This review contains spoilers!
Obi-Wan, still in disguise as Hardeen, flees into space with Bane and Eval. Hardeen crashes their stolen ship into swampland on Nal Hutta in order to sink the ship and cover their tracks. Eval thinks this is a smart plan, but Bane is is still suspicious. They head to the city and buy new clothes. Bane is abusive with the shopkeeper over weapons he wants to buy and threatens him. That crazy Bane – he just can’t get along with anyone! Hardeen is tasked with finding a new ship. Bane tells Eval on the sly that he plans on ditching Hardeen as soon as they get another ride.
A ship is found and Hardeen puts a tracker on it. Bane kicks Hardeen off the ship and delivers him to the authorities, who are looking for the person who assaulted the shopkeeper. They hang Hardeen from his feet and torture him for information on his partners. Hardeen offers them the tracking frequency for the ship – it is en route to Serenno, which is where Dooku has directed them.
When it becomes clear that Hardeen won’t be released, he uses the Force to free himself from the foot restraints, quickly knocks out his guard and escapes. He contacts the Jedi Council, telling them to remove the bounty for Bane and Eval. Obi-Wan thinks this will help him win over Bane. He also tells them not to rescue him, no matter what they may hear.
The bounty is removed and Anakin is upset. Palpatine eggs on his anger, suggesting that the Jedis don’t trust him enough to include him in their decisions. Palpatine encourages Anakin to stop the plot against him by capturing the outlaws on his own. Meanwhile, Bane and Eval return to Nal Hutta. Bane attacks Hardeen for tracking them but Eval agrees to make Hardeen a full member of the group.
Ahsoka and Anakin arrive on Nal Hutta and head for the saloon. Anakin surprises Ahsoka by immediately choking information out of the bartender without trying to ask questions, but she doesn’t intervene. Mace Windu tries to contact Anakin through Captain Rex, but Rex won’t give up any information. Palpatine announces that Anakin has gone after Hardeen, and that Mace Windu should have more faith in him. Yoda is concerned and wants to warn both – warn Obi-Wan that Anakin is on his way, and to warn Anakin that Obi-Wan is still alive.
Anakin and Ahsoka see Bane entering his ship as they arrive at a filling station, and the pursuit begins. Anakin jumps onto their ship and Bane goes out to meet him, hoping for his chance to kill a Jedi. Anakin and Bane fight on top of the ship, barely keeping their balance. They topple off, and as the two ships crash land, Ahsoka is temporarily knocked out. When she reawakens, Anakin is fighting Hardeen (and fighting dirty with a knee to the groin!), but before he can kill Hardeen, Bane joins the fight. A battle ensues. Hardeen has to fight Anakin and make it look believable. Before he chokes Anakin out of consciousness, he intones in his ear, “Anakin, don’t follow me.” Anakin passes out, but Ahsoka is now back in action, defending herself and her master. Bane (who acts more and more like a cowboy out of a spaghetti western the farther you get into the episode) flees with Hardeen and Eval. Anakin awakens and tells Ahsoka that Obi-Wan is still alive, and that together they will find the truth.
Is it too late to bring Anakin into the light? I get the impression that the damage is already done. Palpatine has already begun to worm his way into Anakin’s psyche, taking advantage of the lies the Jedi Council told in order to build a wedge between them and Anakin. Palpatine is actually right, which makes me uncomfortable. They should trust Anakin, and they should have told him about Obi-Wan’s fake death. How can he ever be expected to trust them again once he knows the extent to which they will lie to him?
This was another strong episode in which we see the beginnings of how things get so twisted. Palpatine is testing out Anakin’s strings, and the distrust is growing between Anakin and the Jedi Council – and between Anakin and Obi-Wan, I’d wager. I’m anxious to see how this progresses next week!
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Deception’ recap.