In the explosive end to the Onderon arc, the Rebels are close to victory, but the Separatists have a secret weapon that could turn the tide back.
This is, in my opinion, the best episode of the Onderon arc, though it felt less like Star Wars and more like Lord of the Rings. Granted, there are fewer differences than one would think, but still.
I was actually rather surprised that Steela was killed off, though I suppose they want Lux to continue to be a romantic foil for Ahsoka. Remember, we don't see or hear of her by "Sith", so while she may just be offscreen, most likely they'll find a way to spare her from Order 66 (I hope).
This episode also ties into the season opener by having the always wonderful Hondo Ohnaka as the cavalry. Seriously, this character is gold. I'm finding the scoundrel types introduced in this show to be far more interesting than Solo or Fett.
I have to ask, though, did anyone else think that the unnamed rebel woman who gets killed in this episode looked and sounded an awful lot like the unnamed rebel woman who got killed in the last episode?
The episode did leave me feeling a little flat, not only because of the death of a major character (for the arc at least) but, well...read the next section.
All in all, the Onderon arc's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. It does a really good job in blurring the lines in this war. How much can one sacrifice one's morals before you become what you're fighting against? What do heroic actions on your side look like to the other side? Unfortunately, since we know the entire war is Palpatine playing both sides against the middle it's very difficult to feel like any victory has been achieved, even by the "good guys". It all rings rather hollow, and the "victory" at the end of this arc, with Lux changing his views and vowing to rejoin the Republic, is no different.
Another thing that, at the end of the day, places this arc into one of my lesser liked bins is that it showcases a major problem I have with the cartoon in general. I understand that the standard Trade Federation Battle Droids are meant to be somewhat ineffective. But the great thing in "Phantom" and "Clones" is that while they had many obvious weaknesses, they were still dangerous, especially when they Zerg Rush you. Around the time of "Sith" the standard droids did start to become kind of a joke, but they only used one or two gags in that movie so it was okay (I laughed at "You're welcome" as much as the next guy). In this series, they're just a complete joke. I have a hard time considering any of the CIS footsoldiers threatening when they sound like they have no clue what they're doing. Again, I get that this is the point, but I preferred the subtler way of showing it in the films.
But I don't want to be too negative. It wasn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination. You could tell the amount of work put into it and there are some genuinely good moments. Indeed, the arc was very well-done. It's just not one of my personal favorites.