Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Shades of Reason Season 5 Episode 15 Review

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Darth Maul’s assault on Mandalore continues with a slower, albeit more logical episode that ended with a stirring climax sending us into what is sure to be an explosive finale next week.

Last week’s episode showed us the vast preparations Maul needed to take to execute his plan. This week we saw those wishes come into fruition.

It was obvious from the start that Pre Vizsla and Maul would not be getting along for the entire span of the arc. Right off the bat, Shades of Reason planted the seeds for the alliance to crumble. Of course the Sith is a cunning enouhg warrior to expect it, but it was very cool to see Darth Maul even tell his apprentice/brother (best episode of Maury ever) that patience was the key to their plan. Especially since in The Phantom Menace we saw how impatient Maul was when he battled Qui Gon and Obi Wan. This is a villain who has learned from his mistakes, making him more terrifying than ever.

The plan started with the gangsters and Savage Opress attacking Mandalore, causing Duchess Satine to appear weak to her people. Enter Death Watch. Partially mirroring Bane’s takeover of Gotham City in The Dark Knight Rises, the warriors rallied troops to their cause.

The cool thing about Maul’s plan was that it made sense and we could see the wheels turning ever towards the city’s demise. Violence was not the answer here, at least yet, and Maul knew that. Sure, it would have been awesome to see the army risen last week to storm Mandalore and take it by force, but this tinkering with the politics felt real, without going too far into “trade federation” territory.

But Vizsla saw the genius of Maul’s plan as well and altered it just enough so he would end up ruler of Mandalore. The Sith brothers didn’t care for that part. Savage’s raw strength and terrifying uses of the Force are always something to behold. The pair’s escape was calm and collected, yet terrifying and brutal.

Finally came the conflict between Maul and Vizsla, a one on one duel in the most important room on the planet. Clone Wars continues to improve upon itself in terms of action and animation. But this was also a fight that had real weight to it. Sadly, it marked the end of Pre Vizsla, one of the great villains this show has given us, but it felt right. There was some air of sympathy as Maul ruthlessly beheaded him with his own ancient, black lightsaber. Perhaps it was the look on Bo-Katan’s face, Vizsla’s right hand woman who sees the cracks in this plan and made a daring escape.

Shades of Reason may have been slower than some were expecting, but it made more sense than most things in Star Wars really do. Plus we got a climactic battle between two of the show’s greatest villains. The set up for next week is in place. Obi Wan will join the battle for Mandalore. I have a bad feeling about Satine. I also don’t think at least one of the brothers will make it out alive when they come face to face with Maul’s former master. This episode has prepared us for what has potential to be one of the best yet. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

One Response to Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Shades of Reason Season 5 Episode 15 Review

  1. Nick says:

    I don’t think that being slow, at least in the case of this episode, was a problem. This one was perfectly paced, unlike Eminence, which felt a tad rushed. Everything was orchestrated with time and care and created the perfect combination of tension and excitement. That final battle was more than worth the wait.

    This is probably my favorite episode thus far this season, but I guess given some of the recent episodes (Eminence aside) that’s not a huge accomplishment.

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