(Full Spoilers Below)
After last weeks phenomenal episode, I had huge expectations for this episode. And while it got off to a weird start, Shades of Reason definitely didn’t disappoint.
Continuing with Pre Viszla and Darth Maul’s alliance that started last week, Shades of Reason picks up with their acquired army beginning their assault on Mandalore. But instead of Death Watch attacking themselves, Maul suggests they use their new army, and Savage, to attack certain key locations to spread chaos and fear through the civilians.
And then, in a rather ingenious way, Pre Viszla would come and rescue Mandalore from its attackers; something Duchess Satine wouldn’t have been able to do without breaking her pacifist code.
I really enjoyed the way they set up their plan, and was looking forward to some truly amazing set pieces. However, the first half of the episode, with the various gangs that Viszla and Maul now control, attacking Mandalore felt a little weird.
Along with being rather rushed (an unfortunate side-effect of being a thirty-minute show), the whole ordeal felt a little silly. Not near as silly as some previous episode felt (cough:Bound for Rescue:cough) it still felt weird seeing the various gang members walking around Mandalore with their chests puffed out.
But once Death Watch stepped in, things got very, very cool. I’ve always loved Pre Viszla, and it was actually exciting being able to see him so easily take control over the civilians of Mandalore.
Jon Favreau has done a great job capturing the many, subtle aspects of Viszla’s character, and he unsurprisingly did a superb job portraying Viszla as the finally conqueirng hero he’s always thought of himself as.
Of course, we all knew this couldn’t last. As smart as Viszla thinks he is, there was no way he could’ve overthrown Satine and the Zabrak brothers and still end up on top. And in truly epic fashion, Maul and Savage, after being locked up Viszla, make their escape and begin to plan their own coup.
With the help of previous, disgraced Mandalore Prime minister Almec, Maul and Savage formulate a plan to overthrow Viszla and take control of Mandalore.
I have to take a brief moment and compliment the animators for once again for their incredible work here. It’s amazing how powerful they portray Savage and Maul as, and even the way they animated their prison break was breathtaking. The Clone Ears truly has some of the best animation out there.
By challenging Viszla to a one-on-one duel, Maul knew he would be able to defeat Viszla and take control of his troops. And, well, you can probably guess how awesome that duel ended up being.
The amount of ferocity and intensity exhibited by the two almost equal opponents was shocking, and I absolute loved seeing Viszla switch between his many weapons in the midst of combat. But, of course, Maul had to come out on top.
While Viszla put up a truly amazing fight (and, also, I think that was the longest duel the show has has had this far), Maul defeated him, and in an appropriate, conqueror kind of way, decapitated Viszla with his own blacksword.
Do people seriously still think this is a kid’s show?
I especially loved seeing Bo Katan (voiced by the ever awesome Katee Sackhoff) running off with several of Viszla’s faithful after Maul’s victory. I look forward to seeing what plans she has planned for payback (hopefully they involve Obi-Wan), and fingers crossed she survives next week’s ordeal, as she’s a very cool character.
Shades of Reason, although starting out on a slightly odd note, was a great episode. The final confrontation between Darth Maul and Pre Viszla was the best moment of the season, and easily one of the best of the show. If the ending was anything to go by, we’re going to be in for quite the ride next week.