TCW, Season 3, Episode 6: A Crash Course in Badassery

m59
The Clone Wars, Season 3, Episode 6: The Academy

This is the second episode from this arc that has been recapped. To start at the beginning, go here.

Hey! Remember in our last episode, when Duchess Satine was like “Man, Padme, you know what this girl needs? A Jedi. Over here. Now”?

I’m not saying ANYTHING ELSE about this, except for the many, many times in the following recap where I will strongly imply, again, that Satine hit that because YOU ALL KNOW SHE DID.

Oh. Kay. SO! It’s a world in crisis! yells Voiceover Recap Guy dramatically, as we open on Crazypants Planet Mandalore, where Her Royal Bossiness Duchess Satine Kryze is in need of a Jedi. This time, however, the Jedi on the way to help her is not, in fact, “Mr. Fancy Pants” himself, but rather his Jedi granddaughter, spunky ass-kicking ultraheroine Ahsoka Tano.

Dad’s Dropping Me Off At School Today

Anakin Skywalker — Handsome Hero, Guy Who Blows It, Yeller of Things, Clencher of Fists, Disgruntled Employee — is piloting a shuttle over to Mandalore. And Ahsoka? Is so not into this assignment.

m1m2

Anakin says that Padme told him totally not in bed last night that Mandalore has a shitton of problems, and requested that the Jedi send someone especially good to help her friend, and also Obi-Wan probably begged Anakin to let the Council send Ahsoka because he couldn’t go himself and we all know Anakin doesn’t want to disappoint Padme or Obi-Wan ever because he’s in love with both of them, so, here we are.

Anakin further explains that since the assignment involves being sent to the Royal Academy of Government, which is for Mandalore’s youth, Yoda felt like it would be best for them to send a Jedi who is young and can talk all the hip lingo that the kids these days use what with their Instagrams and their Snapchats and the emojis and whatnot.

I have some questions about how or why the Jedi are sending anyone to Mandalore now, when like 2 years from now when Mandalore is literally falling to the Dark Side, they’re gonna be like “…yeah, sorry about your wife, Kenobi, but…we’re just gonna go back to sitting in this dark room doing nothing Because Neutrality.” I mean, Mandalore’s neutral here too, right? Whatever. Space Wizard Cartoon and all that; fine.

Prime Minister Almec is standing on the landing platform, awaiting Anakin and Ahsoka’s arrival alongside Satine when he asks the following question, and I wonder if this show is just flat-out trying to bait me into writing bawdy commentary sometimes:

m5

Oh, they’d know plenty, amirite, friend?

Anakin Skywalker, Killing Me Here

Anakin and Ahsoka disembark, and Anakin comes strutting over to the Duchess in his little Jedi dress and does this hilarious “I think I’m smooth” hand-kiss greeting and just, OK: for two people who are like almost aggressively good-looking, brave and heroic, Obi-Wan and Anakin are somehow still the BIGGEST DORKS I’VE EVER SEEN when they’re trying to be charming. Don’t get me wrong: the end result is still 100% effective, but sweet merciful Lord, Anakin. I’m surprised Satine didn’t just bust out laughing and be like “yeah OK, I know who instructed you. Yes, Master Skywalker, we all noticed your handsomeness.” I love how even Ahsoka is like “Oh God he’s doing it again.”

m6

ANAKIN PLEASE.

Satine is like oh hey Skywalker, good to see you again, and oh man, can you even imagine how many embarrassing stories she knows about this guy and he probably has no idea she knows them? You know it came up a lot in Obi-Wan’s depressing letters:

Dearest Satine, 

Hope this letter finds you well. Life has been very busy for me. Anakin just turned 14 and is the most colossal pain in the ass imaginable right now. We’ve had plenty of assignments to fill our days. Recently we had to go to a planet where we got sprayed in the face by poisons and shot at by bounty hunters. Also I lost 4 robes on my last mission because of all the dueling I had to do, and the restocking fee came out of my paycheck, so now I’m stuck with ration bars for the next 2 weeks. I’m really so glad I never asked to stay with you, because obviously my life now is far preferable to being your royal consort and living in a palace that probably has an entire room just for quietly reading books and drinking expensive brandy while I watch you try on fancy outfits. (Does it?)  

