The final episode in the D-Squad arc might have been the most exciting of all four. With their mission coming to an end and a Republic Cruiser in orbit to take them home, Colonel Gascon and D-squad find that things aren't what they seem. The Republic Cruiser is populated by holograms and instantly jumps to hyperspace.
Quickly, they realize the entire ship is a bomb heading for a Republic strategy conference that much of the senate, the military, and the Jedi Council will be attending.
It's up to them to shut things down.
This show was thrilling as hell and reminded me some much of the best in Star Wars storytelling. The droids had to piece together the puzzle of what was going on at the same we're left to do the same. The action built beautifully into a perfect crescendo of story, emotion, and sacrifice.
It also had echoes of classic Star Wars. The droids coming off the shuttle and onto the deserted ship had dialogue and walks reminiscent of the Cloud City landing platform in The Empire Strikes Back. And the mouse droid and treaded droid were excellent additions as well. Adding in original droids enables the soundtrack to feel more like the original films.
The thing this episode proves to me more than anything, though, is that the epic stories of the show work the best when combined with enough emotional investment and humour for you to care about the things going on. Last episode, I had no connection to Gregor and the humour of the episode seemed aimed purely at video game nerds. This episode, on the other hand, we were invested fully into each of these characters and their plights, and the target on the other side of the episode was something we cared about. And the humour elevated things. The harder you make them laugh, the harder they will cry. And it's true.
The other thing I quite liked about this episode is that you can tell we're getting closer to Episode III. Buzz droids are one of the coolest additions to the droid armies and to see them on the show is a treat. Perhaps my favorite thing about them here, though, is the sound design. They are so distinct and unique among other droids that it really helps sell the "This IS Star Wars" aspect of the show. But with the joy they brought to this episode, the also bring a bit of dismay. The closer we get to Episode III on the show, the closer we get to the end of The Clone Wars. And the end of the Clone Wars would be a sad thing, indeed.
Overall, as much as I liked the first two episodes of this arc (and didn't care as much for the third part) the final episode was the best of the bunch. The animation, the lighting, the comedy, the stakes, were all top notch. This is some of the best work that's been done
But now, with the end of the D-Squad arc, we're left with 9 more episodes of The Clone Wars this season, and so far they've always saved the best for last.