(Full Spoilers Below)
After two less than stellar episodes, I was very glad to see The Clone Wars deliver this week with a very enjoyable and exciting conclusion for the Jedi younglings.
Picking up mere moments after the end of last week’s episode, A Necessary Bond was all about Ahsoka and the younglings trying to find their way off Hondo’s home planet, which is now under General Grievous’ control.
I liked the way they handled the flow of the episode, and it moved from scene to scene well and it wasn’t’ to busy or to slow. And Grievous’ presence on the planet actually making sense was nice as well.
Like I said last week, I’m generally a fan of Grievous, so I was very disappointed when he was thrown into last week’s episode without any discernible reason. His inclusion this week made more sense, and was a nice turn of events that actually significantly added to the episode rather than detracted from it.
Much like Grievous, I’m a big fan of Hondo, but he has been such a confusing character these past few weeks that I’ve found myself groaning every time he switches moral sides. I understand and appreciate him being a kind of grey area character, but a little more consistency would be nice.
How he went from being fine with killing kids, to suddenly bonding with them, is beyond me. With that said, I was glad to see Hondo return to form this week, and loved how he acted as a kind of crazy uncle to the younglings, especially Katooni.
Oh, and I have to comment on how awesome it was seeing Slave I. I’m always a fan of The Clone Wars adding nods to the movies, and I’m really excited with the possibility of Boba Fett reclaiming his ship from Hondo sometime soon. Big props to Dave Filoni for adding in that awesome bit of fan service.
In what has been a pretty inconsistent story arc, the younglings have had scenes that elicited laughs one week, and groans the next. But in the end, I was happy with the way they finished their story and enjoyed them throughout the whole episode. Outside of Katooni’s rushed and kind of anti-climactic lightsaber construction, the younglings were at their best this week.
Oh, and Huyang was back and talking, which was definitely great. His back-and-forth with Artoo was great, and definitely reminded me of Artoo/Threepio banter, which as you can imagine was great.
Ahsoka’s battle with Grievous was a highlight, and I love seeing how much she’s improved in combat since the show started. I felt like she was used perfectly this week, and she balanced the role of teacher and warrior very well. Props to Ashley Eckstein for showing us how much Ahsoka has matured through the way she handles herself.
Another major highlight was when Grievous’ droids attacked Ahsoka and the younglings. I loved finally being able to see the younglings show their worth in combat, and they had some great teamwork action going. The whole ordeal was very well-executed and extremely exciting to watch. Oh, and Hondo with a sword was awesome too.
By hitting all the right notes, and delivering both action and character development, A Necessary Bond delivered where it counted and was a very action-packed episode that is actually among my favorite of the season this far. If only the entire young Jedi story arc had been this great.