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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S3E08 "An Inside Man"

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"It would appear the rebels gained an unexpected ally... or an expected one."
Grand Admiral Thrawn

Looking for information on a new Imperial weapon, Ezra and Kanan break into an Imperial factory on Lothal. However, they have to trust an enemy in order to escape from a building that is about to be locked down.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Thrawn deduces that there's a mole solely based on the fact that the rebel infiltrators didn't attempt to escape from the Imperial complex through the factories like he'd expected them to.
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  • Back for the Dead: The Sumars return following their last appearance in the first season, only for Mr. Sumar to end up being killed in a speeder explosion.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Kanan reprimands Ezra for throwing Kallus through a sheet of plate glass... because he wanted to do it.
  • Berserk Button: Ezra wanted to charge at Thrawn for murdering Morad Sumar, but Kanan had to stop him from doing so to maintain their cover.
  • Blofeld Ploy: A somewhat downplayed example. When Thrawn nears the end of his spiel about saboteurs to the factory workers, he glares at Ezra...only to suddenly turn his attention towards Mr. Sumar to test a malfunctioning speeder he built (and winding up dead). Granted, Thrawn most likely didn't know Kanan and Ezra were there.
  • The Bus Came Back:
  • Call-Back:
    • Sato mentioned back in "Steps Into Shadow" that their plan was to attack the Imperial factories on Lothal once they gathered enough resources for the assault.
    • Lothal is still under lockdown, as it has been since "The Siege of Lothal", but Azadi has been back at the rebel gig on the world as he stated he would do in the ending of "A Princess on Lothal".
    • Mr. Sumar recalls to Thrawn how the Empire destroyed his farm, leading to him becoming a factory worker, or so he claims.
    • In "Fighter Flight", Ezra mentioned that the Sumars were friends of his parents, with "Legacy" revealing that Azadi was one as well. It makes sense that they've joined up as rebels through mutual relations, and it's possible they were friends as well.
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    • Back in the five-year plan shown in "Empire Day", Sabine and Tseebo mentioned (as well as through Freeze Frame Bonuses) that there were experimental models and prototypes (such as a new disruptor — which is why Minister Tua was sent to retrieve the older models to use as prototypes in "Droids in Distress") being built in Lothal's factories.
    • The identity of Fulcrum II, who debuted in "The Antilles Extraction" and was mentioned in "Iron Squadron", is revealed.
    • While trying to convince Ezra and Kanan that he's Fulcrum, Kallus reveals that he helped Zeb escape Bahryn when they were stranded together and helped Sabine, Wedge, and Hobbie escape Skystrike.
    • In "The Siege of Lothal", the rebels wound up ensnared in a Trick-and-Follow Ploy because Darth Vader correctly predicted they would attempt to steal a ship from the area around the factories in the Imperial complex. Here, Thrawn's prediction that the infiltrators would attempt to escape from the Imperial complex via the factories not coming to pass is what leads him to deduce that there's a mole in the Imperial ranks.
  • Call-Forward: The secret project on Lothal is the TIE Defender, which was recanonized in Commander.
  • Character Death: As Ezra and Kanan need to stay undercover, they cannot help Mr. Sumar when his speeder overheats and explodes with him on it.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: As Kanan, Ezra, and Chopper are about to get cornered by Imperials, they try to get on an elevator that is taking a long time to get to their floor. When it finally arrives, the door opens to reveal Agent Kallus inside who immediately orders them to come with him.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Azadi pilots the same model of landspeeder that Luke owns, the X-34.
    • Though it could just be an asset reuse, the Lothal Insurgency's hideout is the same place where Vizago would meet up with his clients, as seen in "Spark of Rebellion" and "Droids In Distress", until it was abandoned in the latter after Kallus found it.
    • Kallus is once again uncomfortable with Thrawn's modus operandi.
    • Pryce at last makes an onscreen return to Lothal (though she returned there offscreen during the Time Skip), after being mentioned to be off world several times during Season 1.
    • Ezra and Kanan do not recognize Pryce, but Sabine has told them about how she's accompanying Kallus as his boss, due to having met her in "The Antilles Extraction".
    • When Ezra and Kanan attack Kallus and refuse to believe that he is helping them due to having been enemies in the past, Chopper says something that sounds like "Trust him! Trust him!", like how in The Empire Strikes Back, when Leia and Chewbacca attacked Lando after he rescued them from Imperial escorts when he had double-crossed them the whole time up until that point and Threepio said the same thing as Chopper.
    • Thrawn's investigation includes:
      • One of Sabine's starbirds (and a couple of other unknown pieces of her art).
      • Ezra's file as "Dev Morgan" from "Breaking Ranks".
      • A Jedi temple guard mask.
      • Hera's Kalikori from "Hera's Heroes".
      • Hera's family photo from the same episode as well.
      • An extended version of the Prophecy of Three from "Legends of the Lasat".
      • An image of an artpiece depicting a Mand'alor, last seen in The Clone Wars.
      • Images of the wolves depicted on the walls of the Lothal Jedi Temple.
      • A Bardottan statue, the species having been seen in The Clone Wars.
  • Death Glare: To prove his point to Kallus that victory and defeat are often decided by the most minute of details, Thrawn has him remotely control a walker's movement. When the walker collapses due to previous sabotage by local Rebel sympathizers, Thrawn immediately looks to Pryce and Kallus before giving the worker responsible for the walker's sabotage one of these and ordering his arrest. The worker tries desperately to get himself out of his predicament, saying that the walker that collapsed was not his work but the one right next to it, which needless to say doesn't work.
