TCW, Season 6, Episode 7: Don’t Bank On It

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The Clone Wars, Season 6 [The Lost Missions], Episode 7: Crisis at the Heart

This is the final installment of this arc. To start at the beginning, go here

I know, readers: we’re all tired of this arc. Fear not, my friends: our Clovis Journey Into Extreme Foreshadowing and Darkness is nearly at an end. When we left off last time, things were in a bad place (as though things ever start in a GOOD place in Star Wars): Padme and Anakin were on the brink of Galactic Divorce after Anakin went absolutely batshit insane when he walked in on Clovis trying to kiss Padme. And by “batshit insane”, I don’t mean his usual Anakin Skywalker, Yeller of Things brand of angry — he quite literally almost beat a guy to death with his fists (…kids’ show!)

Also in the last installment, Obi-Wan visited Anakin in his bedroom and they danced riiiiight up to the obvious, but then disappointed us all by not actually going for it. No, not THAT — how dare you oh my stars why I never what a suggestion surely no one but you has ever entertained this notion — what I meant was that they got reeeeeeally close to almost having an emotional and fully honest conversation with each other about Anakin’s secret marriage and inner turmoil and fear and crushing sadness buuuuuut then they decided not to because how else would Episode III be any fun for all of us?

If it helps, this episode is not as grim as the last one, in that it’s less about Anakin’s Murderous Progress and more about Palpatine being his usual, wicked, scenery-chewing self which is pretty much always more fun to watch.

All right. Off we go!

Coronation Day
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We arrive on Scipio again for Clovis’ Head Bank Guy Coronation Ceremony. Before I move on, I want to call everyone’s attention to the fact that the main plot of this entire episode — of a Star Wars show that ran on Cartoon Network — is about how an evil dictator takes over a central banking system. Like…this is Star Wars, people: that same show with the laser swords and Darth Vader and Jar Jar Binks and actual ghosts and swamp-dwelling supernaturally-gifted Muppets also has this like, constant undercurrent of hilariously in-depth self-serious Political Intrigue, beginning with Episode 4, when one of scenes we are treated to in the first film in the entire canon involves a bunch of dudes in a space conference room talking about the impending dissolution of the Imperial Senate. (George, I love you, but oh my God you are such a dweeb.) (And yes, readers, I know: who’s more of a dweeb? The dweeb or the dweeb who follows him and just WHATEVER. I’m comfortable with who I am.)

Aaaaaaaaaaannnyways, it probably goes without saying that I absolutely love this aspect of of Star Wars. Its eternal willingness to be both “cool” (lasers! Guns! Spaceships! Pew pew pew! Scary Darth Vader! Stuff blowing up!) while also being completely, unabashedly dorky (e.g. talking about fake space politics and people we are supposed to accept as our Brave Heroes saying things like “I’m Luke Skywalker and I’m here to rescue you!” and the Infamous Sand Soliloquy). It’s just…mwah! Perfect. Nothing else is quite like Star Wars. It’s so weird, and I wish more people really thought through what a ceaseless Parade of Wonderful Nonsense it is. The more aware of this I became over the years, the more I loved it.
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Padme, modeling a Mustafar Confrontation Outfit here for the third or fourth time in this arc — JUST IN CASE you guy missed what the writers were laying down oh-so-subtly what with having Anakin almost murder some guy  — is accompanying Clovis for his Big and Special Moment of becoming King of the Banks. (Good to know the fabric can easily stretch to accommodate being pregnant with nearly full-term twins, I guess? The GFFA has some impressive textiles.) She and a Separatist Senator are the only people who will be allowed to go with him to observe the transfer of power, and there’ll be no weapons or anything allowed because NEUTRALITY.

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They go in (apparently later, because Padme has already changed outfits again,) and get to watch the Last Guys Who Ran The Banks get trotted off to prison, since they’ve been set up to take the fall for the siphoning of funds. Clovis sadly watches them go. Padme is asked if she thinks her boy Clovis is up to the task:

Clovis gets crowned Super Bank Guy. Hip hip hooray!

We’re Watching Your Career With Great Interest

No time for Clovis to enjoy his new digs and title in peace, though, because as soon as he moves into his office, he gets a holo-Skype from Count Dooku:

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Dooku is all smarmy and “ohhhh, aren’t we enjoying our new job, Clovey?” and Clovis is like “yeah thanks for placing me in power, Uncle Dooku, but now that I’m Bank King…
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And oh, Clovis. You doofus. Of course, Dooku points out that he owes the Separatists, that it’s their support that got him this job and makes him legit, and so now that they’ve scratched his back, he needs to scratch theirs. Time to give the Seps some cash or they’re totally going to expose him for the back-room evil dealmaker he is!

