The Clone Wars, Season 4, Episode 15: Deception
This is the first part of a four-part arc.
Today’s episode is Season 4’s aptly-titled Deception. The moral/tagline for this one is that “all warfare is based on deception”, and OK, sure, but holy HELL is it ever true in this damn universe.
Voiceover Recap Guy tells us that a terrorist who was part of a plot to kidnap the Chancellor was arrested (yes, we’re plotting to kidnap/murder Palpatine this time AGAIN. I know political figures are frequent targets for such things, but considering that this is SUCH a recurring thing for this guy to the point that it is literally the first plot point in Revenge of the Sith…I mean, by then wouldn’t Obi-Wan and Anakin just be like “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? AGAIN?! DUDE.”) However, there are persistent rumors that even though the mastermind of the plot, Moralo Eval, is behind bars now, the plan is still underway. Oh no! Won’t somebody please think of the Chancellor?!
Not to worry, Palps! You’ve got the crack team at JediCo on your side! They will surely come up with an ironclad strategy to keep you safe! I know you were very concerned!
I will point out that we are not even technically IN THE EPISODE YET and already:
- Palpatine is plotting his own kidnapping again;
- The Jedi Council is meeting IN THE DARK because again, still not sure the temple has electricity;
- Obi-Wan already looks dismayed. What’s that, Kenobes? Second thoughts on your career choice? You still have time to bail out, sure, but what other job paths can you reasonably go for now? Hair model?
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Lies to a Skywalker for What He Perceives to Be the Greater Good
We cut to Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka walking together. And you know, I know he becomes Evil Incarnate and all, but this episode is one aspect of many in the Star Wars canon that really just makes me feel bad for Anakin. Anakin asks Obi-Wan what his hurry is. Obi-Wan tells them the council’s called an emergency meeting and Anakin chips away at my sympathy for him by immediately complaining about the council’s proclivity towards “long, boring debate”, complete with eyeroll, like they’re at Disney World and Obi-Wan just told them they all have to go to the Hall of Presidents to get out of the heat. Ahsoka tells him to cram it, because it’s either this or go train small children who probably think Anakin is the coolest guy ever and Anakin’s like “good point, I do hate everyone and everything so that would also be horrible” (I may be editorializing here.)
A sniper takes aim at the three of them from above as they walk past and chaos ensues. Obi-Wan tells Anakin and Ahsoka to go spread out so that he can go after the sniper and oh…can you feel it, everyone? Yes, it’s time for Obi-Wan to be a sneaky bastard in service to The Cause!
Anakin and Obi-Wan run up opposite sides of a building and holy crap, it’s pretty impressive. There’s a lot of dramatic eye contact going on and then Obi-Wan gets all wistful and sad, but then steels himself and Jedis it:
…as a Mysterious Sniper takes aim at him, hitting him in the shoulder.
He falls off the side of the building onto the ground below. Anakin tears off after the sniper, who escapes in a cloud of smoke, before running back to Ahsoka, who’s holding Obi-Wan’s dead body in her arms with tears in her eyes. Cue Anakin’s 100% predictable freak out:
Going to Your Funeral
Now we’re back at the Temple, and just…OK. This scene. It is so needlessly cruel. The council throw a good old fashioned Jedi funeral/Jedi roast for Obi-Wan, and make sure to invite all of his oblivious friends to come mourn him.
They make Anakin, or Anakin chooses to, stand by himself as Head Mourner, and he is more or less just straight-up Mustafaring here. WOULD SOMEONE ON THE COUNCIL PLEASE LOOK AT ANAKIN? Jesus.
Once again, The Imperial March Lite is playing as Anakin seethes. It’s really too bad no one on the show can hear the soundtrack.
Ahsoka points out that she’s one of the only people in the universe following along:
Take Another Little Piece of My Heart
And let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that DUCHESS SATINE IS THERE, crying her royal little Mandalorian heart out. So, did the council send out a death notice to the universe at large? Did they send one JUST to her because having her there would make Kenobi’s death extra believeable?! Yeah, what a way to thank her for not tantalizing him away from your stupid order, guys: let’s make her think he’s dead! Ha ha. Oh I bet she was SUPER PISSED when she found out it wasn’t true, too. She, being a hothead because again, Kenobi has a type, doesn’t seem like the kind to just laugh this off.
Considering how important Obi-Wan’s continued existence and Jediness is going to be for both the Jedi AND the entire universe in the long-term, they should be sending this woman a damn “thank you for not (continuing to be?) having sex with this man” stipend on a weekly basis instead of pulling this kind of crap. Good grief.
We see a brief scene of Obi-Wan’s “murderer” bragging about killing a Jedi as we head to the next scene:
We now find Mace Windu and Yoda chit chatting about their awesome plan to have Obi-Wan fake his death. Yoda is starting to realize that maybe this was not their best idea. (Author’s note: this episode caused me to literally say aloud “I think this might be the worst idea these guys have ever had, and given this show that is saying something.”)
Windu is still pretty confident that the “dead Jedi” angle was the best one they had. Still unexplained is why they felt that OBI-WAN was the best choice here out of the literally thousands of Jedi they have at their disposal. Yoda, evidently recalling that he’s never been quite sure about that kid, seems pretty nervous about what this is going to do to Anakin.
