It’s a quiet time for Chopper Base. Most of Phoenix Squadron has left to engage in practice exercises, in what can only be the lead up to the assault on Lothal. Hera has left Zeb in charge with AP-5, Chopper, and a small skeleton crew. Zeb is looking forward to some easy times and AP-5 wants to use the time to inventory the rebels supply cache.
Of course, nothing will go as planned or else this would be a very boring episode. A perimeter sensor goes out and Zeb goes to investigate. He quickly discovers a powered down droid who is much more than he appears to be. The episode seems simple enough with a fairly straight forward plot. As soon as I finished watching this episode I could already hear the internet moaning and groaning nonsense about “filler episodes.” While this episode did not give us deeper meanings of the Force, or an all out assault on the Empire, it was a fun episode that did give Thrawn and his objectives a huge push.
The stand out star of this episode is Stephen Stanton’s AP-5 and Steve Blum’s Zeb. They have some fantastic verbal sparring with AP-5 scoring some hilarious one-liners. It says a lot about the writing and acting on this episode that these characters essentially carried this episode by themselves. The rest of the crew feature in only the very beginning of the episode and the end. I really enjoyed seeing Zeb in more of a leadership role, while he’s not a brilliant engineer or tactician like others on the crew. We see here that he does have a good head on his shoulders, is capable of leadership roles, and we get a brief glimpse as to what he must’ve been like leading the Honor Guard in his previous life on Lasan.
The Imperial Infiltrator droid is an interesting spin on the probe droid concept. I can see some possible advantages over the standard Imperial probe droid, but not many. For the most part, they do not seem to be as efficient as a probe droid. The droid does have the ability to blend in and hide as well as a formidable weapons package, but the lack of a long range transmitter seems an odd choice for an Infiltrator. It would seem to me that the Empire could potentially lose contact with these droids rather easily. It seems Kallus felt much the same way, as he did not start an investigation when the droid missed a check in. The Infiltrator still made a good enemy for our smaller group of heroes to fight and posed a unique set of challenges since it seems they are used to standard probe droids as well.
I really hope that Agent Kallus does not gamble. He has the worst poker face possible. He all about announced his presence as a rebel spy in this episode. It would not surprise me if Thrawn already suspects him. I think Kallus is a great character and I like seeing his arc change over the course of the show, but even by Star Wars standards, he is a terrible spy.
What really makes this episode special is the last 2 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, the episode was a ton of fun and I loved the writing and the dialogue, but what really made this it stand out was the way Thrawn deduced that the Infiltrator must’ve encountered the Rebels and that he now has their base narrowed down from thousands to just under a hundred. We’ve had a lot of build up with Thrawn over the season and it’s time for the stories to start building into his endgame, this episode did just that.