Star Wars: The Clone Wars “A Crisis at The Heart” REVIEW
The last episode left the audience, Anakin and Padme with a lot to think about. What is a relationship if there is no trust? How can a marriage built on lies hope to last? Anakin has emotional problems that result in violent outburst, is anyone safe around him? These were all things Padme brought up, resulting with her calling for time away from Anakin. One would think with an episode titled “Crisis at the Heart” there would be a continuation of that thread. Nope! The crisis here surrounds Rush Clovis.
I failed to mention last time, but also in the previous episode we learned the sad story of Clovis. As a young child, Rush Clovis lost his parents and was taken in by the Muun people as one of their own, where he would learn the ways of banking. It was his first love. Understandably, he had a personal investment in clearing the corruption in the banks to prove that the Muuns are good people.
Once both the Republic and the Separatist agree to work with Clovis, he returns to Scipio, along with Padme, to a hero’s welcome. After some political showboating, Clovis vows to do what any good banker would: issue loads and collect payments. All is well for Clovis, until Dooku appears wanting Clovis to repay him for his favor. Dooku wants Clovis to raise the interest rate on Republic loans, if not the Separatists will stop paying the interest on their loans, which will somehow cause the banks to collapse.
Apparently, this is a no win situation for Clovis, with his years of experience in banking, does not know how to handle a lendee defaulting on their loans. Yes, the banks are in bad shape right now; still, the economics don’t really make sense. Clovis could easily tell the Separatists he’s not issuing them anymore loans. Clovis has a lot more options than Dooku presents him. Still Clovis caves, raises the rates and the Republic freaks out.
Speaking of the Republic, the Galactic Senate continues its bid for “most inept governing body.” Even though they were warned about Rush Clovis and knew about his past actions, they are more than willing to put him in that position. When he seemingly betrays them, they never imagined this as a possibility. Clovis does no better. As he lets Dooku set him up to take the fall.
Wonky economics and silly politics aside, the biggest disappointment of this episode is its failure to meaningfully address any of the issues involving Anakin and Padme. Anakin may have been right about not trusting Clovis; however, that does not excuse his jealousy and violent outburst from “The Rise of Clovis.” Padme saw this first hand, but the two rekindle after the battle of Scipio, without addressing any of Padme’s concerns from the previous episode. Even worst, her line “I’m sorry” implies the issues were her fault. No Padme, your secret husband almost killed a dude with a force choke because he was jealous. That’s not your fault. It’s his. And it doesn’t get better.
The animation is superb, as always. The battles for Scipio, both the Separatist invasion and the Republic counter attack are packed with great shots and set pieces. The Clone Wars may have been developed for the small screen, but the team has always been able to recreate the epic space battles and aerial dog fights that drew so many to Star Wars to begin with. In the end, The Republic take Scipio, Clovis falls to his death and Palpatine gets control of the banks.
Anakin’s and Padme’s dilemma is push aside in favor of the weak Clovis plot. Its lack of resolution here is glaring, given that most of this arc was set up around the nature of Anakin’s and Padme’s relationship both professionally and personally. Rush Clovis is underutilized too. His “tragic end” would be more impactful in “Crisis at The Heart” if it wasn’t so circumstantial. Clovis is worried about his legacy, but it’s hard to feel bad someone who doesn’t really fight for what he believes in. In the first arc, it’s understandable why Fives has a hard time explaining himself. Not only was he drugged, but the severity of his revelation and the implications are damn near unbelievable. After Dooku invades and starts shooting up diplomats, there is nothing stopping Clovis from telling Padme “Hey, I’m clearly being setup here.”