The Clone Wars, Season 6 [The Lost Missions], Episode 6: The Rise of Clovis
This is the second episode that has been recapped from this arc. To start at the beginning, go here.
What am I even going to DO with this episode? Oh my God. The things. It does contain one scene I have been DYING to rant about since the moment I watched it the first time, but even so: the PATHOS in this. And holy shit, it’s so much darker than I even remembered it being. Oh Anakin. Oh Padme. Oh Obi-Wan. OH EVERYONE. Also: fuck you, Sheev. (There you have it, readers — the TL; DR of my entire blog.)
All right, well, let’s get on with it, then. You’ll recall that at the end of our last installment, Padme, Anakin and Rush Clovis were making a Dramatic Getaway from the Banking Planet of Scipio, with important information that can expose the fact that someone’s been stealing money from the vaults there — there’s War Profiteering, an Evil Shadowy Conspiracy, etc. You know: the usual. Anakin was handling the fact that Padme had had a boyfriend who was not him (when Anakin was probably like 16 years old or something) with his usual extreme level of chill and poise. Padme, meanwhile, was left to try to keep things on message so that she can continue to work for the betterment of the Republic she loves and that is very nearly dead now even though she doesn’t know it yet. Well. I’m fine.
Not to worry: this episode features all sorts of uplifting moments that will help us get through it. Just kidding — it’s a trainwreck, and by the end of it we’re just going to feel bad. I will warn you all now that this ended up being one of my longer recaps, and it’s chock-full of screengrabs. There’s just a ton of stuff going on in this one. You may want to get comfortable.
Recurring Theme: Sheev Palpatine, Man With a Plan
Sidious, a man who is aiming to hit some major Sith Stretch Goals this year, is holo-Skyping with the Banking Clan. They inform him that Padme’s on her way to Coruscant with her guys, which Sidious already knows. He assures them that even with the Secret Information she has on hand, they will be protected.
Home Dramatic Home
The trio arrive on that same landing platform that we’ve seen people land on on Coruscant about 6 trillion other times, where they’re greeted by Yoda. Anakin is like WHOA why are you here? Shouldn’t you be sitting in the dark in the Council room or that one closet with the mini-blinds like always?
Wanna guess who sent Yoda over here to play Welcome Wagon?
Padme’s like “hey Yodes, you ever meet this Clovis guy?” And Yoda’s like “yep, and from what I know he’s kind of an asshole. I’m not sure he should be here but whatever, let’s go see Palpatine.”
Recurring Theme: Sheev Palpatine, Terrible Matchmaker
In Palps’ office, Bail Organa is telling Clovis that he’s not sure he deserves to be trusted — he was funneling money to Dooku’s droid factories! He sucks.
Clovis is like yes yes, things were said, mistakes were made, but seriously guys: he just wants to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Anakin immediately is like:
Clovis brings up the information he and Padme stole in the last episode: proof that someone’s been funneling funds away from the Banking Clan’s vaults…
Padme vouches for the veracity of the information, saying that she was the one who retrieved it.
Palpatine is like OH HEY FUNNY YOU SHOULD MENTION THAT! All right then, Amidala: I want you to see this investigation through. But please, by all means — work closely with Clovis. Get right in there with him, Padme. Maybe you two should sleep in the same bed for a while for the sake of the mission. I’m sure no one in this room would mind it if you did!
Anakin, hearing this, has an internal meltdown that only Yoda can hear probably because he just got hit in his little green face with a heaping dose of Dark Side. Yoda gives Anakin a very amusing side-eye as Palpatine concludes this meeting.
You Don’t Own Me
Anakin’s inner freakout is followed closely by an external one when he and Padme leave the room. He takes her aside and asks why she didn’t just tell The President of the Universe that she won’t do her job:
They have a reprise of the same exact conversation they had in the last Clovis Adventure in their little private Senate pod. Once again, Anakin is like “don’t do it because I’m the Husband and I said so” and Padme is like “yeeeeaaaaah fuck you”:
Clovis walks in on the tail end of this conversation, and asks Padme if they should get started with their investigation. Padme pointedly takes her leave, and Anakin looks forlorn. Whatever, Skywalker.
Let’s Give Clovis a Promotion
Sidious and Dooku have a quick holo-Skype chat about Clovis — that jerk thinks he can just be a good guy now?! I don’t fucking think so. We need to get him back on our side by sweetening the deal for him a smidge:
Anakin Skywalker, Storage-Room-Dweller
Later, Anakin is in his Jedi Dorm Room, and I cannot — CANNOT — get over this set. For one thing, did you all notice how great the lighting is in here?
