Rewatch Discuss/Regrade the Episode: S03E12: Nightsisters

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Seerow, Jun 10, 2013.

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Rate this episode please

10/10 11 vote(s) 52.4%
9/10 4 vote(s) 19.0%
8/10 6 vote(s) 28.6%
7/10 0 vote(s) 0.0%
6/10 0 vote(s) 0.0%
5/10 0 vote(s) 0.0%
4/10 0 vote(s) 0.0%
3/10 0 vote(s) 0.0%
2/10 0 vote(s) 0.0%
1/10 0 vote(s) 0.0%
  1. Seerow SWTV★Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2011
    star 6
    Episode 3.12!! Nightsisters
    The Witches of Dathomir!
    [IMG]
    "The swiftest path to destruction is through vengeance."

    Troubled by Asajj Ventress' growing prowess with the dark side of the Force, Darth Sidious commands Count Dooku to eliminate her. But Ventress survives Dooku's assassination attempt, and the jilted former apprentice vows to take revenge, enlisting the aid of her kinswomen -- the mystical Nightsisters -- in her sinister scheme.
    Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters, veils Asajj and her fellow assassins in a cloak of invisibility, and they infiltrate Dooku's palace onSerenno. Though they fail to kill the Count, their use of captured Jedilightsabers leads Dooku to mistakenly believe that the Jedi have tried to kill him. Interested in protection, he requests a new apprentice from Mother Talzin.

    http://starwars.com/explore/the-clone-wars/ep312#!/about
    Now that you've rewatch the episode lets regrade it. Feel free to discuss as much as you like
  2. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4
    Oh, the GFFA crunchiness...

    This is where the series really starts working dramatically. A lot of said drama lies in the subtext, as it's always seemed rather "surfacey" or cold to me; I mean, a huge life-changing event for Ventress takes place within the first five minutes of the episode, with no buildup or anything, which is kind of a shame... but sometimes you have to "blur your vision" a little and imagine what's been going on between episodes. The idea of Ventress getting a clear arc is great, and though Katie Lucas was always a bit an off-putting personality, I gotta hand it to her. She was super passionate about this arc, and I have a feeling she made it what it is.
    Last edited by PraenomenCognomen, Jun 10, 2013
  3. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    This was a pretty good episode.
  4. Circular Logic SWTV Interview Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2013
    star 4
    Finally, a very good episode to review since the second episode of Season 3! Brace yourselves for the ensuing wall of text.

    To start off, Nighsisters marks the turning point in the series that truly reinvigorated my interest in the show. It certainly helped that the previous ten episodes were either 'meh' or terrible. I really liked the decision to focus on one of the series antagonists in Asajj Ventress, who IMO is one of the best characters in TCW. While it's true there was little buildup to Dooku's sudden betrayal of his most prized assassin, it was all at the merciless whim of Darth Sidious, a man that Dooku would dare not cross despite his misgivings. I'll also note the similarities between this particular story and Obsession, where Dooku abandons Ventress at Boz Pity under similar circumstances, though not at the prompting of his Master.

    Speaking of the EU, I liked how this episode made callbacks to Ventress' own past established before, despite a minor retcon (or rather, an expansion) of her original species. It was easy to relate to Ventress far more after seeing the hardships of her past, beginning with Talzin being forced to give her up to a Rattataki slaver as an infant, then witnessing her master's death to pirates, her discovery by Jedi Master Ky Narec, who decided to train her in the ways of the Force, Narec's death, Ventress embracing the Dark Side to avenge her Master, becoming Dooku's apprentice, and finally getting betrayed by Dooku himself. Dooku's last words to her were appropriately chilling: "You have failed me for the last time. You are no longer my apprentice. And now, you shall die."

    I really liked the acknowledgment of her past and the fact that Ky Narec (unnamed in the episode) was shown to be her Master and that they were close ("Thank you, Master") before tragedy struck and changed her life forever. I for one really liked the decision to make Ventress a Dathomiri Nightsister, as it expanded greatly on her character while not really contradicting her backstory. We eventually see Asajj as more 'gray' than your typical Dark Sider, and this episode paved the way for it. But first, her revenge...

    Nightsisters really made Ventress look truly badass, as she tapped into her rage to give Anakin and Obi-Wan a real run for their money. The double Force Choke on the two Jedi was particularly impressive. After her escape from the exploding command ship, she one-ups this by performing a quadruple Force Choke on the scavengers. Impressive, most impressive. We are then introduced to the Nightsisters of Dathomir for the first time, or more specifically, Mother Talzin's tribe. I really enjoyed TCW's take on the Dathomir witches, and was quite intrigued by their use of the Force via dark 'magicks'.

