The Clone Wars, Season 2, Episode 4: Senate Spy
THIS. EPISODE. It gives me a lot to work with. Like, a lot. I will warn you all now that this is A) really long and B) the most image-heavy recap I’ve ever done. I don’t even know where to start. It’s…it’s like the Anidala-Conflict equivalent of someone throwing a Mento into a bottle of Diet Pepsi — fairly sweet and ultimately not dangerous, but it still makes a big dramatic mess everywhere. It’s like an All-You-Can-Eat Anakin Skywalker Angst Buffet. It’s…OK, I’m out of comparisons, but just know this: this episode was a blast to recap. So let’s dive right in!
Voiceover Recap Guy’s here and he’s dishing out the dirt: the Jedi Council (in a room that is well-lit, but only because it’s daytime,) suspects that Some Guy Named Rush Clovis, a Senator from Scipio who is part of the Banking Clan, is taking part in a seeeecret conspiracy! They need someone to spy on him for them because the Jedi are SUPER INTO SPYING ON PEOPLE, which supports my theory that the Jedi Order is FULL of gossips just wanting to get into other peoples’ business because none of them have lives. An-y-way. They’re looking into recruiting someone to spy on this guy! Intrigue!
Anakin Skywalker, Bringer of Dinner and Also Hotness
While the Council sits around talking about people behind their backs, over at Padme Amidala’s posh apartment, Padme is wistfully staring at a sunset as required by Star Wars Law. She looks forlorn, but not for looooong — because her hot piece of trophy husband, Anakin Skywalker, who’s been gone for a zillion years fighting robots and chasing bounty hunters and doing some big-time flirting with Obi-Wan, is walking in the door:
Threepio shows Anakin in, and Padme immediately is like “all right, get lost Threepio, I need to hold a special session of the Senate in Anakin’s pants like yesterday“:
…and Anakin? Skywalker, this episode JUST STARTED and your faces are already killing me:
Threepio leaves, and the love theme from Romeo and Juliet plays and hey look, Anakin brought dinner you guys! What a guy.
Padme asks him where he got the food, he tells a story about how he ended up hitching a ride with someone and blahblahblah they gave him food to take back with him and Padme’s like “wait, what happened to your actual transport?”:
Then he’s like “it was super nice of them to let me bring some food home” and Padme is like OH GOD YOU CALLED THIS HOME😍😍😍. Anakin says:
…in reply to this, Padme’s all “OH ANAKIN, LET’S GET MARRIED AGAIN AND HAVE FIVE SETS OF SUPERNATURALLY GIFTED TWINS 😍😍😍”
Then they have a bunch of flirty banter about how Padme’s gonna cook for him:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, STILL KILLING ME HERE
An evening alone with Padme? Why…
Again: The Kenobi-Skywalker Charm Ray works (clearly it’s working on Padme here,) but good LORD I’m just like LOL OK SKYWALKER please stop being suave. I swear to God he writes out his list of “Smooth Casanova Things I’m Gonna Say To Padme” at night and carries it with him in his pocket ever since he embarrassed himself with the Infamous Sand Soliloquy, or that time he told Padme she was beautiful “for a Senator” and Obi-Wan’s secondhand embarrassment for him almost caused a rift in the space-time continuum. Anyways, she swoons, and the scene ends so that the Skywalkers can uh, “eat dinner”. WINK.
Recurring Theme: Your Author Is Angry About The Jedi Council’s Lack of Basic Utilities
You know what? I take back my earlier promise not to mention this again: what in the actual hell is going on with the Council?
- HAVE THEY BEEN SITTING HERE ALL DAY TALKING ABOUT THIS STUPID CLOVIS THING? They literally sat in the same spot all day long?! GUYS. YOU NEED TO TIMEBOX THESE MEETINGS WAY BETTER. Jesus Fucking Christ, I hope they at least took a lunch break or arranged for a snack cart.
- I’m not even going to point out that the sun is setting and they appear to have no plan to turn on the lights that they TOTALLY DO NOT HAVE. Whatever. I don’t even CARE anymore, Jedi Order. Go ahead and sit in the dark. Makes total sense that you’d have no working lights in the room of the most powerful beings in the universe who are essential to the peace and order of the entire galactic government, who get called on at all hours of the night. Whatever. It’s fine. I’m over it. (Note: I am not over it.)
