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TCW Episode Grade the Episode: S05E12: Missing in Action

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Seerow, Jan 9, 2013.


How would you grade Missing in Action?

  1. 10/10

  2. 9/10

  3. 8/10

  4. 7/10

  5. 6/10

  6. 5/10

  7. 4/10

    0 vote(s)
  8. 3/10

  9. 2/10

  10. 1/10

    0 vote(s)
  1. Seerow

    Seerow Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2011
    You guys know the drill.

    Poll results are available by clicking on the number of votes next to each score.

    That being said, we'd still prefer you to post with your score and what you liked and disliked
  2. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    8/10, which is seven points higher than I gave the other two episodes in this arc.
  3. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    I also give it an 8. I'm wishy-washy in how I feel about this arc, but Gregor was kickass, everything good about an RC. Add in all the little background details the animators got to throw in, and this turns out to be a pretty good ep. I liked the Sullustan too, both the character and his model.
  4. Deputy Rick Grimes

    Deputy Rick Grimes Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 3, 2012
  5. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 6, 2007
    Certainly better than what came before it, but still very lacking. Gets 3/10 for Borkus.
  6. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    With the flaws, wasted potential and long periods of boredom, I probably would have failed this episode in the past.

    I'm just not that passionate anymore.

    7/10 for showing an armpit of the galaxy (despite that sorta undoing the Void, which I didn't care for anyway), Eastern European villain whose dastardly scheme is to make the good guys wash dishes, RC stuff and for knocking off the metaphysics.
  7. AkashKedavra_93

    AkashKedavra_93 Moderator Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 8, 2011
    Late to the action...

    +Visuals and designs were BRILLIANT
    +Gregor's story is very well done, and I am 100% positive that Gregor has survived this
    +WAC was tolerable and his dialogue wasn't bad
    +Aleena with a knife, WTF?
    +First Sullustan in TCW?
    +Nice job with the speciesism
    +Harry Potter reference with "following the bugs"?...
    +Great music!
    +The commando vs. battle droids fight was executed well

    -Gascon has refused to really grow on me much, his fluctuating attitudes towards the droids...; if he wins any "congrats" at the end of this arc...
    -Plot contrivance of the armor
    -Yes, every villain needs to cackle loudly, who gives a **** about subtlety?

    9/10 though, Gregor pulled it off for me despite the flaws above.
    rumblewagon likes this.
  8. Orrelios

    Orrelios Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 21, 2005
    Solid episode. I liked the plain design of the town (quite reminiscent of Mos Eisley or some other 'wretched hive of scum' and villainy on Tattoine) and Gregor was handled quite well in the episode and both Gascon and WAC have grown on me, especially the latter; the Sullustan chef, Borkus, was also a character I kinda liked, no matter his classic villain tendencies. There were some funny moments (like the Aleena mugging the bigger alien), I liked the classic Walrus Man cameo and Gregor's assault against the battle droids on the landing pad was quite cool and did not disappoint. It's not so easy to pick something I didn't like; if they decided that this was it for Gregor, that would probably be my least favorite aspect of the episode. 9/10
    AkashKedavra_93 and rumblewagon like this.
  9. rumblewagon

    rumblewagon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 24, 2004
    A solid episode overall:
    -1 for Borkus dragging a suit of clone armor out of thin air for no other reason than plot convenience that Gregor would then have the convenience of putting his armor on at the precise moment that he would require it.
    -1 Gregor not knowing how to fight one instant, then instantly regaining his ability to fight at the crucial instant he would need to know how to fight.
    I'd mark down for WAC acting silly again, but seeing as how I marked him down in Secret Weapons already, I can't hold him in double jeopardy.
    AkashKedavra_93 likes this.
  10. swcolts1277

    swcolts1277 Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 5, 2013
    10/10. See episode thread for my review.
  11. Convor

    Convor Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 25, 2011
    This episode was certainly better than the last two, although that's not saying much. Gascon and WAC remain two of the most despicable characters ever introduced in Star Wars. You can spout off all you like about this arc being a brilliant commentary of how droids view death and organic life, but at the end of the day their constant bickering is mind-numbing and awful to watch. Onto the positives:

    +Pons Ora was a great locale, and they really nailed the OT unsavory underbelly type feel.
    +Animation was great as always. Look closely at Gregor's hair and you can see it shift around as he moves his head.
    +Gregor!! The initial cool-factor of having a commando with such a big role automatically elevates this episode a few points. Dee Bradley Baker did a great job transitioning from the amnesiac clone to the super soldier as well.

