събота, 14 януари 2012 г.

Dan Grievous reviews "A Friend in Need"

My most hated part of the episode with a little joke!

What an underwhelming episode! Please, do not leave after this statement... there were little good things in thise episode!

Right from the start of the episode we got our first issue - we begin with Padme and that is never a good sign! I don't remember the last time we had a good episode that opened with Padme! The only ones that were did not begin with the words like "sanctioned meeting" and, for instance, in Season 1's really good episode "Blue Shadow Virus" Padme right away ventured in a hazmat suit to search for trouble ( I know I hate when she is asking for trouble everytime by going into the lion's den). Now she is just in one of her episode III dresses (this is the one she wore on the balcony when Anakin accused her of being a Separatist). By the way, I do not like Padme but I like how well most of the outfits she has translate from the movies into the show. 
The start of this episode almost doomed it as I expect more TEA-rrible moments on Mandalore.
Mandalore's main city still looking like a huge zit on the planet's surface! 
Then I, not the viewers, I get stupidity on the CIS side of the story. Instead of investing time into the movie Separatists like Tambor and San Hill, the show loves to give us a few seconds of these idiotic, "made in an afternoon" cameo losers! Seriously! 
Then we get a stupid statement from our resident hypocrite Padme Amidala. I am surprised that the show still wants more of her in this season. I think we had enough of Padme in "Shadow Warrior" where she clearly showed a huge (place rude gesture of choice here) to the entire pacifist nature that she claimed to have. SO how am I supposed to believe that this bimbo wants NO war since she gladly continued this war cause of her love of Anakin!? 
BY THE WAY ( sorry for chewing this political scene so much) why does the the Republic even call this meeting with woman with stegosaurus plates on head, brainy guy who is voiced again by Corey Burton and Not-Shu Mai gossam representative since Palpatine/ Padme know that the CIS "senators" would bring up the only question that the Republic lackies are afraid to answer?! Padme knows that the senators against her wanted something like this before and would agree only to return to the Grand Republic if that request is granted. So why would she call this meeting (knowing of this separatist request) and then have a "DOH" look when the separatist ask her that very same question to recognise them as a legitimate government?! 
Of course, our bimbo in distress is spared the embarassment by the entry of one Lux Bonteri who enters loudly like he enters a pub. 
Then Satine has her "I am too important to talk to you but proceed to the stand" moment and Lux starts his speech like a normal senator and then... he goes BERSERKER MODE! I mean I know he had a plan but WOW! 
Then brainy goodie two-shoes separatist who I want to die a most painful death soon orders his droids to take away the psycho Bonteri. And they do with Ahsoka doing what she does best - sneaking ninja-style!
Then we get the next in a long line of painful Dooku appearances and he basically shows in this scene how much of an A-hole he is. This is what the show does with villains these days - put Dooku in, give him a boring statements like "I am EVIL, EVIL, blah blah blah!" and then proceeds to delay the death of the one who stands before him. The same he did in dozen previous episodes like in the "Escape from Kadavo" and "Kidnapped" episodes where he prolonged the Jedi/ heroes' life long enough so they could win/escape! 
Dooku, you officially are my most disliked and hated villain on this show! Go somewhere, do not show yourself and return for Episode III! (do a Dick Cheney move) 

Dooku, you are annoying so just go **** yourself!

Lux traces the signal ( what a convinient deus ex machina) and then the droids proceed to strangle Lux, I guess, cause they have no weapons. How the mighty have fallen! 
The show or writer in this case has turned these once powerful droids that made the Jedi have a hard time into basic B1s who get defeated by a simple kick and that is what Ahsoka does and takes Bonteri.
Is it me or if these people here start being an item, Ahsoka will be the one with the pants in the family. I mean look at how rough she pulls Lux. Yes, Ahsoka, he was coming so you did not need to rip his arm off. ( he even massages his shoulder cause of the rushed pull by Ahsoka).
The when the doors open we get a useless shot to show how empty is that part of the ship. 
Then we get a short chase, some Senate Commandos square off against droid commandos and then our heroes fly off! And the Senate commandos for once did not all die like flies but maybe they did that after the transition of the scene. 
We get an amazing cameo by our frequent dumbass Anakin Skywalker and I must say I was amazed they squuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuezed him in. I would have loved to see a Padme headlocking the brainy separatist and talking how Ahsoka ruined everything thus creating a brawl between Senators! WOW! Can you imagine Mon Mothma going all The Rock on us and beating the living daylights out of those silly separatist.
On the ship, Lux does not want to join the Republic (Why does he not want to go) Ahsoka gets zapped again by someone this season! Yes... Season Four: Electrocuted Jedi! I ROFL-ed hard there!

