TCW, Season 5, Episode 18: No Way Out

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The Clone Wars, Season 5, Episode 18: The Jedi Who Knew Too Much
This is the second recap from this arc. To start at the beginning, go here

Am I ready to continue this arc now? No, not really, but nevertheless: here I am. Bring on the pain, Filoni and company.

In the last chapter of this arc, Anakin and Ahsoka spent some time as criminal investigators, as they sought to identify the culprit behind a terrible and deadly bombing of the Jedi Temple. About half their time was spent doing actual investigating, and the other half was spent repeatedly rubbing salt in my wounds by asking over and over and over again what kind of inhuman monster could POSSIBLY attack the Jedi Temple and OH MY GOD what if it had been a JEDI wouldn’t THAT be the worst. (Yes, Star Wars. It would. Thanks.)

Ultimately they discovered that a woman named Letta had been behind the bombing, and they took her into custody. Well then! Sounds like everything is all wrapped up now, huh? I guess we can all just go home. Good job, Snips! Good job, Skyguy! Isn’t it great that we’ll all live happily ever after now?

OK FINE. Let’s go.

And Now a Eulogy From Father Yoda

We get things going with a good old fashioned Insanely Over the Top Jedi Funeral/Jedi Roast, where Father Yoda is delivering a sermon about how this life is temporary and lifting everyone’s spirits by reminding them that they’ll all die someday, too:

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Well except for you, Kenobi. You and I have to stick around for the rest of eternity watching Anakin’s family fuck things up again. You too, Skywalker. 

I have questions about this service, and the main one is this: remember that time Obi-Wan stupidly faked his own death so that he could participate in a Bounty Hunter Obstacle Course that was hosted by Count Dooku and housed in a gigantic Rubik’s Cube? His fake funeral, which was also held in this weird, TERRIBLY LIT (BECAUSE OF COURSE) room that has STADIUM SEATING for some reason (wouldn’t want anyone to have an obstructed view of the shrouded corpses!) had a WAY smaller turnout than this one does. Now, this funeral is for several Jedi at once, but seriously: if I were Kenobes, I’d be feeling a liiiiiittle miffed about this right now. One of the best and handsomest Jedi dies and he gets like 15 people at his funeral? Was everyone turned off by Anakin’s glowering, menacing presence at that one and they all left early? (Also, LOL forever that the Jedi’s spectator cremation chamber is built to accommodate MULTIPLE FUNERALS at once. I guess the Jedi have always been prone to high-casualty disasters that demanded that a room like this be built.)

Ahsoka is standing and watching with sadness next to Barriss Offee, who also looks deeply depressed. Ahsoka asks Barriss if she was close to any of the Jedi who died:

Yoda tells everyone that’s a wrap: let us go in peace to love and serve the Force.
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The bodies are drawn into the floor, and apparently blasted into dust with an actual SUN because Jesus Christ that is a bright light.

Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s Eldest Child

Later, in the only hallway we pretty much ever see despite the fact that I have to believe there’s more than just the one, Barriss, Ahsoka, Anakin and Then-Admiral Tarkin and his snotty little rat face are walking together. Tarkin tells the group that Letta, the bombing suspect, has been moved out of the Jedi’s jurisdiction and into a military prison.

Ahsoka, every bit Anakin’s child in all but genetics, hotheadedly is like WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP LET US HANDLE THIS:

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Tarkin disagrees. This goes beyond the realm of the Jedi:
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Anakin, because this entire arc is just one great big Darth Vader warm-up lap for him, takes Tarkin’s side:

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Ahsoka Tano is having exactly none of this and starts doing some yelling:

Anakin Skywalker, One Time Actually Said This To Someone

Please take a moment to appreciate, in the midst of this very sad episode, the beauty of Anakin Skywalker having to ask someone ELSE to calm down. I’m 100% sure Kenobi was standing a few paces away hiding behind one of those columns and laughing his pale rear end off right now.

