Friday, January 21, 2011

TCW Review: Monster

 Beware the spoiler monster.

What an episode. 

"Monster" continues the trilogy that started with "Nightsisters." It also continued the trend that has been going this season, shifting the focus off  "Clones vs. Droids" "Jedi vs. Sith" and even "Republic vs. Separatist." Indeed, Season 3 had us looking into the intricate details of this bizarre war.

And looking more into the Sith. What goes on in their minds? we ask. How do they train other Sith? How is it different from the way the Jedi turn others to their side?

"Monster" answers those questions in a way that is chilling and new and utterly unexpected.

The plot
Asajj Ventress, along with her mentor, Mother Talzin, plot to exact revenge on Count Dooku by giving him a new apprentice-one secretly controlled by them. They select the apprentice by putting a group of Zabrak men through a series of brutal gladiator-like elimination tests. The victor, Savage Oppress-after being brutally beaten and manipulated into killing his best friend-is presented to Dooku, who "turns him loose" experimentally on a bunch of clones and Jedi guarding a tower. Mission successful-let's go beat that nasty Republic.

My feelings during the elimination, when the Zabrak got picked off one by one, was "Blast. I knew this was going to happen." And we did. Isn't "fight till the last one standing" just natural for Sith?
But how it happened....

Savage started out as just "one of the herd." The only way we could tell him apart was his touching brotherhood with his friend(who I thought was named "Pharaoh" but apparently it's "Feral"). He and Feral work together until they're the last ones in the arena.  It was good for us to see how normal Savage was prior to his brainwashing by the Nightsisters. He wasn't some mysterious, ages-old monster. I was like "Yeah, we get this dude. We can relate to him."

It was also heartrending to see Asajj carrying out the killing games. You could see the fear in the group of Zabraks' eyes when the lights went out, and they were just standing in the dark, just waiting for Asajj to strike with her death-reaper scythe thing. And she was enjoying it. She liked torturing Zabrak. She liked having a bunch of pawns to control. And that's normal for a Sith, but isn't that what she was trying to get back at Dooku for? The viewers realize that she's taking a lot of pleasure from something that brought her so much pain.

The brainwashing. Apparently, the first goal of the Nightsisters was obviously to dehumanize the Zabraks. To strip them of their human(or Zabrak) dignity and soul. The brainwashing, accompanied by the Nightsisters' oh-so-useful multipurpose green gel, was the Nightsisters scrubbing out the remains of Savage's soul and putting their own junk in. And when Savage woke up, you could see that he was different. He was an entirely different Zabrak. Like an animal, even.
His transformation was made complete when he faced his final test, killing Feral, his best friend. Which he did with only a moment's hesitation.

The Nightsisters. We knew they were bad, but their wickedness is fully manifested in this episode.
Who couldn't resist saying "aww" two weeks ago when they welcomed poor, lonely, betrayed Ventress with open arms? They took care of her, made her invisible(in a good way) and were eager to help Ventress live out her hopes and dreams(mainly involving killing Dooku). Who wouldn't want a family like that?

But you could see the "Night" in "Nightsisters" when they watched, even approved of Savage killing his best friend. A little reminder-if you ain't a Nightsister, you're bantha fodder.

The bad
There was little wrong with this episode.  Except for the multipurpose green gel(It makes you invisible, brings back all your bad memories, makes your horns grow bigger, and quenches your thirst too! Buy it today!) then I'm not going to say anything.


"Monster" had a haunting, suspenseful feeling that wasn't resolved at the end of the episode.  It basically served as a build up for the we-know-it's-going-to-be-AMAZING finale, "Witches of the Mist" tonight.

Who's excited?


  1. I thought Feral was his brother...

    -Leia <3

  2. Oooh. I'm not a Clone Wars fan, but that DOES sound interesting...

    By the way, did the Nightsisters rename them or did the screenwriters call them 'Feral' and 'Savage' originally? Cuz those are some pretty darn unoriginal names.

    Killing 'Games', Arena.... hey, what does that sound like?! :)


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