Monday, November 8, 2010

Season 3, Episode 6 - The Academy

Following on the heels of Corruption is The Academy, an Ahsoka focused episode. In The Academy, Ahsoka has been brought to Mandalore to educate the elite children of Mandalore about, you guessed it, corruption. The kids get into all sorts of trouble, Scooby Doo style, as they try to figure out how high up the government the criminal element goes.

Prime Minister Almec, featured in each Mandalore episode, features prominently here too, along with Satine as well. Those characters are especially effective, and Ahsoka isn't as terrible as she is capable of being. Still, the incorrigible youngsters at the center of the episode's action didn't exactly thrill me. They felt light-weight and expedient, and barely distinguishable from one another. Also...Cadet Korkie? Really?

Certainly, there's little doubt about who the villain turns out to be if you've watched the previous episode or you've watched a mystery in your life. I will admit, though, that the final act of the episode was played in a more harrowing way than the opening of the episode led me to expect. So, whatever half star I might remove for giving Ahsoka so much to do, the creative team gets back in making our heroes appear to be in real jeopardy.

All that's done well here, though, falls prey to the same general malaise I felt when watching the previous episode. I love Star Wars (I mean, no one's paying me to write this blog, folks) but episodes about Smart Alec kids saving an entire planet from bad guys just leave me cold. At the end of the episode I though: Okay what moment was new, exciting, shocking, grand? Even retreads like Grievous Intrigue - which offer little new plot - have action and spectacle on their side. Here, though, between plucky Ahsoka and her kiddie Cadets, I felt no such resonance or sense of wonder. Just a workmanlike episode in an oddly workmanlike season.

Ratings (out of five): ** 1/2

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