An Inside Man: Rebels Season 3, Episode 10 Review
On a reconnaissance mission to Lothal, Kanan and Ezra team up with some old friends. Wanting to convince other rebel cells to help attack Imperial facilities on the planet, Kanan and Ezra hope to find information important enough to warrant receiving the assistance. Infiltrating a facility which builds military vehicles, our heroes are surprised by an inspection by Grand Admiral Thrawn. Will they be able to find plans for a new Imperial weapon and escape?
If I had the talent and technology, I would record a parody of Sisqo’s “Thong Song” from 2000. Thrawn Thrawn Thrawn Thrawn Thrawn. He has yet to show any weaknesses and seems to be playing the long game with the rebels. Upon arrival, Thrawn makes an example of a rebel who has sabotaged Imperial vehicles while they were being manufactured. After the rebel is killed, Thrawn tells the workers he expects the malfunction rate of their products to drop. The death also adds to the show by reminding us there are consequences to defying the Empire. No main character dies, but we do know the victim. We do feel sorrow when his widow is given the news, and the writers may be foreshadowing us losing a main character at some point.
What is different about this appearance of Thrawn is that we see how, under his leadership, Imperial officers and stormtroopers are becoming more efficient. The manufacturing facility goes on lockdown while Kanan and Ezra are inside. Their efforts to gather information and escape are more difficult than such missions had been previously. Tricks they have used in the past no longer work. As any good MVP should do, Thrawn raises the performance level of his team.
There is a good scene where Thrawn is in his office, surrounded by holo-images from different rebels. Hera and Ezra are among the images. The visual alone is beautifully done, however it is Thrawn’s apparent study of these images to learn more about his adversaries which leaves an impression. Two officers walk in, and he asks them what they see. One is not sure, while the other gives an insightful answer. Not only does Thrawn learn how his opponents think, he also teaches his subordinates to learn their ways as well.
Thrawn does tiptoe up to the line of being too infallible, but he does not cross it. He always seems to know exactly what the rebels next move will be. If a predicted move is not taken, he quickly deduces why the rebels deviated from his expectations, which is why he realizes there is a mole. As amazing as his intuition is, none of his speculations seem to be beyond what an intelligent being paying attention could surmise.
Another part of the show that works is the revelation of Fulcrum. As the title of the episode suggests, we discover the rebel spy’s identity. It is not a big surprise, but it is good to know for sure who he is. It was very satisfying resolution to the mystery. My only concern is that with Thrawn’s calculating nature and his final comments of the episode, is he maneuvering the rebels into a trap with a double agent.
There were some good visuals this episode, other than the aforementioned scene in Thrawn’s office. At the beginning of the show, Kanan and Ezra’s contact must pick them up amid Imperial resistance. He is driving a land speeder reminiscent of Luke’s X-34 from A New Hope. To fly between Imperial walkers, the pilot must turn the vehicle perpendicular to its normal plane. At this angle, it resembles the speeder Rey uses in The Force Awakens. Even Rebels is trying to influence us that Luke may be Rey’s father. The clues are so abundant that I do not believe that this is the case.
The second image is of Kanan and Ezra cutting their way through the hull of a walker. The pair ignite their lightsabers and begin burning through metal. It brings to mind Obi Wan and Qui Con escaping from the Trade Federation’s trap in The Phantom Menace.
What Didn’t Work
I really can’t think of anything in this episode that didn’t work. I feel Thrawn’s influence has made the rebels’ lives more difficult because their enemies have become more competent. However, I think we have now seen Thrawn’s mode of operation enough that he must spring some sort of trap and actually capture one of the Ghost crew. Either that, or Thrawn must suffer an unexpected defeat. Otherwise, his story ceases to be dynamic.
The show had exciting action along with more development of fan favorite Thrawn. The identification of Thrawn now makes us wonder what will happen next with the spy. Is he setting up the rebels for Thrawn, or will he himself be compromised. This episode creates the expectation of climactic events as the season continues.
4.5 Death Stars out of 5.