SPOILERS Colossus Communiques Star Wars Resistance: Dangerous Business Review
Dangerous Business has the feel of a classic bottle show, and that is not to say that is a bad thing. A bottle show is an episode that uses pre existing sets, models, and tries to cut costs by sticking to a clear plot and is normally character focused. As any Star Trek fan can attest, these types of episodes (like The Drumhead, Conundrum, Lower Decks, Duet, and The Wire") can be masterpieces and allow a more focused story.
In this episode we almost entirely focus on Kaz, BB8, Bitey the Gorg, and a new villain Teroj Kee. The only reasl scene we get with the rest of the cast is a very short and sweet scene at the start with Team Fireball. Kaz has to work at Flix and Orka’s requisitions as part of a deal so he could get parts to fix the Fireball as best as possible by himself so Tam could fly it again.
It is a very small moment but incredibly endearing. Kaz of his own accord goes ahead and does all this for his friend and seems to understand her annoyance with him taking the Fireball all the time and wrecking it. Like I have said previously, her frustration comes less from general animosity but more so from the fact that the galaxy keeps kicking her in the shin it seems. Without having to be called out on it, Kaz realizes why the Fireball means so much to her.
Added onto this is the fact that while Kaz does all this good work and shows initiative, he still is imperfect and messed up one thing which Tam nicely points out. It is just such a human and personable exchange.
As for Kaz watching after requisitions; he does his best and acts competently, but runs afoul of Teroj Kree. Teroj wants a phase connector that he knows is in the back. Kaz follows Flix and Orca’s instructions to not sell anything from the back, but after Bitey hurts the guy Kaz feels bad and agrees to personally deliver the rest of his sale to a docking bay. There Teroj locks Kaz in a crate, leaving him for dead.
What follows is a brawl between this massive alien and BB8, and it is exactly as amazing as it sounds. Teroj does manage to get his hands on the connector and makes his way to his cargo ship right as Kaz uses his wits to escape the trap.
Once Kaz gets onto the cargo ship the episode shows its hand and reveals the significance to the larger plot of the season. Teroj is in fact working for the First Order, Kaz and Bitey end up having to hide and crash the vessel before the First Order can escape. Not only does this provide a great showing of how involved the FO is in everything, as well as how smart Kaz can be, but it also shows just how minimal even victories can be. The best Kaz can do is down the ship so no one gets the phase connector, though the First Order and Teroj escape unexposed.
Continuing the tradition of the past few episodes, this one ends hysterically with Flix and Orka’s comedic styling. Those to really are an absolute treasure every scene they are in. Also their theme of being stringent about who owes them money, while also taking a liking to Kaz is continued which is a nice bit of character interaction. However the story does end on a dark note with Kaz finding out that the phase connector is used for mining and cutting through lots of ground, obviously alluding to Starkiller Base.
To put it simply: this episode exemplifies much of what I love about this show. It is singularly focused on character interactions, does not feel the need to push in a message if there is no need for one, has a strong sense of character, is hysterical, furthers the lore, furthers the larger plot in an unobtrusive and natural way, and makes the lack of massive stakes actually part of the unique nature of the series.
Having the First Order and their machinations be yet again responsible for the threat, without the threat really having to do with the station or even being something super important drives home just how involved in every little thing they are. This could have taken place anywhere and went a similar way if someone who was not a part of the Resistance got robbed here. I love that as it shows how incidental Kaz and even the Resistance are to much of the First Order’s operations.
As for the focused and straightforward nature, this puts into perspective part of why “Secrets and Holograms” didn’t do it for me so much. While that episode did a lot to involve parts of the larger plot-line, much of it felt disconnected from Kaz despite being more directly involved to that episode’s plot than this was to Kaz. The reason for that, I feel, is that the focal point of that episode was on Torra just being taken along for the ride without much of a strong sense of characterization or interactions with the events taking place. Here however Kaz is along for the ride, but interacts and has fun and unique reactions to that ride. Even something as minor as Kaz’s exchange with the worker after nearly dying just adds flavor to the situation.
It also enhances my point in that prior review about Team Fireball and Kaz’s clashing personalities being a real highlight and making an episode come alive. Here much of the interactions are Kaz bantering with BB8 who we can’t understand, or Bitey who is essentially a violent frog. However Kaz’s personality and energy make every exchange land and allow us to hear Kaz’s specific views on the widening plot. Interestingly this episode was written and directed by Eugene Son and Saul Ruiz respectively, who held those same positions on Fuel For the Fire and Secrets and Holograms individually. Those, despite being good episodes, were my least favorites thus far so it was a pleasant surprise to see that they did this episode. They by no means did a poor job in those aforementioned eps, but it is nice to see them go above and beyond here.
The occasional dark humor is also on full display here, with a gag being made of Kaz nearly being dropped into the ocean to die (again) and Bitey being thought dead and Kaz’s dramatic speech about that for all of 5 seconds.
It goes without saying that I loved this episode. It is episodes like this that makes me sad to think about the likelihood that we leave the Colossus next season. Plus in this episode’s favor is the fact that its exceptional use of a bottle show perpetuates my running theme of this show being similar to much of why I love DS9.