Crosshair during his target practice on Spira in The Bad Batch Season 3 Episode 5: The Return (Lucasfilm/Disney)

(SPOILERS AHEAD) I’ll be the first to admit that the overall plot for The Bad Batch’s third, and final, season didn’t progress all that much in the firth episode The Return, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t major developments in this episode. It was anything but filler.

In a nutshell, Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair (all Dee Bradley Baker), and Omega (Michelle Ang) are laying low on Spira, the beach planet community the Batch were welcomed into in Season 2. Crosshair is working on target practice, trying to recover from what was done to him in Mount Tantiss. Echo (also Baker) arrives and they hatch a plan to get data from the data pad Nala Se gave to Omega by plugging it into an Imperial data port on Barton IV, the ice planet where Crosshair killed an Imperial officer in the second season.

They arrive on the planet to find the base abandoned. They fight off some sort of giant snow worm, and escape with the knowledge that more clones are imprisoned at Tantiss than they had thought, and only slightly closer to being able to pinpoint its location.

So that’s pretty much it. There are some good action sequences, but the real development happens between the characters, in particular between Hunter and Crosshair. The two were already at odds before Crosshair betrayed his brothers for The Empire, so it made perfect sense that the group’s leader wouldn’t completely trust the fact that he had changed, or that he won’t change back.

Omega escaped with Crosshair’s help, and had already bonded with him. So she already saw the good in him, and was trying to help him get back into the group fully. That was clear in their conversation as he was trying to get his sniper skills back.

Wrecker also has a soft spot for his brother. While he may not have welcomed Crosshair back with open arms initially (we don’t know for sure, as the show skipped ahead a bit from the previous episode), he gave him back his gear without being prompted as soon as they were all going on a mission together. The fact that he kept Crosshair’s gear in the first place speaks volumes.

Echo, Omega, and Wrecker on Barton IV in The Bad Batch Season 3 Episode 5 – The Return (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Echo wasn’t an original member of The Bad Batch, so he doesn’t have the same history with Crosshair. His reaction was all business, and a bit snarky, unlike the emotion he greeted Omega with.

With Hunter and Crosshair, it was more than the betrayal. They had to solve, or at least attempt to resolve, their previous issues with jealousy and lack of trust, before they could deal with Crosshair’s betrayal. And they did, beautifully, in this episode. I’m sure some of those issues will remain, but they were able to move past them by angrily letting it all out, and then fighting side-by-side once again.

This meant Hunter was able to start helping Crosshair come to grips with what he had done, something Omega had already started, and Crosshair had continued himself when he saw the helmets of the clones he had previously met on Barton IV in the second season.

The character development in this episode was not only important, it was also necessary if Crosshair is now, once again, part of the squad.

Redemption, after all, is a key facet of Star Wars.

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