сряда, 6 февруари 2013 г.

Dan Grievous reviews "The Lawless"

Ok..... here it is!

A review by Dan Grievous.... WOOOOO - you say. It is more of a dare since people are confused cause of what I say about "THE BEST EPISODE EVAH".

Where do I begin..............

We begin at the prison with Satine being rescued by Korkie and his friends that we have not seen since Season Three. How could we have?! Since the Mandalorian stories have been limited to a nice 3-parter in S2, an abysmal S3 pair of episodes that gave us the Cadets and Almec, and a cameo by Mandalore in S4 with the lame piece summit with the hippie "non-separatists".  
So we get a return from character that we really did not care that much of in the first place, but one good thing comes with them - a lot of badass moments with Bo-Katan. She surely showed in this opening chase why she deserves the fandom she is getting.
After a very good chase, our heroes get to the docks and Satine calls for help. 
From these scenes (until Ki-Adi-Mundi and Yoda refuse to help Mandalore) is where few of my main issues with the episode and arc come from:

- there is no sign in the prison of captured criminals that were enough in number to be seen later as cameos. This arc wasted an entire episode ("Eminence") to get these criminals and they do not even show them as cameos in "The Lawless" - kinda in the same way we got some shots of Umbaran soldiers during Rex's visits to the brig in the Umbara arc. And don't tell me that there was no time since there were several shots of Mando guards in the prison, walking around and could have seen the criminals to show them where they are.
And even if they are still on Mandalore or dead or whatever. 
The total disappearance of the crime lords from the arc shows how hollow and "just for fan service" they really were.

- The disappearance of the cadets was another thing. They were brought in, but later it is reported that everybody that was with Satine had escaped. We do not see them with Bo-Katan so where are they!?
This is another problem that is quite obvious in the arc. Since it is quite rushed and packed to the brims with things, it does not have time to do things right and many elements from the story are either just skipped over or are gone without a trace - something that was not a problem at all in the previous stories. For instance, there were no such holes in the Droids arc story. 

- One final thing that bugged me before we got to the palace with Maul - the "Massacre" of Mandalore?! 
The hell did she talk about?!?! What massacre?! Another problem that comes from the rushed pace of the arc...
Satine complains about a massacre, but when the last episode has ended we got the feeling that all is fine in Mandoville and that people are happy that there was a return of the warrior ways. There was indication of any unrest. People seemed happy with Almec's final speech. Sure, the people were puppets that were controlled by a puppet of a Sith, but nothing like the stuff on Onderon seemed to happen. Now, in "The Lawless" Satine speaks of massacre - which for me really comes out of nowhere cause it changes the tone of the happenings and it makes up for a totally dickish Senate and Jedi Council. If you miss the "massacre" part then you would see why the Senate would not intervene in a bloodless change of power.


- The mention of the Jedi brings me to final first complain or nitpick - the uninterested mood of the Jedi or Senate. It is really something strange after events of S3 and S4 that involved the Republic getting involved the business of neutral systems. 
In previous seasons the Republic/ Jedi were ready to get involved with Mandalore any way possible - if the CIS was involved did not matter much. In S2 the Republic was ready to go in and bring order only cause of Death Watch. In S3, the Jedi sent Ahsoka in to train Mandos and before that Padme showed that she cared for Mandalore. 
Now in S4, nobody cares for Mandalore... NOBODY! Not the Senate, not Republic army, not the Jedi council and not even Ahsoka or Padme are not shown to give a damn about the planet - another flaw from the rushed pace. The show advertised this arc as THE TCW arc and yet when all these important events happen, nobody is shown to care about the tragedy.
And I know that TCW did say that the Republic does not get involved in internal affairs of planets that are about trade disputes.
But the Republic have gotten involved with planets that were in trouble and, especially, suffering planets like Aleen in Season 4. Here is where my problem comes about Padme not being even mentioned. She was shown as a good friend of Satine and yet she was not even shown to react and do something like in Season 2. Padme has shown that she can help troubled planets... but whatever!

None of these things made sense...

All in all, the Duchess is captured and in prison and nobody cares for some contrived reason.

Then we get to the meat of the arc - Maul luring Kenobi to his location and capturing him AGAIN.
This is why the Maul thing in the show does not work - he does nothing else, but try to get back at Obi-Wan and he does it in the same way in both his appearances - in S4 and S5. 
He is happy of the reports that Almec gives him, but then we have to be shown once again the dumbass grin of Savage that wants me to vomit. 
Maul... again... is oversure and happy that Kenobi is coming and so he waits. 

At the docks, Kenobi does arrive in the Twilight and in a very nice classic Star Wars-y way gets into the city...

One thing I "love" and am annoyed at is that the show has found a million excuses not to put my favorite Separatists in, but the crew can manage to fit in Moogans anywhere they can and this moogan was not accident since this whole arc is trying to justify the horrid episodes about Mandalore in S3. 

