A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The two characters so far in Rebels who had the least amount of development were Hera and Sabine, there’s no question about it. I’m glad the show took these two characters and thrust them into the midst of a dangerous, ticking bomb situation without completely going overboard with it. Instead they added in character development and two significant thematic and one plot threads that will presumably carry throughout the rest of the season. The first is the issue of trust, which seems to the bone of contention between Hera and Sabine and perhaps even rightfully so. The second appears with the question that perhaps we’ve been wondering from the very beginning, what exactly is the Ghost crew fighting for? And last but not least we have the identity of a secret source known only as Fulcrum, whose identity is only known by Hera. It’s an intriguing setup and I look forward to its payoff.
What this episode illuminates more than any before are the chunks in the armor of the seeming perfect crew family. There is little doubt that the crew members do legitimately care about one another but to have everyone constantly be warm and happy with one another, even annoying at times would feel awfully contrived and narratively dull. From the very beginning Sabine’s mistrust is on display throughout Hera’s masterclass in piloting. From her point of view, it’s a simple circumstance. She used too be an Imperial cadet on Mandalore and was completely obedient to the Empire, no matter how much danger they were in. She simply wants to be able to know that she isn’t risking her skin for another sketchy round of missions. That belief however requires trust and the understanding of what the Ghost crew is trying to accomplish, neither of which she has at the moment.
From Hera’s point of view, she does trust Sabine but that isn’t the central reasoning behind her keeping Fulcrum’s identity secret. There are certain things that she can’t tell anyone for the sake of the crew. And there’s pragmatism mixed in there as well. Just in case anyone gets captured, the likelihood of the true secrets spilling decreases significantly, especially secrets connected to a grander scheme against the Empire that Hera as of yet is not ready to divulge. It’s not that she believes anyone would spill the beans as Sabine accuses her of, it’s a simple reality that if the Imperials want to break someone for information, then they will. It’s a safety mechanism that protects everyone. As soon as they land on their mysterious planet where a secret cargo on behalf of Fulcrum awaits them. As they go through the compound, a leftover from the Clone Wars, they discover nocturnal creatures with sharpened claws and fangs who seem to be quite hungry. The chase begins and more so than perhaps ever before, the two have to trust each other in order to survive. There’s simply no other option. “I trusted you with my life,” Hera notes after their rescue from the Ghost crew. “Can you trust me?” “I think I can try,” Sabine says honestly and the two women share a meaningful, knowing look that expresses all of their gratitude, understanding, and yes, trust, of one another. It’s a great little moment and I’m incredibly glad we got this hour devoted to these two awesome characters.
The aspect of the episode that was by far the worst is the Ezra/Zeb/Chopper dynamic. The vapidity with which these three characters more often than not operate is seriously grating on my nerves. At a certain point we just have to stop and understand that these three characters espousing such stupidity, it isn’t just dangerous to the narrative structure of Rebels, it’s downright dangerous to the crew around them. Just a while back, Chopper and Zeb nearly cause Ezra’s homicide and now this week Hera and Sabine almost, as the two of them put it, became lunch. I get hijinks and comedic relief in a show like this, it’s fine. But when half of your comedic moments come from characters acting out of an idiocy that has already proven to be life-threatening (not that they learned anything from it the previous time around), it’s time for a change. Dial it down a bit and please let’s stop Chopper from becoming the next serial killer in a galaxy far, far away.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+The music is pretty great
+Ezra’s freak out at the additional TIE fighters
+TIE pilots have a cool design
+“You may ask.”
+“Could you focus a little more on not dying?”
+The Hera and Kanan dynamic is pretty great
+The cave sequence
+Neat little narrative trick with the sunlight and asteroids
+Out of fuel, the most mundane thing – even in the Outer Rim
+“Hera and Sabine are in trouble.”; “You sensed that?”; “Yeah, when you were yelling outside the door!”
+Sabine rejecting Ezra
+Hera knows her ship
-The logo appearance is still problematic
-The slingshot needs to go
Title: Out of Darkness
Written By: Kevin Hopps
Directed By: Steward Lee
Image Courtesy: Comic Book