    Talzin provides Ventress the means to achieve her revenge on Dooku via an invisibility potion and a poison dart to dull Dooku's vision and senses, and this paves the way for a spectacular duel at the Count's estate on Serreno. Along with fellow Nightsisters Karis and Naa'leth, Ventress infiltrates the estate surprisingly easily (no security detecting the presence of her ship?) and then attempt to assassinate the slumbering Sith Lord. Then cue the epic fight scene between Dooku in his pajamas and the three 'invisible' Nightsisters. I seem to recall in the EU a blackmail attempt by Jango Fett to fatally poison the Count, but Dooku managed to use the Force to clear the contaminants from his bloodstream. I wonder if this was partly occurring during the duel, or whether Dooku was just so badass that it didn't matter?

    Anyways, the duel was awesome to watch. Witness Dooku's impeccable Makashi footwork and strategic use of Force pushes to prevent the three witches from overwhelming him. Keeping his defensive position for as long as he did while operating under a handicap proved just how proficient a duelist Dooku really was. He was simply on another level compared to Ventress and her Sisters, and it showed. Even when Dooku was finally overwhelmed and disarmed, he still managed to win with a powerful blast of Force Lightning to defenestrate the Nightsisters. This is the awesome Sith Lord Dooku the series was largely missing until now.

    One minor gripe about the ending. Why was Dooku so desperate for a new assassin that he was willing to work with Mother Talzin to secure a new one? Can't he just have at least one of his numerous Dark Acolytes take Ventress' place or act as a bodyguard? Unfortunately, the show did nothing to acknowledge the existence of Dooku's other Acolytes beside Ventress, which IMO was a real shame.

    Anyways, Nightsisters was one of Season 3's best episodes, and cracks my own personal Top 5 as well. I really loved the idea to focus on Ventress as a protagonist, and enjoyed seeing Tyranus as a badass, fearless Sith Lord. So a perfect 10/10 for me.
  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
  6. KED12345 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2012
    star 4
    Finally! A good Season 3 episode! This one was perfect.
  7. swcolts1277 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 2
    9.5 rounded up to 10. From here on, the show turned from good to great. This arc had everything Star Wars is supposed to, great characters, awesome action, intriguing storylines, and faster and more intense storytelling.
  8. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    And some creepyness with the Witches :p
  9. Mzukiller Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 2
    That really says something doesn't it? The only reason for her to even be on the writing team is because she's related to the man funding it all, it's especially jarring when you realize her skills are subpar at best.

    My opinion is that while the episode is good, but it marks the start of the Ventress arc, which I did not like. To this day, I am simply disgusted by the idea of such a great villain, ceasing to be a villain and slowly but surely turning into some bad-ass bounty hunter living on the edge, because we don't totally don't have enough of those, that's actually a good guy at heart. And the half assed attempt to have Maul 2.0 serve as the new villain, was ultimately pointless

    8/10 for the actual episode though. It started a much needed dark streak for this show. I especially liked that even though she defected from Dooku, she's still a cruel twisted person.
  10. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Finally, we step out of the doldrums and get not only a good TCW story, but a good Star Wars story.

    When I say a good "Star Wars story," I don't mean to imply that TCW somehow isn't Star Wars, but that it's often so very isolated from everything else in the universe. But here we have a battle at Sullust, in which Ventress is in her original outfit while piloting her Ginivex-class fanblade fighter, before the Rule of Two sees her thrown back to Dathomir, reliving her past on Rattatak under Ky Narec before joining the Nightsisters, and then going off to Serenno to kill Dooku. I don't really know how to say it better than this really felt like it was taking place in the developed Star Wars universe, with elements built up over the last 30 years, to make a better story. I so very, very badly wish the show had done this more often.

    The Battle of Sullust was great, and with scenes like this, visually wonderful. Though it became (yet another) Republic victory, it was nice to see heroic losses on the scale of the destruction of the Resolute―Anakin and Yularen's flagship, that's been around since the film. Dathomir looked excellent and true to how it's supposed to, aside from the red tint, which even then only adds a bit of atmosphere for the series and need not be anything more than artistic interpretation. Great to see the Nightsisters as well, and rewatching the episode with all the information on their culture from the Book of Sith in mind was a really cool plus. I know some people really didn't like the alteration of Ventress' race, but the Dathomirian hybrids look close enough to established Rattataki that it still works rather well, in my opinion, and the rest of her backstory was very well told for the brief amount of time allotted to it.