Anyways, Anakin was attempting to show off to his friends during his combat training today, and he split his pants after a particularly inelegant jump. He was so embarrassed. It was the first thing that’s made me smile in months.  

Yours, 
Ben

Satine is pleased: “Wow, sweet, they sent me two Jedi even though you guys are the hottest ticket in town these days!”

and Anakin’s like, uh, well, about that…
m10

Not to worry, Duchess! Ahsoka comes from a proud line of Awesome and Sass Mastery, so she’s got this.
m11

Ahsoka gets introduced to some of the cadets she’ll be instructing.

I Swear I’m Going to Talk Myself Into This Outlandish Theory Before This Episode Is Over

SO. I’m not going to push this too hard, here? But I am going to throw out there that this kid, the terribly-named Korkie Kryze in the middle there…
m12

…is suspiciously strawberry-blonde-haired, pompous and a do-gooder who’s prone to throwing himself into situations where he might get killed. He also has a pretty vague family history aside from calling his Satine his “auntie.” He kiiiiiinda looks pretty much like what the end result would be if Obi-Wan left more than just robes behind on Mandalore at some point, if you catch my drift.

In any case, I consider this utterly this ridiculous theory “technically plausible” until Filoni GIVES ME SOME MORE BACKSTORY AND DETAILS like we all know he wants to. I’ll buy you a new cowboy hat and everything, Dave! Don’t even try to pretend you’re not more into the soapy drama of Star Wars than the rest of us anyways, dude. I know you live for it.

Where was I? Oh yes, the cadets!

So Korkie immediately is like “Hi Ahsoka! Sweet lightsaber, can I have it?”
m13

…which is sort of a weird first thing to say to someone you just met: “Cool, you have a weapon that could kill me! Let me handle it with no prior training!” This kid would get along great with Luke “Let’s Wave This Lightsaber I Don’t Really Know How To Use Around Inside Obi-Wan’s Tiny House” Skywalker.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Wrecked Up The Place

So Almec’s like “uh, sorry Ahsoka: no outside weapons on Mandalore. We had to institute that policy after Kenobi left a trail of destruction in his wake last time he was here” and honestly? Presuming that they are referring to the stuff that happened in The Mandalore Plot and not some other insane adventure Obi-Wan had on Mandalore recently, WTF: he was HELPING YOU GUYS, you know. For fuck’s sake, do you people even WANT to not be killed by terrorists or what?! If he hadn’t been armed, it’d just have been Pre Vizsla swooshing his cape around and slicing peoples’ heads off with the fucking Darksaber. But SURE, it was all KENOBI’S fault. You know what? Mandalore, you do not deserve Obi-Wan Kenobi (but then, nobody does).

Anyways, Ahsoka seems pretty entertained by this revelation:
m17m18

And, weirdly, Anakin is not into this line of humor? What the hell, Skywalker? Nothing gives you more joy in this world than making fun of Obi-Wan. Or is this like one of those things where you can make fun of him because he’s your husband, but if someone else does it you’re like “Oh that’s it, it’s GO TIME”?
m19m20

As it turns out, if anything Anakin just seems peeved that Obi-Wan’s behavior caused a No Weapons policy to be instituted on Mandalore, like, “SIGH Obi-Wan did you have to be such a dramatic hero last time?” and THAT? IS FUCKING RICH coming from a guy who would literally hurl an entire planet into a BLACK HOLE for the woman he loves.
m21

Rex tells Anakin that Kit Fisto’s waiting for them in some other adventure, so it’s time to get a move on. Bye bye Ahsoka, have a good day at school! Your dads love you! Be good!

The music gets entertainingly jaunty, and we head to the Academy.

