Star Wars: The Clone Wars "To Catch a Jedi" Review: Tenement Funster

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Feb 23, 2013

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S05E19: "To Catch a Jedi"

Following her escape from the prison ward, Ahsoka leaped into the lower depths of Coruscant to both elude the Jedi Council and the Republic military and to search for those who framed her. "To Catch a Jedi" was an exciting episode, even if it wasn't the most compelling one in terms of furthering a mystery, or letting Ahsoka do some investigating of her own. Which is a tad frustrating, since this arc started with some solid investigative impulses. But Ahsoka was left with few resources and even fewer leads to follow, and thus the engine of the episode was really Barriss feeding Ahsoka intel.

This turn of events more or less telegraphs Barriss as being involved in the Jedi Temple explosion, a notion that came up in the comments last week. She easily had an address about where the nanobots came from, and since she was the only one who knew where Ahsoka was going to be, it seems more likely than not that Barriss was the one who ambushed Ventress, stole the ex-Sith apprentice’s helmet and lightsabers, and then dueled Ahsoka in the warehouse long enough for Anakin and his clone troopers to arrive on the scene.

Which pretty much kills my “Palpatine's behind it all” theory (sigh), even if it is something that can ultimately be turned to his advantage (given the splashy trial promo we got for next week, it likely will turn out that way). I’m not even that concerned with why Barriss did it, provided she did do it, but I do want to know how Anakin is going to figure everything out, and what kind of impact this arc will have on Ahsoka’s standing in the series. Next week is the final episode of the season, and the final episode for for the foreseeable future while the fate of the series is worked out, and it would pretty much be the worst thing for next week’s episode to end on cliffhanger.

"To Catch a Jedi" did have some nifty action sequences that buffed much of the episode. The chase through the rail cars was well-staged, particularly the bit that was done in a single take from behind Ahsoka. The free-falling elevator set piece was nicely upended as the child thought to hit the emergency brake while Ahsoka tried to do something more complicated with her lightsaber, giving a little bit of levity to the episode. The lightsaber duel in the abandoned munitions warehouse was all fiery and ominous, and so looked pretty cool even if the moment didn’t exactly warrant all of that.

But the episode's real highlight may've been its artistic design and small directorial touches. There was a real consistency from the garish neon to the rundown interior of the rails that played up the less-than-inviting atmosphere of the lower levels of Coruscant. It felt decidedly different from what we normally see of Coruscant, and I liked that the episode took the time to show that transition from top to bottom. And the lower levels were clearly cold, given how Ahsoka and Ventress kept hugging themselves in an effort to stay warm. Even if the narrative didn’t really excite me, it was a nice episode visually.

What'd you think of "To Catch a Jedi"?

  • Comments (16)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • danwolfe773 Feb 25, 2013

    This show would be so much more successful if they just kept to story lines like this one. Interesting stories with key characters. The second half of this season has been great, but the first half was the worst of the whole shows run. I'd rather this show just went 2-3 seasons of good material vs a whole bunch of filler junk. The original Clone War cartoons got the job done in 2 hours. It's been extremely hard to get people to watch this show, I can't tell people it's great when half the episodes just aren't....

  • lady_catseyes Feb 25, 2013

    All in all I'm just happy to be seeing Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, and the clones again. Of course it had to be at the END of what was an atrocious season. I rather do like the arc of this set of episodes and I'd have to agree that I'm leaning on Bariss as the villain, which would mess with the canon as she's supposed to have died later as a victim of Order 66. I'd really like to see another season of the MAIN characters - even if it was to wrap up everything in a proverbial neat-little-bow. I'd really like everything to end as positively as possible (I know - bleeding heart) even given the obvious eventual outcome.

  • WindUpRobot Feb 24, 2013

    Yeah. Weak episode.

    Also: Tenement Funster? Really? A Queen song?

  • tv_gonzo Feb 24, 2013

    This whole arc is very strong so far, although i agree that i would have wished for more investigating along the lines. But i really like the atmosphere the rising tension between the Jedi and the military and also how Anakin is very obviously on edge about this whole thing. Great stuff.

  • Shopperen01 Feb 24, 2013

    That was just an awful episode. Jedi can sense when people are lying, so why can no one at the Jedi Council sense that Ashoka is telling the truth?? And why is Asajj Ventress taken down so easily, when she has become powerful enough to threaten Darth Sidious (the reason why Darth Tyranus was ordered to kill her). And when Ashoka was attacked at the munitions plant, what happened to her skills, she was so easily defeated.

    Obviously people think that Barriss is involved, but I think that it is to easy answer. She is also nowhere near powerful enough to take down Ventress (with a barrel that stunned her, unlike that Separatist Cruiser explosion which she survived), unless the script writers really have messed up the whole Jedi/Sith development line.

