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Season 1, Episode 5, “Ras”

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Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Screenshot: Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Before this recap of Star Wars: The Bad Batch begins, a moment for clarification: Luke Skywalker does not kill Muchi on Tatooine in Return Of The Jedi. That’s a totally different rancor.

“Rampage”, directed by Steward Lee and written by Tamara Becher-Wilkinson, takes great care to differentiate the rancor at the center of this week’s shenanigans from the rancor who met his untimely fate at the end of Episode VI. For one, Muchi is Muchi, not “Pateesa,” the name of the rancor who famously tries to make lunch out of young Skywalker roughly 18 or 19 years after the events of this episode. What’s more, Pateesa is male while Muchi is female—a teenage female rancor who, yes, might be age-appropriate enough to be slotted into Pateesa’s role as Luke’s titanic adversary but is still a totally different rancor nonetheless. So there’s no need for panic.

Maybe. Muchi is still a pet rancor who belongs to the notorious gangster Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba’s rancors either grow up to be big and well-fed or end up getting squashed in a tournament for their owner’s sport—or a combination of both. We might never know the true fate of Muchi, but we can guess what the odds are of Muchi finding a semi-happy ending as Jabba’s pet: 50/50. For now, at least by the end of this week’s episode of The Bad Batch, Muchi is relieved to be going home.

Score one for the Batch, who needed a win after getting chased off Pantora last week by the bounty hunter Fennec Shand and found one on Ord Mantell courtesy of Cid, a Trandoshan bar owner (voiced by Rhea Perlman!) who tasks Clone Force 99 with a perilous rescue mission on behalf of the Hutt Syndicate. A dirty job done for bad people, only they don’t know it’s for bad people. In this turbulent post-Republic galaxy where an Empire is hunting them down and friends are scarce (and money is even scarcer), the Bad Batch have been forced to adapt or die. And it seems evolution has mercenary work in store for this weary clone unit.

Story-wise, it’s a good fit. After all, The Bad Batch is a show about finding your family and discovering who you’re meant to be, and we don’t really know what Hunter, Tech, Echo, Wrecker, and Omega are going to become by the time their series comes to an end. There are clues in “Rampage” that could be hinting at their fates, such as Wrecker’s recurring headaches (most likely a symptom of his malfunctioning inhibitor chip), Omega’s newly-acquired crossbow, and the ease with which Hunter accepts a suitcase full of credits for a hard day’s work as a hired gun. But at this moment, for this beleaguered crew of renegade clone troopers, “soldier of fortune” is a role that works.

It certainly helps that Cid isn’t exactly forthcoming with the Batch at the beginning of the episode; Hunter and his Batch believe their grunt work has an altruistic bent to it. Cid, who holds court from behind her desk in a filthy office packed to the gills with Star Wars Easter eggs, informs the team that their mission involves rescuing “a kid” named Muchi—which is technically true—from a pack of ambitious Zygerrian slave traders who are looking to reconsolidate their operations now that their former Jedi nemeses are dust. (The Zygerrians, Separatist sympathizers all, hail from season four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.) Saving a child from slavers is a good thing, and securing a bit of extra spending credits to keep them ahead of their pursuers (not to mention out of the crosshairs of a certain sniper) is just extra frosting on the cake, right? Besides, there’s more at stake than just a small case of credits for the Batch; Hunter needs to know who almost ran off with Omega back on Pantora, and more importantly, who hired her to do it. Cid’s somebody who can get that kind of information for the right price, and right now that price is doing this one job. So, when “the kid” comes roaring out of her cage and standing almost one story taller than they originally believed, the Batch are still committed to bringing Muchi back to her owners.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Screenshot: Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.

“Rampage” is an episode of The Bad Batch that has its fun on the borders of moral complexity, a gray area in which most modern Star Wars stories find themselves, without diving in all the way. Echo, who knows exactly what it’s like to be stripped of humanity by cruel masters, is all in on rescuing Muchi whoever they turn out to be, but Tech is quick to remind everyone that credits are still a primary incentive to take this job. The Batch deliver Muchi from Zygerrian imprisonment, and while they may not know who Bib Fortuna works for, we do, and besides: isn’t imprisonment, regardless of who is holding the chains, still imprisonment? The episode softens the rough edges of these quagmires with the Batch rescuing a Falleen family from the Zygerrians as an added bonus for their efforts, as well as tossing in a sweet farewell for Muchi, Omega, and Wrecker (the latter of whom is seen earlier wrestling with Muchi until they finally collapse in each other’s arms, a They Live-type of grudge match where you just want to see these budding friends hug it out).