Ahsoka Tano, Guest Lecturer

Ahsoka treats a class of cadets to a lecture on corruption, and Star Wars takes this opportunity, as it always does, to soak the conversation with an industrial-sized bottle of Foreshadowing about what happens when evil is allowed to Lurk in the Shadows:
m22

m23

Gee, I sure hope that doesn’t happen to anyone we know.

Ahsoka tells them that lasting change can only come from within, and Korkie makes Meaningful Eye Contact with some of his friends and strokes an invisible beard in contemplation of Ahsoka’s words:
m26

Recurring Theme: It Doesn’t Matter That We’re Unprepared, Let’s Get ‘Em!

After-hours, the cadets are sitting around in one weird-ass dorm room — where even are they right now? — and lamenting the food shortage and rationing on Mandalore:
m27m28

Korkie decides they need to see if there really IS a food shortage. If there’s Corruption Afoot, why, maybe this whole rationing thing is a farce! To the docks, I say!

No One Had Said It In A Few Hours
m29

…so the kids sneak in to a storage warehouse where they not only find tons of food stored away, but they also end up spying on some Shifty Underworld Dealings going on with some unmarked police and a hooded figure:
m30

Eventually one of the kids accidentally knocks something over and they’re discovered. They escape, just in the nick of time. Phew!
m31

Back in their weird dorm, the kids are like “Welp, sure looked like some Bad News was going down there. What should we do?”

Korkie has an idea:
m32
m33

Recurring Theme: We Don’t Even Know How Screwed We All Are Yet

The group heads over to Satine’s apartment (? I think, or it’s like the Casual Office she uses when she’s not working out of the First Church of Mandalore,) and Korkie asks to speak to her.
m34

She looks up from what she was doing, which was, apparently, sitting alone and staring at a fish tank and GOD I feel so sad for her sometimes:

m35

I was just thinking about all the happiness I’ll never have, it’s fine.

They sit down on Satine’s furniture, which looks a LOT like the chairs you sit in while waiting to get on an airplane, and Korkie tells her that he knows that the food shortage is a sham.
Satine wonders how on earth these kids would know this, and Korkie’s like “yeeeeeah, don’t worry about it, I maybe almost died but that’s a minor detail” and I tell you, I really AM going to talk myself into that insane theory, I swear to God, because if that is not Page 1 of the Obi-Wan and Anakin playbook, I don’t know what is.

And, as usual, Satine is not amused:

m36

You didn’t use VIOLENCE, did you?!

The kids show that they have a recording of the Shadowy Meeting of Bad Guys they observed before, and Korkie’s like “we’ve gotta get to the bottom of this!” and Satine is like, well kids, all this…
m39

Recurring Theme: Don’t You Worry Your Pretty Little Head

Satine proceeds to lecture them about getting in over their heads, and Korkie’s like DON’T YOU SEE WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? and, Korkie? I like you, kid, so I’m going to be real with you here: THIS IS STAR WARS. THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE “NO”. NO ONE EVER KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON.

He persists, and Satine practically puts him in a sailor suit and gives him a lollipop and pinches his cheeks as she ushers them out the door so she can get back to doing the things she does in her free time — picking out outrageous headpieces and staring at her fish tank and drinking martinis, or writing her own depressing love letters back to Obi-Wan:

Dearest Ben, 

I hope you have had time to rest since your last letter. Things are fine here on Mandalore: today I fended off only two attempts on my life. I will need to interview some new personal guards, because all of my previous ones have died protecting me, and I don’t know how I’m going to fit that into my already-packed schedule of boring state dinners and smiling and nodding at people I don’t particularly like, at least half of whom are secretly plotting to kill me. 

I agree that you are right: we made the right choice. I’m doing important things here that are far more fulfilling than lying naked on a beach in Space Hawaii with you, which is not something I at all ever think about when I am lying awake at night alone. 

That story about Anakin splitting his pants was quite amusing, though. Thank you for sharing it. Don’t worry, love. I’m sure he will become less of a problem for you as he gets older.  

