If you found the recent The Mandalorian “The Reckoning” cliffhanger anxiety-inducing, now you’re faced with a Star Wars Resistance cliffhanger in the latest “The Missing Agent.”
The episode opens on an unknown planet with a humanoid alien fellow, Norath Kev (Daveed Diggs), and his rollie droid running fast in the night from an ominous force. He takes refuge, conceals intel, and sends a distress signal on a Resistance frequency. But then he is snatched away by a hulking bounty hunter.
The Colossus receives his Resistance distress signal. Captain Doza (Jason Hightower) worries it could be a trap (he’s right). Kaz (Christopher Sean), Yeager (Scott Lawrence), and Synara (Nazneen Contractor) decide to investigate the planet for the missing agent. If they don’t make it back on time, the Colossus must hyper-jump away and leave them behind. But as they get closer to Norath’s whereabouts, things go wrong.
Directed by Steward Lee and written by Brandon Auman, “The Missing Agent” punches with the most chaotic hand-to-hand melee in all of the show and utilizes all its players’ respective abilities: Kaz’s resourcefulness and fortitude, Synara’s nimbleness, Yeager’s military fisticuffs, and CB-23’s technological capabilities.
A Bounty Hunter
Joe Manganiello delivers a snarling menace to Resistance’s most formative adversity, the hulking Ax Tagrin. Like any other bounty hunter, he has his eye on profits and playing the winning side. A shrewd merciless professional, he plants Norath in his ship as a trap and nearly captures the entire group. Even if you have resourcefulness, quick reflexes, and brains to outwit this guy, he recovers too quickly and you just can’t escape him.
Class permeates the theme of Star Wars Resistance and this episode is no exception. “We’re thinking too big. Look around, there isn’t anything of much value around this place,” Synara replies when Yeager wonders why would the First Order bother with a small-time like Lechee (Fred Armisen plays a great annoying vendor you’ve probably met before), the alien fellow who betrayed Norath. As she once confided with Tam, Synara was unhappy with the cards she was dealt and it attributed to her becoming a pirate. Savvy with people’s motivations, Synara recognizes that Lechee’s dishonorable deed was driven by hard times. When people get the opportunity for money, the dishonorable ones will sell out their neighbors.
A New Resistance Spy
Back in season one, Kaz remembers there were other spies around aside from himself, and Norath is the first of those other Resistance spies seen onscreen. Like Kaz, he has been supervising the First Order presence on backwater landscapes. Diggs brings life to Norath as a frazzled everyman just doing his Resistance duty. It’s only his intro episode but I will be curious whether future episodes would flesh out Norath’s spy life. Like Kaz, he must have grown an emotional investment in his station on a backwater dwelling.
The cliffhanger hits like a ton of bricks. The Colossus is face to face with a Star Destroyer. Yeager, Synara, and a battered CB-23 are separated from Kaz and Norath. The day has gotten worst. Cut to the black.
“Missing Agent” stages the show’s grimiest and grittiest skirmishes yet, a bruise in every, kick, jab, and punch to the point of a zealous combat ballet. But aside from perilously staged combat across a vast landscape, we also see glimpses into smaller lives, a society that mirrors the Colossus, and how socioeconomic insecurity motivates common people, especially dishonorable ones like Lechee, to serve tyrannical institutions.
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