Season two certainly ended on a high note. With the return of Boba Fett, trying his hardest to kill Mace Windu, it set the stage for two of the best episodes this season. The first episode, "R2 Come Home" was alternately funny and thrilling and served as a moment for Artoo Detoo to shine (something he really hasn't had all that much time to do since the middle of the first season). The second episode, "Lethal Trackdown" gave us our fix of amazing Jedi action and plenty of Ahsoka, who has been sorely lacking in season two.
"R2 Come Home" starts with Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker right where the last episode, "Death Trap", left off, with them searching the crashed wreckage of the Jedi cruiser for survivors, particularly Ponds and Admiral Killian.
Boba left a little surprise for them though, in the form of a bomb hidden inside of Jango Fett's helmet. Though they survive, they're pinned hopelessly under some wreckage and Artoo is sent to fetch help. The rest of the episode is pretty much Artoo's from that point. He's left to fight a pair of gundarks, get to Mace Windu's ship, evade the Bounty Hunters and Slave I, and get help. And it's a whole lot of fun to watch. I watched it with my son and he was laughing hysterically through the episode, declaring it, "This is the funniest episode of Clone Wars episode ever," and I'm inclined to agree with him. Artoo is a crowd pleaser and giving him two-thirds of an episode was an incredibly fun idea.
There were also a few name-checks to Empire, presumably in honor of the 30th. Aside from the Gundarks (which Luke looked strong enough to pull the ears off of), Ahsoka tells Anakin he'll need to stay in a Bacta Tank (which Luke spent some time in after being attacked by the Wampa), etc.
But Artoo made it to Coruscant by the skin of his teeth, warning Plo Koon and Ahsoka about the danger that Anakin and Mace were in.
The episode ended in what would have been a cliffhanger, with Aurra Sing, Boba Fett and Bossk escaping with the hostages, still determined to exact their revenge on Windu.
Fortunately, these episodes were played back-to-back, and we got right back into the action. "Lethal Trackdown" has Plo Koon and Ahsoka tracking down Aurra Sing and Boba Fett in hopes of saving the hostages. Mace and Anakin sit this one out, still too wounded to participate.
Aurra decides to seek refuge with her ex-boyfriend, the always fun Hondo Ohnaka. But Plo Koon and Ahsoka take a trip to the Coruscant underworld (which were some of the best lit scenes in the entire series) in order to gain information as to the whereabouts of our bad guys. After some really cool use of the force on the part of Ahsoka, they learn where the hostages are being kept and make their way in haste.
The last third of the episode contained some of the coolest action I've seen on the show and most of it was Ahsoka's doing. She's maturing as a character and as a Jedi and I love to watch her in action. The finale of this episode has her chasing after Aurra Sing on speeder bikes through a canyon (think the speeder bike chase from Jedi with more blasters and lightsabers while in motion) and then gives chase when Aurra tries to flee in the Slave I. Not troubled by the fact that Aurra is taking off in a starship, Ahsoka runs up the side of the Slave I and begins to start hacking wings off and repeating moves Anakin taught her, lightsabering into the cock-pit (a'la Zam Wessel in Attack of the Clones) but she does it with a lot more grace and actually pulls it off. It was amazing to see.
Overall, this pair of episodes was a satisfying conclusion to season two, which really upped the game in this series in terms of animation, storytelling and suspense.
I loved these episodes, but my only problem with them episode was the final moment at the end when Boba Fett finally gets to see Mace Windu face to face. He says something incredibly whiny. I didn't so much mind that, as the fact that every whiny fanboy who disliked the prequels are going to instantly hate Clone Wars era Boba Fett and their hatred is probably one of the most obnoxious, ill-informed, holier-than-thou, self-righteous, annoying things I deal with.
But that was quickly replaced by the shiver I got when they ran the preview for Season 3. (You can watch it for yourself right here). It was amazing.
I talked a little bit to Ashley Eckstein in an interview that will run in the next few days about what we can expect in Season 3 and combining that with what we're seeing here gave me the chills.
And after realizing there are no new episodes until October, I'd like to end by quoting Lando Calrissian: "This deal is getting worse all the time."