14. "Replacements" - episode 3
"Replacements" falls as our number 14 out of the 16 episodes in the first season. Now, why does this episode find itself lounging near the bottom of our list, you ask? Imagine you've been on a thrilling chase through space, dodging blaster fire and making narrow escapes. Then, suddenly, you decide to park your starship and have a picnic in the middle of a minefield. That's "Replacements" for you.
It takes a wee bit of a breather from the non-stop action, choosing instead to dive deep into the camaraderie and internal struggles of our favorite clone squad. While it's like finding a moment of zen in a lightsaber duel, it doesn't quite deliver the same adrenaline punch we've grown to crave.
In episode 3, our gang finds themselves dealing with the aftermath of their escape, needing to repair their ship while simultaneously dealing with their own internal and external conflicts. It's like a space opera version of a team-building retreat, minus the trust falls (though, arguably, there are a few literal falls). Sure, we get to see the Bad Batch work through their differences and grow closer as a unit, which is heartwarming and all, but in the grand scheme of things this episode plays it safe, almost like taking a nap in the middle of a marathon.
It's an important episode, sure – everyone loves a good nap – but it's not exactly what you signed up for when you laced up your running shoes. Or, in this case, when you fired up your jetpack.
13. "Common Ground" - episode 10
Leet's chat about Episode 10, "Common Ground." This episode, if you ask me, is like that quiet kid in class who doesn't say much but, when they do, it's surprisingly profound.
It's nestled smack dab in the middle of a season that's more packed with action than a Jawa's sandcrawler is with scavenged droids. "Common Ground" takes us on a little detour to the planet Raxus, which is sort of like the high school of the Empire's most enthusiastic supporters, except now they're starting to question if they signed up for the wrong club.
Why does "Common Ground" sit at number 13 in my grand ranking of "could-be-better" to "this-is-the-way" episodes? It's simple, really. While it's not throwing punches, dodging blasters, or racing through space in an epic dogfight, it's busy teaching us a lesson about, well, finding common ground. Our favorite dysfunctional squad of genetically modified misfits is tasked with helping a former Separatist senator, which is kind of like asking a cat to babysit a bunch of goldfish. It's unexpected and a tad uncomfortable for everyone involved. This episode serves up a hearty meal of moral themes, showing us that understanding and empathy can bridge the widest of divides, even in a galaxy far, far away.
However, amidst the backdrop of high-octane escapades and galactic shenanigans that define the rest of the season, "Common Ground" is like a peaceful stroll through the park. It's nice, it's refreshing, but it might not get your heart racing like the other episodes do.