    -Gascon eating trash. Comedy gold. [face_frustrated] At least the droid hijinks were kept to a relative minimum.
    -"Stop being a slave dishwasher and start being a slave soldier!" This has been discussed to death already, but it is a huge flaw, and it would have been nice if it were addressed.
    -Wait, so the separatists landed on Abafar and created a mining facility to blow a single cruiser away? I assume this is going to be addressed in the next episode.
    -Gregor's punk death.
    -"He's dead! He's not dead! But we'll wait for your return. From the grave. Maybe."

  12. QuangoFett

    QuangoFett Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 11, 2011

    Gregor was handled well. He's not Cut Lawquane, a conscious deserter. He's an RC who is simply being held back by amnesia. He embraces his "genetic destiny" and grabs it by the horns, even if they impale him. Like in the previous episode, WAC and Gascon were tolerable and sometimes enjoyable. Borkus was a laugh and the details of Pons Ora (eg. the feared Aleena mugger, cockroaches in houses) helped to embellish this wretched hive of scum and villainy.

    However, I can't give this episode a perfect grade. It would have been perfect if it hadn't seemingly endorsed worker and soldier disposability and a WW1-esque "glory" in violent death in combat. If Gregor's struggle against Borkus had simply been about his genetic destiny and the duty of a clone trooper, it would have been perfect: a contrast to Cut Lawquane, purely about clones. However, labelling Borkus' treatment of Gregor as slavery made this out to be a moral assertion by the script, and one which is very dubious IRL.

    It could be considered a good thing, though, that the episode was solid enough in most other regards that my main fault with it was with its political/moral message. In general, well done to LFA for another good episode.
  13. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
    Having genuinely no interest in this arc whatsoever, Missing in Action was the first of this four-parter I actually watched, and that was only for Gregor. Now that it seems as though he's been pushed aside by a an ambiguous kinda-maybe fake out death to make more room for the droid squad again—as if they didn't keep battling away for center stage in this episode as it was—it seems like Missing in Action will also be the last episode of this four-parter that I watch.

    I was looking forward to this episode for a long time, ever since snippets of a commando appearance were revealed. Considering the amount of hype and promotion that was centered around Gregor, and the actual appearance of a Republic Commando in action, I can't help feeling a bit let down that his role in the story arc was confined to approximately ten minutes in a single episode. So basically, hype backlash: -1. Now, only coming into this arc at this episode, I don't know what WAC's been like before, but I didn't really mind the guy all that much. Basic comic relief moments, but nothing that actually had me face-palming or groaning. Gascon on the other hand...very disappointing. Obnoxious, arrogant, an ineffective. He doesn't even consider Gregor to be anything other than an asset, and as otherr have noted, it was cringe-worthy hypocrisy to hear him decry Borkus while planning to do nothing more than use him, himself. Minus another one point for sheer strangle-worthy irritation.

    Building off that last point, the episode looses another point in my eyes for appearing to head up to bat on the issue of clones and freedom, only to flip off the pitcher and start running about randomly. -1 As far as canon was concerned, I'm still not happy with the sudden inclusion of a scannable barcode on a clone's wrist, nor do I like that they decided to give Gregor a captain's rank instead of sergeant (as is the established rank for commando squad leaders) for no apparent reason. The ID number being long, and his designation prefix being CC instead of RC was also a minor issue that took me out of the moment to consider. All three points combined lead to another -1.

    The hiccups aside, the visual references to the Republic Commando game were great to see, as was the nod to the Routine Valor comic with the Battle of Sarrish. The town and set designs were interesting, Gregor's action scenes were exciting, and it really was great to see a commando in action at all. That said, my score for the episode is 6 out of 10.
  14. QuangoFett

    QuangoFett Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 11, 2011
  15. Seanthings

    Seanthings Jedi Padawan

    Feb 8, 2012
  16. Mia Mesharad

    Mia Mesharad Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
    True enough, though to be fair, Luceno wrote Dark Lord before the GAR's command structure had been more solidly defined. Evidence from the likes of the thoroughly continuity-minded Darth Plagueis novel would suggest no such issue would have arisen had it come along just a bit later, after the Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic had been released. That said, Luceno also gets something of a pass in my book, considering how small that one snag is, compared to an entire novel's worth of great story and attention to detail.

