This review contains spoilers.
We’re in the home stretch now. Assuming next week’s season finale doesn’t fall flat on its face, the second half of Star Wars Rebels’ second season has been better in almost every way than its first half. Nearly every episode has had a clear purpose in moving the story forward, and even the couple of episodes that could be categorized as ‘filler’ have been loads of fun and played to the series’ strengths rather than its weaknesses. When you’re doing a season of 20+ episodes, some of them are going to be useless padding – that’s just the way it goes – but Rebels front loaded this season with all of its weaker episodes leaving the back half free to really sing.
The only problem is that, as good as the last several episodes have been, all that wasted time in the first half of the season means that Rebels’ race to the finish line is being hampered somewhat by having to set up important character dynamics and conflicts mere moments before they become critical to the story. With the first half of the season squandered, the second half is left having to play catch up.