Kenobi frees Satine. Yay, somebody freeing Satine again for the last 5 minutes. But it all backfires... Maul catches up with the escapees... again at the dock. MAN, TCW crew sure loves using this dock as a place that everything happens in the stories of Mandalore. 
Maul makes a lame entrance and Kenobi reacting as slow as possible. This arc really tried to make Maul seem like a menace, especially with toning down the strength of others so Maul would seem invincible. 
Main thing that really made me kinda sad is that they destroyed the ship "Twilight" - a kinda of a symbol of TCW killing off all that was once awesome in earlier seasons.

Maul's facial expressions were awful - he IMO is the most cartoony bad guy on this show. 

Speaking of killing awesome things from previous seasons, we find Obi in the palace listening to another hammy speech from Maul. God! I was so happy that we got over this arc cause there is a certain amount of hammy speeches that I can take from an annoying character as Maul. SO ANNOYING...

The most well-done moment was one of the saddest deaths on this show - the death of Satine. The music, the animation and the dialogue in this scene were perfect.

This was such an important moment that I wished was focused more on and not just skipped over like a death of a random tactical droid. It needed to be more talked about and given more weight. I know it was heavy, but nobody really showed any reaction - positive or negative - to the death of the Duchess. 

I will really miss the Duchess, she truly was an amazing character IMO.

She was such a beautiful and interesting character that has done nothing to anybody...

Then with a rushed transition to Coruscant we see that Palpatine telling Mas Amedda to prepare his ship. 
And I must say how stupid of a cameo the Red Royal Guards were. The scene was too short, they were miles in the back and the background was red - a perfect way NOT to see them.
Such a waste of animation...

Of course, the cow Savage had open his dumb mouth and show how little the writers care for this character or how stupid he is after not learning anything about his "Brother"'s plot
Obi-Wan is sent to prison, but on the way there is freed by the badass Bo-Katan - who with Pre Vizsla, Almec and Satine, she is one of my fave characters of this arc. 

As Obi-Wan escapes, we get one of the most annoying things in this episode had to offer - Bo-Katan is Satine's sister. 

It was not annoying in the sense that they were now linked, but how little was spent in that relationship. That is not like Satine is a distant friend of a former boyfriend of Bo-Katan. NO! They are sisters and that was never explored in the show before - when Satine was alive. THAT is what annoys me...
Until this episode I always assumed that Satine had a rotten childhood and that all her relatives were dead. That because her family had died out, she committed herself to her work. 
This just mentioned relationship could have been the basis of, at least, two other story arcs that would have made Satine and Bo-Katan even more beloved characters. I mean Bo-Katan is a sister of the leader of New Mandalorians, but she is very loyal to man trying to destroy her sister's world. 
That would have made for one great Bo-Katan-centric arc IMO.

Anyhoooo... Obi-Wan escapes and tells Bo-Katan that he is sorry about Satine's death and their conversation leads me to believe that there is going to be a followup arc with the Republic finally invading Mandalore and lead to a battle of Mandalore - something that this arc failed to do. 

Then we have a, in my opinion, very average and quite uninteresting duel between Sidious and doofas brothers. 
The animation is nice, but the Sidious facial animation are just ridiculous with his face being all over the place. It sure tries to compete with Anakin's face in terms of silly expressions. 
The odd thing I found is how "farty" were Sidious's sabers... they never made that sound, but there really sounded strange in this duel.

And we all know who wins - Sidious, of course, who else.

A highlight is the death of Savage... finally, after 3 wasted arcs, one of the worst and maybe THE worst character in Star Wars dies a mediocre death at the hands of Darth Sidious. His death IMO was the best thing to happen with the Maul "storyline since the end of "Monster".

Maul is also defeated and starts crying almost for mercy, but gets a load of lightning in his face. And that is how the episode ends - with Sidious promising that there are going to be more wasted episodes about Maul.
His voice also did not sound like Ian Abercrombie, but more like Tim Curry. Abercrombie managed to hid his british accent in the series, the last lines had a clear Tim Curry-like british ring to them.

IMO this has been the worst finale...
This entire arc was building up to Maul being zapped for several seconds and then a fade to black. This was not a satisfying final episode of the arc and the promise of Maul episode made me cringe a lot. 

Overall this episode was OK at best. Nothing that odd or too special. It was a standard action-oriented episode of "The Clone Wars".
All the scenes and story seemed rushed and the episode and the entire arc would have benefited from two extra episodes somewhere in the season - that way the story could have been paced better and not just skip over tons of possibly good stuff. So rushed, painfully rushed...
The episode was full of great performances, but as a whole the episode and arc suffered from poor writing. The previous two arcs - the Young Jedi arc and the Droids arc - have had much better writing with better, well, everything.

The duel was good, but not as good as the Pre Vizsla duel - that was a true masterpiece. The thing that also matters for me a lot is that the outcome of the Vizsla duel was more interesting and less 
annoying that the one of this duel with Sidious. The episode's ending was the most annoying part.

In the end, this episode gets a 6 out of me - that is mainly for amazing characters Satine, Bo-Katan, some good action and a great emotional scene with the death of my beloved Satine. Without them, this episode would rank as high as the "The Academy" episode that I personally gave a 3. 
"Shades of Reason" gets a 7,5 out of 10 cause it was more fun and interesting and less rushed than this episode.

"The Lawless" - I am not a fan. 

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