    I probably would have glossed over the issue within the episode entirely, had it not been joined by the problems with his RC-less and overly complicated service number, and the cheap addition of the wrist barcode to discern said number that bugged this long-time Republic Commando fan. Still, I purposely deducted only a single point from the episode's score for all three gaffes, relatively minor as they are.
  17. 07jonesj

    07jonesj Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 16, 2010
    7.5/10 which I'll grudgingly round up to an 8.

    This episode took up the 100th episode spot, which is unfortunate as this as an average episode. However, this one was actually enjoyable, as opposed to the past two episodes in this arc, which I abhor.

    Gascon and WAC-47 still aren't funny. They never will be if they're written as they are. Some subtlety would do these characters good.

    Gregor! The very reason I like this episode. A clone commando who suffers from amnesia is a fairly unique concept - not one that I had thought we would ever see. I enjoy his dilemma-lite, and his eventual final stand (complete with great Kevin Kiner piece) is a poignant moment. I can't help but imagine the potential of a 4-part story arc focusing on Gregor though, covering the Battle of Saresh, exploring his life on Abafar in greater detail. Did Borkus treat him badly? Because the word "slave" is thrown around a lot, and we aren't really given anything to justify that title.

    However, having such a great "last stand" moment, I found it jarring how thick the "We will wait for your return" line was played. Why make such a great final stand if you obviously plan for Gregor to survive?

    The design of Abafar was much improved over "A Sunny Day in the Void". Seeing an "armpit" of the galaxy is something interesting that TCW hasn't really done much of before.

    Eating garbage is disgusting, not amusing in any way. Why does that scene exist?

    One more week... bring on Maul already!
  18. Dark Lord Tarkas

    Dark Lord Tarkas Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2011
    This is my first 2/10 of the series. Extremely repetitious of the previous two episodes in terms of the Gascon/droids interactions. Wandering aimlessly in the city could have been covered in the previous episode. Just too much time wasted. I didn't get why the chef gave Gregor back his clone trooper gear if he didn't want him to find out who he was and leave. Sudden appearance of the CIS on the planet and Republic ship in orbit was bizarre. The only thing I enjoyed was Gregor's action sequence at the end (only thing bumping it up from a 1), but even then the fact that not a single character acknowledged that the slavery thing could cut both ways diminished it.
    Darth_Zandalor likes this.
  19. Jordan1Kenobi

    Jordan1Kenobi Host of Star Wars Character Contest star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Sep 30, 2012
    I was stuck between giving it 7 or 8, but I gave 8/10. I really liked it, but there wasn't enough action in it to be rated higher, maybe if they'd sorted out Gregor sooner and got him fighting with the Battle Droids halfway through the episode instead of just at the end it would have been better. But I'm really enjoying Gascon and WAC-47, so they help get these episodes higher ratings for me. Gregor was epic, his fight scene at the end was epic, so he pushed it up to and 8/10.
    So far for this arc I've rated the episodes 8, 7 and 8, so let's hope 'Point of No Return' can get a 9!
  20. Seerow

    Seerow Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2011
    9/10, really liked this one. Episode continued with the cool themes about life from Void. Gascon and WAC are good foils for each other. Interesting speciest stuff, I felt sorry for Gascon having to eat garbage however I'd be lying if I didn't say it was funny. One of my favorite scenes is Gregor catching him. Gregor is a great addition to the cast of clone characters. Total opposite to Cut Lawquane. Even without his memory he can't escape his desire to serve and eventually returns to duty abandoning a life where he was really much closer to freedom. Sad. What an epic final stand with cool music playing in the background. Really hope this guy makes it back someday. The bad guy of the day was Borkus and this was the episodes weak point IMO. Borkus was just a shallow obstacle. The way he was hog tied by the droids was silly, so was him trying to stop Gregor from leaving at gun point. I wanted Gregor to shoot him. I was also bothered by how he just knew separatists plans. Those were my main detractors but its just nit picking.
    rumblewagon likes this.
  21. Allana_Rey

