Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Dangerous Debt" Review
So, last week, Ahsoka, Trace, and Rafa almost had Marg Krim, leader of the Pyke Syndicate, fooled. And if not for Krim’s clear-minded majordomo Fife, they would have got away scot-free and 30,000 credits richer. Instead, when we last saw them, the Silver Angel was surrounded and locked in a Pyke tractor beam, with no where to go.
This week we’ve got “Dangerous Debt” …
“Taken prisoner by the Pykes, Ahsoka and the Martez sisters attempt to escape.”
We start off in a Pyke prison on Oba Diah, a good portion of the episode takes place there, and the three of them are locked in a cell together. If that seems like a bad strategy by the Pyke’s you’d be right. So anyway, they’re playing the blame game as to who’s the most responsible for their current predicament.
During these discussions, we finally learn what happened to Rafa and Trace’s parents, who, as it turns out didn’t “split” as was indicated earlier but were killed during the prison break of Ziro the Hutt. They are describing the events in the Season One episode “Hostage Crisis” where bounty hunter Cad Bane and his cronies free Ziro by taking hostages inside the Senate building.
The scene their describing isn’t in the episode but Rafa does mention Ziro by name and hints at a few other Clone Wars notables including Bane and Jedi Luminara Unduli. Their parents weren’t involved, just simply innocent bystanders who were at the wrong place at the wrong time, but Rafa blames the Jedi for not being able to do anything about it.
They’re interrupted by Krim who still wants his spice and thinks their hiding it, so he tortures Rafa using an 8D8 torture droid, looking for answers. After they get nothing from Rafa they come for Trace next who’s able to escape and heads back for Rafa and Ahsoka. Trace really comes to life when it comes to protecting her sister, it’s great.
Speaking of, with Rafa still unconscious, Ahsoka uses the Force to unlock their cell and they go looking for Trace. This would be the first of several instances where Ahsoka is forced to use her powers during escape, so, as things get dicier, so to does the likelihood her identity will be revealed.
Reunited, the three of them head outside and head for the adjoining space port/town which is separated by a heavily guarded and tower-controlled gate. They split up, with Ahsoka going to disable the gate in the tower while Trace and Rafa distract the guards. The pan works and they head into the spaceport mostly undetected.
They catch a small break when they spot the Silver Angel high atop a platform but are spotted by Pyke security shortly after and take off with the guards in pursuit. Here’s where we get one of those “special” moments we were promised when the first trailer premiered some time ago.
As Ahsoka, Trace, and Rafa are rushing through the somewhat crowded streets, with Pyke’s not far behind, they pass by a mysterious hooded figure who turns out to be Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) Of course, she doesn’t remove her helmet but, c’mon, we’d recognize that decaled beauty anywhere, plus she’s listed in the credit so.
I don’t want to get too far away from the episode, but it’s worth doing a very quick backtrack on Katan. The last time we saw her in the timeline was in a Season 5 episode called “The Lawless”, which is famous for many reasons beyond what I’m about to mention.
After the death of Duchess Satine, Bo-Katan’s sister, at the hands of Maul, the newly formed Mandalore Resistance is fighting to take back their home world. She and what’s left of her Night Owls rescue Obi-Wan Kenobi from Death Watch and she tells him to return to the Republic and inform them that Maul and Death Watch have seized control.
Ever the patriot, she knew that by freeing Kenobi and getting him to return to Coruscant with that information would lead to a Republic invasion, thus usurping Maul and returning Mandalore to a free state again. She of course had no idea about the face-change that was coming from the Palpatine led Republic, but after the death of her sister and the fall of her world into darkness, she was faced with no other path.
Back to the show. While being pursued, the three of them get separated again and Rafa and Trace are surrounded at gunpoint by some Pyke guards, and for now, Ahsoka’s only choice is to run, hide, and come up with a plan. As she’s doing this, someone else is taking an interest. High above, on a nearby rooftop, we see Bo-Katan again, only this time she’s not alone!
She’s got two Mandalorian’s with her, one is Ursa Wren (Sharmilla Devar), leader of House Wren and mother to Sabine, and the other doesn’t speak but does linger a bit indicating it’s someone important or at least known. This will mark Ursa’s earliest appearance in the timeline to date, having only appeared in “Star Wars Rebels” up until now.