    Simply put, this was a weak episode. Also not a big fan of the 4-part season final, made so just to keep people turning in.

  • noelrk Staff Feb 24, 2013

    I have a tough time with that last sentence considering the entire season has more or less been structured broken into 4-part arcs. It's all been made to keep people tuning into the show. But I've also liked that as it's allowed the show to tell lots of different stories, even if I haven't liked all of them.

  • Demonstrable Feb 24, 2013

    Another fantastic episode, I honestly look forward to watching the Cartoon Network Saturday morning block more than I do for most "grown-up" shows. I hope they don't try to reboot this show and it is just a seamless transition from CN to Disney.

  • jvaldez Feb 23, 2013

    If the girl is very young, it could be Mara Jade acting on behalf of the emperor. How cool would that be?

  • kanniballl Feb 23, 2013

    She'd have to be very VERY young. Mara was around the same age as Luke. And Luke is still a little while from even being born.

  • JamieHaxby Feb 25, 2013

    Mara Jade is about 1-2 years younger that Luke. So unless they change that, it can't be her.

  • kanniballl Feb 25, 2013

    Yeh, I'd forgotten if she was slightly older or younger. But even if older... she'd still probably not be born.

    I guess it's possible to change. There was an out-cry after this CGI cartoon (The Clone Wars) redefined the backstory of the Mandalorians... as defined in the novels. The author that put it together was so annoyed that she decided to never do Star Wars books again. Of course, her parting words then ticked off a lot of die-hard fans. It's a shame, her books were very solid.

    In short: the books are only as "cannon" as Lucas wanted them to be. In fact, there were different levels of cannon in the book-verse. And Lucas could override anything at any point with one of his movies or cartoons.

    Mara DID appear in the video games, but I don't recall if we got much of her back story / age there.

  • heatherkwest Feb 23, 2013

    That's SUCH a good point! If it's Mara Jade, that would be fantastic!

  • JT_Kirk Feb 23, 2013

    You make a good point that Ahsoka hasn't done any investigating whatsoever, thus negating the promise of these Hitchcockian episode titles. She remains a passive player, content to allow others to do minimal work on her behalf while she runs, follows cheese to the traps, and lays the smack down.

    That said, I really enjoyed this episode from the Star Wars perspective, there was more life, more dirtiness, more exciting action, and a real sense of a cinematic style. Aliens were speaking alienese, they recreated the cantina on a train, and there was a twist ending that I called a week ago. I felt the minimal story, the emotional impact of sending Ahsoka's 2 parental figure types (Anakin and Plo) after her, the run from the law, all of that was compelling in the moment even if it was thin on real story.

    The biggest flaw for me isn't Ventress' involvement, it's the lack of wisdom on the part of the Jedi Council, Tarkin came down hard and all Yoda could do was follow that lead. I've given up on the prequel-era Jedi as a group, they simply don't mesh up with the description and behavior we got from the original Obi-Wan, the Jedi here are a lesser-than organization not worthy of pity for being brought down by the system. It feels like Ventress is ultimately going to step up and clear Ahsoka's name next week, rather than the Jedi doing anything remotely wise and wizardly and clever. Should next week end on a cliffhanger, the only one I could accept would be Ahsoka turning away from the order, disgusted in their lack of faith, their ease of being deceived, and their becoming tools of the Galactic Senate war machine - basically, Ahsoka leaving because of Barriss' claims ringing true, even if Barriss' actions were overboard.

    Barriss clearly is the real culprit, her motives should we believe what we've been told so far, are a disgust in the Jedi order's actions in the war and how that impacts the people of the Republic. Those are fine motives for taking some action, these actions I am not really seeing as a natural extension of that, and they'll surely play into the Sith's hands, but my real issue is that Barriss is concerned with laying blame at others' feet rather than taking responsibility for her cause and becoming a vocal martyr.

    Hopefully, the great look and feel of this episode is a teaser for the upcoming Star Wars: 1313 game that takes place on the aforementioned level (1 level down from where we started and 2 up from where we ended) with bounty hunters (maybe Asajj?).

  • mcepin3 Feb 23, 2013

    Loved episode as I do this whole arc. Next week is already finale? I thought season has around 22-24 episodes...damn,possibly last episode. I love any cool fight between Force users and their lightsabers. Love how dark these episodes are getting.
    All that talk about level 1312 and 1315 right away,my mind went,they are promoting game SW:1313 in some way:D

  • JT_Kirk Feb 23, 2013

    This is the 19th episode of the season, seasons of this show have run 22 episodes each, this season will run short partly because there are apparently 3 "lost" episodes in an arc which got cut - I don't know if they were actually produced or not. Breaking the season into 5 arcs seems to have made it whip by even more quickly than usual.