Air Date: 24 February, 2012
Written by: Katie Lucas
Directed by: Steward Lee
Special Guests: Barbara Goodson (Mother Talzin)
This review contains minor spoilers.
This week’s episode of The Clone Wars is part one of the four-part finale of Season 4, entitled Massacre. Ever since she was betrayed by Dooku (Season 3, Episode 12: Nightsisters) and subsequently by her pawn, Savage Opress (Season 3, Episode 14: Witches of the Mist), Asajj Ventree has been on the run. She returns to Dathomir to seek the guidance of Mother Talzin (wonderfully voiced by Barbara Goodson), and formally joins the Nightsisters. Meanwhile, Dooku has tracked her home, and has General Grievous launch an attack on Dathomir, to enact vengeance against Dooku’s lost assassin. Grievous lands a droid army on the planet, and meets the rather interesting army of the Nightsisters.
Once again, we are treated to the wonderful culture of the Witches of Dathomir. Their interpretation of the Force as magick is remarkable; they do some really cool spells that are reminiscent of Voodoo (in the North American stereotypical way). Mother Talzin and the former Mother are well written and well voiced — I love the background tone to their voices, as if the Dark Side is speaking through them. We see their weapons in action, finally getting to glimpse how their energy bows work.
The battle scenes in this episode are amazing. Grievous lands a massive army on Dathomir that includes a variety of battle droids and vehicles, many of which remind me of the invasion of Naboo in Episode I (C-9979’s landing en masse, fighters flying overhead, MTT’s deploying battle droids, etc.) He also deploys a Defoliator tank, not seen since it was first developed in Season 1, Episode 14: Defenders of Peace. Without spoiling the episode too much, the battle between Grievous’s droids and Talzin’s army was, for lack of a better term, really cool. The pace of the action was quick, with enough breaks in the action to ensure relevant plot points are communicated.
There is one plot point that I feel the need to call out: Dooku needs to avenge the actions of Ventress from Witches of the Mist (which, in turn, were motivated by Dooku’s actions in Nightsisters; the Sith culture is one act of vengeance after another, apparently). Is it really that important to send a massive army and star fleet to attack the Nightsisters for that purpose? Acknowledging that the Nightsisters are worthy foes and might require significant force to defeat, moving a fleet and army that large must have repercussions elsewhere in the war. And why could he not bombard the planet from above, without landing droids? Maybe this will be addressed later, but I did notice the plot hole of bringing such a massive war fleet to hurt or kill one person.
I look forward to the rest of the arc, which will undoubtedly have Ventress retaliate against Dooku, and will bring her into contact with both Savage Opress and his brother, Darth Maul.
Overall, I loved this episode. One of my favorites of the season.
Next: Part 2 of the finale arc: Bounty!
Reviewed by Andrew Halliday
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