonderful voice for these roles. I was excited to see Roland Durand, although I think I had my wires crossed. I thought I recognized him from Rebels, but Vizago, another Devaronian missing a horn, is who I was thinking of. Do we think it’s the same guy using an alias and accent? Anyway, Roland actually appeared first in Bad Batch season 1, unless the two are one and the same. Daniel Logan, who played Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars, also appears in this episode, voicing Mox. I just thought that was a cool connection. I liked the young clones quite a bit, or at least the purpose they served. They draw a contrast between how the Batch treats Omega and how the regs treated their cadets; more specifically, the Batchers see Omega as one of their own, while the regular clones abandoned the regs.

Some final thoughts here: the toothy vine monster that attacked Hunter, Wrecker, and their young companion looked like a vegetable Sarlacc. The teeth and mouth looked exactly like that. I suspect that Project Necromancer involves the Emperor being cloned and Snoke and all of that, which I don’t like. I’m not going to be happy if this ties into the sequels. Finally, Emerie calls off Dr. Hemlock’s attack on the shuttle carrying Omega and her allies because of the blood tests, indicating that she has a high M count. Many questioned if Omega would be Force-sensitive as far back as season 1, and I bet those people are happy now. I find myself in a catch-22 with this. If she isn’t Force-sensitive, what was the purpose of this revelation? But I don’t think every character or even every show needs the Force, so I’m not too excited at the prospect. Will Omega be a Jedi? Will this lead to inevitable “where was she during the OT?” questions?

The Bad Batch season 3

Overall, I loved these episodes. They feel epic and cinematic when appropriate (at the Durand palace) and depressingly claustrophobic in the Imperial base. The stakes are ramping up, and we’re left with plenty to think about. I’m eagerly looking forward to this season.  

The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episodes 1, 2, and 3, "Confined," "Paths Unknown," and "Shadows of Tantiss"

Plot - 8
Acting - 9
Progression - 8
Production Design - 10
Intrigue - 10



I loved these episodes. They feel epic and cinematic when appropriate (at the Durand palace) and depressingly claustrophobic in the Imperial base. The stakes are ramping up, and we’re left with plenty to think about. I’m eagerly looking forward to this season.  

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