If there was more that you were hoping would be in this review, I can assure you it's covered in the recap, which you can visit by clicking the episode link at the top. With nearly four thousand words between the quotes, the recap, and the review, there was a lot to say about this remarkable sendoff for the season.
If that sounds like the perfect culmination of many of the themes that Bad Batch has been exploring over the course of Season 2, that's because it is. Written by award-winning writer, Moisés Zamora, "Retrieval" brings many of the themes and motifs that have been simmering in Bad Batch's second season, boiling to the surface in profound ways. Zamora's script anchors the episode in Omega's perspective and her budding relationships with these new characters, such as Benni, and as a result, is able to explore the outright need to do right by not just her family but the galaxy at large drives both her and the Batch itself.
Similarly, "Retrieval" is able to dig even deeper within the larger Star Wars galaxy. Mokko, the gluttonous and indulgent leader exploring the labor of this society acts as a microcosm of the Empire's own tactics. Thus, in an episode that does not feature the Empire's presence at all, the crux of the entire emotional journey of the main characters directly correlates to them finding an even greater reason to continue their crusade against the likes of the Empire across the galaxy. It's a fantastically well-written episode that brings the characters' internal conflicts into the external world in a startlingly effective and affecting fashion.
Visually, director Steward Lee knocks this thing out of the park. It's a breathtakingly cinematic episode of Bad Batch, one that makes absolutely ingenious use of lighting and scale. This subterranean city in which so much of the episode takes place feels gargantuan, thanks to Lee's framing and the sculpted lighting, which is used to accentuate it all so well. This, in conjunction with Kiner's tremendously monumental score, sells it as a vast and fully-formed location, which pays off tenfold in the episode's finale. Simultaneously, there is impeccable action throughout the episode, especially a quick burst of hand-to-hand combat around the midpoint that sees Hunter going toe-to-toe with a security droid in a very precarious location. It's fast, full of momentum, and tightly edited.
Dee Bradley Baker continues to be mindbogglingly great voicing each of his characters, showing off ever-deepening diversity and range with each new episode. Michelle Ang steals the spotlight Omega this episode. Ang has carefully= allowed her performance to blossom alongside Omega's character arc throughout the series, and the result is a fully-realized, deeply endearing character and performance that feel so true to the very core of Star Wars.
"Retrieval" is a phenomenal episode of Bad Batch, one whose incredibly cinematic visual language and animation highlights the ingenuity of its script and its incredible performances. Star Wars animation has rarely been better than Bad Batch is right now.
Reviews of each individual episode of Star Wars The Bad Batch Season 2. Each article breaks down a single episode and analyses its story, digs for secrets and easter eggs and explains how the events of the episode and scenes featured in it relate to and reference the rest of the Star Wars franchise!
Now that the second season of Star Trek: Picard is over, it appears that all the twists and turns paid off and the puzzle pieces have been put into place. In some regards, the finale does a pretty good job of fixing some of the mistakes and missteps that were made throughout the middle episodes of Picard's second season.
That's not to say that the way everything that was tied up with a neat little bow was done expertly. There are still some problems with this Picard Season 2 finale mostly because it appears that the writers wanted to leave a good taste in everyone's mouths. There is love and loss and some rather interesting relationships along the way. It's certainly a better way of carrying out the story than what previous Star Trek: Picard episodes had to offer. On the other hand, it was quite clear that in wanting to make sure there are no loose ends, some of the ways the storylines were tied up felt sort of rushed. Perhaps if previous episodes hadn't spent so much time treading water and instead worked at moving the story along, this episode could have been a little better.
Right at the top of the show, the crew of the Stargazer is coming to grips with the fact that they're going to be left in 2024. Off the bat, it seems a bit strange that no one appears all that sad about the fact that they are living in a period of time they have little understanding about. They also have no home and no plans. The show treads a thin line with this as it's absolutely true that spending 20 minutes with Seven of Nine and Raffi complaining about the fact that they got stuck in the past would be annoying and would waste what was already a hurried episode of Picard. On the other hand, it feels as though the 30 seconds it took for the crew members to resign themselves to their fate was just a bit too unrealistic.
While Kory's story was getting wrapped up, so was Dr. Soong's and while his villainy seemed cartoonish at some points of Season 2 of Picard, credit does need to be given to Spiner for making him at least a decent bad guy who was smart enough to provide a real roadblock to the crew every now and then. This particular episode featured him mostly realizing that he was beaten, but still trying to somehow hand onto victory in the fact of his defeat. Granted, the audience didn't get to see his reaction when he was defeated for the final time, though it's a safe bet that would have been weird and over the top anyway.
Speaking of wrapping up a story, after several episodes where Q was barely there, John de Lancie gave a performance that continues to show that no only is he great as the godlike being, but he seems to really enjoy playing him. It's also a testament to the show that the way it wrapped up this season and also wrapped up the story of Q was done so well that it really does explain why he's been "haunting" Picard since the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This installment of the Star Trek universe has always been best when Picard and Q were going toe-to-toe and fans of the franchise now have some serious closure when it comes to just why they were going toe-to-toe in the first place.
From the very beginning of Star Trek: Picard, the show has been one that has been all about the fan service. Certainly, there have been times when it seemed to ignore plot and story in order to try and squeeze people into the show just so fans could ooh and ahh and point. That definitely happened one more time when it comes to the season finale of the show, but at least it also gave the fans the chance to see some characters that may not appear on screen as a member of the Star Trek franchise again. More than anything this episode was a decent goodbye to several characters, despite the fact that the main star is coming back for one more season.
P.P.S. I know most of you will binge-watch this new season, but for the sake of everyone, please discuss only what happened in the episode that is being recapped, so no spoilers about later episodes in the comments section! If any spoilers are listed, we have the right to delete them. Thanks!
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