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Ah, but this moment of hilarity can’t last, of course, because this is Star Wars and so each moment that makes me laugh must be immediately followed by something that makes me cry. Anakin shouts over to the writers to throw him a line of recycled dialogue — and make it one that is full of dramatic irony while you’re at it, will ya?
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Anakin was apparently so concerned that Ahsoka know this, that he even made sure to mention it to her again, many years from this point:

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Gosh, Anakin! That was some thoughtful callbackery. Thanks! I feel warm and fuzzy about this episode already. (I apologize for making you all look at that episode of Rebels so early into our journey of pain here, but I cannot promise I don’t have more coming.)

Barriss quietly and sadly frets that nothing will ever change, then takes her leave. Tarkin and Ahsoka continue to bicker: Tarkin says that like, everyone is so sick of the Jedi being involved in all this military stuff when they’re supposed to be peacekeepers and not soldiers and just what the fuck EVER, Tarkin: if you guys don’t want them going to war (which of course we know you DO,) then STOP SENDING THEM.

As Tarkin gets ready to leave, Ahsoka scowls at him:

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Tarkin is like OH HA HA HA THIS IS VERY FUNNY ISN’T IT, AUDIENCE?

Well, no argument here, Mr. Future Grand Moff. I guess. Anakin sends Ahsoka to go after Barriss. He then joins Tarkin in the elevator (! Uh oh. Riding in an elevator with another man! Obi-Wan’s gonna be jealoussssss,) while apologizing for Ahsoka’s hothead ways as though her youth is solely to blame, and not the fact that she listens to him flip out at stuff all the time.

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Recurring Theme: Don’t Worry, Everything Will Totally Work Out

Ahsoka catches up to Barriss and they have some back and forth about managing their emotions in the wake of all this craziness. Barriss asks if Ahsoka’s ever wondered…

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Well if your emotions are telling you to blow shit up and frame your friend, then, yes. It would be OK to IGNORE THOSE EMOTIONS.

Ahsoka then claims that ANAKIN, human disaster who wears his heart on his sleeve, told her this:
tcw-s5-e18-0027Two things: 1. I guess he never said he’d been successful at it, only that it was their struggle, so I suppose I buy this and 2. I once again accidentally got a shot of Ahsoka looking at the audience.

Before they can conclude their chat, Anakin calls for Ahsoka: she’s needed in the War Room.

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Ahsoka bids Barriss farewell, telling her not to worry about the bomber:
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Barriss is…not reassured by this statement.
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I’m Only Including This Part Because Obi-Wan Is In It and I Want Us All To Look At Him

The setup for the next scene isn’t important, as it’s really just Obi-Wan blathering on about coordinates and battle plans, but look how handsome he is even in cartoon holo-Skype form. I wanted us all to have something good to cling to briefly, before we attempt to survive the rest of this episode. Enjoy!

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Your Frame-Up Will See You Now

Tarkin interrupts Obi-Wan’s Attractive Holo-Skyping to tell Ahsoka that she’s been requested by Letta, the bombing suspect. Please note that Obi-Wan continues his grand tradition here of giving mild side-eye to the people who eventually will be outed as Evil Assholes. Trust your instincts, Kenobi. Damn.

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“Excuse me, Tarkin, but I was in the middle of handsomely talking about things.”

Anakin is like WTF:

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Tarkin claims that he’s not sure why…

Gosh, it’s almost like it’s part of a shadowy plan that will inevitably lead us to Palpatine for the twelve-hundredth fucking time! Nah. Those never happen around here.

Ahsoka leaves, vowing to share anything she learns with the group when she gets back.

Ahsoka Tano, Prison Interrogator

Ahsoka arrives at the jail and is asked to leave her weapons and comlink behind, which she does:

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She steps into Letta’s cell, and asks the clones to leave them alone so she can get to the bottom of what Letta wants to tell her.

Recurring Theme: Someone Is JUST About To Reveal a Secret, When…

Letta tells Ahsoka that she was helped in the bombing. By a JEDI! Who she now fears! DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!