    Now for what I didn't like, small as that turned out to be. Most glaring is the premise of the poison dart. I'm sorry, but if you can successfully land on Serenno, get passed Dooku's security, and make it into his bedroom without him waking up...you don't use a blinding potion on a Sith Lord and then duel him in the hopes of killing him. You use a fast-acting neurotoxin that rapidly shuts down his bodily functions, and if he's still not dead after a minute or two, you walk over and stab him, repeatedly if necessary. Is it flashy and dramatic? Nope, not even a bit. Is it the most logical thing to do in Ventress' situation? Hell yes. Minus one point for that, as I felt really pulled out of the episode for longer than I should have trying to wrap my head around why the Nightsisters went with the least effective tactic.

    A surprisingly strong episode that managed to tie-in with the larger universe in a spectacular fashion, and highlighted why Ventress is a very interesting character with a great deal of even further potential. Re-invigorated an ailing Season 3, and gets a solid 9 out of 10 from me.
  11. Praenomen Cognomen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2013
    star 4

    I think, for what it's worth, Dooku is actually fighting the toxins through the Force (as touched on by Circular Logic). Perhaps they loaded it up with the strongest stuff they had, but brought the lightsabers because they knew he might be able to ward it off.
  12. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    This is when I started partying with the Nightsisters. They don't show me any respect, but I'm okay with that.
  13. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    It’s no secret that quality villainy is an enduring staple of the Star Wars franchise—the inconsistent and cringe-worthy depiction of a certain asthmatic cyborg notwithstanding—and “Nightsisters” stands testament to the idea that a story is only as good as its bad guy. And when your bad guys include such personages as Ventress, Dooku, Talzin, and Sidious, you’ve got a pretty damn good story.

    From the beginning, “Nightsisters” captured my attention. The Battle of Sullust was impressive in scale and visually stunning. But more importantly, the writers took a subtle step forward in adopting Ventress as a viable protagonist—if not “hero”—by depicting much of the engagement from her perspective. Anakin and Obi-Wan feature as well, of course, since Ventress has yet to trade her black hat for a gray one; but she daringly maneuvers around enemy fighters and skillfully coordinates her entourage in a manner that evokes images of the two heroic Jedi Masters. That she apparently delivered a crippling blow to Yularen’s cruiser was a welcome sight: score 1 for the Separatists, baby!

    Featuring the oft’-mentioned-but-unseen Serenno at last was another treat. I very much appreciated the fact that Dooku’s capital was an idyllic, beautiful world on par with Alderaan or Naboo rather than an overtly foreboding and unnecessarily sinister location a la Korriban, Ziost, or even Vassek (the titular “Lair of Grievous”). It’s a subtle reminder that, contrary to how he was often portrayed in the series, Dooku was not a total mustache-twirler like the other vampiric Count that inspired his character. Even the palace itself only vaguely alluded to the sinister essence of its host with ethereal green windows and Spartan décor.

    Darth Sidious’s entrance raised the stakes in addition to raising the quality. That the character was a source of enjoyment in even the much-maligned prequel trilogy is proof enough that, like cowbell, the Dark Lord of the Sith is—if not an outright remedy—a creative balm. That he detects Ventress’s incremental progression in the Dark Side hints at his “omniscience” (though the remainder of this episode, the trilogy, and subsequent arcs birthed from it subvert this projection of infallibility). Dooku protesting Sidious’s cloying test was another nod to his moral code—even if it’s on life-support; his ultimate acquiescence hints at his deep-rooted fear of his Master. In an allusion to the events of Knights of the Old Republic, the treacherous Sith Lord betrays an ally confronted by Jedi Knights—and like his predecessor Malak thousands of years before, unleashes a hail of turbolaser fire on the combatants. It was probably unintentional, but I liked what I read into it.

    The introduction of Dathomir and the Nightsisters into The Clone Wars was as gamechanging as the inclusion of the Death Watch and Mandalore a season prior. Magnifying the conflict as something bigger than hordes of clones and droids—dimensionally-limited pawns in a Sith Lord’s grand chess game—opens a hallway’s worth of previously closed doors. Dathomir was suitably eerie, heralding the arcane magicks native to the mysterious world. While I didn’t really like the Transylvanian accent, Talzin’s Voice of the Legion was deliciously creepy. The concept of Talzin was inspired; the cancellation of the series undercut her potential, but the idea of an eldritch sorceress with a similar penchant for cosmic manipulation as the Big Bad—and unaffiliated with him!—is tantalizing. A rival, perhaps? We may never know.

