Last week, Clone Force 99 rescued Gregor on Daro, but it led to Hunter being captured by Crosshair. You can read our full recap here.
Warning: spoilers for “Return to Kamino” below!
Hunter is in a cell on a ship looking defeated when Crosshair enters the room. He doesn’t want to tell Hunter where they are going and activates Hunter’s comm knowing the squad will come to Hunter’s rescue. Hunter tells him they will know it’s a trap, but Crosshair is confident they will come anyway.
On Ord Mantell, Echo is repairing the Marauder while Omega gets more and more impatient. She wants to go back to Daro and save Hunter. Echo tells her they will find him, but they need to repair the ship first.
Wrecker comes back to the ship and announces he left Gregor with Cid. The repairs are now complete and the team can now go rescue their leader. Tech receives a notification from Hunter’s comm device which informs him he is not on Daro anymore.
Crosshair arrives with his prisoner on Kamino and tells Rampart that the rest of the squad will be there shortly. When Crosshair leaves the room, a TK trooper comes to the Admiral that he doesn’t trust Crosshair’s motives. Rampart asks the trooper to keep an eye on the sharpshooter.
Meanwhile, on the Marauder, Tech thinks that it’s not an accident if the comm device came alive and that the Empire wants them on Kamino for a reason. He asks Omega if she is sure about the coordinates she has given him. She confirms it will lead to a landing pad they can use to infiltrate Tipoca City.
The squad arrives near the planet and Tech is surprised to only see three cruisers in orbit of Kamino. They fly to Omegas’ coordinates, but nothing to land on can be seen. Omega tells Tech they have to go lower. Finally, a platform is activated and they are able to land. Wrecker tells Omega he never doubted her while Tech is worried about how they will make it to the city. Omera reveals to them the tube system and how they can use it to go to Nala Se’s private research lab.
At the clone factory, Hunter is wondering about the absence of regular clones. Crosshair asks him when he started to care about them. Hunter notices that Kaminoans are not present either and that the factory is being decommissioned. Realizing that Crosshair is not concerned by the situation, Hunter tells him he should because clones are next.
Crosshair and Hunter arrive at the command center. A trooper informs Crosshair that a ship landed, but is nowhere to be seen. Crosshair doesn’t deem the search necessary because the squad will come to them:
“They don’t leave their own behind, most of the time.”
It’s the first indication that Crosshair is holding a grudge towards his brothers for not coming to rescue him. Hunter tells him they didn’t have a choice since Crosshair tried to kill them to what the clone answers: “And I did?”
Omega, Wrecker, Tech, and Echo arrive at the lab. Omega looks around looking sad. She reveals to her friends that they were all engineered in this place. Experimental Unit 99 started in this lab before they were sent to stay with the other clones.
Echo explains that all the files have been wiped from the system. They hear a noise, but it’s only Omega robot’s friend AZI. He was hiding in the lab because the soldiers were deactivating droids and forcing Kaminoan on transports. The people who resisted were eliminated.
Tech finally finds Hunter’s signal. He is on the central cloning platform and the team goes to try to save Hunter.
Hunter is trying to get Crosshair back on his side by dressing the list of all the bad things the Empire did. Crosshair then says he doesn’t see the bigger picture. Hunter tells him the Imperials are using him via the inhibitor chip. They are interrupted by a trooper signaling an unauthorized entry on platform 5. Crosshair knows it’s the team and orders everyone to follow him.
The squad is making its way to Hunter. They finally realize he is in the training room and that it’s probably a trap. Tech proposes to enter through the lift which should give them an advantage. Echo orders Omega to stay behind for her safety and she is not pleased about it. Echo tells her they will send a signal if they are in trouble so she can go back to the ship and contact Rex.
In the training room, Echo, Tech, and Wrecker are encircled by Crosshair’s soldiers and there is nothing they can do. Crosshair wants them to surrender their weapons and they comply after receiving a nod from Hunter. He asks about Omega and Wrecker says she isn’t with them. The clone is not fooled and sends his men to search for the young girl.
Echo sends the signal to Omega, but she refuses to leave them behind. She has an idea to free her friends.
Hunter confronts Crosshair who says they would already be dead if he wanted them to die. In his mind, it would be justified since the squad betrayed what they stood for. Hunter answers they are loyal to each other not to the Empire. Crosshair is angered by that: “You weren’t loyal to me” and accuses them to have forgotten about him. Despise this, he still wants to offer them the chance he didn’t get.
A trooper finds Omega trying to activate the training droids and Crosshair orders the soldier to send the girl on a shuttle off-world. Hunter tries to change his mind, but the sharpshooter says it’s for her own good. Crosshair tells Hunter he should stop pretending to be something he is not. All Clone 99 are superior to the normal clones and the Empire needs their strength. Crosshair tries to convince Hunter they could all fight together once again and frees him from his restraints.
Hunter asks Crosshair why they should trust him and he answers by ordering all the imperial soldiers to stand down. They refuse and Crosshair executes them.
Meanwhile, AZI neutralizes the trooper menacing Omega which gives her the opportunity to finish activating the droids.
Crosshair is still trying to convince his brothers to join the Empire so they can have purpose again. Hunter is not on board, “You really don’t get who we are, do you?” Crosshair warns him to not become his enemy again to which Hunter replies they never were.
Hunter jumps on Crosshair when the training exercise starts thanks to Omega. Echo, Tech, and Wrecker fight the droids while Hunter and Crosshair fight each other. They finally stop and all the clones are united as a team once again against the droids.
A trooper escapes and contacts Admiral Rampart to inform him that Crosshair lost control of the situation. The Admiral orders him to evacuate and to let the clones die together.
Rampart is talking with Admiral Tarkin via hologram and informs him that the cloning technology is now under Imperial control. Tarkin gives him his permission to bombard the city.
Back at the training platform, the clones finally defeat the droids. Hunter is still suspicious of Crosshair and menaces him with a gun. He asks him to forget about the Empire and that it’s the inhibitor chip talking. Crosshair reveals that he had the chip removed a long time ago and that this is who he is. Hunter is shocked and stuns him After that, he looks at the scars on his brother’s head not sure if Crosshair was telling the truth about the chip.
Tech detects three Venator ships approaching the city meaning they have to evacuate quickly. Hunter orders Wrecker to get Crosshair and they start to run. We see shots of the facility once full of clones and now empty.
The Imperial ships open fire on Tipoca City to destroy every trace of it. The episode ends with the city in flames and Clone Force 99 seemingly trapped inside.
“Return to Kamino” is one of the best episodes of the season. It finally addresses the fact the clones left Crosshair behind without trying to save it and how he feels about that. The clone seems to have found a new purpose in the Empire but still wants to be reunited with his brothers.
Did Crosshair really have his chip removed? Is he truly converted to the Imperial ideals? What does The Empire want the cloning technology for? So many questions and only one episode left to answer them.
The second part of the finale will be available to stream on August 13 on Disney+. Stay tuned for the episode recap on Nerds and Beyond!