Yours,
Satine

PS: Yes, darling. We do have a brandy-drinking room. 

The cadets are bummed about the lack of support from Satine. Korkie points out that, well,  Mandalore has two people in charge: if Satine won’t help, they can go talk to Almec! He seems like a pretty stand-up guy!

m46

He’s a good man.

Recurring Theme: Be Careful of Your Friend, The Transparently Evil Guy

Almec is not at ALL hiding anything as they holo-Skype with him later:

The kids all smile triumphantly at each other that they’ve snagged a real-life meeting with the Man in Charge who totally wants to help them. Oh, sweet innocent Star Wars youth.

You’ve Never Broken Any Rules To Save The Day, Have You Ms. Tano?

Back in Badassery 101 with Ms. Tano, Ahsoka is calling Korkie out for being distracted.
m51
Eventually the kids spill the whole story to Ahsoka: they’ve seen the corruption firsthand, Satine doesn’t want to help them, blahblahblah, and Ahsoka lectures the hell out of them for breaking the law, for being doofuses, and for not thinking things through carefully before doing something brash. Sure: she and her dads have never done any or all of those things, except for on roughly an hourly basis.

Korkie is PEEVED:

m55

And we all know those two things are totally incompatible.

Class ends, and Ahsoka looks concerned.

The kids go for their meetup with Almec, and instead find that he’s sent those same shifty guards from the warehouse to arrest them for treason instead.
m57

Korkie and co. try to fight these guys, which does not work well, until someone who knows what they’re doing shows up.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka Are Absolutely Unreal

Ahsoka comes flying down into the melee and SHE IS AWESOME. Honest to God: the Space Family. I know I use the word “badass” all the time? BUT SERIOUSLY. Jesus. They are all SO FUCKING HARDCORE I can’t stand it:
m58m59

Recurring Theme: The Chancellor Doesn’t Appear To Be Corrupt

The guards disperse, and she says:
m60

So, now the kids are like but the Prime Minister can’t possibly be evil, that’s crazy and not at all something that would happen in Star Wars, possibly dozens of times! They pull out the recording they have of the warehouse from the other evening and pull up the footage of the Shadowy Figure. He has the greatest disguise ever — a hood; they’ll never figure out who it is! Ahsoka uses some convenient tech to Zoom-and-Enhance, Law and Order-style, and lo and behold:
m62

The Shadowy Figure is ALMEC! Can you believe it?! I am super shocked.

Korkie starts to panic about getting back to Satine — the bad guys know he’s talked to her, and she could be in danger — and so they rush back to her apartment, only to find it trashed, her guards dead, and Satine nowhere to be seen. Korkie is distraught:
m65

m64

Oh look, another person in this franchise who needs a hug.

All the kids start to panic, and Ahsoka summons her Inner Kenobi and tells them to chill the hell out. But Korkie is insistent: after Satine, Almec’s the most powerful person on Mandalore!

Ahsoka:

m67

BREAKING NEWS: A ROOM IN THE GALAXY HAS ELECTRICITY KIND OF MAYBE

I’m pleased to report to you all that we are now at the First Church of Mandalore, and OH MY GOD, there are light fixtures in here and THEY ARE ON.
m68

Now, I should note here, that even still, it’s barely brighter in here than the Jedi Temple (honestly, it barely even seems to be doing anything), so it’s a partial win at best. Nevertheless. Who knew it was possible?!

Ahsoka and the cadets walk in and oooooh, Ahsoka, you sneaky devil you! She’s got a Plan In the Works!

She shows up and is like heeeeey Almec I found those traitorous students who were plotting against you!
m69

The kids are taken into custody, and Korkie really leans into it, because he’s related to Satine so drama’s in his blood:
m70

Ahsoka lies and tells Almec that the kids told her Satine was in on the plot, too, and Almec’s like “don’t worry, I already arrested her.” Ahsoka tries to find out where they’ve got her stashed and he declines to elaborate. As he leaves to go tell the whole planet about Satine’s “crimes”, Ahsoka makes an amazing face:

m73

The Kenobi-Skywalker Teaching Method, Key Concept #1:  The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to side-eye, and be side-eyed in return.