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Ahsoka isn’t buying it: why would a Jedi want to help her? Letta tells her that the Jedi in question agrees with her, and others, that…

Ahsoka demands a name. It was…it was…

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Yep, she starts force-choking as she’s about to do the Big Reveal. Ahsoka looks on helplessly:
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Ahsoka Tano, Accused Murderer

The clones come busting into the cell: Letta’s dead! Ahsoka doesn’t understand what happened!
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Oh! My little ‘soka. THIS IS NOT OK, SHOW. She is distraught:

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I KNOW YOU DIDN’T SNIPS. 😥

Grand Moff Tarkin, Doesn’t Care About You

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Ahsoka is visited in her own jail cell now by Stupid Jerkass Tarkin. She tries to explain herself: she has no idea what happened, but she didn’t kill Letta…
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Tarkin pulls up the holo-recording of Letta’s cell:

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HOW CONVENIENT

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Ahsoka is starting to come around to the reality of the situation here. Something is really, really wrong:
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Tarkin grandstands: this is a securrrre facility, Lady Tano, no one else could have gotten in, and if someone else did why didn’t you sense them? Also check out my fully-operational battle station, surely Obi-Wan Kenobi must be dead by now, we’ve decided to test this thing out on your home planet of Alderaan, etc.

He caps this off with a callback, grabbing Ahsoka by the chin as she wriggles away:
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Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Clencher of Fists

Hoooooo boy. Wanna guess who’s REALLY NOT OK with Ahsoka being in jail? Anakin arrives and very, very icily demands to see her.

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The clone at the Jail Reception Desk tell him no-can-do:

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Anakin reacts to this information with one of his patented Signature Moves: suppressing and/or amplifying his Dark Side by clenching his hand into a fist of rage.
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Anakin Skywalker, Dramatic Finger-Pointer

Anakin is like LOOK HERE PAL, YOU LET ME IN TO SEE MY DAUGHTER OR I WILL CUT YOU, pointing angrily on the glass:

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Sensing that Anakin’s getting himself a little worked up, a couple guards come up behind him, clarifying:

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Anakin makes an AMAZING face in response.

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Someday I am going to make a photo set that is just Satine and Anakin making angry faces and call it “Obi-Wan’s Favorite Scrapbook”. You know he’d totally look at it and little cartoon hearts would pop out of his head. 

So, Tarkin’s the reason Anakin couldn’t get to Ahsoka here. Don’t take a minute to think about how not only is Vader still working with that guy by the time Kenobi rolls up to the Death Star to deliver Vader his final fuck-you, he’s LETTING HIM BOSS HIM AROUND! Ugh. Anakin. You messed up in so many ways I can scarcely keep track of them all.

Playing Right Into The Invisible Hand

Ahsoka is sitting in her cell, when she spots a key card sitting outside the door. She’s heartened: surely this must be something Anakin left for her! She smirks:

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Oh WHY STAR WARS.

She uses the Force to swipe the key card and open her cell door, and starts making her way out of captivity, all the while thinking this is part of Anakin’s plan for her.

As she heads down the hall, she sees a bunch of knocked-out or dead troopers…and her lightsabers and comlink sitting nearby. She picks up the com and demands to know who it is who’s, er, “helping” her.

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She receives no answer. A clone enters the room:
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Ahsoka Tano, Making a Break For It

The clone, of course, draws the conclusion that “Armed, Fleeing Prisoner” + “Dead Clones” = “Armed Fleeing Prisoner Killed Said Clones”. Ahsoka starts to realize that whoever was helping her get out of the cell wasn’t trying to ACTUALLY help her at all. She tears off and the clone places an urgent bulletin: Ahsoka’s on the run and dangerous!

As they pursue her through the building, two of Ahsoka’s three Space Dads arrive to help find her and Anakin is freaking out as Commander Fox tells the troops to take Ahsoka down:
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Fox is like “Uh, I hate to tell you this, buuuuut”:
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Recurring Theme: Rex and Ahsoka Have Each Other’s Backs

So, again: the Ahsoka book kind of destroyed me, and if you have read it I will just say that I could not help but think of the scene that involves Ahsoka and Rex during this part of this episode. UGH. Oh you guys. Rex pipes up that Ahsoka cannot have been the culprit:

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REX KNOWS THE SCORE.

