‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Episode 2.08: ‘Brain Invaders’ Recap

Episode Title: “Brain Invaders”

Writer: Andrew Kreisberg

Tagline: “Attachment is not compassion.”

The Story: The Second Battle of Geonosis arc continues to have repercussions in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” when Padawans Ahsoka Tanno and Barriss Offee embark on a mission to the medical station at Cestus, only to encounter the same worm-like organism that bred Geonosian zombies in the previous episode. As the infestation spreads through the ship, the Jedi-in-training work to find a solution, even if it comes at the cost of their own lives. Spoilers head…

Best. Episode. Ever.: Don’t let the silly name fool you. “Brain Invaders” delivers. The lengthy Geonosis arc (now four episodes) has led to some of the best plot twists the series has seen, and this episode tops them all. One can only wonder what the response would have been if the tepid “Clone Wars” movie had been something on the scale of this.

Zombie Invasion: “Brain Invaders” is, before everything else, creepy. There are lots of clever camera tricks and shots of worms invading orifices. There’s an equal amount of tension-building and horror. Think the Luke/Vader duel in “Empire Strikes Back.”

Padaw-On Padawan: For the length of the season, I’ve been lamenting the lack of lightsaber duels. Not anymore. As the zombie-worm infestation spreads, Barriss comes to join their ranks. The last third of the episode is a showdown between the two Padawans, a chase through the halls of a Corellian transport with an interior very much like the one seen at the beginning of “A New Hope.”

Give In To Your Anger: Played against a decision Ahsoka must make about whether or not to end her fellow Padawan’s suffering is a pivotal moment in the life of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. Once the Jedi learn of the infestation, the future Darth Vader sets himself up in a private interrogation session with captured Geonosian bigwig, Poggle the Lesser. Anakin then demonstrates what Ahsoka meant earlier in the episode when she told Barriss that her master would go to any means necessary to further Jedi interests. Force choke, anyone?

Forward March: As exceptional as this arc has been, I’d definitely like to see more lasting subplots play out among the clone troopers. It would be great to see the showrunners look to Star Wars Expanded Universe novels writer Karen Traviss. She has been instrumental in painting the troops in human shades, with a particular focus on their Mandalorian heritage as clones of Jango Fett.

Happy New Year: “Brain Invaders” was the last new episode of 2009. Happily, it returns on January 1, New Year’s Day, with an episode entitled “Grievous Intrigue.” There’s no logline, but I’ll gladly take more of the lovable, lightsaber-hoarding Separatist General and his Jedi-hunting ways.