A review by Elisa and Johnamarie. This review contains spoilers.
On a routine mission to retrieve medical supplies, members of the Ghost crew rummaged through an abandoned Republic medical station and came face to face with two new Inquisitors in the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels. Conveniently coinciding with the Halloween weekend, “Always Two There Are” definitely helped set the mood, successfully giving the impression that Ezra, Sabine, Chopper, and Zeb were in a haunted house in a galaxy far, far away.
Left: The Seventh Sister comes out from the shadows to reveal herself to Ezra and Sabine. Right: The Fifth Brother stands in Ezra and Sabine’s way as they attempt to escape. (Photos: Lucasfilm)
One of the two shadows lurking in the dark was the Seventh Sister, voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer). When Gellar’s not overseeing her new company, Foodstirs, she’s a cold and calculating Inquisitor on a mission to find the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker. Though I had my doubts about her voice acting abilities back when she was first announced, she exceeded expectations in capturing the personality of someone conniving and sinister. Following the same lead was the imposing and formidable Fifth Brother, voiced by Philip Anthony-Rodriguez. We haven’t seen much of him, but some people are already labeling him as irrelevant and incompetent, failing to see that he acts as a good foil for Zeb. Seeking to climb through the Inquisitorial ranks, the fact that they were working against each other also proved to be a great foil for the teamwork exhibited by our rebel heroes.
Zeb, in particular, truly shined. While the Fifth Brother sought to cut down the rebels in his shortsightedness, Zeb took a step back to plan an escape. Having been relegated to the background for much of the first season, it was his turn to demonstrate that he’s not just the muscle in the group. Like in a game of dejarik, he thought things through and put his pieces into play, allowing him to win the match and bring his crew members back home to the fleet.
Left: Zeb comes up with a plan to rescue Ezra and Sabine and successfully escapes with them onboard. Right: Kanan is visibly shaken by the news, having had no idea that there were more Inquisitors. (Photos: Lucasfilm)
There, Kanan, Hera, and Rex discover what happened, since Sabine was the one to decide not to contact the group in fear of revealing their location. It’s a fact that everyone relies on Kanan for leadership and protection. Also, let’s not forget that the reason the Inquisitors are after him and the crew in the first place is because he revealed the fact that he’s a Jedi in Spark of Rebellion. Not only that, but they’re also in contact with Ahsoka, making them prime targets for answers. So the fact that part of his crew nearly died is something that’s going to severely affect him because it all boils down to him and him being at fault.
Though some fans took issue with the ending, claiming that the show focuses too much on Kanan and that the writers make his emotional past more important than the rest, I thought the ending (and the episode as a whole) was superbly written and visually compelling. These people are in a war and one of the most upsetting things that can happen during a war is when the opposing side plays a move that makes you question your position as a leader in that war, especially when you don’t know where the pieces are on the board.
- I will never get enough of how Sabine interacts with the crew. Watching her and Chopper get into it is always super enjoyable, even if it’s at Ezra’s expense. And I love how Chopper, even with his grumbling, wasn’t thinking about clamping his feet down until Sabine mentioned it.
- I personally loved the scenes between Kanan and Rex. Given how everyone walks away and Ezra’s comment, “Not again,” it’s clear that the two not getting along and arguing is already old, despite Rex being a newly added member. Kanan may not like Rex for his own reasons, but the arguments weren’t heated, giving me the impression that Kanan is getting more used to Rex instead of moving further away.
- “Well, I’ve got some time, if you wanted a lesson.” I loved this line because it came across as Ezra trying to play her game back at her. The Seventh Sister was very gentle and flowing in her tones, which only added an extra layer of sinister to what she had been saying. This line, in particular, and the flow of it really mimicked how she spoke, and it stood out differently from Ezra’s normal speech. This motivated her to remove her mask and smile at him. Not just for what he said, but how he said it. With that single line, he’d shown that he was willing to play and that was when she recognized his potential.
- When Ezra was being threatened for information, the Fifth Brother grabbed Sabine and silently threatened to harm her. Not once was it pointed out that Sabine was a female companion or a girl. I appreciated this because so often in media, a situation like this normally involves the bad guy(s) pointing out the girl, either by belittling the male character being unable to protect her or calling her “your girl” or something to that effect. This didn’t happen. She was silently grabbed and threatened with a weapon, and that was it. There was nothing extra added to the fact that she was being threatened because that was enough.
- Zeb’s ears are more twitchy and animated, and I love it. In this episode, he had his hands and arms interacting with them more, and even if it was a little thing, the crisp animation added so much to his character.
- “I don’t want to die this way. I’m the last of my kind.” There was nothing not to love about this line. The delivery by Steve Blum was spot on, and even though I felt so bad for Zeb and his species, I still laughed at his absolute misery of being stuck in a vent.
- I adored how the Seventh Sister had magenta-coloured palms. The colours of the Inquisitors are squarely in the black or deep grey area, so it was nice to see a pop of color on her hands and on the inside of her very uniquely shaped helmet. I also liked the distortion of her voice. It made her toying tones all the creepier and only added to her character.
- As for the Fifth Brother, design-wise, I loved his eyes. The colour was both striking and broke away from the whole red/gold eye colouring that people associated with the dark side generally possess.
“Always Two There Are” is definitely the strongest episode in the second season, so far. It revolved around the dejarik, chess-like game and the deeper meanings behind it made for a thought-provoking and entertaining episode.
Make sure to tune into the next all-new episode, “Brothers of the Broken Horn”, on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at 9:30PM EST on Disney XD.