    Allana_Rey Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
    8/10. One of the Season's best.
  22. Fives_Says_No_To_Sixes

    Fives_Says_No_To_Sixes Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 6, 2013
    I know we've been going over the grading system all over the other threads on LACWAC...but I'm going to post it here since I give my grade for this episode in the explanation.
    I'm sorry if this is a long post but this is the way I've been grading the episodes...I find this way to allow room for people who just "feel" that the episode was good/bad without giving an explanation, but also asks questions that force some sort of reliable score.

    Episode Scoring System

    2 Macro Categories – Content & Opinion


    Content Category divided into 2 sub-categories:

    Technical (20 percent) & Artistic (80 percent)


    5 Categories:

    Each Category uses the following grading scale:
    0-1 = Bad
    1.1-1.9 = Below Average
    2 = Average
    2.2-2.9 = Above Average
    3-4 = Good

    For a total of 20 possible points.


    30 points possible
    Was there a clear beginning, middle and end?
    Did you care what was going on?
    Did the plot involve aspects of Star Wars (characters, themes, locations, ideas, etc.) that interested you?
    Was the reasoning behind everything and execution of events clear? (i.e. why things were happening/no contradictions)

    Character Development
    20 points possible
    Did you learn something new about one or more characters?
    Did one or more characters make an internal journey?
    Did one or more characters struggle with a decision; was it clear?

    20 points possible
    Was the theme(s) clear?
    Was the execution subtle but powerful?

    Star Wars Context
    10 points possible
    Did it feel like “Star Wars?”
    Was there EU included? If so, was it handled properly or not?
    Were there contradictions to the films and or EU?


    Follows a point system using 3 reaction categories as a gauge:

    Expectations –
    .0 – Not met
    .5 – Met
    1.0 – Exceeded

    Enjoyment/Displeasure –
    .0 – Displeasure
    .5 – Indifferent
    1.0 – Enjoyment

    Frustrations –
    .0 – Everything was frustrating
    .5 – Half of this episode was frustrating
    1.0 – Nothing was frustrating

    To find the overall artistic score, add the totals from each of these categories and divide by 3.

    To find the Overall episode score, multiply the artistic score by the technical score.


    Episode 5.12 – Missing in Action

    Content –
    Animation - 1
    Effects – 3.5
    Editing - 2
    Cinematography - 1
    Sound/Dialogue – 2
    Total – 9.5/20
    Plot - 12
    Character Development – 16
    Themes - 16
    Star Was Context – 5
    Total – 49/80
    Expectations - .3
    Enjoyment/Displeasure - .4
    Frustrations - .7

    Opinion (.467) x Content (58.5)

    Final Score: 27.32%
    Dark Lord Tarkas likes this.
  23. Fives_Says_No_To_Sixes

    Fives_Says_No_To_Sixes Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 6, 2013
    I like this system because you can see the grade without "feelings" (in this case 58.5/100) as well as with those feelings...obviously its impossible to be completely objective but it helps the person reading the score understand what was wrong with the episode to an extent.
    rumblewagon and Dark Lord Tarkas like this.
  24. Dark Lord Tarkas

    Dark Lord Tarkas Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 29, 2011
    Wow, it's intense that you actually do all that. I just go mostly off gut-feeling and since I've been here awhile now by comparing the episodes to each other (i.e. if I'm borderline on an episode and I know I definitely don't like it as much as an episode I've given the higher grade I'll go with the lower, or vice versa).
  25. Fives_Says_No_To_Sixes

    Fives_Says_No_To_Sixes Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 6, 2013
    Yea I find it to be a lot more useful if I want to encourage or discourage someone from watching an episode...Usually, in my first viewing I'll just grade the Expectations, Enjoyment and Frustrations...then on subsequent viewings I'll go through and dissect the actual merits of the episode - that way I can come up with a more-or-less unbiased score and a very biased score, then merge them. Like for instance, my least favorite episode, "Shadow Warrior," was actually given a grade of 59% when I looked at it as objectively as possible but once I factored in my "Opinion" score, the grade went down to a 6%