Written by Sean Foster, Fanboy Comics Contributor
Monday, 28 January 2013 06:33
This episode continued on with the awesomeness this week, even with its unbalanced first act. The Sith Bros. and the Death Watch make their way to Mandalore, so Pre Visla can overthrow Duchess Satine. Who knew all it would take was a few gangsters causing a ruckus and the incredibly convenient arrival of Death Watch to stop them? Of course, they are in cahoots, with a plan that was well executed but felt rushed given the short period of time spent on it in the episode. I took it for what it was, because after the last 4 episodes with Plankton and the Droids, I want my action now. Fast and furious.
Speaking of the Droid Arc, and after watching the last 2 Maul episodes, it makes me even angrier that Clone Wars isn't like this all the time. I didn't vent as much in my previous reviews for that arc, because I just didn't care. Hell, I still haven't even finished watching the 4th episode! I didn't care for the arc and the less I thought about it the better. Then, we come back in full force with this Maul/Death Watch insanity, and I can't help but think to myself, "Why is it not always like this?" The Droid Arc served no purpose and focused on minor characters that no one cared about (sans R2 or course). I get that it's a kids' show, but, let's be honest, what child would rather watch a bunch droids pulling 3 Stooges routines over Darth Maul, Death Watch, and Bounty Hunters kicking a--?
Easy answer: They wouldn't!
So, while the lamesauce of the Droid Arc enhances the awesomesauce of the Maul Arc, it still should have never happened, or at least been reduced to two episodes primarily focusing on R2 and Gregor. The other two episodes would have been fleshing out what we're seeing now. More time on Maul and Pre Visla recruiting Black Sun and such.
But, back to the good stuff. After I got over the whole "gangsters take Mandalore" plot device, things kicked into high gear, and we got one of the best episodes of the season. I say that for several reasons and before I go off into Spoiler territory where some of you will follow, I will say this episode has one of the best, if not THE best, lightsaber battle The Clone Wars has offered.
I'd say it was almost worth sitting though Droids to get to this moment. As a die-hard Boba Fett fan from a young age, I take great pleasure in watching Death Watch tear up the screen. But, to actually see Maul challenge Pre Visla to a duel was beyond awesome. Maul is clever. He knows an honorable Mando like Visla will never turn down a challenge in front of his men, and baits him into a fight for leadership. What follows is an incredible display of lightsaber vs. darksaber that had my geek blood boiling. Visla's tactics with the flamethrower, jet pack, and cable wire were well executed and made me really wish THIS was the fight we would have seen between Obi-Wan and Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. And, when it all came down, Pre Visla was killed. The camera shot panning across the backs of the Mandos as Maul raised his blade and sliced, was visually brilliant. Bo-Katan's reaction really sold it for me, too. These two had a deep history, that much is clear, and I'm glad she separated herself from the others and went her own way (with a loyal few joining her). I mentioned last week that Katan would be a character to watch and this episode proved it. With Maul in charge of half of Death Watch and Katan the other, it seems The Clone Wars' creators were setting her up to be Visla's successor, which I'm totally cool with. I will miss Visla, though. He showed how truly lethal he could be these past few episodes, so I'm glad he at least went down in a blaze of glory.
Things will only pick up from here in the next few episodes as Maul is now in control and Sidious makes his entrance . . .