The Clone Wars season 4 episode 14 review: A Friend In Need
A standalone episode, and one worth checking out if you've not indulged in Star Wars: The Clone Wars before...
Crikey, I must be a real Clone Wars/prequel nerd. The opening here stated there was going to be negotiations between the Separatists and the Republic and my immediate thought (and excited one at that) was, "Oooo, who are they gonna get for that?"
Turns out that wasn't the most interesting point in the episode, but more of that later. Despite my excitement, the opening few minutes were not as intriguing as I, perhaps misguidedly, had hoped for. It did reintroduce Lux Bonteri whose mother, a Senator, had been killed by Count Dooku's agents in Season Three.
And this is the catalyst for the story - revenge.
His lust to see Dooku dead leads us to the Death Watch, a terrorist cell of Mandalorian Warriors (the Fett family wore their armour, as I'm sure you are aware) who are also keen to hunt down the Sith Lord (Lux has info on his whereabouts). Without spoiling it for you, things don't go to plan.
A Friend In Need is a deceptive little tale (being a one-shot, as it were) with, on the face of it, the gentleness of Ahsoka and political discussions being the lead. However, the Mandalorians are a nefarious bunch and their cruelty and brutish behaviour is explicit. Though they claim to harbor under a "code", the "warriors" burn a village (and its people) in a scene that will raise the eyebrow of the most hardened and violent gamer.
It's a shocking, shocking scene; and up there in the history of Star Wars for its depiction of evil.
The Clone Wars makes no excuses in its portrayal of the Mandalorians and I can't recall quite such an awful bunch of cads. They do, of course, make for a delightful watch and this episode seems to be setting up a story for the future. Especially as female warrior Bo-Katan, voiced by Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Gallactica's Starbuck), only features briefly in a scintillating chase.
On the lighter side are some marvelous moments with Artoo Detoo befriending some fellow droids; repaired after their collective destruction at the hands of the bored Mandalorians.
Infuriatingly, this is not part of a mini-arc, it's just an episode all by itself (though, as I say, with future repercussions). The brilliance of A Friend In Need is perhaps its brevity and I can't recommend this installment highly enough; a great jumping-on point if you've never previously indulged in the animated series.
Read our review of last week's episode here.