So, Yoda’s like “we gotta do something about this Clovis guy, because of ALL THE SHADOWY PROBLEMS WE CLEARLY HAVE BREWING IN THE SENATE, THIS ONE IS TOP PRIORITY. We’ve gotta get Padme to spy on him because she and Clovis used to be hot and heavy, even though we already asked her to and she said no.”
Mace Windu is like “she totally would listen to Anakin though for reasons none of us understand — WINK — so we need him to tell her to do it”…
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Teller of Damn Lies
Obi-Wan then drops this in response, and you know, this man tells some whoppers in his time, but I think this one might take the Properly-Garnished Fruitcake:
Perhaps It’s Simply A Question of Whether You Love Obi-Wan Kenobi More Than Your Wife
Back at Anidala HQ, Anakin and Padme have apparently gotten fully dressed again already (…) and are back to staring wistfully at the horizon:
Anakin’s making some sexy overtures, and then all of a sudden his boyfriend calls him and he’s like UGH OBI-WAN IS BLOWING UP MY PHONE GAAAAAAHHHD why must I be so in demand I guess I better GO:
So it turns out that Obi-Wan’s already tried to call him SEVEN. TIMES. this evening and I will rant about this more later because what the hell.
Padme’s peeved about this:
And OK, Amidala: get it together. I mean, sure, Anakin’s been gone for a while and I know pretty much anyone would understandably prefer to have him in their bed having shirtless nightmares as opposed to him taking a late-night Work Gig (except for maybe Obi-Wan, but only because that increases the likelihood of Obi-Wan getting to hit it,) but for real, lady — you picked him. It’s not like Anakin worked 9-5 at the bank when you met, and then he decided to go back to school and get a degree in Being The Chosen One so that he could go into 24-Hour Jedi-ing midway through your marriage. You’ve gotta roll with this; it comes with the territory.
Anyways, Anakin feels bad about this, but for the first time ever in his entire life is like “well, you just can’t change some things, Padme, so no use complaining: I have to go follow my Sacred Calling now.” So. I guess this happened once. Who knew?
Anakin Skywalker, Deadbeat Employee
Anakin arrives in the Temple Communication Center, and apologizes for being late, and I want to point out that Mace Windu, Yoda, and Obi-Wan don’t even ask him where the fuck he’s been, which like, OK: does every single person in the Order know Anakin is married? Like, they don’t even really seem all that fazed by this. They don’t even give him a chance to LIE ABOUT IT! Or is Anakin just such a shitty employee that him ignoring SEVEN CALLS FROM HIS BOSSES and being HOURS late for a meeting when he is supposed to have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE IN HIS LIFE BUT THIS JOB is just like, not even a thing they notice anymore?
All right then, Jedi, you do you. You’re the experts, I guess. Hope that whole Ignoring Anakin’s Obvious Problems thing works out for you.
So Anakin finally shows up and everyone’s like SOOOOOO, Skywalker: we’ve gotta get dirt on this Clovis guy. And I love that Anakin’s first assumption here is that they want Anakin to scare the shit out of him:
And they’re all like NO NO, we don’t need to be peeling a Clovis-shaped ghost off the ceiling of the Senate: we want to recruit a fellow Senator to spy on him instead. Someone who is not LITERALLY DARTH VADER so that we don’t terrify him.
And, uh, we think it should be Padme.
Anakin Skywalker, NOT FREAKING OUT HERE
Anakin, predictably, is not super into this idea. Why do they want Padme to do this, anyways? That’s when Mace Windu drops a big old bucket of cold water on our friend Anakin:
Anakin is like EEEEEEAAAAASGGHSHH!!!#!#!#####^^^^^^”:”:”:”:”;;;; OK LOOK AT HOW NORMAL I’M ACTING EVERYTHING IS SUPER OK I AM FINE LOOK AT HOW REGULAR A GUY I AM BEING ABOUT THIS INFORMATION:
And Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan Kenobi, you guys. He is just the most supremely smug little shit about this:
AND YODA LIKE FOR REAL COME ON is this a fucking joke are you guys just trying to openly bait him into admitting something? He says “well, these are Padme’s PRIVATE LIFE DETAILS, ANAKIN…”
You Will Do What You Must
Anakin tells the crappiest cover story ever about his surprise:
…right, Skywalker. This is what you were surprised about.
