Saturday, November 13, 2010

Season 3, Episode 9 - Hunt for Ziro


That's a bit more like it! The ninth episode of season three picks up the pace decidedly from the last few episodes. Chronologically following the debut of Cad Bane (the season finale from Season 1, Hostage Crisis); Hunt for Ziro follows Obi-Wan Kenobi and the screen debut of EU darling, Jedi Quinlan Vos.

I've made no secret of my dislike of the Ziro the Hutt character. From his original introduction in The Clone Wars movie to his subsequent appearances, Ziro is simply an ill-conceived character. He's silly, he's mildly offensive (the big city Hutt is sexually ambiguous and swishy). He makes Jar Jar Binks seem like a breath of fresh air.

How fantastic, then, to see the creative team focus on his creepiness, as opposed to his silliness. His love scene with Sy Snootles is nothing less than audaciously vile: weird in a way that actually made me laugh out loud.

Her eventual betrayal of him is perfect, of course. It reinforces the dangerous world of Jabba's palace. The Hutts have lost a whole lot of steam in The Clone Wars series. Jabba's "son," and the silly looking Hutt Clan, Ziro's Mamma, and Ziro himself...they all contribute to the Hutts as sight gags, as opposed to dangerous criminals. In this episode, the split the difference nicely. Ziro is wicked and manipulative. Sy Snootles? A murderer. (The death of Ziro gets this episode an extra half star from me, just for giving me the satisfaction.)

The episode was full of imaginative touches. The dance sequence homage to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; the mummified Hutt; the nasty little lizards that crawl on Mamma the Hutt. It had a sense of whimsy and ideas that I really enjoyed.

Furthermore, we meet Quinlan Vos at last. For me, his debut was fun, if not iconic. Obi-Wan refers to him as "crazy" but I never really understood why he was more brash or distinct from, say, Anakin. I'm hoping they can go a bit further with that aspect of his character, but I liked him well-enough.

The action sequence, though, between Vos, Kenobi and Cad Bane was easily the best action sequence of the season and, I would say, among favorite action sequences of the series. Bane comes off as creative and dangerous, and it was a thrill to watch him and the Jedi leap and tumble through the new (and intriguing) world of Nal Hutta.

One hope for Vos is that now we have a character whose adventures can be new to us. He's a loner, he's got a history to establish (I loved that they made reference to a previous run in with Cad Bane), and he's got unique powers. I look forward to Vos-centric episodes, and maybe, an extended rivalry between him and Bane. It's set-up here perfectly. I hope they see it through.

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


David D. said...

Yep, this episode rocked. One of the best of the series.

And I was also very glad to get rid of Ziro, even though it seemed like they finally used him sort of well, in his last outing.

Anonymous said...

The battle between Bane, Obi-wan, and Vos took place on Teth (the planet from the Clone Wars movie), not Nal Hutta, just saying.