This year, the show pretty much abandoned single story episodes. All but two entries of the twenty-two episode season were a part of a longer arc lasting three or four episodes. This basically meant that we got a bunch of mini movies, and that was great, even if sometimes the story would have benefited from airing all at once.
Let’s start with the two one-out episodes. Shadow Warrior was easily the worst episode of the season. It heavily featured the annoying Jar Jar Binks and saw the incredibly implausible take-down of General Greivous by a group of Gungans. It was a really bad episode, but luckily nothing else this season was nearly as bad as this. The other single story episode was A Friend in Need, which was one of the few Ahsoka centric stories this season, and it was really great. This was proof that the creators still can do a short yet concise story really well.
There was one two part story early on in the season that dealt with the two famous droids on a misadventure. This was a cute storyline that evoked the feel of the original trilogy in terms of humor. Plus its always great to see R2-D2 and C-3PO together.
Now let’s get to the bigger story arcs. The first of the season was the three-episode-long water war that introduced us to a young Admiral Ackbar. This arc featured some of the most gorgeous animation the show has ever given us. Story wise, it was a nice way to start off season four; however, it really had nothing to do with anything we saw before or after it.
The next arc was a four-parter that focused on the clones, particularly Rex, struggling with a new Jedi general, Krell, as well as their identities. This was easily the best part of the season as we really got under the helmet of the clones. What will they do after the war? What is their place in this world? The conclusion, Carnage of Krell, was the best episode of the season.
Following that was the only story this season that featured the four main heroes (Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi Wan, and Rex) all together fighting for one cause. This was the slave arc, where Count Dooku also got to once again prove how devious he truly is. This story felt like classic Star Wars and was a lot of fun.
After that was the plot where Obi Wan faked his own death to go undercover as a bounty hunter. This story saw the return of Cad Bane but was ultimately disappointing. There were a lot of great ideas but the execution was poor. However, it did bring Anakin closer with Palpatine and therefore closer to the Dark Side.
The final arc of the season saw the return of Darth Maul, even though he would not show until the end of the third episode of the four-part story. However, the second, Bounty, was one of the best episodes of the season, as it showcased some amazing character work with Asajj Ventress, who in an unexpected turn has reformed. As for Darth Maul himself, he came back as a broken man seeking revenge. It was very cool to see this play out, even though it was so brief. The finale was excellent, however, as the Sith lord finally got his rematch with Obi Wan. It was great seeing Ventress on the side of the Jedi fighting Savage Opress as well. I wish there had been a bit more closure, but it was epic nonetheless.
All in all, season four of The Clone Wars was the best, and most consistent season yet. Despite one truly awful episode, everything else was really quite good, if not fantastic. Now, there are a lot of stories to tell before this series comes to an end. What could Season 5 bring? Anakin stepping closer to the Dark Side? The seeds of Order 66 among the clones? Clues to Ahsoka’s final fate? More Darth Maul? Hopefully yes on all accounts. My guess is we have two seasons left of the show and that they will be great, just as this one was.