They walk to a medical exam room where Obi-Wan, a living person, is hanging out. Yoda tells Obi-Wan that his performance in his fake death scene was just sorta OK, and that he’s worried that Anakin won’t buy that it actually killed him because he’s seen what a badass Obi-Wan is. Yoda reiterates that he’s also not sure leaving Anakin out of this was a great idea. What’s that, Yoda? You don’t think it was a good idea to lie to the Unstable Chosen One who has MAJOR ATTACHMENT ISSUES about the death of one of the like, 3 people in the universe total that he actually likes, and probably the main person in the universe to whom he is all but literally joined at the hip? There’s no way THAT could backfire, right? HMM?!
Obi-Wan seems a little miffed at the suggestion that his death act left something to be desired, and says that Anakin had to be left out. He says the line in the screengrab below as well, and I will just leave it here with zero additional commentary because I’m trying not to go there in this recap even though this arc has already dared me to do so like 5 times already:
NO GOD NO
Aaaanyways, the next step in this ridiculous plan is that Obi-Wan is going to go undercover as the guy who killed Obi-Wan. Yep. First: total appearance transformation, a traumatizing sequence that I will only say I am so glad I was not forced to witness in the live action Star Wars canon because Jedi Trainee Hair was quite enough abuse of Ewan McGregor’s mane for me to have to see in one lifetime.
So. Now that that horrifying spectacle is behind us, we’re back at the cantina where Rako Hardeen was bragging about his having killed a Jedi. A droid summons him to “collect payment from his employer.” He buys a round for the bar as he heads out, and then is treated to a meeting with Undead Obi-Wan and Mace Windu, who are there to complete the transformation by kidnapping Hardeen and stealing his clothes.
Anakin is rage-driving himself to go see this murdering sniper that Yoda has told them they’ve located somehow. Even Ahsoka points out the half-assedness of the council’s story by being like “did they even tell us how they found this guy?” and Anakin’s like “DON’T CARE; TOO BUSY SUPRESSING DARK SIDE.”
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Underpaid Employee
So back in the room with Mace and Obi-Wan, Rako is hesitantly confessing to his attempted murder while Windu gets a recording of his voice. He then puts Rako into a deep sleep and hands Obi-Wan the device that captured his voice. It looks like a nightmarish spider complete with moving creepy legs, and Obi-Wan has to SWALLOW IT in order to transform his voice because this particular criminal is not a pompous British dweeb.
Naturally Obi-Wan does it, because this guy is a trooper to a damn fault and never turns down any of the shitty assignments they give him, or even the shitty ones people explicitly try to talk him out of, like training the Son of Evil. I hope he gets an extra yearly bonus or a gift card or something for all this.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan but Is Really Bad at Determining if He’s Alive or Not
BONUS Recurring Theme: Foreshadowing for Dummies
Anakin and Ahsoka go see “Rako”, who is sleeping off “drunkenness” in the back room of the cantina.
Anakin is SO PISSED at this guy when they go to collect him and tells him that he wants to kill him, but he won’t because Obi-Wan wouldn’t want that. Of course, Obi-Wan is right there in front of his face. This episode really helped set a precedent for why Vader later had no fricking clue where Obi-Wan was or if he was alive or not for like 20 years though, I guess. Their love is strong, but not that strong, evidently.
Anakin and Ahsoka escort “Rako” his new home in prison.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan is a Surprisingly Hardcore Badass
In prison, Obi-Wan is in the cafeteria establishing his cred as a hardened criminal. He does this by literally STABBING someone in the hand with a fork and threatening to eat them. I mean, I know why he’s doing this here, but holy crap. Sometimes I think there is a LOT MORE GOING ON with Kenobes than we are being shown.
Anyways, the Evil Kidnap Plotter comes and finds him after this display of badassery and they strike up a little bit of camaraderie, as was Kenobi’s goal. This ends up getting them both placed in the same cell for a brief chat later. And hey! A sadly hatless Cad Bane is there too. Cool! They’re going to kidnap the Chancellor and bust on outta this place!
Ghosts of Star Wars Future: Terrible Pseudonym Edition
Obi-Wan picks up a hidden comlink in the exercise area of the prison, and holo-Skypes the Jedi Temple, identifying himself — not for the last time, of course! — as Ben.
He tells them what’s going on – that Cad Bane’s there, that they’re going to try and break out, etc. Mace is surprised to hear these guys are in league together, and they all resolve to have Obi-Wan stay undercover, keep tabs on these guys and figure out the bigger plan here. Mace warns him not to blow his cover, and Obi-Wan throws this back:
Why I Love TCW, Again
Hey guys – remember when Obi-Wan went undercover as a criminal in a prison after a total appearance transformation and got into a fight with teenaged Boba Fett who thought he was a bounty hunter who owed him money?! And then it started a prison riot as designed by Cad Bane to help him sneak out? LOL. Oh this show.
Recurring Theme: My Blaster Totally Jammed You Guys
So Moralo Eval, Cad Bane and Undead Obi-Wan make their way down a corridor to escape via the morgue, and this is seriously morbid even for this show because they show that in the wake of the riot, like a TON of people ended up getting killed by the guards and their bodies are being sent in for processing. The three fugitives are hiding out in coffins when some guards show up to send them off to the crematorium, and when they arrive in the crematorium they have to fight the guards down there. Obi-Wan obviously doesn’t want to kill the guards, so he lies and says his blaster jammed and Cad Bane takes care of it for him.
The three of them fly out of the prison and take off in a stolen ship. Wrapping up today’s story, Cad Bane has his suspicions about Fake Rako Hardeen, but Moralo tells him he may have a place for him in his plans after all. Obi-Wan’s all ears as we head into the iris wipe.