Warning: This review contains major spoilers for season 7, episode 4 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
We've reached the end of the first arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7, and I dare say it's about time. “Unfinished Business” is the final episode in the four-episode, clone-centric arc that opened up this long-awaited season, and it neatly ties up what was starting to become a labored storyline, hitting emotional marks that remind us of the clones' sacrifice while giving us a worrying glimpse into Anakin Skywalker's future. In short, it did exactly what it had to do, with very few hiccups.
Aptly enough, “Unfinished Business” is here to finish some business, and by that I mean taking the assembly complex on Anaxes. The Bad Batch sets out to help Rex, Echo, and Anakin get onto Admiral Trench's dreadnought, where Echo will be able to use his new robot body to plug into the Separatist's computers and feed Trench strategies, just like he was doing before his rescue. Only this time, the Republic army will know the enemies' every move, as Echo's on their side now...right? There's a brief, rather shallow sequence where it seems like the Bad Batch's mistrust of Echo is well-founded, but it's a toothless suggestion held up by a few tight shots of Echo pulling a sketchy face. It's rectified almost as swiftly as it's posited, a missed mark considering how the episode ends.
If some of the major beats in “Unfinished Business” feel strangely familiar, it's because they are. The episode opens up with a sweeping shot of the Republic's bustling base on Anaxes that sweeps inside to the Jedi and their ARC troopers huddled around battle plans - it's exactly like the first episode of the season, and it's not the only time this happens. Later, as the Bad Batch, Rex, Echo, and Anakin fight their way into the Separatist's assembly complex, we get the same beats as what seems like every single one of the first three episodes of the season: the team deftly dispenses of droids, Tech uses his tech to break into a door or hack a computer, and the team holds the area to help him do so. It's a tired formula, and one I'm happy to be done with.
Repetition and missed opportunities aside, there are three key pillars of awesome standing high above this episode: Mace Windu's flex, Echo's identity, and Anakin's questionable choice. Mace Windu has some big scenes in “Unfinished Business” and they give him some serious Samuel L. Jackson moments. While Anakin and the troopers are trying to do a hacking on the dreadnought, Mace and Obi-Wan are on the ground leading an attack. When they drop into a hangar full of droids, Mace shows us how he is both intimidating and merciful. Check out his badassery in the clip below.
After what seemed like too brief an adjustment period in episode 3, “On the Wings of Keeradaks”, we finally see Echo struggling with who he is after the torture he was subjected to. Despite their initial distrust of the newly unplugged trooper, by the end of the episode the Bad Batch offers Echo a place among their ranks: "Your path is different, like ours, if you ever feel like you don't fit in with them find us." Rex witnesses this moment, and despite his deep connection with Echo
(who he selflessly protected throughout this arc), tells him to go where he feels he belongs. The final shot of the episode is Echo standing among Clone Force 99, saluting Rex with his robot hand - the rest of the Bad Batch brings their hands up to salute Rex, as well. It's a truly moving scene, and a satisfying "end" to Echo's story - although it remains to be seen how he and the rest of the rejected troopers will fare during Order 66…
But let's rewind here, to what is arguably the most important moment in the episode: a glimpse into Anakin's near future. While the troopers are on Admiral Trench's dreadnaught, the spider Separatist realizes they're feeding him bad information and decides to flip the switch. Literally. That eight-legged freak planted a bomb on Arrakis and is going to blow the entire thing sky-high. Echo and company get Mace Windu a portion of the code to turn off the bomb, but are interrupted when Echo gets an actual shock to the system as the Separatists figure out where the team is. Anakin sets out to confront Trench himself, in what becomes a somber bit of foreshadowing that sends chills up the spine.
Anakin corners Admiral Trench and demands he give him the codes, but Trench says he'll be murdered by Count Dooku if he does, and begins to explain why that's a fate far worse than what the Jedi can do, considering their moral code. He's interrupted, however, by Anakin slicing off three of his legs. "I don't have such weaknesses," Anakin snarls, his brow furrowed in a look that is both a beautifully horrific mirror of Hayden Christensen's face in Revenge of the Sith and a testament to this new season's animation improvements. Anakin, your Vader is showing.
After getting the codes by way of torture, Anakin is temporarily electrocuted by Trench before putting a saber through his chest. He walks away, cooly throwing "Admiral, it was a pleasure" over his shoulder. That Anakin thoughtfully nabs a detonator to give to Wrecker so he can scratch his itch for blowing things up may be a nod to the good that still exists in this young Jedi, but it's also a terrifying dichotomy. Anakin's moods shift far too quickly and we all know that will be his demise.
This was a good season 7 episode, but that Anakin moment really pushed it into greatness. Next week, we'll get the first batch of truly new Star Wars: Clone Wars content, with an Ahsoka Tano arc I've been waiting for.
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