In “Common Ground,” Squad 99 gets hired to save a Separatist.

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  In this week’s episode of The Bad Batch, “Common Ground,” Squad 99 gets hired to save a Separatist. Hunter and his crew aren’t thrilled about the idea, but they’ve got a debt to pay off, and they’re no fans of the new Galactic Empire. Still, it’s dangerous territory—too dangerous, they’ve decided, to bring Omega along with them. So the girl stays behind with Cid on Ord Mantell, where she kills time scrubbing the bar and discovering that she’s something of a holochess (dejarik) prodigy.

  In “Common Ground,” Squad 99 gets hired to save a Separatist.

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  In “Common Ground,” Squad 99 gets hired to save a Separatist.

  There’s no point getting too far into the weeds with Clone Wars politics, but the main thing to keep in mind is that, around the time of Attack of the Clones, a number of star systems seceded from the Republic and formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems—the Separatists. For years, the Jedi believed this alliance to be misguided at best and evil at worst. They did, after all, have Count Dooku, the Trade Federation, and the monstrous General Grievous on their side. But they were also puppets of the Sith.

  So when the war ended, nobody won—unless their name was Emperor Palpatine. The great Republic became the Empire, the Jedi were hunted to near-extinction, and the entire galaxy suffered. The Separatists were no different.

  When the Imperial Captain Bragg arrives on planet Raxus to force its senator to declare allegiance, Senator Singh’s droid, GS-8, puts out a call for help. Raxus is a lovely, culturally diverse world, and the senator is taken under arrest by the Empire. “I refuse to be your puppet,” says Singh. “My loyalty is to the people.” The Bad Batch, then, is sent to exfiltrate the senator and get him to safety.

  Just as Bragg is getting ready to torture Singh into cooperating, the Batch shows up to pull him out of Imperial turf. They zipline down into an AT-TE walker—which gets hit with a big ion blast—and eventually flee into an underground passageway. Squad 99 escorts the senator to their shuttle and delivers him to Cid on Ord Mantell, where Omega’s causing a spectacle with her win streak at the dejarik table. She and Cid have been making a lot of money this way.

  “I told you to keep a low profile,” Hunter says. But it turns out the kid has paid off the Bad Batch’s entire debt with her winnings. He challenges the girl to a game of holochess himself. If she wins, he says, she’ll get to come along on missions from here on out. Before their game begins, the episode fades to black.

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