'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Episode 2.04: 'Senate Spy'

Episode Title: "Senate Spy"

Written by: Melinda Hsu

Tagline: "A true heart should never be doubted."

Story: Now that the whole Cad Bane affair is sorted out, it's time to get back to some Jedi-on-Sith action, right? Wrong! Taking a page from roughly half of "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," "Senate Spy" is all about Ani and Padme in love. How touching. The Jedi Council believes there's a Trade Federation turncoat in the Senate, one Senator Clovis, who has a romantic history with Padme. And so the Jedi Order -- with some help from their favorite rising star, Anakin Skywalker -- attempt to convince the Naboo representative to spy on her colleague and former lover, creating tension in the still-relatively-new Anakin/Padme marriage.

You Can Go About Your Business: "Senate Spy" may very well be the worst episode to air in the series so far. It is a throwaway narrative, focusing on the undoubtedly important but wholly uninteresting union between Anakin and Padme. The absence of annoying Hayden Christensen helps some, but there's really nothing that saves this snoozefest. It is a lover's quarrel punctuated by political intrigue, nothing more.

No Lightsabers: Do you like lightsabers, trademark tool of the Jedi? They're cool, right? Energy swords that can cut through anything and sever limbs cleanly. Nothing wrong with that. Unless you never actually see one. At one point during this episode you see Anakin's lightsaber dangling from his belt. Ooooo... pretty. The script for what makes good "Star Wars" was lost somewhere in planning this episode. Instead of blasters, sword fights and space action, it's a whole lot of love triangling. I'd sooner have my arm cut off by an errant saber swing and be thrown down a Bespin airshaft.

Whosaidwhatnow?: Speaking of the script, the writing in "Senate Spy" is just plain weird. What gives with Anakin acting like an adult, throwing the words "duty comes first" at Padme? Isn't he the brash soon-to-fall Jedi, the dude who constantly pisses every other Jedi off for not minding the Jedi Code above all else? And then you've got Padme acting like the child, throwing Ani's words about duty back at him. "Senate Spy" implodes beneath the weight of implausibly written dialogue that feels contrived to suit the idea of a lover's quarrel. Writing should suit the story, not the other way around.

Screaming About It Can't Help You: It simply can't get any worse than this episode. Expect to enjoy next week all the more, since it'll be washing the taste of this tripe away. "Senate Spy" is a total throwaway, free of lightsabers and really action of any kind. This is not what us kids watch our "Star Wars" for.