There are big moral questions in front of The Bad Batch, and they’re getting more complicated all the time. Chief amongst these quandaries is how they’ll navigate their impending showdown with former brother-in-arms Crosshair, now in command of his own Imperial Kill Squad? There’s certainly forgiveness in the Batch’s heart for a brother who couldn’t outrace his own programming, right? Also, there still remains those gigantic unknowns surrounding Omega and her Kaminoan origins. How will Hunter accept Omega once her true purpose stands revealed? And let’s not forget about Cid.

Cid’s parting shot at the end of the episode brings up Fennec’s particular caliber of lethality and proficiency, which implies that the Batch are incredibly valuable to whoever is seeking them. “Don’t worry; I’m good with secrets,” she says to Hunter, whose typically be-scowled face frowns just a bit more deeply. We will likely see Cid again—and when we do, will Hunter truly be able to trust her? Cid, who used to have a good relationship with the Jedi, might be looking to score some payback against those who share a face with the troopers who brought her old reliable customers low. Cid, who has connections inside the Bounty Hunters’ Guild, and can easily lead Fennec straight to the boarding ramp of the Havoc Marauder itself. She might not likely to sell Omega to the Empire at the first provocation, but what about the second provocation, or even the third? That could be another story.

Stray Observations

  • The Trandoshan known as “Cid” shares a name with Cid Rushing, the security corporal from Naboo who was played by Roman Coppola in Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace. (For real.)
  • Gonky, who finally gets its name this week, is once again put to work as an exercise droid by Wrecker. This week: Squats.
  • Omega escapes the Zygerrians searching through the Marauder through a panel in its rear blaster well, which doesn’t seem all that safe for interstellar travel, but that’s okay. (Also: anybody else spot the well’s orange curtains? Which were definitely installed by Wrecker?)
  • The Batch first believe Muchi is a Falleen, the same race as Prince Xizor from Shadows of the Empire and, perhaps more pertinently, Xomit Grunseit from The Clone Wars’ season five episode, “Eminence”.
  • And speaking of the Falleen, could the young girl who waves goodbye to Omega grow up to be Grega, the regal Falleen who delivers a Rebel spy to Chewbacca in Marvel’s Star Wars: Han Solo #2? It is a small galaxy, after all.
  • Echo: “The rancor is Muchi?” (If somebody could make a gif of this moment I’d appreciate it, as it is perfect.)
  • How did this episode work for you, group? What might possibly be the final fate of Muchi, or does it matter? Does Omega’s new Zygerrian crossbow mean Clone Force 99 has a new sharpshooter? What is up with Wrecker’s sporadic headaches? Pop an aspirin with me in the comments below.

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Fall Guys Season 6 Release Date and Expected Time

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Fall Guys Season 6 release time will soon be around and if you are excited about an even more troublesome obstacle in the game, you’d better get to know Pipe Dream!

Fall Guys Season 6 is just around the corner and it brings even more stages, more obstacles, and more costumes.

Pipe Dream is the biggest surprise of Mediatonik for the new season of Fall Guys. These vacuum pipes are a new way of traversing, but you need to enter the right pipe if you want to reach the finish line before the others. However, the bigger problem is that the destination of a pipe changes every time that a fall guy jumps into it. So, you just need to be lucky!

  • CHECK THIS OUT: GTA Trilogy HD Texture Pack Makes the Game Look the Way It Should

Other than that, there are 5 new rounds and over 25 new costumes available in Season 6.

Fall Guys | Season 6 Cinematic Trailer

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Fall Guys | Season 6 Cinematic Trailer

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Fall Guys Season 6 Release Date and Time

Fall Guys Season 6 will be available across all platforms on November 30. The developer never discloses the exact release time for the update as they want to take their time until the very last minute of the launch day if anything urgent comes up.

However, based on the release time of the previous seasons, Fall Guys Season 6 is expected to be available around 6 am PT/9 am ET/2 pm UTC/3 pm BST/4 pm CEST. Keep in mind that this is only an estimation, and the update could be available sooner or later than the aforementioned time.

Fall Guys Season 6 Content

  • Five dazzling Rounds
  • Outrageous new obstacles
  • 25+ fresh costumes
  • 50 tier Fame Path

Fall Guys is now available on PS4, PS5, and PC. The game is supposed to launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch at some point until the end of this year.

