“Dangerous Debt” is a contender for one of the most fun episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ final season. The seventh episode serves as the second to last in the arc owned by the Martez sisters. Rafa and Trace reveal new layers here, offering plenty of unexpected surprises even for long time viewers. Just in case last week’s episode did not already make it clear enough, “Dangerous Debt” solidifies why this arc was chosen to be one of the last three for the series. The first four episodes centered on the Bad Batch were joyful and riveting, but ultimately felt more like an overdue promise finally fulfilled. There is nothing wrong with this – especially given this show’s road to revival. However, Ahsoka’s journey with the Martez sisters explores even more new ground than before.
Following up where viewers last saw the three, “Dangerous Debt” depicts their demise at the hand of the infamous Pyke Syndicate. Locked in the Pyke’s private prison on Oba Diah, Ahsoka reminds the sisters how they share just as much blame in this situation. Trace and Rafa’s rebuttal reveals more about their past to their liking, further opening Ahsoka’s eyes to what was invisible to her as a Jedi. The three must put their egos and selfishness aside to escape the prison alive. When an opportunity presents itself, the line that Ahsoka is barely getting by on begins to thin. It will not be much longer until Ahsoka has to return the sentiment and unwillingly reveal her Jedi origins to the sisters.
Directed by Saul Ruiz and Bosco Ng and written by Dave Filoni and Charles Murray, this episode is just as full of treats for fans as the last. In true Filoni fashion, some surprises have roots that travel as far back to the first season of the show. Viewers who can trackback to those simpler times are in for quite a shock. Not necessarily canon-defying, but still creative to a very entertaining degree in a way that only Filoni and Murray could see through. In retrospect, it is quite fitting that there be a callback this deeply rooted in the show given how it is all about to finally end. Another unexpected tease, in particular, makes way for what is sure to be a thrilling end to this arc next week.
For now, fans get to see Ahsoka succeed and fail in her continuous growth post-Jedi Order. Consequential themes of the Jedi’s flawed legacy during the prequel era resurface, making Order 66 feel more imminent. Trace and Rafa echo a sentiment that reminds fans why the Jedi are soon to fail. Ahsoka now being aware of this only brings her one step closer to being the fully realized warrior seen in Star Wars Rebels. Rafa carries the most emotional weight here, proving that she is not what viewers expected her to be thus far. Elizabeth Rodriguez comes through with her best voice work on the show yet, adding a level of empathy to the character that is sure to hit home for viewers who happen to be older siblings.
The episode is able to balance this heaviness with some good old fashioned Star Wars zaniness. Wilhelm screams, uncalled for (but delightful) villain beatdowns, and more lively hijinks provide tasteful levity. Ahsoka getting into the worst of trouble without the aid of a lightsaber makes for the best of what this show can pull from its sleeves. The contrasting turquoise blue colors of Obi Diah also add to the spectacle. The visuals never cease to live up to the hype of this revival and serve as a strong reminder for fans to soak up the moment. The end is about to finally come. The only question is whether if people will be able to take in the closure that they so longingly asked for?
“Dangerous Debt” is perhaps one of the last true episodes of expendable fun in the series. The resonant thematics fulfilled by honesty within the cast makes the episode still feel significant enough within the final season. Given this arc comes to a close next week and how much more gravitas the “Siege of Mandalore” requires, episodes on the level of this one are going to be dearly missed. Especially when they unexpectedly pack gut punches in true Clone Wars fashion.