    I like a neat and tidy continuity as much as the next guy, but I’m not opposed to retcons as long as the replacement story is better than the original. This was one such occasion. Reformatting Ventress as an estranged Nightsister better served the story; though I scowled at the Sympathetic Montage Sequence. Trying to humanize Ventress was a noble gesture, but it was a backhanded concession by the writing staff: We should have been doling bits of this out as far back as season 1. Yes, yes you should have.

    As was mentioned by @Circular_Logic and @Mia Mesharad, the plan to assassinate Dooku with a mild poison/sedative/tranquilizer was headscratch-worthy. Perhaps Talzin believed Dooku’s Spidey-sense would have klaxoned had they attempted to use something more lethal? Perhaps, as @Circular_Logic suggests, Dooku was using the Force to mitigate the toxin’s most potent effects? Or why not send more phantom!sisters and storm the Count’s palace? Perhaps Talzin knew the whole thing would fail and had already initiated a longer game for a better outcome?

    The two lightsaber battles in “Nightsisters” were a cut above the norm. Ventress’s two-on-one clash with Anakin and Obi-Wan served to confirm Sidious’s suspicions, elevating it from a mere Informed Ability. Then again, the writers failed to depict this advancement on Ventress’s part. Even better was the attempted assassination of Dooku. The Count’s humiliation-by-pirate days seemed far away. The consummate fencer, Dooku relied on precision and skill to adroitly keep his attackers at bay—unlike his Master whom, we would later see, crushes his foes with demonic agility and ferocity.

    The ending was as entertaining as the beginning. Further denied, the defeated Ventress slinked back to Dathomir. But Talzin, in true Sidious fashion, had anticipated—or perhaps orchestrated?—the less-than-savory outcome and intended to use Ventress’s failure to serve her greater agenda.
    What prospects!

    I’m extremely picky, which impacts the episode’s grade. All in all, the ideas were superb but the execution was not quite up to par. Mistakes ran the gamut: minor quibbles like Talzin’s accent intermingled with moderate complaints such as the ham-fisted backstory montage. The pirate scene was downright horrid; rather than brandish blasters, those country hicks should have hefted their space-banjos and treated the injured Ventress to a country diddy.

    Yee-haw!

    Grade: 8/10
  14. Nexumaster Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2005
    star 4
    This is definitely where the season turned around. A really good episode with a great and well-paced plot, some great action and animation but perhaps most of all, it definitely started developing Asajj Ventress as a character; before this one she wasn't so interesting and pretty much came off as being just Dooku's bland Sith assassain but here she really started improving, at first being betrayed and thrown away by Dooku and then having her backstory revealed & starting to become an actually interesting character. The intriguing Mother Talzin and the Nightsister order of Dathomir were really nicely introduced and the choice of having Asajj having been parted from them as an infant and now coming back to them was an interesting choice; I like it. There was also some great action; whole opening battle was really good and the lightsaber fight between Ventress and the two Nightsisters vs. a sight-impaired Dooku in his pajamas was pretty great; the force lighting finale was something else (Gotta add that both Ventress and Dooku were definitely legitimate badasses in this one). Overall, it's a very solid start to the Nightsister arc.

    8/10
  15. Darth_Foo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 24, 2003
    star 4
    Back then going just on spoilers and commercials I thought I was going to hate this episode and whole arc. Huge surprise. I was hooked from the opening on a space battle, which we get too few of. Now its one of my favorites.
    9/10
    Last edited by Darth_Foo, Jun 16, 2013
  16. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    I wonder if the Nightsister-Dooku battle is forshadowing an eventual Sidious-Talzin battle.
  17. AkashKedavra_93 Emperor of the Seven Realms and the First Dragons

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2011
    star 4
    Season 3 needed this. I enjoyed the first two, seven, nine, and ten, but overall the other five had a very deadening impact. Nightsisters was unique in its focus on the villains, as I feel many more enjoyable stories tend to become better through villainous exposure, this arc benefited the TCW greatly. Keeping Ventress's EU storyline intact for the most part while imbuing the Nightsisters in was a great twist, even tying into Maul's story. It was truly sad from a narrative perspective to see the Nightsisters wiped out in Season 4. The cancellation of the show ruins a good opportunity to come back to Talzin and her, I would presume, eventual revival of her clan.

    +Battle of Sullust
    +Destruction of the Resolute
    +Ventress's betrayal at the hands of Dooku through Sidious
    +The duel and the dual Force Choke
    +"She never does"; good dialogue
    +Talzin
    +Serenno
    +Dooku as a badass
    +The lightning trick
    +Talzin's twist plotting at the end, nice

    10/10
  18. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    She could come back in Rebels.
  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7

    This times 1000.
  20. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    She should come back as a greaser.
  21. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    I don't get it.
  22. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7