General Grievous finally makes his Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 2 grand entrance after lurking in the shadows last fall. In the first season, Grievous mostly came out as a mustache-twirling villain whose sinister plots would be undone by the Jedi and the ineptitude of his own droids, and the hacking cyborg would escape at the last second to try another dastardly plot. In ‘Grievous Intrigue’ he again shows his ability to cook up a caper, but this time, we see a glimmer of purpose behind the mask.
Grievous starts off the episode capturing Jedi Council Member Eeth Koth in a boarding action that shows that Grievous does have some tactical skill in using both commando droids and Magnaguards to control the situation. The only time Eeth Koth gets a good hit in is when he uses the Force and not his lightsaber. Master Koth doesn’t even win the bout of light verbal sparring. Grievous calls up the Jedi Temple to gloat about capturing the Zabrak Jedi and taunt them by giving Koth a slow death. OMG! Get those younglings out of the Jedi War Room – seriously, who lets kids, even Jedi kids into the main war holocomm room when you’re on the phone with your archenemy. But wait – play back the whole message, Eeth Koth uses sign language to slip the coordinates of where Grievous is headed next – Saleucami. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Adi Gallia ship out to rescue Master Koth and put an end to the “monster.” Guess what? Grievous is expecting them!
Obi-Wan brings a flotilla to Saleucami and calls up his nemesis to taunt him. Grievous wisely wonders to his tactical droid that if Kenobi is here, then Anakin is probably not far behind. The general sorts out that Kenobi is aboard one of the small cruisers and pulls it in with a tractor beam, while Admiral Yularen’s ships fire on the Separatist fleet. Anakin, Adi, and Rex receive very exact jump coordinates, and plop their shuttle right into the battle zone, next to Grievous’ flagship and park. Oddly enough, turning the shuttle upside down to dock will cause Adi’s headgear to flop in an upside down direction even though on board ship gravity keeps them in their seats right-side up.
While Grievous begins a boarding attack on Obi-wan’s ship, making short work of Cody’s squad with his commando droids, the two Jedi slip into Grievous’ ship and head for the bridge. Obi-wan faces off against Grievous on his small bridge, and after the typical posturing and trash talking, they start a duel. After being called Dooku’s errand boy, Grievous admits that his motivation is not political – he simply wants a future with no Jedi. After sparring around the confined bridge (which seems to take very little damage), Obi-wan uses the Force to pin ol’ four-arms down, and then Grievous announces, “So you think Anakin’s rescued Eeth Koth yet?”
Meanwhile, Adi Gallia and Anakin Skywalker have made it onto the bridge, where the tactical droid TV-94 (no relation to TV-14) has his wrist-mounted torture remote poised to zap Eeth Koth, and springs the trap. A dozen commando droids, some with blasters, and others with blades, drop down and surround the Jedi. Sensibly, one of the Jedi slice off TV-94’s arm so that it can’t push the fry button on Eeth, and a battle ensues. While the commando droids fall to the Jedi, the poor one-armed tactical droid crawls around chasing his arm which gets kicked around like the diamond in Club Obi Wan. In the end, he grabs his arm and threatens to kill Eeth with the remote, but then realizes that he can’t push the button with his one hand that is being used to hold his severed arm. Snicker-snack and he’s down. Anakin escorts Eeth back toward the shuttle while Adi heads out to help Obi-wan with Grievous.
Finally we get some novel action, as Grievous gets back to the boarding tube. As Obi-wan’s ship gets shot up, it starts to fall out of orbit and the tube bends, turning from horizontal to vertical. Grievous and Obi-wan briefly fight in the sloping tunnel, then Grievous claws his out of the tunnel where he fights Adi Gallia briefly before the tunnel breaks, decompressing that part of the ship, sucking a clone into the void. Grievous escapes while Adi gets a line down to Obi-wan and Cody. Meanwhile Obi-wan’s two clone pilots valiantly try to get their damaged ship flying but end up kaboom! Grievous’ flagship is also heavily damaged, and Grievous orders yet another evacuation, throwing a droid out of his way as he boards a landing ship. Back in the shuttle, Anakin and Rex get Eeth Koth aboard and undock, then fly around to a hangar to pick up the other Jedi forces before the whole flagship crashes. One of the engines of Obi-wan’s former ship nicks Grievous’ landing craft, and he is forced to abandon it, launching himself and his ever-diminishing number of droids out to Saleucami in escape pods.
Anakin parks in the Republic flagship – you’d think they’d make shuttles designed to fit aboard the warships without having to slip diagonally under the roof and Eeth Koth admits that he would have given his life if it meant defeating the “monster” Grievous. Anakin admits that at least they all get to fight another day. Well, except for nearly everyone that was on Obi-wan’s ship.
As a weapon against the Jedi, Grievous shows more intelligence than seen previously – his boarding raids here put the Vader’s boarding of the Tantive IV in A New Hope to shame. While his trap involved figuring out what the Jedi were likely to do and he can take lesser Jedi, he still can’t take on Obi-wan in a fight. And the Jedi still need to learn that their best offensive weapon in personal combat against a robot wielding four lightsabers isn’t their saber – it’s their ability to use the Force to push, pull, and throw their way out of a duel. Grievous comes out smarter this season, but in the end, it’s the same – the Jedi beat his sinister plot, but he escapes yet again.