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Biden Vaccine Rule for Health Workers Blocked in 10 States – U.S. News & World Report

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Biden Vaccine Rule for Health Workers Blocked in 10 States  U.S. News & World Report

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US intelligence community ‘struggled’ to brief Trump, CIA study says

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Although Trump spent substantial time with briefers on a routine basis throughout the transition period, his free-wheeling style and deep mistrust of the intelligence community presented them with “greater challenges” even than President-elect Richard Nixon, who blamed the CIA for his election loss in 1960 and cut the agency out as president, the history found.

The 40-page narrative — a regular update to a CIA book on briefing presidents-elect written by a retired intelligence officer — offers only a few new details but confirms widely reported press accounts of the former President’s approach to intelligence.
It offers an inside window into the intelligence community’s struggle to adjust to a president who was “suspicious and insecure about the intelligence process” and, in the words of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, prone to “fly off on tangents.” And it narrates how, at every turn, the relationship between the new President and the intelligence community was undermined by the political imbroglio stemming from the Trump campaign’s alleged relationship to Russia.

“Looking back at the Trump transition, one must conclude that the IC achieved only limited success with what had always been its two fundamental goals with the briefing process: to assist the president-elect in becoming familiar with foreign developments and threats affecting US interests with which he would have to deal once in office; and to establish a relationship with the new president and his team in which they understood how they could draw on the Intelligence Community to assist them in discharging their responsibilities,” the history recounts.

‘The system worked, but it struggled.’

The history reports that during the transition period, Trump was typically “pleasant and courteous” during his briefings, which were given by career intelligence officers drawn from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI and the Department of State. Together, the team of 14 briefers “comprised the largest and most organizationally diverse group of experts ever deployed for transition briefings of candidates and presidents-elect.”

Even later in his presidency, at moments when Trump was publicly expressing deep frustration with the intelligence community, “briefings continued as usual and Trump’s demeanor during the sessions remained the same,” the history reports.

But as the intelligence community was drawn into the major political dramas surrounding Trump — in particular, the public furor over a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer containing purported compromising information on the president-elect that Trump believed had been leaked by the IC — he increasingly lashed out at the intelligence community in public.

According to one previously unreported anecdote, Trump during his second pre-election briefing on Sept. 2, 2016 assured his briefers that “the nasty things he was saying publicly about the intelligence community “don’t apply to you.”

“Trump was like Nixon, suspicious and insecure about the intelligence process, but unlike Nixon in the way he reacted,” the history reads. “Rather than shut the IC out, Trump engaged with it, but attacked it publicly.”

Clapper says Trump was ‘fact-free’

The history also confirms myriad press accounts of Trump’s dissociative style during intelligence briefings.

“The irreconcilable difference, in Clapper’s view, was that the IC worked with evidence,” according to the history. “Trump ‘was fact-free—evidence doesn’t cut it with him,'” according to Clapper.

Trump rarely, if at all, read the daily classified briefing book prepared for him during the transition, according to the lead intelligence analyst responsible for briefing the president-elect.

“He touched it. He doesn’t really read anything,” the history quotes Ted Gistaro, the career CIA analyst tapped for the job. Still, as is typical, the intelligence community tailored the briefing book to the new president, reducing the number and the length of articles. Former Vice President Mike Pence reportedly told briefers to “lean forward on maps.” Clapper agreed with Gistaro, saying “Trump doesn’t read much; he likes bullets.”

Trump would “listen to the key points, discuss them with some care, then lead the discussion to related issues and others further afield,” according to the history.

Unlike previous presidents-elect — and some members of his own national security team — Trump himself received no briefings on the CIA’s covert action programs until several weeks after his inauguration. The history terms this chain of events “a significant departure from the way briefings were handled during the previous two transitions,” but does not offer an explanation.

The history primarily focuses on Trump’s time as a candidate and president-elect, and only briefly covers his relations with the intelligence community during his presidency. It reports that after the 2020 election, Trump’s “PDB” — his presidential daily briefing — continued only for a time.

Trump typically received the PDB twice a week while in office. He was scheduled to resume receiving the PDB on January 6 after a holiday break, the history reveals. But according to an interview with Beth Sanner, Trump’s regular briefer, none were scheduled after the assault on the US Capitol that took place that day.

The history also provides some insight into briefings given to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, recounting one pre-election intelligence briefing given to Clinton at the FBI field office in White Plains, New York, in August of that year.

“Given all that Clinton was going through related to her handling of personal emails during the campaign, Gistaro regretted that the first question the security officer asked Clinton as she approached the room was whether she had any cell phones with her,” the history recounts. “The Secretary very professionally assured the questioner that she had left her cell phones at home.

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