…I am kidding, of course. Naturally Anakin’s room, like everywhere else in the Temple, clearly has no electricity. His room is kinda weirdly laid out and cluttered. Coupled with the gigantic windows in here, it gives the impression that the Jedi ran out of real rooms and just moved Anakin into an old conference room. I’m guessing there’s like, broken Xerox machine parts in here and boxes of printer paper and extra chairs for when the Jedi rent out the main hall for weddings and bar mitzvahs (hey, the Order has to generate extra cash sometimes). I suppose it’s not a big deal: Anakin’s not home very often, and when he is he’s usually having Shirtless Nightmares at Padme’s apartment anyways, so maybe he volunteered to be assigned to Conference Room T or whatever this is.
No matter — he’s in there now, tinkering with something with the blinds partially drawn (because why take advantage of daylight or TURN ON A FUCKING LIGHT while using a device that is shooting sparks out left and right? Yes, Anakin: please make sure to work in as little illumination as possible here. God, I can’t believe it took him as long as it did to lose a hand.)
It’s Quiet Hours After 10PM
Obi-Wan barges in. Way to knock, Kenobi. Rude! So, let’s just all get one thing settled here: Obi-Wan is 100% the Jedi Temple RA. You cannot make me believe otherwise. How could he NOT be? He probably initially was planning to come in here because someone had reported Anakin for having a hot plate in his room.
Apparently planning to write up Anakin for infractions later, he instead tells him that he’s been looking for him because word on the street from Yoda (The Head Jedi Gossip) is that Anakin is having a Clovis-Flavored Freakout. Everything OK there, buddy?
Anakin is like “nope, just think the guy’s a creep and we shouldn’t trust him. NO PROBLEMS HERE I AM FINE.” Obi-Wan, in turn, points out that he can tell Anakin’s having a rage stroke just from the WORD “Clovis”:
Let’s rap, my friend: what’s really going on with you, because you’re freaking everyone out? Anakin is like WHATEVER I JUST THINK CLOVIS SUCKS OK?! He almost got Padme killed and it would have been ALL MY FAULT and wouldn’t THAT be the worst???
Obi-Wan, speaking the truth, points out that Padme is perfectly capable of kicking ass and taking names on her own — she doesn’t need Anakin to submerge himself in Angst Gatorade worrying for her safety. (Obi-Wan would know — he’s been witnessing Padme’s Many Acts of Badassery since she was a fucking TEENAGE WARRIOR QUEEN.)
Anakin walks a few paces away from Obi-Wan and takes a seat on some Office Max boxes stuck in the corner and again I need to break to point out some things:
A) he is putzing with a TOY SPACESHIP while talking to Obi-Wan here (no wonder Luke turned out so cool)
B) he has a PODRACING POSTER in his room. Now, regular readers know that this poster also decorates the one room of one Ezra Bridger, so perhaps this poster is only owned by people who are considering a career with the Dark Side. Either way, as one of my friends once said, “dude has a Sebulba poster in his room. Talk about not being able to let go.”
Anakin says that he knows that Padme and Clovis totally used to hook up, and, uh, it’s just that…
Let’s Have The Talk, Finally (Or Not)
Finally, here we have it: the closest these two are ever gonna get to THE ONLY CONVERSATION THEY NEED TO HAVE. My jaw dropped when I watched this the first time and then I had a series of small heart attacks (no, I don’t understand why a show full of VERY DRAMATIC PEOPLE speaks to me so much.) Anakin snaps:
Obi-Wan takes a seat on the end of Anakin’s bed (…? I honestly don’t even know, it’s hard to tell BECAUSE THERE’S NO FUCKING LIGHTS ON IN THIS ROOM), and his body language here is just…heart-squeezing. You can see him deflate as he speaks. Obi-Wan is like HOW FUCKING STUPID DO YOU THINK I AM SKYWALKER? Come ON, gimme a little credit here:
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
Looking pained, Obi-Wan throws out there that, well, Anakin met Satine, right? and I’m like noooooooooooo oh Star Wars don’t doooo this to meeeee:
Obi-Wan gently points out that it’s normal to have feelings for another person (OH WHY STAR WARS) but that, well…this is their shitty life, OK? Some things just cannot happen. At least, not repeatedly. OK, maybe repeatedly but you can’t spend the night. OK FINE, you CAN, but you still have to lie to Qui-Gon about it. OK FINE, Qui-Gon totally figured it out anyways so you don’t have to lie to him — the important part is, no matter what, at the end of the day, you still have to leave Mandalore and learn to suffocate your feelings by being pompous and sass-flirting with literally everyone for the rest of your life, including people who are actively trying to kill you. You know. Figuratively speaking of course. (YES, I may be embellishing this conversation a little bit. Unlike Obi-Wan, I regret nothing.)
