2.4 Senate Spy
(NB: This episode broadcasts on Saturday 14th November in the UK)
As many men, as many guns and, in the case of The Clone Wars, lightsabres, AT-AT’s and a good blaster are usually the things required to take into a battlefield. But for those who are proverbially sipping port twenty miles from the front line playing the long game, there are much subtler ways to win a campaign.
While Yoda, Mace and the rest of the Jedi council are no Kitchener and are more than willing to get their hands dirty from time to time, cunning, guile and intrigue can be used more effectively than ploughing troops into a situation, and this week the machinations and political manoeuvring do, indeed, take over as Yoda finds that the power of a pretty smile and a bare mid-riff are equally useful in a war.
While said mid-riff, thankfully, is not Yoda’s, the Jedi master is willing to use every tactic to find out what the Droid army, Separatists and banking guild are up to and, as such, the Jedi this week take a back seat as Padme is used to infiltrate the opposition, using all her womanly charms to get the information required.
Playing a former colleague, Padme is asked by the Jedi council to rekindle an old relationship with a young senator called Clovis who purposely looks like a Star Wars-like hero mixed with a high-school Jock. While Padme is more than happy to take on this mission, Anakin once again shows his bull-headed nature, not wanting to put Padme in danger and to go the more direct route with getting the information required, while also trying to feign that he and Padme are not together.
With Padme proving to be more than capable of beguiling Clovis, she is asked to attend a meeting with him with Nute Gunray on ‘official’ business, but it’s obvious that the young senator has more on his mind that just business.
Jetting off, Padme is escorted by C3-P0 and a disguised Anakin who, dressed as Naboo pilot, is sent to see that the mission goes to plan. But with Clovis trying it on with his love, Anakin proves his jealous nature by overstepping his mark as an escort and, at times, stopping Padme doing her job of getting close to Clovis and the secrets he has.
With official business with Gunray quickly moving into Separatist-based talk, Padme is soon dismissed, but follows and overhears the information she needs involving hidden Droid army factories. Easily finding the plans and information she requires, the mission, it seems, is an easy win. However, Gunray is mistrusting of her and, not blinded my lust, poisons Padme, blackmailing Clovis and covering his tracks with the Separatists.
Jumping into action, Anakin manages to save Padme, and rather than the usual shootout, has to work begrudgingly with Clovis to save Padme’s life. Rushing off to get medical attention, Anakin leaves Clovis to his fate with Gunray which, after getting his help, seems a bit harsh.
With this continued underlying self serving purpose, the writers of the show are slowly but surely making the eventual turn of Anakin that little bit more believable. An angry glance here, a little dash of jealously there, and leaving potential future allies to an unknown fate due to jealousy are all small elements that are sowing the seeds of future deeds.
While not as breathtaking as the last few episodes and with the action drawn back a little, the episode still packs a punch, showing that not every episode has to be full of explosions, ships, battles and shows of military might to be impressive.
With the emphasis and tone moving away from space battles, the visual designers could really cut loose in other areas and concentrate on other things such as the architecture and lush surroundings of Gunray’s palace being great examples of some superb and keen design work.
Once again, the series holds some real quality and for a CG-based show has a lot of depth, being both well written and beautifully rendered.
Read our review of episode 3 here.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is showing every Saturday on Sky Movies Premiere and Sky Movies Premiere HD.