So Yoda tells Anakin that they need him to help them get Padme to do their bidding. For whatever weird reason that has nothing to do with you being frequently naked around her, she seems to listen to you!
And Anakin relents.
Recurring Theme: Darth Vader Wants to Know If You Guys Totally Did It
Now Padme’s walking out of her little Nubian Senate pod, and Anakin shows up and JUST WHATEVER PADME, make like Elsa and let it go:
Anakin inquires in a way that absolutely shows both his relative social inexperience and hammers home the fact that this guy is like 21 years old because he drops all his bravado here and is like OMG I HOPE MY GIRLFRIEND’S NOT MAD AT ME IS SHE OMG!?:
She’s all “ohhh you’re here about that whole spy-on-my-coworkers thing that I already told your stupid friends I’m not going to do.”Clovis is an old friend; she doesn’t want to spy on him. Anakin is like yeeeeeah I don’t even care about any of that spy stuff anymore now, I just wanna know the dates and times of any mutual nakedness that occurred:
Padme’s like GIVE IT A REST WHO CARES:
Let’s Take This Midair
They continue this conversation, and I love, LOVE that the Star Wars equivalent of “let’s go in another room to speak privately” here is THEM GETTING THEIR OWN SENATE POD AND FLYING AWAY as Anakin reveals that the Jedi think that Clovis is in league with the Separatists. He insists that he’s actually not here to try and talk Padme into being the spy: he just wants to know more about Clovis so he can work with who ever they DO get to spy on him:
Recurring Theme: Darth Vader Gets TOLD By His Wife
There is a whole lot of back and forth here where Anakin tells her that he doesn’t agree with the Council (BREAKING NEWS) and that he Doth Declare That Padme Shall Not Be The Spy. This is followed by a TON of Padme Shutting Anakin Down, and let us not forget that a Recurring Theme of their relationship has been Anakin trying to be The Big Man on Campus and Padme being like “lol OK little boy”:
I cannot fathom how Princess Leia ended up as a snarky, sassy-faced hardass who takes no shit from anyone with these two for parents.
Eventually, Anakin screws himself over for the zillionth time by being so against this, because you know WHAT?! We’re the Skywalker-Amidalas, damn it, and if you don’t want us to do something then BY GOD WE’RE GOING TO DO IT:
Anakin is like goddamnit:
The Future of Democracy Rests in Padme’s Ability to Be Hot
It’s the next day — or maybe later that same day, I have no idea — and here we are in the fucking council room again and I pause to wonder HOW MANY FUCKING SCREENGRABS I have of this place after months and months of writing these recaps.
Padme is telling the Council that before she does anything else, she’ll need to get back in touch with Clovis:
And LOL I TOLD YOU GUYS THE JEDI WERE BUSYBODIES, because Yoda’s like:
Is there like, a message board these people all hang out on to talk about which Senators are sexing each other? WTF.
And Anakin here? OK. I don’t like to paint him as a confused doofus all the time, but for FUCK’S SAKE SKYWALKER THEY MEAN THEY USED TO HOOK UP, OK?! Do you need the polaroids or something? GET A CLUE ANAKIN:
I love how A) Mace Windu does not give even one shit about this drama and B) he uses the word “friendship” here as he asks if she thinks she’ll be able…
Padme’s like oh trust me, guys, I look like Natalie fucking Portman, I can pretty much do whatever I want:
Obi-Wan is a total bitch here and piles on to Anakin’s pain:
AND LOL FOREVER AT ANAKIN IN THE BACKGROUND HERE while Padme and Obi-Wan, his wife and his totally-not-husband, basically discuss her getting it on with another dude right in front of his face. THAT IS COLD, GUYS:
Poor Anakin is like OK well thanks guys I guess I’ll just do my best to cock-block this guy and not let my inner ever-burbling cauldron of Dark Side spill over then I guess I’m fine it’s fine everything’s fine:
This Business On Cato Neimoidia Won’t Count
It’s evening now, and Padme’s plan is moving forward with a Just Friends Dinner with Clovis:
And just…Clovis is kind of ick, you guys, although I guess the guy does think they’re on a date or whatever and Padme’s laying it on pretty thick.