Anyways, they only say a few words…
Ursa: What do you think??
Bo-Katan: “I’m not sure, it could be the Jedi I met on Carlac. But if it is her, what is she doing here?”
Ursa: “Her presence could comprise our mission.”
Bo-Katan: “Perhaps. But Don’t forget we have a common enemy. Let’s keep track of her, she could be of use to us.”
Bo-Katan is referring to a Season Four episode called “A Friend in Need” where Ashoka travels to Carlac with Lux Bonteri, who has decided to partner up with Death Watch, hoping to kill Count Dooku and avenge his mother’s death. Bo-Katan was of course a member of Death Watch at the time and met Ahsoka during her stay there. Who could forget the famous butt-slap heard around the world, right?
Back to the show. With the sisters in trouble, Ahsoka is watching the action from a safe distance, trying to come up with plan. Things go from bad to worse when Marg Krim shows up via holo and orders Fife to kill them. Having to act fast, Ahsoka commandeers some type of security attack vehicle and nearly frees them, but there are just too many guards and get overwhelmed quickly.
Turns out this was Krim’s plan all along, to draw out Ahsoka, using the sisters as bait. They place the three of them in the same cell again for some reason, but with a newfound confidence and understanding amongst the trio, it’s only a matter of time before they break out, or, get broken out?
For an episode with a ton of content, action, and forward motion, it ends exactly where it started, with the three of them in a cell together. The only difference, and it’s a big one, is how much the inter-personal relationships have changed and the dynamics within the group has shifted considerably. Rafa’s face-turn is more or less complete, with her hard edges softened, whereas Trace has stepped up her game and her inner mama-bear has come to the surface, especially when the Pyke’s do a number on Rafa.
They've come to understand that they work better as a team than alone and now have a healthy respect for each other’s skillsets, understanding the roles they each play. Perhaps most important, is that Rafa and Ahsoka’s relationship has come a along way and are more or less on the same page now.
So, did the writers land the three of them back in jail just to see another breakout? I’d bet on no. If I was guessing, which I am, I’d say a rescue is coming our way. Either that, or Ahsoka goes full Jedi, revealing her truth to everyone, using her incredible abilities to get them free and clear.
The big cameo, Bo-Katan and her Mandalorian Resistance friends, was expected thanks to the trailer, but was incredibly thrilling, and they didn’t do a thing! Just seeing Bo-Katan on screen, knowing the context behind it, that’s enough to get me excited. Just how does she factor into all of this? We know the big picture stuff, that her and Ahsoka form an alliance when it comes time to the strike on Mandalore, but we don’t know any of the specifics, yet. I can’t wait for that first meeting and conversation.
If you’re getting tired of me saying it, well, I’m not sorry because the animation is so great this season and they really show it off again in this episode. The photography and sequencing are fantastic as the three of them make their way out of the prison. At one point, Ahsoka is sliding down a ladder and the camera follows her, not far enough mind you, but it looks so great and it's clear they had a lot of fun shooting these episodes.
And Kevin Kiner kills it again with his score, there’s a little motif that plays when they bump into Bo-Katan that I just loved. Thinking he's got something new and awesome in store for us, for the final arc.
I really think this arc has been top level Clone Wars content, and it’s clear they’re saving the best for last with the "Siege of Mandalore" I mean, how great is that going to be if these episodes are any indication?
As for next week, this arc ends with “Together Again” …
“Ahsoka bargains for the sisters’ freedom and makes a startling discovery.”
The “startling discover” could be anything at this point but since we head straight into the “Siege of Mandalore” next it’s probably connected to that somehow.
Expect Bo-Katan to interfere somehow and make Ahsoka aware of how things are on Mandalore, which should be our fist mention of Maul as well.
How will we leave the Martez sisters? Unknown at this time, probably in better shape than when we first met them. Hopefully they get off Coruscant and live the life they deserve. I’m not sure how they’d fare in an Imperial ruled galaxy, but that’s a story I’d like to see fleshed out in some way. Perhaps simply knowing their alive and together is good enough. We’ll see.
Till next time…MTFBWY.
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