Anakin is no longer even listening to them, he’s just desperately trying to find her like a dad who’s lost his kid in a department store:
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Recurring Theme: We’re Hitting a Fork in the Road

Ahsoka calls down to him from the vents, where she’s hiding because it HAD been possibly as long as a couple of days since someone had done that:
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He tells her that he believes her; she just needs to come with him so they can sort this out! She sadly replies that no one else will believe her, and continues to run.

Anakin tells Rex to put out an APB for Ahsoka, and I cry:

Anakin Skywalker, Having a Meltdown

Anakin is tearing off after Ahsoka, screaming at the clones:

Ahsoka is making her way in the rain, zipping all over the place as more and more troops descend on her, and actually kiiiiinda showing off:
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Like for real Tano, was the upside-down spinning REQUIRED? I’m not saying I don’t LIKE it, but still. 

Eventually she’s surrounded on all sides, and it looks like she’s got nowhere to go:

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Anakin and Rex start to approach her, when she Force-jumps up onto a sewer pipe and slices her way into it, taking off again.
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Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, Closing a Chapter

OH THIS PART. Save me. OK, so Ahsoka goes running through this above-ground drainage system and Anakin and the clones are following her. Anakin can sense where she is, so he catches up with her first, at the end of the tunnel:

Yes, let us not overlook the symbolism here of Ahsoka standing near the end of the tunnel that has light and openness while Anakin stands back in the dark. It will help us all overlook my tears.

The Padawan’s Not With Me

Anakin tries to convince her to come with him, and really, let’s ALSO take a moment to appreciate that the writers and artists decided to give this entire scene the “That Time Luke Loses a Hand” vibe.

First, Ahsoka accuses him of not trying to help her earlier:

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…then Anakin explains that she has to let him help clear her name. He says the following and like…especially after Season 2 of Rebels, I REALLY DON’T NEED THIS SCENE TO BE HERE OK: tcw-s5-e18-0121tcw-s5-e18-0122

LOOK HOW SINCERE ANAKIN IS. He means it, you guys. UGH. You know what? I have SO MANY PROBLEMS with people who claim that Obi-Wan’s “Anakin died” line to Luke was a continuity error or that he would never have said that or that it was cruel or wrong of him to say it, blahblahblah. No. I am 100% with Obi-Wan on this one: it is much, much, MUCH easier to tell yourself that Anakin was murdered by Darth Vader than have to deal with the fact that the guy in those panels above is going to be the same one who says this to her:
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…and, given that, HOW ABOUT WE ALL LAY OFF MY SPACE HUSBAND FFS. THE MAN WENT THROUGH A LOT OF THINGS AND HAD TO CUT OFF A LOT OF LIMBS.

You know something? I hate Star Wars.

Recurring Theme: Goodbye Old Friend

Ahsoka won’t be swayed:

Anakin goes into Full Dad Mode and is like YOU ARE GETTING YOUR ASS BACK HERE RIGHT NOW YOUNG LADY I SWEAR:

She’s not budging, and oh Anakin. Honey, you are killing me here. He looks on the verge of tears and begs her to trust him:

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She replies:

Recurring Theme: Someone Would Literally Prefer to Plunge Into an Abyss Than Join Anakin Skywalker

Then as my heart shatters into 56,000 tiny pieces that this series will then proceed to repeatedly run over for the rest of this show, the rest of the Prequels, and all the way through to the confrontation scene of A New Hope, the Space Family well and truly begins breaking irreparably apart:

Anakin watches as she dives onto a ship nearby, plummeting down to jump on to its roof as the clones arrive.

Good GRIEF, and I thought Vader was already pretty secretly crushed by Luke’s brushoff in The Empire Strikes Back as it was! Now consider the fact that Luke’s Cloud City Leap wasn’t even THE FIRST TIME SOMEONE DID THIS TO ANAKIN. And both of them were basically his children. Damn.

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Ahsoka heads off, and Anakin watches her go, and with that, it’s iris-wipe time.

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Next time, on Why Are You Doing This To Me Dave Filoni Haven’t I Suffered Enough?, Ahsoka’s on the run, and as usual no one is going to figure out anything important until it’s too late. It’ll be fun, I swear!*

*Author’s Disclaimer: It will not be fun.

Previously: TCW, Season 5, Episode 17: The Snips and Skyguy Detective Agency