Anakin refuses to let down his guard. Initially, he actually looks like he’s going to throw the toy spaceship at Obi-Wan, but instead, he slams it down on a shelf and shoots back the following without hesitation:
And really: this punk has the nerve to act OFFENDED by what Obi-Wan is implying here (that is, the TRUTH). Seriously, Skywalker.
So, Obi-Wan’s awesome pep talk for Anakin here is, more or less: “Hey, remember my tragic love story? Where I loved someone and then had to eschew happiness so that I could run around the universe and get shot at with you instead? And then also she died? Yeah, well, that’ll be your life, too, little camper! We’re Jedi! It’s what we do! It’s OK! I’m fine! It’s fine! Everything’s FINE. FINE. Fine. Fine. We’ll be fine. You and me. We’ll both be fine. It’s fine. I’m OK.”
We Can Unlock This Misery
I think, in the past, things might have gone differently, and Anakin might have blurted out the truth. By this point, though, Anakin’s made a good amount of progress on building a wall between himself and the people who care about him– so instead, he just categorically denies he even has feelings for Padme, let alone that he’s in love with her and that OH YEAH they’re married. Furthermore, he forcefully insists that Padme and Clovis have no relationship.
Obi-Wan looks disappointed, and so do I. He notes, giving Anakin a face that clearly suggests that he is not buying ANY of this:
My heart falls apart and I yell at Obi-Wan to turn around and punch Anakin in the arm until he confesses what Obi-Wan already knows in his heart to be true, but instead he stands up and begins to walk away while they BOTH LOOK SO SAD. Well. This has been a great talk, guys! Oh, my little space peanuts. What could have been.
Recurring Theme: Nothing Good Can Come From A Night At The Opera
Back at Padme’s place, she and Clovis are back from the opera. I am sorry, but Palpatine never actually SAID they should go out on dates as part of this plan to uncover the Mystery of the Bank Vaults, so why exactly did this evening include them going out to a show and then heading back for dinner IN THE DARK at Padme’s APARTMENT? (Also, uh oh: she’s wearing something from the Padme Amidala Forbidden Seduction Collection. Everyone, hold onto your hearts.)
She begins by saying the opera was fun…
Clovis pulls up some info on his computer and they start discussing the empty bank accounts.
It appears that, as with everything, The Forces of Evil have been slllooooowwwwly chipping away at the accounts:
Padme is heartened that they seem to be getting somewhere, but they’re not ready to go public with the full story yet:
Having done a whopping 30 whole seconds of work, they now get down to drinking martinis and eating snacks. I really support this work style.
Recurring Theme: My Tragic Childhood
While they recall Old Times fighting for truth and justice in the Senate. Clovis starts getting Ideas about REALLY reliving old times:
In order to sidetrack him, Padme finally asks Clovis how he ended up with the Banking Clan anyways, hoping, evidently, that it’s a long and not at all sexual story.
He ends up telling her his Tragic Backstory about how he and his family used to be servants for a Muun family, who ended up adopting him and caring for him after his family died. Padme is moved by this, not having realized this was so personal for him. Clovis counters that maybe now, understanding his motivations better, she will trust him again.
What a Question
Clovis then takes her hands in his, and she starts getting evasive. A theme in this episode, really, is “No One Is Buying It, Mr. and Mrs. Skywalker”, because when she does this, Clovis just flat-out asks her if “that Jedi” has something to do with it. And, just like Anakin, Padme has the nerve to look SHOCKED that someone could have jumped to this conclusion!
She falls all over herself to insist that they’re just friends. Clovis, turning the heat up a little bit further, is like HUH I THOUGHT IT WAS ILLEGAL FOR THEM TO HAVE SEX ANYWAYS:
Padme continues to insist:
Clovis calls her bluff AND is a creep as he goes in for a kiss:
I Won’t Give This Sequence a Smartass Subtitle
So, at the very second Clovis is about to plant one on Padme, Anakin shows up because of course he does because that is what would make this scene the most dramatic:
Anakin takes this terribly. Terribly.
I could be my usual snarky self here, but, I’ve gotta be frank with you all: Anakin completely loses it here and he is…well, he’s just scary. It should not really be a surprise to anyone to learn Darth Vader is not a nice person, but all the same, this sequence is quite jarring.
Anakin flies at Clovis and proceeds to — no exaggeration — beat the absolute living shit out of him while Padme screams at him to stop. It’s upsetting and it carries on for some time.