Clovis has a business trip to Cato Neimoidia coming up, and sure, he could put in a good word with the people he’s meeting with there on Padme’s behalf, OR she could:
Now, I feel like I should take a moment to call something out to everyone here. Padme? Is like, an absolute MASTER of the art of stealth seduction, and if you do not believe me then you have not watched Attack of the Clones (I guess one of them had to know what the hell they were doing.) Here, she’s again turning on the charm, so everyone watch out before she dons that one dominatrix dress she has. She wants to know if this trip is gonna be business…or pleasure?
Clovis? He’s IN.
Anakin Skywalker, Jealous Limo Driver
The next day (or whatever), Padme and Clovis are heading out on their Just Friends Business Trip, and Anakin is disguised as their chauffeur, and oh God, Anakin, I’m not TRYING to always side with Obi-Wan here but just please stop doing anything. Clovis pays Padme a compliment as he arrives and Anakin nearly blasts the guy with Force Lightning.
As they board, Clovis is all “you can sleep on my shoulder if you get tired on our trip Padme” and Anakin makes a big huge show of how the seats are broken so OH NO, they can’t sit together, and Padme is like STOP TRYING TO FUCK UP THIS MISSION YOU IDIOT:
They take off, and Anakin is spying on them from the cockpit:
This is followed by Anakin super-maturely tilting the ship all over the place to keep Clovis away from her. I guess Padme should just be glad there wasn’t any loose cargo back there.
They arrive on Cato Neimoidia, and greet Senator Lott Dod, a not at all shifty character who is totally not hiding anything, and Padme takes this opportunity to both kiss up to him AND dangle some more false hope out at Clovis:
Recurring Theme: Big Gigantic Geonosis Droid Factory
Shortly after they arrive, Padme and Clovis split up so that he can have a meeting with Dod and Poggle the Lesser, where they discuss their Secret Evil Separatist Plan to be War Profiteers and also show off a hologram of a huge Geonosian droid factory:
There’s trouble a-brewing in this scheme, though, because they’re all trying to weasel each other out of money. This does not bode well as Clovis and Dod get into it:
Padme slinks in and is all OH CLOVIS I WAS SO LONELY you’re not up to anything nefarious in here are you?!
Clovis excuses them both to prepare for dinner, and the wheels in Dod’s head start turning.
Recurring Theme: Maybe A Bad Guy Can Get What He Wants By Threatening Padme’s Death And Then Floating The Possibility Of Being Able To Save Her If Some Rube Who’s In Love With Her Does His Bidding
(Honestly? I cannot believe this is an actual Recurring Theme, but here we are.)
With Padme and Clovis out of the room now, Senator Dod tells Poggle that now they know Clovis’ weakness — Padme! What a novelty for this series. Now all they have to do is exploit it and Clovis will have to cave to their demands! What could they do…
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker Is Insecure
Anakin, meanwhile, is waiting outside for Padme to signal him once she’s got the dirt on Clovis and he’s totally fine and not freaking out or worried because why would he be nothing to see here. Poor Anakin.
Recurring Theme: Dinner With The Bad Guys
Padme’s making her grand arrival for dinner in a New Outfit (and it’s backless, guys, so watch the fuck out because this girl is playing to win,) and Senator Dod puts his Poisoning Plan into action, swiping some poison along the rim of a glass as he hands it off to Padme:
Their dinner goes off without a hitch, until Padme starts feeling not so great as they conclude:
She blames it on standing up too fast, and Clovis offers to take her on a tour of the palace to help her get some fresh air. She accepts as Clovis tells Threepio to beat it:
Anakin Skywalker, Still Totally Fine Guys
Anakin gives up waiting outside but not because he’s impatient and having a total emotional crisis or anything, and he runs into Threepio. Threepio tells him that Padme’s on her own, alone and probably having sex with Clovis and getting married and having his children by now, and Anakin is like OH FML.
Meanwhile, Padme’s tour of the palace has taken her back to the room where the Bad Guys were looking at their Evil Droid Factory Plans earlier. She decides to get rid of Clovis for a few minutes by asking him for something to drink, as she’s still not feeling too great:
Padme Amidala, Brilliant Password Hacker
Clovis leaves to get her some water, and OMG Star Wars, what follows is the goofiest thing ever. I apologize, but this really needs to be shown in full. Padme’s terrible guessing game here makes me wonder if she knows Clovis to be an even bigger doofus than most people in this universe are, or what.
