Clone Wars Debriefing: “Cat And Mouse”

Spoilers ahoy:

Taking place right before the events of last season’s “The Hidden Enemy” and the CW movie, poor Bail Organa is trapped on Christophsis because of a Separatist blockade. The admiral in charge of the blockade is Admiral “Spider Man” Trench, a crafty fellow who looks like a giant spider. He’s been very successful keeping transport ships off of Christophsis. Anakin is about to engage in battle with him when Obi-Wan’s flagship shows up with a surprise: a smallish ship with a cloaking device.

Anakin’s orders are to take the cloaked ship to the surface and bail out Bail. Yularen and some clonetroopers are assigned to go along. But Anakin decides he needs to take Trench out first. Thus begins the game of…cat and mouse!

We all know Anakin is going to survive, but it is interesting to see how he finally defeats Trench. Like most of the best Clone Wars episodes this is yet another well-written character study, this time on Anakin. On the one hand, he is unpredictable even to his own guys, reckless, and willing to bend orders to accomplish what he thinks has to be done. Naturally he thinks nothing of it because he always succeeds and therefore gets away with his, er, lack of discipline. On the other hand, he’s an amazing tactician, especially given his age. This is a trait that carries over to his Vader years.

Trench is creepy in the sense that he’s a big spider, but he is a good tactician in his own right. He just happened to have been outsmarted by the best. Unfortunately for him, his contract was good for only one episode ;).

It was nice to see the partnership between Anakin and Yularen, who’s about as by-the-book as Obi-Wan is. There’s also a good subplot where a young rookie clone serves aboard the cloaked ship with an experienced clone who knows his Jedi general is not what one would expect.

I’ve read some fanboy grumbling about the ship having a cloaking device, i.e. Piett’s line in TESB about small ships not having cloaking devices, but once again, I’m not really sure why this is supposed to matter. Filoni’s solution was to make the ship long and narrow, so it is smaller than the Falcon and there doesn’t disrupt the all-holy continuity.

The episode references “The Hunt For Red October” and other submarine flicks, especially when you hear the submarine pings aboard Anakin’s ship. There’s also a funny bit where Bail tells Obi-Wan, “Help us Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope!” Must be the Organa family motto or something ;).

In any case, after not seeing a real big battle on the show since it returned from its loooong holiday break, it was great finally seeing some “wars” on CW.

The British and Canadian broadcast schedule remains one week ahead of us (no fair), so they’ve already seen next week’s highly-anticipated episode “Bounty Hunters.” Strangely enough, Cartoon Network didn’t show a preview during the credits Friday night. I guess they want it all to be a surprise.

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