Then she wakes up and sees Lux is waiting for the Mandos to come and take him to their settlement. And what a shock, the very advertised Bo-Katan arrives and proceeds to do the most unexpected thing in the episode: 
Slap Ahsoka on the butt and start an Akon music video! No... I am kidding, she does that cause Ahsoka says she is bethroved to Lux a synonim for fiánce! 

But here is my question: 
Do you proceed to slap your friend's wife on the ass if your are told that she is your friend's fiánce?! Of course, NOT!
If Christian Taylor had used a different term or position towards Lux, it would have been better!
Like having Lux saying that she is his Echani bodyguard and then Bo proceeds to play the drums on Ahsoka's bottom. 
Or the final theory - Bo has a lesbian tendencies! 

So they are taken to the camp of the Death Watch. (With nice music from Kevin Kiner, a rare happening) Man, is this a letdown as well. The last time we saw them I could not wait to see the Battle of Mandalore as there were dozens upon dozens of Mandos with Pre Viszla  and now the Death Watch looks like a bunch of armored hillbillies!

Then Bo-Katan leaves our heroes in a tent where they will meet Pre Viszla and Lux then provides exposition  to his plan. Then Ahsoka starts to babble on and trying to blow their cover but when Lux sees Pre coming. Then he does the thing many fans are devided on: 
He KISSES Ahsoka for a few seconds that makes Pre Viszla himself question if they are not interrupting something but, at least, Lux managed to make Ahsoka shut up!
Some fans are annoyed and disgused about, others like it.

I myself like the character of Lux Bonteri over most of the good guys and would like for this rebel to be the love interest of Ahsoka. Let's fact it, before this scene Ahsoka was usually linked to that jerk Anakin but now thanks to Lux we have somebody likeable to associate her with. I welcome that. 
Many times you judge somebody on the crowd he/ she is part of and now I have started to think of Lux and Ahsoka more than Anakin and Ahsoka.

The next scene with Pre getting the tracker of Dooku's location really, really pissed me off! WHY!? 

Look into my face and see what you missed! ARGG!

The reason is how Pre Viszla explains that he is no longer in good terms with the stupid Count Dooku and explains that the two even had a fight where Dooku scarred him, I am sure, with his lightsaber. My gripe with this is not that Pre looks different and not as classy as before but how little story of the scar could have been a 1000000000000000 times a more interersting episode/episodes in S3. I mean the first thing I said to myself was that while we were deep into Tea bulls**t and Corruption on Mandalore, we could have seen Mandos vs Droids and battle between Dooku and Viszla himself. Now that would have made S3's dreadful first half better for sure!

AND I must say that Pre Viszla is the best thing in this episode and I loved every minute with him!
Then we have a scene of R2 making friends with the poor messed-up droids in the camp that are used as target practice and I must say that these droids were the only thing I found emotional and sympathetic. Not the lazy humas we see later, not Ahsoka and Lux but the metalic killing machines that now have been reduced to walking targets for the Mandos to shoot. 
And we get our most FORCED theme in this season - slavery. The droids out of nowhere start talking that they are slaves. Yes, Season Four: The Slavery Issue!

We meet some innocent girls who are from a village close to the camp who are as boring as possible. 

