Warning! Spoilers ahead for The Bad Batch episode 12, “Rescue on Ryloth.”
Clone Force 99 and Omega are back in the pilot’s seat in this week’s episode of The Bad Batch. Episode 12, titled “Rescue on Ryloth,” was about just that — helping a young Hera Syndulla rescue her parents from Imperial custody after they were framed for an assassination attempt on the planet’s senator.
The episode picks up where last week left off — with Hera on her own and out of allies on Ryloth as the Empire’s Vice Admiral Rampart rounds up Cham Syndulla’s confidantes and labels them as traitors. In a last-ditch attempt to free her parents, Hera contacts Omega and the Bad Batch to beg for their help.
The holo of Hera crouching and moving her hand in front of Chopper to send the holomessage of “I need your help” is strikingly similar to the scene of Princess Leia sending the iconic “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” holo via R2-D2.
The Bad Batch episode 12 ending explained
The last two episodes of The Bad Batch have centered on the importance of family and trustworthy friendship — really, much of the first season has focused on these themes. And while this two-part story arc sets up a sure-to-be epic showdown between the Bad Batch and their former comrade Crosshair, it also gives a touching glimpse at the moments and people who made Hera into the courageous and kind general we loved in Rebels.
“Rescue on Ryloth” is based chiefly on Hera’s mission to rescue her parents, Cham and Eleni Syndulla, from custody in the capital city. Omega, having already formed a quick, easy bond with Hera in their short meeting in the last episode, pushes Hunter to take up the rescue mission. When Hunter balks, saying it’s not their place to intervene, Omega counters by saying if the tables were turned, she would do whatever it takes to rescue him and the other Bad Batchers.
In similar scenes, Clone Captain Howzer struggles with choosing between his duty as a soldier of the Empire and his love for his found-family in the Syndullas and people of Ryloth. It’s clear he cares for them and wants to make sure Hera is safe, but it isn’t until the end of the episode when he makes a (literal) stand against Crosshair’s squad and the Empire after helping the Bad Batch and the Syndullas escape the planet.
Did Howzer and his squad defy their inhibitor chips?
It’s a quick but intense moment: Howzer opening the doors to face more than a dozen troopers and Crosshair alone, giving an impassioned speech about the real purpose of clone troopers and how they need to stand against the Empire iron grip. Surprisingly, several troopers drop their weapons alongside Howzer, but they’re all promptly cuffed and taken into custody as traitors.
Besides the Bad Batch and Rex, we really haven’t seen any other troopers resist or remove their inhibitor chips, which are designed to make them steadfastly loyal to the Empire’s commands. It begs the question: Is Howzer’s chip defective? How did he resist it? How many other troopers are able to resist their chips?
It’s not clear if Howzer and the other arrested troopers could resist Order 66 and not try to kill a Jedi if one were to pop up, but the scene presents an intriguing side story of clone resistance. They surely won’t be the only clones who resist and rebel against the Empire.
Rebellion is on the way
For much of the Bad Batch, the Syndullas’ rescue was just another mission. But for the Syndullas, what happened on Ryloth was sowing the first seeds of the coming rebellion against the Empire.
As the two groups say their goodbyes, Eleni and Cham poignantly explain that Ryloth isn’t the only planet resisting Imperial control. There are planets all over the galaxy being taken over and their citizens subdued. But, there are also many people fighting back.
When Hunter says he just wants to focus on protecting his family right now, the Syndullas tell him the conflict will soon become something they can’t avoid. The Bad Batch will soon have to make a choice on who to fight for.
Back at the Imperial refinery, the Bad Batch and Hera blew up (a rescue mission with this crew is anything but quiet and subtle), Crosshair and Rampart are seething over Howzer’s betrayal, the Syndullas’ escape and the Bad Batch being the masterminds behind it. Crosshair requests permission to “hunt them down” and Rampart grants it, ending the episode on a foreboding cliffhanger.
Crosshair hasn’t been part of the Bad Batch since the first episode, and his most recent encounter with his brothers left him with burn scars and an even worse attitude. All of his previous attempts to hunt down his brothers haven’t panned out, and it’s clear Crosshair is just getting angrier, letting his dark emotions consume him.
What’s next for the Bad Batch?
This two-episode arc sets up an intense and emotional remainder of the season. It’s probably safe to assume the rest of the season will continue to lead up a showdown between Crosshair and the Bad Batch, as well as the troopers of Clone Force 99 having to choose where they stand in the looming rebellion against the Empire.
While we know the fate of some of the characters seen in this first season, we don’t yet know where the Bad Batch ends up in the Galactic Civil War and beyond. Will they stand and fight against their oppressors? Or will they mind their own business and keep a low profile as Hunter suggested?
Throughout the season, the Bad Batch has faced some of the cruelties of the Empire and met people resisting the regime’s grip. They may not want to join another war, but every mission in their journey has dropped them in front of both Imperials and rebels. Their priorities and ideologies have clearly evolved.
The rest of the season will tell if those priorities continue to track in the more rebellious direction and if they can save Crosshair from the Empire and himself.