REVIEW: The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episodes 4 and 5, “A Different Approach” and “The Return”

“Why? Why is there always a huge monster?”

Last week, I was moving, and despite my love for this show, I just didn’t have time to review “A Different Approach.” So, to keep things relatively on track, we’ll be taking a look at both “A Different Approach” and this week’s new episode, “The Return.” 


In “A Different Approach,” Omega and Crosshair crash on a new planet, Glau, their stolen shuttle having sustained serious damage. Meanwhile, back on Mount Tantiss, Dr. Hemlock orders the vessel to be tracked. He informs Nala Se of these developments and warns her about her fate in light of Omega’s escape. Omega decides to hustle people at cards to get enough funds to leave the planet. However, Batcher and Omega’s uncanny skills draw unwanted attention, and an Imperial officer takes the hound captive. Naturally, Omega refuses to leave her new friend behind, regardless of Crosshair’s protests. Despite his misgivings, Crosshair eventually follows Omega to bust Batcher out. They’re quickly discovered, and the officer informs them that his plan wasto lure them with Batcher. After all, the Empire is after two clones and a lurca hound aboard an imperial ship. Omega finally relents, allowing Crosshair to do his thing. This is the turning point; using his sharpshooting, he takes them out, and some crated animals are inadvertently freed. A tentacle beast drags the officer to his death. Omega sends Hunter and Wrecker a message to meet, facilitating a heartwarming reunion with her and an uncertain one for Crosshair.

“The Return” opens on Pabu as Crosshair trains with his rifle despite his shaky hand. Echo arrives to get any Intel Omega and Crosshair have on Mount Tantiss. Omega reveals much about her time there, but having been a prisoner, Crosshair doesn’t have anything to share. This only deepens Hunter’s mistrust of Crosshair, but Wrecker is just happy to have him and, especially, Omega back. Crosshair suggests they visit the Outpost where he was stationed, and after some arguments about who’s going, the whole crew heads there. Tensions run high as Crosshair won’t reveal anything about the Outpost or what happened there. However, he and Hunter are forced to work things out when the team is attacked by a giant beast.

Bad Batch A Different Approach

I don’t find “A Different Approach” that interesting, to be honest. I like it well enough for what it is, but I don’t think it’ll be one people re-watch very often. It feels weird to say that about the episode where Omega and Crosshair reunite with the Batch, but that’s one short scene at the end. I will talk about that scene shortly. One other thing I found notable about “A Different Approach” is Captain Mann, voiced by Harry Lloyd. I’m not overly familiar with Lloyd, but he is an English actor and voice actor with quite a few credits to his name. I looked into him because, despite being a one-off character and another crooked Imperial, Captain Mann has a gravitas and charisma that really intrigued me. He’s also the only fat Imperial I can remember at the moment, though I could be wrong. I just really enjoyed this character’s voice and screen presence. It’s almost a shame he dies in the end and can’t be used again. Liam O’Brien from the web series Critical Role plays the bartender droid. I just found that fun. By the way, I was initially annoyed by Omega’s talent at gambling. I actually forgot about her time with Cid, I guess, as that explains her abilities and why they’re focused on so much. The biggest downside to “A Different Approach” is the subplot on Tantiss, specifically that it’s not really a plot at all. We don’t learn anything new in these scenes. Dr. Hemlock just warns Nala Se that her future is uncertain, which we already knew. What purpose does this portion of the episode serve?

Bad Batch A Different Approach

The three-part premiere had a lot going on, and I regret that I forgot to mention Crosshair’s shaky hand. This is a major development for a character who defines himself solely on his abilities as a marksman. Crosshair was vital to his brothers and, later, to the Empire as a superb sniper, but his eagle eyes are moot without the ability to take action. Whether he likes it or not, Crosshair, like every other clone existing outside the Empire’s control, has to find a new life. He can’t just be the sniper anymore; he has to reinvent himself. This can be scary, but sometimes, losing your identity is the greatest opportunity to become something better. It can be hard to open up to change until you lose everything and have no other option. I love this character; he’s always the most interesting person in the room, and episodes without Crosshair feel like they have a hole in the middle. I can’t wait to see what he becomes.

Bad Batch A Different Approach

Crosshair and Omega having to work together is diverting enough. They play well off each other, even if, at times, it feels like things would be easier if Omega would just unleash the beast and let him do his thing. Omega’s reunion with Wrecker and Hunter is touching, but my favorite part of the episode is Crosshair’s reaction to seeing his brothers again. He stands alone in the illuminated corridor of the ship he and Omega escaped on while she stands with Hunter and Wrecker in the shadow of the Havoc Marauder. It’s such a striking image: him alone contrasted with the group together. Crosshair’s theme gets a particularly tragic version here as well, and that’s saying something after some of his episodes in season 2. Kevin Kiner consistently kills it scoring Star Wars animation, and I hope he never stops. Another gorgeous shot of animation comes when Crosshair and Omega are waiting to meet the others, and we see two planets in the background. This shot could be hung in a museum.

Bad Batch A Different Approach

“The Return” is a fantastic episode, a great example of everything I enjoy about this show. The plot summary wouldn’t make you think so; it’s the usual case of the Batch going to a different location and fighting off some obstacle to gain more intel. But “The Return” is paced remarkably well, the action is pretty good, and most importantly, it pays off the building tension between Hunter and Crosshair. This episode is also chock full of great dialogue, like Crosshair’s explanation to Omega of what being a sniper is really about. The exchange between him and Echo is great, too; “What, no hug for me?” “That depends on how good your intel is.” This was a rare laugh-out-loud moment in a show that has mostly become deliciously bleak. Then Omega asks Hunter, “We’re finally together, and you want to split us up?” when he wants to send some Batchers to the Outpost and keep others aboard the Marauder. Echo also remarks that encryption will be difficult without Tech. This is simple yet just bittersweet enough to crush your soul. Now, I just need Crosshair to acknowledge his fallen brother.

Bad Batch A Different Approach

I have only one gripe with “The Return,” and it’s very minor. Omega still has Nala Se’s datapad, and Echo mentions that they can get it back online and hack into it. Wouldn’t Dr. Hemlock/the Empire be smart enough to deactivate the pad precisely so that doesn’t happen? However, this little issue is greatly overshadowed by some tremendous moments in this episode. I love the scene where Wrecker gives Crosshair his old armor back; it’s genuinely really touching when he steps out of the Marauder in it. This segues into another, almost uplifting rendition of Crosshair’s normally bleak, sterile leitmotif. I was also touched by the scene where Crosshair finds the old clone helmets and lines them up properly. “The Outpost” was one of, if not the best, episode of last season, and returning to this location is great for Crosshair’s character. It also leads beautifully to him explaining what happened here, telling Hunter exactly why the Empire imprisoned him. The circling bird is even overhead again, paralleling Crosshair in its fruitless, repetitive task and lonely existence.

Bad Batch A Different Approach

I would give “A Different Approach” a 7. I enjoyed it well enough, but overall, I think it’s just okay. A couple of great scenes and a compelling villain elevate an adventure-of-the-week story. However, “The Return” is, fittingly, a return to form. This is an excellent episode that deserves a 9/10.

The Bad Batch – Season 3, Episodes 4 and 5, "A Different Approach" and "The Return"

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



I would give “A Different Approach” a 7. I enjoyed it well enough, but overall, I think it’s just okay. A couple of great scenes and a compelling villain elevate an adventure-of-the-week story. However, “The Return” is, fittingly, a return to form. This is an excellent episode that deserves a 9/10.

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