Anakin also sneaks in one of these:
He is in the process of pummeling Clovis into a pulp, when Padme screams at him again and he finally starts to snap out of it:
He looks down at his own hands like he doesn’t know who was operating them.
Overhearing the commotion, they have visitors knocking and asking if everything’s OK in there:
Recurring Theme: Cover-Up
Clovis, in better shape than I’d expect him to be, covers for Anakin and blames the attack on an unknown assailant who fled via the balcony.
Everyone buys this story, and Clovis is taken for medical attention. As this awful scene ends, Padme tells Anakin in no uncertain terms:
Anakin watches her leave without argument.
You Know I Love You But I Just Can’t Take This
Later, Padme returns to the apartment and hooooo boy, this is one heck of a conversation between these two. He first asks after Clovis, whom Padme says will be fine — nothing that won’t heal. Anakin begins to try and explain himself:
Padme tells him what’s done is done.
Padme cuts off his pity party by saying that she regrets that he walked in on that, but FFS ANAKIN, he has to believe and understand that she doesn’t have any feelings for this guy, OK? And oh by the way:
Padme then REALLY gets to the heart of things here by calling out the obvious: their marriage is in MAJOR FUCKING TROUBLE.
Things then get really grim for them as Padme confesses that this whole thing is making her reevaluate their marriage:
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Padme
Padme heartbreakingly says that their marriage is nothing like normal peoples’ marriages. Other people…
Like, what exactly was the objective here with this episode, writers? The old Kenobi-Amidala One-Two Gut Punch? God. I am so sad for her here. She continues that their marriage is BUILT on a lie…
Recurring Theme: I Thought I Knew Who You Were Behind That Mask
Anakin tries to go into recovery mode:
Padme insightfully remarks:
I’m Sure It’ll All Work Out
Finally, she hands him his (temporary) walking papers.
As Anakin leaves, Padme is asked, again, if everything’s all right in here.
Clovis is being tended to by a medical droid, who sneaks him a secret holo-Skype from Count Dooku, who’s got a proposition for him: wanna be the Head Banking Clan Guy? The Separatists will totally back you if you want it!
Clovis is skeptical, and after some back-and-forth asks Dooku what exactly is in it for Dooku if he does this:
Clovis accepts the terms of their deal. Man, Palpatine is cleaning up this week!
New Career Path
So the next day Clovis unveils his plan to run for President of the Banking Clan or whatever the fuck is going on. It doesn’t matter: all you need to know is that he is gonna become Head Bank Guy and this way the bad guys will get the heat taken off of them and no one will find out that Dooku and Palpatine stole all the money from the vaults and spent it on capes.
Padme beams at Clovis and tells him that all he has to do now is win over the Senate! Also sorry my Jedi boyfriend almost murdered you!
So now we’re in the Senate, and Anakin is watching the proceedings from the shadows:
Clovis and Padme take to a floating pod to address the Senate. Clovis (which seriously doesn’t even look like a word to me anymore,) tells the Senate that he will restore order to the banks….
..who have led to theft of the funds. He’s got bipartisan support! Clovis is your man!
A vote is taken (which, I should note, Bail Organa votes against,) and Clovis emerges the winner.
Anakin continues to watch angrily from the shadows as everyone congratulates Clovis.
Recurring Theme: Bonding Time With My Evil Son
So now he’s stalking down the hallway, and he catches up with Palpatine. And, FOR REAL: THIS GUY IS AN ASSHOLE. He knows exactly what he’s doing and he is just reveling in having gotten to Anakin this badly.
He continues his tried-and-tested approach of playing the “no one understands you but me” card by being like “Oh SURE, Clovis WON, but I still don’t LIKE him!”
Anakin is like “gee thanks for understanding, Evil Dad!” And then Palpatine dials it up a notch by telling Anakin that there’s surely a Secret Conspiracy and JUST COME THE FUCK ON STAR WARS AFTER EVERYTHING YOU’VE ALREADY PUT ME THROUGH IN THIS ONE I DO NOT NEED THIS.
He then puts the cherry on the shit sundae that is this episode and is like GEE. I sure do hope no one gets killed or anything because oh my goodness that would just be terrible. Let’s PRAY that doesn’t happen…
Anakin agrees that any more carnage would be totally horrible. Palpatine leaves and Anakin is left to Contemplate His Encroaching Darkness without even a window to stare out of wistfully.
FUCK THIS EPISODE. Anyways. We iris-wipe out, but this series isn’t done torturing me with Clovis Drama yet, so we’ve still got one more round of (this kind of) suffering to get through. Let’s all go take a breather, shall we? Til next time, dear readers!