SPOILERS Colossus Communiques: Star Wars Resistance: Doza Dilemma
This series can really move full steam ahead when it wants to can’t it? Doza Dilemma continues the primary plot thread of the series and begins a new chapter in the role of the pirates. It s episodes like this that show why those slower, more character centralized eps from earlier are so vital. They make or break the emotional and dramatic backbone of major event episodes like this one.
Pyre orders Kragan to kidnap Torra in order to make Doza cave. Synara is tasked with helping, but works against them once she finds out they are going after Torra. I like that the episode shows that part of what makes Synara doubt Kragan is not a sudden light-switch, but also very much due to him keeping her in the dark.
As for Synara’s connection to our mains, I do think we should have had Synara and Torra interact at some point prior, as well as better illustrate Kaz’s comment on Synara being distant lately. However I do really like how Synara gets access to the tower directly because of Torra’s trusting nature. That is something we have consistently seen, and when you think about it Kaz has been able to spy on Doza via Torra, so of course a pirate in her friend group logically can do the same with ease.
The pirates who get sent to kidnap Torra, Valik and Drell, contain a really neat recanonization: Valik is a Rattataki. While Ventress originally was one, TCW did something quite strange in having her look the same but be born a Nightsister on Dathomir, and then just so happen to be sold into slavery on Rattatak. It is nice to see them back in canon, and Valik is voiced by Jennifer Hale which is always amazing.
It could be that she is actually a Zabrak as pale white ones do exist, and she does have horns. However while Zabrak horns can grow in a Mohawk, she still looks more Rattataki and the horns don’t seem distinctly Zabrak. They could be totally artificial or she is biracial. Though mor likely they are fake, them seem too tall, straight, smooth, and she has all the aesthetics of TOR’s Rattataki from the ear piercings and the face markings specifically.
A chase ensues after Synara helps Kaz go after the pirates, who have escaped with Torra. These last 5 minutes or so are very quick paced and make for an amazing action scene, despite little real “action” so to speak. It speaks to the intensity the show always brings, mostly due to stakes and just how well directed it is. This episode was directed by Sergio Paez, whom I have already praised in the past for his direction.
The nighttime speeder-then skiff vs racers chase was energetic and, as with much of this show’s fights, really felt like a dog fight. Or in this case an artillery vs fighter fight. Once can more easily see blow for blow, shots have more impact as we can track them more easily, and the slight damage actually means something for the objective.
The pirates manage to get back to Kragan’s ship, which is just amazing. We got glimpses of it in some trailers, but the full thing is just magnificent. The AT-AT bridge, the exposed platforms, and Kragan having a crow’s nest all make it feel so authentically used Imperial, and also stereotypically pirate. Kaz is still tailing but cannot fire out of fear of hitting Torra, and right when he can get coordinates out to the other Aces, the First Order shows up.
Despite being highly predictable with the whole briefcase concealing a gun trope, Vonreg’s betrayal of the pirates was still shocking. It was ruthless and and the quick cuts after he takes out several of Kragan’s people just enhance the brutal efficiency of the First Order. The First Order’s scheme being to “rescue” Torra really fits their entire propaganda machine.
The episode ends with the First Order being one step closer to controlling the Colossus, with a small detachment left behind for “security”. He was appeared so sparingly, and has not had a real conversation since very early on, but Vonreg is a really interesting character. Lex Lang’s voice for him is distinct and has a perfect mix of slimy, but also trusting and smooth. If Phasma is metallic, Pyre is the calm military type, the Vonreg is the one who sounds the most expressive and human.
The final scene establishes the new thread for the rest of the season, the pirates being betrayed, Synara being disillusioned, and Kaz being certain that Synara is either with the pirates or is one. Which really goes back to my constant praise of Kaz being legitimately smart and figuring out Synara is the spy, all on his own and without there needing to be a big slip up on someone’s part.
To cap it off, I think writer Gavin Hignight (who has a diverse background of music videos, some animated shows, short films, a YA novel, and a YT original series) does a good job continuing Synara;s thread (he had written Synara’s Score); and Sergio Paez elevated a good script to something fantastic with his always superb direction.
There is one thing though that I think may be a major flaw: the pirates specifically mention, with Torra right there, that the First Order is bringing them payment and when Vonreg shows up, Kragan is cordial. There may be a reason why Torra does not think of this as evidence that the FO planned this, but I can’t think of one
This was a very good episode, not as strong as a piece as last episode was, but that is to be expected as there need to be plot heavy episodes that do the duty of carrying things forwards and finishing the moves other episodes set up slowly on the chess board.
UPDATE: StarWars.com’s Bucket’s List for this episode confirms Valik as a Palliduvan, the same race as Aurra Sing. The thought crossed my mind, but she seemed unique enough to be more likely a Rattataki in my opinion. Alas it was just wishful thinking on my part.