So Ahsoka asks to go “interrogate” the kids, and walks over to their cell:
m74

She tells them she has a plan to find out where Satine is. They all want the details up front, but Ahsoka just tells them to wait for her signal. What signal?
m75

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Taught Me This One

Ahsoka then busts out that perennial Star Wars favorite from the Obi-Wan Kenobi Greatest Hits collection: screwing with the minds of the weak.
m76

She gets the guards to take her, but what she doesn’t know is that they were kiiiiiinda always on to her anyways:
m77

Recurring Theme: It’s a Trap!

She arrives at the room where Satine is being held, and as she is taken out of her weird, super-high-up holding cell, she breaks the Bad News:
m79

And then in strolls Almec, ready to do some Bad Guy Grandstanding:

He chews the absolute HELL out of the scenery here, and I love it and I love this show and I love Star Wars and I love these stupid characters and all their cornball dialogue (yes, even the parts about sand, so take it outside, haters).

The kids, still back in their cell, worry that the plan is falling to pieces, and rightly so.

Recurring Theme: Satine Kryze, My Actual Hero

So, now Almec tries to get Satine to sign a confession admitting to her “treasonous ways” and in response, she tears into him in that way she ALWAYS calls people out that is the primary reason that she is the absolute best:

Almec tries to claim that he set up the black market FOR Mandalore, and that they’re bringing in all kinds of humanitarian aid with the scratch they’re making off of it.
m90

In reply,  Ahsoka is like BULLSHIT:
m91

…and Satine is like HEY CREEP, IF THAT’S TRUE THEN SHOW ME THESE GODDAMN SUPPLIES! YEAH. I DIDN’T THINK SO, MOTHERFUCKER.
m92

This earns her the shock collar treatment. He zaps her to try once again to coerce her to sign the confession, marking the 4,000th time someone in this series gets electrocuted:
m93

Recurring Theme: Make Your Choice
BONUS Recurring Theme: You Can Kill Me, But You’ll Never Destroy Me

She is THE BEST and I love her and she says:

m94

Oh why Star Wars

Almec says he’d be happy to help her out with that, but first…let’s get those cadets over here and see if THEY might incite her to sign, and poor Satine and her big heart for the children of Mandalore is very unhappy about this indeed:
m97

They bring the cadets in and Almec tries to persuade Satine by shocking her, uh, nephew, but at this point, Ahsoka’s seen enough, Hulks out, and goes absolutely apeshit on the guards, and the kids all join the fray. Ahsoka? Is FUCKING AMAZING HERE, OK people? She is. She Force-Throws Almec around, she saves Satine, she chucks Almec in jail…she is also my Actual Hero. This is the ONE OF THE BEST SHOTS I COULD GET because she was flying around so fast:
m98

So now Satine tells Ahsoka that she must realize now…
m101

No, Satine knew that corruption ran deep here on Mandalore, and she knew a Jedi could help her because of course she did because she is IN LOVE WITH ONE OF THEM. Anyway. She thanks Ahsoka and gives Korkie a hug:
m102

Until Next Time, Lady Tano

Now it’s time for the Episode Wrap-Up, and Korkie is telling Ahsoka just how great it was to get to train with her and this kid totally wishes he was a Jedi:
m103

And what do you know? Speaking of Jedi, Ahsoka’s dad is here to pick her up:
m104

Anakin and Ahsoka have One Of Those Exchanges They Have Sometimes:

And really, Skywalker, like you don’t love it. The Mandalorians say their final farewells:

m112

Aaaaaaannnndd….iris-wipe! That’s all for this episode — and for Mandalore — for now!

Previously: TCW, Season 3, Episode 5: We Have So Much In Common