Season 4, Episode 17: The Box
Air Date: 3 February, 2012
Written by: Brent Friedman
Directed by: Brian Kalin O’Connell
Special Guests: Stephen Stanton (Moralo Eval), Dave Filoni (Embo, Jakoli)
This week’s episode of The Clone Wars is called The Box. It is part three of the four-part Moralo Eval arc. Continuing from the end of last episode (Friends and Enemies), Obi-Wan Kenobi, still disguised as bounty hunter/assassin Rako Hardeen, journeys with Moralo Eval and Cad Bane to Serenno to meet Count Dooku. Kenobi/Hardeen and Bane join a group of bounty hunters who must brave The Box, a gauntlet that tests the skills and strength of anyone inside. Eval designed The Box to ensure that Dooku hired only the best bounty hunters for their next mission: kidnapping Chancellor Palpatine.
Overall, this episode had a lot to offer. The Box itself was an interesting place, with walls and floors that shifted to reveal deadly traps. The action of the episode reminded me a lot of playing great Star Wars video games, such as Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, and the room designs reminded me of Valve’s Portal 2. The bounty hunters were from a variety of cool species and included familiar face Embo (from Season 2: Bounty Hunters). Cad Bane was treated very well in the episode, with his opinion of Hardeen shifting as his survival skills are demonstrated. The character of Moralo Eval was interesting as well; in the previous episodes he was the criminal mastermind, but he cowers, almost snivels, before Count Dooku, which lowers Cad Bane’s opinion of him.
There were some plot points that grated on me. First, we are 75% through this arc, and still do not have a clear idea as to Moralo Eval’s plan to kidnap Palpatine. All we know is that he plans to use bounty hunters and to do it when he’s visiting Naboo. This is not a plan that requires a criminal mastermind to be broken out of prison. There must be more to it, and I would have liked to know by now. Another question is the whole point of The Box. Was it necessary to pay bounty hunters to perform this challenge, and then pay them again for the mission? I understand the concept of confirming that everyone is up to the job, but surely there are easier ways. Last, despite the fact that they are in the same room, Dooku does not recognize Hardeen as Obi-Wan. Even if the physical disguise worked perfectly, Force-sensitive individuals can sense each other. In the films, Vader could sense Obi-Wan when he was on the Death Star, and could sense Luke on Endor. Anakin and Obi-Wan could sense Dooku on the Invisible Hand. Why could Dooku not sense Obi-Wan? All he said was that Rako Hardeen was “different”, but later dialogue implied that this was based on his fighting and survival skills, not The Force.
That said, plot holes aside, I really enjoyed watching this episode. The action was cool, the characterization was interesting, and the whole experience made me feel like I was playing a video game, and that makes me smile. I look forward to the conclusion of the arc.
Next week: The conclusion of this arc, Crisis on Naboo!
Reviewed by Andrew Halliday
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