Clovis is like come ON, I can’t just start setting up shady, crooked loans and handing out cash to old rich white guys with impunity! This is Star Wars, not Lehman Brothers!
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Dooku tells him to turn up the heat on the Republic so that Dooku can get himself some spending money for, I dunno, battle droids and probably expensive Scotch and a flower arrangement for Boss’s Day.
tcw-s6-e7-0044tcw-s6-e7-0045 Clovis stupidly tries to say no, and Dooku’s like yeeeeeah, but, I think you will. Also thanks for doing business with SithCo! Stay on the line to tell us how great your experience was! Dooku hangs up and Clovis pouts his way out of the scene.

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Back in the bank Evil Overlord Room or…whatever the hell this room is supposed to be (THOSE MONITORS. What. The fuck.) Padme is getting filled in on Clovis’ first order of business: screwing over the Republic! He’s sorry, but he’s going to have to jack up the rates on their loans. Padme is furious and shocked:

Team Evil vs. Team Evil

This is a sentiment that’s going to be shared with her Senatorial colleagues, too, as we cut to the Senate which…you know, sometimes you hear some line from Star Wars, or see someone’s costume, or see a Star Wars set so many times that you start to forget how crazy it is? This room is one of those sets.  The Senate hall is amazing. Those little floating pods! LOL. Anyways, the Senators are all up in arms about Clovis and his Evil Loan Rate Hike (hahahahahaha this plotline):
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Palpatine, playing his children against each other, then makes sure to notify everyone that for the Separatists…

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Everyone is predictably like BOOOOOO (including an annoyed Mon Mothma, marking the second or third time in this arc alone that she or Bail Organa have been like “what a bunch of bullshit this is”,) and a ruckus ensues. Mace, Anakin and Yoda are watching this from a darkened corner like a bunch of awkward kids no one invited, looking mighty unimpressed. tcw-s6-e7-0055

It Was Bound To Happen Once

Yoda points out that Anakin (and well, really, all of the Jedi for once, since they all kind of seemed to think Clovis was an asshole to one degree or another over all of his episodes,) may have for once in his actual life been right about someone’s ulterior motives:

Even Anakin, though, isn’t taking much pleasure in this, because the fact that Clovis is doing this seems less like an indication that he’s evil and more like an indication that something bigger is afoot: it makes no sense for Clovis to come out guns a-blazing and do something this incendiary in like his first 5 hours on the job. Mace agrees, and Yoda notes:
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Anakin, on a veritable roll of insightfulness for the first time ever, voices a thought:
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Hahahahahahaha oh you want things to make sense, Skywalker? Oh. That’s adorable. 

Just Another Day in the Office

Back in that weirdass cockpit that’s got a lighting scheme that I can best describe as “Tron Meets the Aesthetic of a Halloween Express Store”, Count Dooku moves his plan into its next phase: send the Separatist forces nearby out to attack the Republic troops that are currently on Scipio with Padme, making Clovis look like he’s got the backing of the Separatist army and is Being Aggressive:

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The Clones are caught by surprise. Commander Thorn comms over to Padme, who is once again just staring wistfully at the horizon (is this everyone’s default setting? “You aren’t actively doing something, so just go look at the sky”?), to tell her the bad news:
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He tells her to try and get off the planet on her own — they can’t get to her. He then makes a brave last stand (“…for the Republic!”), but is outnumbered and gunned down:

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Oh the Clones. 😥

Dooku arrives as this battle concludes, striding past the dead troopers and broken droids as though they’re nothing. Dooku sucks. He can wear the hell out of a cape, and he’s like an almost perfectly eeeeevil villain, but he still sucks.

Sometimes He Gets Bored, OK?

Back on Coruscant, Padme is holo-Skyping with Mas Amedda, Palpatine and Anakin. So were they all just hanging out in Palpatine’s office? Awww, do these three do dinner sometimes already? Like a…Galactic Empire Pre-union Get-Together? (They’re called Unhappy Hours.) (Yes I know that was a terrible joke and I DON’T CARE.)

