After how terrible the last few episodes were it’s great being back with our favorite clones! Our favorite Clones being the members of Domino Squad from “Clone Cadets” and his team along with Commander Cody and Captain Rex. This episode has cost, loss and people change! This is what is good good writing than contrived writing that we got during “The Malevolence Arc.” Events need to change characters since people aren’t static, this episode showed this really well.
“Rookies” was directed by Justin Ridge and written by Steven Melching.
The story involves a Separatist attack on a far flung outpost by Commando Droids. This outpost also happens to be where Commander Cody and Captain Rex were coming to expect and where Domino Squad is stationed as well. From here they must figure out how to recapture or destroy the station so that Republic forces will be warned about Grievous’s invasion force.
The Pros: Commando Droids – These guys actually feel like threats and manage to take out all the other Clones stationed at the base, leaving us only with named characters. They take a lot to take down too and are shown to have extreme intelligence, from wearing Clone Trooper armor and impersonating them to fulfill their mission.
Commander Cody and Captain Rex – These two are the teachers for the Clones and we see their creativity in action as well as how smart they are as they fake their death when their ships is destroyed and use the head of a Commando droid to infiltrate the base where they later lay the charges. They have respect for those who survive too and invite them to join the 501st legion.
Domino Squad – These guys became soldiers together and in this we see how laid back they are until things get serious. In this we see them slowly lose each other. From Cutup being eaten by an Eel after the Droid Commandos take the base to Hevy’s sacrifice at the end in order to warn the others. Fives and Echo live with the loss but are invited into the 501st legion as their inventive thinking is what made possible the victory that day.
Loss – Cutup and Hevy’s death actually mean something. They each died showing just how serious the Separatist and nature threats were and that there is no easy out in this war. You feel for their loss and see how it changes the survivors who have learned the cost of war. Hevy fighting to the end and setting off the detonator with his dying breathe was powerful too.
Okay: General Grievous – He was smart about the threat of the base but he should have just left it and attacked Kamino. He stalled and it cost him. I can at least understand why he was stalling and he was Chaotic Evil Stupid like the last time we saw the character. Still difficult to take him seriously though. He has no victories in this show and Ventress has shown herself to be a better commander.
This was a fantastic episode that even Grievous couldn’t ruin! We get to see the men of Domino Squad develop further, get some time with Cody and Rex and see the Separatists actually act like a threat and manage to kill some named Republic characters! So this episode was a win and one I’d recommend. Definitely a favorite.
Final Score: 9 / 10.