“Bound For Rescue” is an episode that is equal parts fun and serious. It’s easily the best episode of season 5 since the premiere almost two months ago. So far, the plot line of this story arc has been interesting, but it just hasn’t included enough action or major characters, as it focuses only around a group of younglings and Ahsoka.
This episode continues that arc in an excellent fashion. After Ahsoka was captured by Hondo Ohnaka, the younglings are left floating in space, with their droid mentor Huyang disassembled. The episode kicks off with the younglings finally building their lightsabers, a point which this entire arc has led up to. And this scene is a really cool scene. Seeing the younglings craft their lightsabers with the Force is really awesome.
Before this, though, they had managed to contact Obi-Wan, who told them to stay put, and that he would dispatch Commander Cody to rescue them. But that plan doesn’t work out, as as soon as Obi-Wan orders Cody to leave, a Separatist fleet under the commanbd of General Grievous exits hyperspace and attacks Obi-Wan’s fleet, halting all actions.
This side story is where most of this episode’s action occurs, and having that action added is a nice addition to the episode, especially since it provides a more serious backdrop to some of the younglings escapades.
While Obi-Wan is busy battling Grievous’ fleet, the younglings decide that they have to rescue Ahoska. The fact that their ship is unstable practically forces them to land on Florrum, which is the nearest planet to them. This part of the episode is entertaining and really fun.
What it does really well is bring out the personalities of each of the characters. It showcases how Petro is a lot like Anakin Skywalker in many ways. Both his arrogance and his skill as a leader come out really well in this episode. The other character that we see come out more is the Tholothian padawan called Katooni. It’s striking how similar Katooni’s and Petro’s relationship is to Anakin and Obi-Wan’s. While Katooni is more of a pacifist, Petro is more arrogant and rash. Yet they’re really good friends. And it’s a really interesting dynamic that ends up working quite well.
The episode starts to get really fun when the young padawans run across a traveling circus. This offers them the perfect opportunity to enter Hondo’s fortress discreetly, as acrobats for the circus. It also gives the viewer the chance to see what Jedi, even Padawans, can do with the force. And they do. Some of the moves they do are really awesome, and the way they deal with a (very drunk) Hondo is actually pretty funny.
Meanwhile, the battle isn’t going too well for Obi-Wan. The Separatists manage to board his cruiser, and this provides some really awesome action scenes. The initial battle in the hangar is pretty cool, but it’s when Grievous enters the fray that the battle really gets good. His brutality comes out in this episode, with him cutting down clone troopers left and right. One of the scenes that is really distinct is when he stomps a trooper’s head into the ground, and breaks the troopers neck with his foot. The next shot, of Grievous standing in front of his troops and Obi-Wan standing in front of his, is an amazing shot, and looks great.
And then we get the first lightsaber duel of the arc. And Obi-Wan/Grievous battles are always, always, awesome. But, then again, it’s hard to go wrong with lightsaber duels, in both an animated format and a live action format. Grievous beats Obi-Wan though, which I always find annoying, as it seems the show underplays Obi-Wan’s prowess.
Obi-Wan and his surviving troops retreat tot he escape pods, and set the cruiser to self destruct. But why they warned Grievous, I am really not sure. I understand that he has plot armor and the show’s creators need to keep him alive until Revenge of the Sith, but Obi-Wan warning Grievous about the imminent destruction of the ship was slightly out of character, even for Obi-Wan. Still, this segment of the show provided some awesome action scenes, some of the first in this arc, and the only really large scale battle space battle we’ve seen yet this season.
The conclusion to the other story line is also satisfying, and provides some good action as well. As the padawans free Ahsoka, and return her lightsabers to her, the Jedi attack, igniting their newly forged lightsabers. The Weequay pirates go after them, since they knocked out Hondo, but to no avail. Their speeders are destroyed, and the pirates cannot pursue the Jedi once they make their exit in a pirate tank. The episode ends with Ahsoka telling the padawans that falling instructions doesn’t always lead to the best outcome, and then them speeding away towards their ship.
“Bound to Rescue” is easily the best episode of star Wars: The Clone Wars since the premiere. It offers some excellent action, and moves at a very rapid pace. at the same time, however, we see some of the padawans (namely Katooni and Petro) developed a little bit more, making them characters that a lot of viewers are now more interested in watching. Plus, the showcasing of adult themes on this show (Grievous’ brutality, Hondo drunk) never ceases to amaze me, and the fact that they get away with it is pretty awesome. On the downside though, there’s no Huyang, who I felt would be a recurring character, but I guess not. Also, Obi-Wan seemed a little out of character warning Grievous, but that’s really just nitpicking. When all’s said and done, “Bound for Rescue” was an awesome, well done, and entertaining episode.