Padme tells them that she believes a full-on invasion of Scipio is underway.

Palpatine here…LOL. OK, I think maybe sometimes he just gets BORED with being surrounded by Brave Heroes Who Never Have Any Real Fucking Idea What’s Going On, because occasionally in this series he will purposely ask leading questions as though he almost is DARING the Good Guys to figure it out and connect the fucking dots:
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And for the purposes of whose insane Xanatos Gambit?!

Fortunately, Sheev can just keep asking these obvious questions and then laughing at the gang behind their backs, because he is rightly secure in the fact that most people’s fabulous hair is siphoning away about 50% of their deductive reasoning skills at all times. He says that if this is indeed an invasion, well, the Senate is surely going to vote to attack Scipio. He tells Padme he wants her home right now, young lady!

She solemnly informs them she has no way to get home:

Everything’s Coming Up Sheev!

Just then, Padme gets abducted by a battle droid and carried off. Palpatine is like CHA-CHING! Man, things are really lining up for old Sheev Palpatine right now, aren’t they? Damn. So guess who’s like, pretty perturbed about Padme possibly being killed? HMMM? WANNA TAKE A WILD FUCKING GUESS?!

Seizing on this, Palpatine tells Anakin:

Oh isn’t that nice. Palpatine trusts Anakin. Nobody else does, you know? Nope. He’s alllll alone out there. Except for Uncle Palpatine who wuvs him and wants to help him. By the way, do you like black, Anakin? Can you try this cape on one sec real quick? (OK, Amedda, we’ll need to make it a bit longer though because I think we’re gonna try to make him taller later, but this gives you the idea, right? You can send these over to the wardrobe department? Fantaaasssstic.)

Only a Sith Deals in Recycled Dialogue

Back on Scipio, Padme is learning that Clovis and Dooku had been buddying up and she is PISSED. Dooku is like “Oh huh, I thought you were on our side now…”

Then the writers spin the Wheel o’ Dialogue and we get this modified rerun line: hey, either you’re on board with this, Amidala…
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Then he does some Darksider stuff where, after Padme awesomely points a gun at him, he uses the Force to aim the gun at her Separatist Senator counterpart, shooting and killing him. Clovis, a dope, is aghast:

Padme is shocked!
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Dooku is like bwahahahahaha oh you are so screwed it’s like the guy you were working with is secretly out to fuck you over and you have no idea GOD how embarrassing for you I would literally die if that happened to meeeee:

Padme is furious at Clovis: how could he fake his idealism? What about his Tragic Childhood stories?!

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In the Senate, Sheev busts out one of those Big Inspiring Speeches he gives all the time, this time about how Clovis is a tool and that he’s sending Anakin to go save the banks and the day and give him something to write about in his evil logbook this evening:

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Let It Go, Let It Go

Mace, Yoda and Anakin are planning out their approach here. We can enter this conversation into the backlog of “Times Where The Jedi Order Pretty Much Told Anakin To His Face That They Had His Number”, as Yoda tells Anakin that in order to succeed here:

This bolsters my side theory that the Jedi Order actually just wanted to be destroyed, because really: this is not the first or the last time someone is going to all but say aloud that they know Anakin and Padme are hooking up on the regular and that it’s making Anakin (more) insane. Like, maybe they all knew they were doomed but they were like “yeah, but stopping it now would be so much work and it’s already 3:30PM…I mean, we should at least just take a wait-and-see approach for another couple years.”

Yoda wraps this up with a warning:

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…do you, though?

If You Can’t Laugh Evilly While Carrying Out Your Evil Plot, Why Even Do It?

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Dooku is striding along, holo-Skyping with Darth Sidious. Sidious gleefully notes that Clovis played right into their hands, and that with all the commotion and Padme being in danger and Anakin coming over there to kick ass, things are going to get out of hand quickly — and the Republic will never stand for it.

Clearly, they’re going to demand that Clovis be ousted and that the banks be put…
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Recurring Theme: How Does That Work?

So, uh, OK: Clovis was voted IN to power because of his alleged neutrality and backing by the Separatists. But now…the Republic can just decide to put their guy in charge? Is the presumption here that the Republic is going to just flat-out own the banks now?

You know what? I don’t really care; it doesn’t matter. Fine: so Sidious is delighted about this because it means he’ll have the ultimate blank check and can finally start, I dunno, paying Jyn Erso’s dad an actual salary for all that superweapon research he’s doing for him or something.

