The Clone Wars season 4 episode 16 review: Friends And Enemies

Friends And Enemies builds exceptionally well on last week's Deception. Here's Cameron's take on the latest episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars...

This review contains spoilers.

4.16 Friends And Enemies

Last week’s Star Wars prison break adventures continues, and finds Obi-Wan Kenobi, in disguise as bad boy Rako Haardeen, onboard a vessel with bounty hunter Cad Bane and criminal mastermind Moralo Eval.

The tone remains downbeat and unrelenting as the untrusting trio crash-land their ship into the choking bogs and swamps of Nal Hutta – a planet that’s not unlike a cross between Dagobah and Tatooine. As an opening, it’s visually spectacular, but nothing less than the audience has come to expect from The Clone Wars.

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There’s more dazzling imagery to come, but before then we find the escaped prisoners in need of ditching their orange jumpsuits and claiming some new cloth. Amusingly, Bane ditches an Indiana Jones-esque fedora in favour of another hat. But the laughs stop abruptly as the bounty hunter ends his relationship with Rako, pushing him off their leaving ship.

Furthermore, Obi Wan’s new persona is subject to a nasty scene of heavy violence at the hands of several Gamorrean and Nikto guards. The Clone Wars, yet again, bats no eyelids in regards to torture. Though, thankfully for Kenobi, he can now use his Jedi powers to free himself.

On the other side of the galaxy, we find Palpatine suspicious of the Jedi, who are being a bit too sneaky for his liking. Indeed, the Jedi’s plan (concocted by phone-loving Yoda, Mace Windu and Obi Wan) finds itself coming seriously unhinged with Anakin off to find Rako, who he still believes killed Obi Wan. The little green one ponders that this confrontation could see the end of at least one of the Jedi.

Perhaps they’ll learn from this and not keep secrets from their ‘friends’ in the future? Yes?

Regardless, Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano are hot on the trail of the fugitive trio and it’s not long before they find them, leading to another eye-popping treat for the brain. But this is not before we find Anakin in Dark Side mode again. In his quest for information he takes to force-strangling a bartender in the middle of a saloon.

Disturbingly, this is witnessed by Tano, who seems to take as much pleasure in the deed as her mentor does. Last week’s Deception saw some hints of the Sith raise their head and here we find it in both Jedi. It had never occured to me previously that the young Padawan would jump to the Dark Side and one wonders if this is a precursor to a possible shift in allegiances.

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Friends And Enemies is a thought-provoking installment with writer Brent Friedman continuing to throw up challenging ideas and notions, whilst director Bosco Ng (who also wrote The Incredibles short Jack-Jack Attack, fact fans) delivers a number of beautifully crafted moments. None more so the the final few moments as Skywalker and Tano catch up with the Bane, Haardeen (that is, to say, Obi Wan) and Eval.

Amid crashing ships, hand to hand combat and gorgeous lightsaber action, a secret is revealed and evil escapes. It sets up the third part of this arc with breathtaking style.

Read our review of the last episode, here.

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