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Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 2 Episode 10: The Deserter

What is it ? : Continuing from the last episode, Grievous escaped to Saleucami (I actually totally missed that they were still chasing him, I thought he'd totally gotten away already), and Obi-Wan is sent to capture him, along with Captain Rex.
Obi-Wan chases Grievous towards a crashed Separatist escape pod with communications gear aboard that he can use to call for rescue.
During a skirmish with some Droid Commandos, Captain Rex gets shot and wounded, and is taken to a nearby farm to recover in safety while his squad continues to pursue Grievous and his forces. The farm is occupied by a Twi-Lek woman, and her two human/twi-lek children, who agreed to look after the Clone Captain while he is incapacitated, and during the night they are joined by her husband a Clone Deserter.
The Clone, Cut Lawquane, had deserted after the battle of Geonosis, unhappy with his life as a killer. Rex argues that Cut abandoned his real family, his Clone Brothers, but after realising that having a family is something he desires as well he softens to the idea, and after the children are tracked home by some Droid Commandos, he helps defend the family against them, before departing in the morning, claiming that in his wounded state he'd probably forget to report the deserter.

High Points : This is another excellent episode, as many featuring the Clone Troopers are.
Dealing with another Clone Trooper rebelling against their fate is excellent, especially one with a more relatable reaction like Cut has. Having watched my way through Rebels, I'm aware of Captain Rex's fate at the end of this series, and seeing his growth, distinct from the similar Commander Cody character. For being identical Clones, Rex is the more compassionate, inspiring character than the by the book Cody, and its really interesting having Clones be distinct individuals.

Droid Commando's are back, and although they're beaten a little easier in this episode, they still make a credible threat in a way Battle Droids never do, and in their defence, they are heavily damaged from their crash from orbit, so aren't performing at their best.

Oh, and I've never seen Twi-Lek/Human hybrid before (their Lekku are a little stumpy), and I've never seen a Twi-Lek the colour of Cut's wife before (Purple), which adds to the spectrum of Twi-Lek colours.

Low Points : General Grievous displays his talents at leadership through smashing Battle Droids up. When his Battle Droid escort complain they are running out of power and need to recharge, he complains they're using their power too quickly, and smashes one up for telling him it's because they're walking while he's riding on the back of a beast. I thought for a moment he was going to be clever, and tell the other droids to use the smashed ones batteries, however he wasn't that smart and just threatened them with destruction unless they got a move on. The next scene shows numerous droids collapsing out of charge. Grievous is a terrible terrible tactician (then again, so generally are the Jedi, so he may actually provide a credible threat for them), and proves once again that he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near command.

So what do you really think ? : A very enjoyable episode, which would have been better with less of Obi-Wan tracking Grievous, and more on Rex (and possibly other Clone Troopers) reacting to the deserter, his family (Clone Troopers do seem to have a natural protective nature towards children) and his situation. A fantastic exploration of some of the questions we've all had about the Clone Army, and it's implications.

Final Words : The Clone Trooper episodes are definitely among the best in the series, with the Troopers actually putting the human face on the war in many ways. These are the foot soldiers and cannon fodder in the wars, without the lofty ideals of the Jedi. And these are characters who can develop and grow between episodes, whereas we all know where Obi-Wan and Anakin are going to end up, so no growth is possible. I'm really starting to look forwards to these episodes when I see them coming up.

Score : 8.5/10

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