Although it's shorter than 'The Mandalorian' by two episodes, one thing that 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' was not expected to have was a wheel-spinner / filler episode. This week's episode, entertaining though it might be, feels like it.
The episode takes up right after Obi-Wan Kenobi has been burned alive by Darth Vader and reeling from his injuries. He and Tala make it to the hideout where he's dunked in a Bacta Tank to heal, but while there, finds that he's unable to properly recuperate - one, because he's haunted by Leia's kidnapping and two, Darth Vader is still on his mind. Naturally enough, he can't just sit there and heal and comes up with a half-cocked plan to get Leia back from the Fortress Inquisitorius, which was featured quite heavily in the videogame 'Jedi: Fallen Order' and a few 'Star Wars' comics too. The murkiness of the place aside, much of the action in this week's episode feels a lot less dynamic than last week's and certainly from the two-part opener.
That said, the tension being ratcheted up throughout definitely works and again, Ewan McGregor's willingness to portray Kenobi as this deeply wounded man - inside and out - is quite striking. The graveyard underneath the Fortress Inquisitorius is pretty disturbing for 'Star Wars'. Indira Varma gets a good run out this episode too, giving a nice little sidebar into the toxic workplace that the Empire clearly is when she chews out an underling and, later, just straight up strangles a fellow officer for trying to question her. It's good stuff, but what's clear in this episode is that it could have easily been cleaved down to a ten-minute chunk in a bumper episode. Instead, they opted to stretch it out for thirty-two minutes instead. More pointedly, if this had been a movie like 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' was originally intended, it would have been a five-minute scene, maybe with one or two moments added on in deleted scenes.
Let's talk a little more about Moses Ingram's character, the Third Sister. What's slowly being pieced together from each episode is her own past with the Jedi, all of which seems to be building toward a confrontation with either Kenobi. Sung Kang, however, never seems to get a look-in as Ingram seems to be taking all of the juicy scenes. It's a shame, as Kang definitely has the physical presence while Ingram again is playing the Inquisitor more like a power-tripping cop than anything else. It's not to say that it's not working, but considering how layered it's been up until this episode, her tying Leia to a torture device just feels like too much all of a sudden.
One thing that the episode seems to get wrong quite badly is character placement. For example, the Airspeeders that rock up at the very end just... disappear... and reappear all of a sudden. Moreover, was Darth Vader in the Fortress the entire time Kenobi was there? If he was, how come he didn't appear and, sort of, do something about it? Did he just arrive right after Kenobi escaped? This might seem like nitpicking, but if you're going to have an ensemble cast like 'Obi-Wan Kenobi', it helps to keep tabs on main characters. Still, with two episodes left, 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' has every opportunity to improve, or at the very least, get back to where it was in the opening episodes.
- Was fully expecting to see Yaddle or maybe Kit Fisto in the graveyard
- Airspeeders! Not to get all Glup Shitto-ing, but Airspeeders!
- O'Shea Jackson Jr. needs a bigger role than whatever it was he had in this episode, he's too good of an actor to waste