He caps this scene off with a for-real evil laugh:
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Dooku hangs up on this happy note, gets in his solar sailer and leaves Scipio.

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Recurring Theme: You Sold Out, Man

Padme is berating Clovis for having lied to her, double-crossed her and also causing the end of the world probably. Padme, I love you, but you have not had great luck with choosing guys who won’t be swayed by Ultimate Evil. Maybe you should have stuck with that artist guy from Senate Camp you told Anakin about that one time.

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Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Padme, But, Like With Obi-Wan, Is Not Always Good at Determining If She’s Alive Or Not

Anakin and Rex are arriving, and Anakin’s getting nervous: is Padme still OK?
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Rex tells him:

So, uh, what the hell kind of tool is Rex using here, and can it be used on anyone? Was Padme microchipped or something? If you can just fly over a planet and scan to see if a specific person is alive, that seems like technology that could have helped a few people out more than once in this series/saga. OK then.

…And That’s Why You Don’t Trust The Sith (Reprise)

With the Republic Guys on their way, Dooku tells his droids that it’s time for them to GTFO:

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Clovis is informed of the Republic’s imminent arrival, too, and is extremely un-OK with this:
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Whoopsie! Turns out Dooku’s like, already not even here anymore. You’re on your own, Clovis! Don’t worry. It’s not like the Republic sent anyone who is a killing machine who hates you. Oh wait:

Anakin then does some Jedi Gymnastics as he makes his way into the building to rescue Padme:

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Whee!

Recurring Theme: I Just Wanted to Do Something Good But Then I Did Something Unfathomably Bad Instead

Clovis is having a moment of reflection as it begins to dawn on him how utterly fucked everything is:

Padme urges him to turn himself in, but he is quiet in response. Just then, Anakin arrives and, to protect himself, Clovis takes Padme hostage:

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It sure was nice of everyone to coordinate their outfit color schemes for this episode!

Anakin attempts to negotiate here:
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Recurring Theme: Someone Spells It Out and Is Rebuffed

Clovis points out something helpful that no one will take seriously:

He asks Padme to back him up here, but she’s not feeling charitable. She demands that he let her go.

Suddenly, a chunk of flaming fuselage goes flying through the giant window of this room and glass shatters everywhere. The building begins to weaken and tilt towards collapse. All three of them are sent careening towards a ledge and Anakin has to hold on to Clovis and Padme’s hands:

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Even Superguy here can’t pull both of them up, and Clovis proves himself once and for all:
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Clovis lets go, falling to his death, freeing up Anakin’s other arm and allowing her to be saved.

Thank Goodness Everything’s Fine Now

The Skywalkers huddle together and, huh, I guess nothing brings two people closer than when the guy who was a key part of their recent relationship problems conveniently dies and you both survive a brush with death, I guess. tcw-s6-e7-0190tcw-s6-e7-0191

Well then! Good to know all the bad things are behind these two now and everything will be just fine.

Recurring Theme: Palpatine’s Our Man

The Senate’s in session, and after the Muuns are done totally throwing Clovis under the bus and blaming him for every single bad thing that happened, they make the important decision that…

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Palpatine, of course, gives a dramatic, smirking acceptance speech about how they can’t let their money be controlled by a “madman” like Dooku, just the one person in the entire fucking galaxy who is more evil than Dooku is.

No worries, everyone — he’ll totally return things back to the way they were once the Clone Wars end, too. tcw-s6-e7-0206tcw-s6-e7-0207tcw-s6-e7-0208

…OK, now you’re just rubbing it in, Sheev. Jesus.

He then ends this speech by starting a chant:
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…and I’m sorry, but I laugh at this every single time, because most of the Senate joins in and LOL, WHAT A WEIRD THING TO HAVE A GIGANTIC GROUP CHANT ABOUT. Oh Star Wars. You are SO DORKY.

From the sidelines, Padme, wearing her “so this is how liberty dies” outfit, watches with concern. Well, at least we know she chooses her ensembles very carefully! I am damn impressed. Anakin, cloaked in darkness because I am now convinced that by this point in the timeline he had a literal raincloud that hovered over his head 24/7, watches her as we mercifully iris-wipe out of this arc once and for all. Phew!
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Previously:

TCW, Season 6, Episode 5: If Only There’d Been Warning Signs 
TCW, Season 6, Episode 6: In Too Deep