The end is near for Star Wars: Resistance and there’s a new problem aboard the Colossus. As foreshadowed in “Hunt on Celsor 3,” Captain Kragan (Gary Anthony Williams) and his Warbird pirates are set on committing mutiny on the Colossus.
Defying the lockdown orders, Kragan and his gang, sans their token renegade Synara, travel to an asteroid where the Captain makes a dealing with the red-clad Sidon Ithano, part of the Crimson Corsair (whom movie-verse viewers will recognize as the being who offered safe passage for Finn in the Force Awakens to flee the First Order). Kragan purchases Clone Wars-era B2 bots, recognizably Separatist droids, to take over the Colossus. Naturally, Captain Doza (Jason Hightower) is suspicious about Kragan’s clandestine trip, and Synara (Nazneen Contractor) faces her true loyalties.
Written by Mairghread Scott, “The Mutiny” brings out the fun but also has glaring shortcomings that reflect upon the series’ overall consolidation of character arcs.
Neeku is not a shabby spy
Doza and Yeager (Scott Lawrence) send the bubbly Neeku (Josh Brener) to the pirates’ hangar because he’s benign and friendly and people tend to underestimate him. As Synara pointed out, Neeku does have blind spots in letting situations escalate considering the whole Bibo incident. But Neeku’s shrewdness to the precarious situation—and the reveal that Doza and Yeager entrusted him with it—doesn’t feel like a surprise the episode sets us in for since previous episodes showed Neeku growing and grasping threats.
Neeku forms a cute dynamic with the token B1 unit (Matthew Wood), aka the “Roger Roger” droids. An unforeseen incapacitation locks Neeku away before he could enact his plan with B1, but he manages to get free. After the incident with Nena back in “The Engineer,” Neeku is not as gullible and has been amply prompted by his superiors Yeager and Doza.
Neeku learned to be a fine spy from Kazuda’s clumsiness. “Everything I learned from spying I learned from you, Kaz. I learned that as long as you look naive and clumsy, no one will ever know your true motivations!” Heck, considering his mechanical aptitude, Neeku probably has a lot more competence than Kaz. And his large knowledge of droids may or may not come in handy as the finale is around the corner.
“The Mutiny” puts Synara’s emotional arc in the most limelight she has this season, but the payoff doesn’t quite stick the landing, especially because her story potentially has more personal stakes and heartbreak than Neeku’s.
Synara’s backstory drips out here. She was pulled from the streets of Vanqor. She attempts to reach out to Valik (Jennifer Hale), and a swish of dialogue reveals Synara knew her as a child. Perhaps after Yeager’s care for her in “Breakout,” Synara has finalized her embrace of her found family on the Colossus. When Doza gently says, “Synara, I know how hard it is to go against family,” a line that was written as emotional on paper doesn’t hit in execution. She has always been loyal to Kaz and the Colossus throughout season two so her journey lacks the compelling psychological grapple with obligations as it did back in season one.
Kaz has to deal with being excluded from a matter he thinks he should be a part of. Kaz’s growth was more delineated in season one, being naive but growing more cognizant. But compare Kaz’s one-off arc here to the long-term growth of Steven Universe of the recent Steven Universe Future. Both sci-fi/fantasy animated shows illustrate well-intended male protagonists confronting a shifting environment that will operate without their assistance, but Resistance lacks an emotional anchor for this sort of growth. The punchline—“but I’m the spy”—is merely humorous but not as particularly affecting as it could me.
The civilian intrigue that nearly sparked a mutiny made for a lot more interesting—and personal—plot back in “Hunt on Celsor 3,” so the ultimate mutiny attempt here doesn’t hit as hard and falls back on played-safe goofiness. Note that the pirates don’t shoot down the civilians, who run and hide or just drink as usual at Aunt Z’s. Then there’s Freya (Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) rolling her eyes and remarking, “Well, that spoiled my evening.”
Other than to shoo out the pirates perhaps to clear the stage for the finale, “The Mutiny” doesn’t quite hook emotionally despite some fun. While I sense some setups for the future, how this episode will hold up on multiple viewings, I’m not so sure. The teasing possibility of Kaz leaving the Colossus (I bet they’re saving Norath Kev for later) doesn’t come up. Let’s hope the next episodes promise more.
– For a show that concerns itself with diverse crowd shots, I’m sad we don’t get cameos of the puff-headed janitor, Norath, and Kel and Eila, or Mika Grey in crowd shots.