Then Ahsoka is turned into a waitress and makes funny banter with Lux. I must say I enjoyed the words "choke on your stupidity" but now Pre calling her "your woman"! :D 
But right after that we get more boring characters to see and hope to die. We are presented to the leader of the Ming Po who are basically the most basic chinese stereotypes you can find. Chinese/Japanese/Eastern culture/ style is beautiful and I love to see more but not here and now. That wouldn't be a problem if this was some other series but in the trivia section of the official guide, it was originally stated that we were going to get the infamaous Yakface race. I must say that this is the second time the show leaves out an element of the episode on the floor that would have been 10 times cooler. (last time it was TIKKES) 
But the reason for the leaving out the Yakfaces seemed more normal than "canon issues". Official explanations say that these Ming Po were meant to be more relatable and sad to see suffer. Here is the thing:
the original Yakface looked sad and sympathec in the movie "Return of the Jedi being seen here. And these Yarkora would have made the episode a little better cause Star Wars is famous for its cool aliens!

Look into those eyes and tell me you wouldn't shed a tear!

 I must say I find its wet eyes and long face, sorry for the pun, to be more moving that these lazy characters that, frankly, I would have been happy to see them burn! But anyway...

The chieftain ( can you believe were are getting another chieftain this season) is rude, demands of Viszla to get out and leaves. Here is the thing, chieftain, when you are rude to people who look like a bunch of armored , you ask to be stabbed and your family to be slaughtered.

So the following morning, we get Death Watch visiting the Ming Po and BAMB the girl that Ahsoka met a few scenes ago gets stabbed and was I cheering cause I did not like her.
Pre proceeds to do the villain of the week-thing and tells his men to destroy everything/everyone!

Pre Viszla - Epicosity at its finest

This was a cool scene! The show does manage to get scenes of death and killing to look very cool and epic!

Then Ahsoka takes action and makes most of the mandos to shame. That would mean that she is better than Obi-Wan got his Jedi robe handed to him by these guys and now Ahsoka does not even break a sweat!
But ultimately is captured and back in the camp Pre proceeds to execute her but R2 comes to the rescue.

This is a priceless look and says "If you are crazy and you know it, clap your hands!"

 He does he trademark "R2 goes mental" move from "Revenge of the Sith" and distracts the Death Watch. Pre is pushed aside by Lux and Ahsoka (given Lightsabers by R2) does something that I did not expect the show to ever do - she does quadruple beheading.

*And they DO show the heads falling! Funny note: This is on the same idiotic channel that censored Ventress's kiss of death but they left this in.

Pre starts dueling Ahsoka and they go outside where the "droid army of missfits" is ready.
Then the music goes epic on us and wants us to feel that this as an amazing climax.  Pre Viszla gets bested by Ahsoka and our heroes flee to their ship. Bo-Katan and crew are sent to stop them but fail.
While the chase is on, Ahsoka falls on the side of the speeder and does something that we wold only see in a Looney Toons cartoon ! lol 

It is like something from Road Runner!

But all funny moments and Bo-Katan failings aside, the heroes make it to the ship and run away!
Now, in previous episode the villains would be in Lux/Ahsoka's place and would be driven off/ captured. Stopping the suffering of the local population. 
The heroes leaving like that would mean that Death Watch are still on the same planet. They could just decide to go back to that village and finish the job they started. So for me that is hole that makes the end weaker.
Speaking of the end, we got to the end with Lux still talking dumb things that he is not going to Coruscant and he departs with Ahsoka. Not before doing a romantic "hands on the glass" cliché that we have seen so many times before in media. 

Ah! Love!

Still I DO NOT get this fake "I can not come with you" attitude from Lux! Ahsoka's backing him, Anakin seemed welcoming of him and so I do not see the reason for Lux's pointless departure! But hey, whatever, they will make a big deal in S5 about the return of Lux.

The episode ends on Ahsoka's turning back.

So... was this episosde good for me?! NO! 
The setting was wrong, the story was wrong, most of the characters were wrong. The writing by Christian Taylor was weak. Overall I felt the episode went nowhere and added nothing except the fact that Lux and Ahsoka are officially an item now... maybe! Oh, and the fact that we were reminded that we missed out on an awesome possible episode with Dooku vs Pre Viszla but, hey, you can't beat episodes about a poisonous tea! So in short, there were parts of the episode that annoyed me too much!

But to its credit, the episode looked beautiful and the mandos were animated very nicely. Pre Vizsla was the best thing for this episode and the poor droids were the only thing I felt sympathetic to.

So I would give it a 5/10 in the end!

Thank you for reading and May the Force be with you!!!

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