Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rebels Review: 'Always Two There Are'

By: Dominic Jones

With Halloween coming up this weekend, Star Wars Rebels aired an appropriately eerie episode this week in "Always Two There Are".  Much like this summer's movie event/Season Two premiere, "The Siege of Lothal", "Always Two There Are" sets about to show the audience the ways in which the events at the end of Season One changed the playing field for the series.  The Grand Inquisitor may be gone, but he's been replaced by two new Inquisitors, The Fifth Brother and The Seventh Sister, who see this as their opportunity to rise through the ranks and impress their master, Darth Vader.

The Fifth Brother was introduced at the end of last week's episode, but we got a much better sense of who he is this week, especially when compared to The Seventh Sister (voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar).  You get the sense that the Fifth Brother may be more powerful than the Seventh Sister, however it is clear that what the Seventh Sister lacks in power she makes up for in intelligence.  The Seventh Sister definitely stole the show this week: her interactions with both Ezra and the Fifth Brother conveyed a sense of confidence, and she spoke as though she knew she was the smartest one in the room.  The relationship between the two Inquisitors was classic Dark Side--working together while also trying to gain the upper hand against the other and stab them in the back (figuratively or literally).  It's clear that the vacuum left by the Grand Inquisitor’s death has led to a race to the top among the other Inquisitors, each vying to win the role as Darth Vader's go to guy.

On the heroes side the kids took center stage this week--not that this was a "kiddie" episode by any means.  Ezra, Sabine and Zeb were the main focus of the story, while the older characters--Kanan, Hera, and Rex--sat out most of this episode.  "Always Two There Are" gave us a chance to see the way Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb work without the safety net of Kanan and Hera. Ezra’s willingness to sacrifice himself for Sabine and Zeb offered a nice juxtaposition to "Spark of Rebellion", when Hera had to convince him to put his life at risk for others--showing how far he's come since the series began.  It was also interesting to see how both Ezra and Sabine dealt with being captured, as both seemed willing to lay down their lives for the cause.

Zeb really got a chance to shine in this episode.  His monologue to Chopper about saving Ezra and Sabine showed us the more heroic Zeb we don't get to see nearly enough.  Too often Zeb gets cast in the role of comic relief, getting angry with Chopper and/or Ezra and chasing them until someone falls over and/or crashes into something (which still happened this week, unfortunately).  It can be easy to forget that Zeb was a member of the honor guard on his planet, but in moments like his speech to Chopper we get a glimpse into what he was like before joining the Rebels.

That’s not to say all of Zeb’s comic relief in this episode was bad.  Him getting stuck trying to get into the Ventilation shaft, as well as the return of "Commander Meiloorun", worked quite well and came at the right point of the story.  Unlike Zeb’s race with Ezra, these scenes helped break some of the tension in the episode and added in some much needed humor in what was otherwise an incredibly dark episode.

Much like last week, the final scene was a standout moment in the episode, as the kids return and report on what they saw.  The information that there are more Inquisitors out there has a devastating impact on Kanan.  While Kanan claims he didn't know there were more Inquisitors, his body language suggests he knows more than he's letting on.  This news would have a major impact on all involved, but Kanan seems more affected than anyone else.  Granted, he was tortured at the hands of the Grand Inquisitor last season--that would leave a scar on anyone--but I can't help thinking that there was more to his reaction.

The only real negatives for me this week were pretty minor.   As I mentioned already, Zeb and Ezra's race to find the medical supplies didn't really add much to the episode.  Also, why was the Seventh Sister just hanging out on an abandoned Republic Medical station?  That seemed just a bit too convenient (or will it turn out that the Rebel fleet has an Imperial spy in their midst--which could lead to some exciting stories down the line).

Much like the last two weeks, "Always Two There Are" seemed to be focused on introducing new players while simultaneously rearranging the board to set the stage for what's still to come this season.  The revelation that the Inquisitors know about Ahsoka hints again at the inevitable reunion between the apprentice who walked away and the master who fell to the dark side.  The Rebels team have been hinting at this for months, now it's just a matter of how and when.

All in all, this was my favorite episode of Season Two thus far (not counting "The Siege of Lothal").  The creepy tone of the episode was a nice shift from what we got in the past two weeks.  It was also great to see Ezra, Sabine, and Zeb on mission of their own, and to be introduced to new threats for our heroes to deal with as the season goes on.  "Always Two There Are" does an excellent job of introducing new elements to the show, while giving us another look at some of our favorites.

Score: 9/10
You can follow me on Twitter: @DominicJ25

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.

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