Well, here it is. The moment we've been waiting for since we last saw Darth Maul's dismembered body plummeting into the pits of Naboo. Let me just say, it was worth the wait!
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW
While I did watch last week's episode, "Brothers," on its own, I waited until "Revenge" aired to review them both as a whole. After watching them both back-to-back in a sort of mini movie fashion, I have to say the overall feeling was incredibly satisfying. There were parts that bothered me about both the episodes, but they were few and far between. My first complaint being the snake that Savage Opress "befriends" on the junk planet. Did it really need to be a snake? It seemed out of place to me and a tad too cartoony for my tastes, but whatever. The snake got what it deserved, so all's well that ends well, I guess. My second complaint would have to be Anakin and Ahsoka's "cameo" in the first episode. The two of them just so happen to show up at a random diner that Savage Opress was just in? Really? I thought at least it would make more sense once we saw "Revenge," but Anakin and Ahsoka don't even show up in the episode at all! So, what was the point?
But I digress.
While I knew she would be alright, many people were confused as to whether Mother Talzin had died during "Massacre," so it was nice to see my suspicions were correct and she's alive and well. The junk planet Savage visited in his search for his brother was visually stunning. While I hated the snake, the creepy junkyard creatures that Savage slaughtered were pretty cool looking and fit in perfectly with this wasteland of a world.
And then, there's Maul. To find him living underground, a shadow of his former self, with cybernetic arachnid lower appendages was truly disturbing. The man is off his rocker and Sam Witwer did a phenomenal job at portraying this tortured soul. I read fan comments online that they didn't think he sounded much like the Maul we remember from Phantom Menace, which I found ridiculous considering he had like two lines in the original film, though a part of me could understand what they meant. Interestingly enough, once we get into "Revenge" and Savage brings Maul back to Mother Talzin, we do get back the old Maul we remember so fondly. In a bizarre ritual, she removes the "insanity" from his mind, literally, and in a somewhat gruesome manner forges him some shiny new legs. Once he regains his sanity, for lack of a better term, Witwer actually does sound a lot more like the Maul we remember. Almost perfectly, I think, just with more emotion!
While it was incredible to finally see Maul back in action, the highlight of the episode was the long awaited team up between Obi-Wan and Ventress!! Yes, I saw this coming from a mile away since the "Massacre" episode. Ventress has been betrayed and is seeking revenge, loses her people, and joins a merry band of bounty hunters in "Bounty." We could tell she was changing. While maybe not so much fully turning to the light side, Ventress' character arc through the series has been the most satisfying in my opinion, and watching her mature these past few episodes has been an engaging watch. The playful "flirting" between her and Kenobi that we remember so well from Season 1 was back in full force here, as the two joined sides to bring down a common enemy. Their banter was well executed and believable, and it was such a rewarding payoff to have them together for this epic battle.
Having an all-red lightsaber duel was beautiful and artistically fitting, given the darkness of the scenario. Overall, I felt the battle was too short, but all the characters pulled off some pretty sweet moves. Ventress and Obi-Wan escaping had her flipping over Savage, and Kenobi quickly using the Force to give her a bit of a boost was a small touch and a nice added maneuver.
All-in-all I was very satisfied with the finale. We've been waiting a long time for Maul's return, and I think the payoff was handed exceptionally. As I said, I felt the final battle was a bit too short, but the good news is that neither Maul nor Savage died, so we know we will definitely be seeing more of these two next season.
See you all during Season 5!