She approaches the console where the hologram was displayed before:
Oh no! It needs a password to get in because even in Star Wars, evil isn’t THAT stupid. Hmm. Let’s try some passwords:
Finally, this silly scene gets to where it was trying to go in the first damn place:
Recurring Theme: Don’t Mind Me, Just Talking To The Audience
Now, she’s got the hologram of the droid factory up on the console, and she does that thing that all of these characters do sometimes where they explain their actions out loud to absolutely nobody because they’re the only one in the scene:
She buzzes Anakin as she snags the hologram. Gee, I wonder if he’ll be happy to hear from her?
The Heartbreak of Darth Vader
Anakin is like YES FINALLY not that I was worried or compulsively vagueposting all over my social media accounts about how I’m so alone in this world or anything:
Unfortunately for Anakin, as he arrives Padme is right smack dab in the middle of distracting Clovis so that he doesn’t spot the hologram she’s got in her hand:
And you know what? I came into this recap ready to mock Anakin’s drama-llama behavior through most of this episode, but honestly, now I’m just sad for him because OH GOD HE LOVES EVERYTHING TOO MUCH AND HIS POOR LITTLE JEDI HEART IS GETTING STOMPED ON. The poor guy hardly even gets to SEE his wife and now the one time he gets to in months he has to watch her hang off some other dude? That sucks, man. I’m not even going to disagree.
She sneaks the hologram over to Anakin while Clovis is busy listening to her rain compliments on him, and Anakin uses the Force to grab it:
…and then gets back to being sad again as he leaves the room:
What he misses, of course, is that seconds after he leaves, Padme swoons — and not the romantic kind of swooning, but the “I’ve been poisoned and I’m dying” kind:
Recurring Theme: R2-D2, Courier of Important Holograms
Anakin runs out to Artoo and hands off a hologram to him with important information about plans for something because this is the actual story of Artoo’s life:
Anakin tells him to get on the ship and deliver the message without him if he’s not back in a jif. He’s got some smooth-talking Senatorial ass to kick.
I Can’t Live Without Her
Clovis sets Padme down to rest in a room and seeks out Dod, to inform him that he knows she’s been poisoned.
Dod is like DUDE, wake up:
Clovis is aghast at this suggestion. No way dude: she’s totally here because she’s into me!
Recurring Theme: Padme Amidala, Dying For And/Or With The Republic
He leaves to check and see if the hologram’s still there and gets some bad news:
He confronts Padme, and she is unapologetic:
My Boyfriend’s a Little Possessive
Just then, Anakin comes Vadering his way in:
Clovis tells Anakin what’s up:
There’s no way they’ll get him to hand over the antidote without giving back the hologram!
Recurring Theme: I Will Do Anything You Ask
BONUS Recurring Theme: We Are Still Out of New Dialogue
Eventually Clovis drops this little tidbit:
And Anakin’s like WELL THAT’S GOOD, GET MOVING DUDE, you can help us get the antidote and get back to Padme’s ship, so we can get her back to Coruscant for medical care which she may or may not live long enough to need. In return, we’ll totally probably give you back the hologram so that Dod doesn’t kill you for fucking up and letting it get stolen it in the first place.
They’re barely on their way out the door when Dod spots them:
…and Clovis decides to get what they need by pointing a blaster at Dod’s face:
Anakin Skywalker, Short On Pity
They get the antidote, race onto Padme’s ship, and at the last second Anakin is like TOO BAD SO SAD, CLOVIS MY BOY:
The ship takes off and Padme expresses a tiny bit of remorse about the whole thing as Aankin gives her the antidote:
Anakin’s like no sweat babe, Team Skywalker won the day amirite? Our kids are gonna be so proud!
Padme’s not so sure it was a good idea:
Anakin is like NAH NO WAY I NEVER I mean I was like totally cool and fine with absolutely everything that just happened just now didn’t you see how smooth and calm I was the whole time about it all?
Rush Clovis, To Be Continued
It’s iris-wipe time, and you know what that means: we’re done here! As we close this episode out, things back on the landing pad are not looking so good for our friend Clovis, but not to worry: he’ll be back, and when we see him a few seasons from now, Anakin’s going to be a whole lot further on his journey into unremitting Darkness. This means things are going to go a lot worse for everyone — but, as a bonus, we’ll get to see Anakin’s horribly depressing Jedi Dorm Room and sit in on one of Obi-Wan’s least encouraging pep talks ever. Until then!