  • Destination Defenestration: Well, not through a window, but Kallus gets Force-pushed twice by Ezra, the second time through a large glass pane.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Poor worksmanship, whether intentional or not, is now punishable by execution.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Kanan and Ezra disguise themselves as factory workers to infiltrate an Imperial factory. They later change into Scout Trooper and Stormtrooper armor. Chopper once again dons his Imperial paintjob. Thrawn accurately predicts that the rebels will have done this after learning that two factory workers escaped, then orders for clean sweeps of IDs on both workers and Imperials alike.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: After telling them to get inside, Ezra and Kanan immediately turn around and start beating up Kallus (and it's a very small elevator, which makes it doubly funny) before he manages to explain himself.
  • Enemy Mine: Kanan and Ezra have to put their faith in Kallus to help them escape from a building that has been locked down.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Kallus, and Lyste to a lesser extent, are both disturbed by Thrawn letting Mr. Sumar be killed by the sabotaged speeder just to make a point. Pryce, however, took considerable pleasure seeing Sumar get killed in such a manner.
  • Foreshadowing: Ezra mentions that Phoenix Squadron is getting the help of another rebel cell for the planned attack on Lothal.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: It's quick and mostly hidden by the angle, but Kallus is visibly surprised when Kanan takes off his helmet, as Kallus didn't know Kanan had been blinded.
  • He Didn't Make It: Ezra re Mr. Sumar.
  • Hey, Wait!: An unusual inversion. Kallus calls Kanan and Ezra into the elevator, then they're outed leading them to think they've been caught . . . only for them to find out Kallus is Fulcrum.
  • I Know You Know I Know:
    • Thrawn singling out Mr. Sumar, combined with the latter's visible reluctance, heavily implies that the former already knows about the latter's saboteur role.
    • The last scene of the episode heavily implies that Thrawn knows Kallus is the traitor based on reports from a few witnesses, Kallus knows Thrawn knows he's the traitor, and Thrawn knows that too. However, Thrawn wants to humor the mole first.
  • Internal Reveal: The rest of the crew finally learn about Zeb and Kallus helping each other survive on Bahryn, despite having agreed they wouldn't tell anyone about it. Ezra's tone and the reaction of the others suggests that even after Kallus revealed to Sabine he had a debt he owed Zeb when he'd helped her escape in "The Antilles Extraction", Zeb had not told them exactly what that debt was.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Only Pryce and Thrawn know what's going on in the secret division, locking Kallus out, and Thrawn and Kallus know who the mole is, locking Pryce out. As for Thrawn's ultimate plan, everyone is locked out. Thrawn will not take chances if any of the workers or troops turn out to be spies or traitors.
  • Make an Example of Them: Thrawn kills Mr. Sumar in front of the other workers to make clear the sabotage, let alone shoddy worksmanship will no longer be tolerated.
  • Make It Look Like a Struggle: Kanan and Ezra beat up Kallus quite a bit to make the ruse more convincing.
  • Mugged for Disguise: A Scout Trooper and a Stormtrooper get to "donate" their uniforms to Ezra and Kanan.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Thrawn's Make an Example of Them against Mr. Sumar is darkly reminiscent of when the former's Legends counterpart executed another disloyal subordinate — albeit for trying to cover his mistakes by blaming his superior, instead of actually being an undercover rebel.
    • Kallus tells Ezra that they should have warned him before slamming him into a console, to which Ezra responds "Where's the fun in that?" Anakin and Rex had a similar exchange in Season 2 of The Clone Wars (albeit Rex was tossed off a collapsing wall).
  • Not Helping Your Case: After telling a disguised Kanan, Ezra, and Chopper to get into the elevator with him, Kallus tells them to not move in an Implied Death Threat tone. As expected, they beat him up and pin him before he can explain himself.
  • Odd Friendship: Maybe not friends, per se, but Chopper gets along with Kallus immediately after he helps them in the elevator. Amusingly, of all things Kallus knows about the crew, he's not aware of Chopper's behavior as The Gadfly and is more impressed by his skills. Ezra lampshades this.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Kanan and Ezra in the lift, when Kallus reveals he knows who they really are.
    • When Ryder mentions that the Grand Admiral on Lothal has red eyes, Hera immediately knows things just got a lot worse.
    • Zeb when he realizes that befriending Kallus back on Bahryn is probably the only reason why they have him as a Fulcrum informant now. That, and the fact that the cat's out of the bag with regards to their encounters.
    • During the same scene, Sabine looks horrified, because she almost killed Kallus back in "The Antilles Extraction" when he helped her, and it's only now that she realizes he was serious.
    • Kallus, at the end, when Thrawn implies he may have figured out that he's the Reverse Mole.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • No one trusts Kallus completely, even after he gives the code phrase and helps them escape. Hera decides to keep an eye on him and make sure he's who he claimed to be.
    • Sabotaging Imperial vehicles is bound to get the attention of Imperial High Command, leading Thrawn to tighten security by locking down the factory and checking the IDs of both workers and troopers.
    • Just because Thrawn is Crazy-Prepared and Properly Paranoid doesn't mean he can keep his eyes on everything—Which means Ryder can create a blind spot that will allow our heroes to escape.
  • The Reveal: Agent Kallus is the new Fulcrum... and it seems that Thrawn knows. Kallus appears wary of this too.
  • Reverse Mole: Agent Kallus is against the Empire now.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Previously a Satellite Character with no lines, a now-rebel Mrs. Sumar blows up an Imperial Troop Transport with an RPG.
  • Trust Password: "By the light of Lothal's moons", used to identify a Fulcrum.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: The local workers in Lothal's factories build the Empire's machines to break. Thrawn rectifies this by having the workers test the machines they build — assuming they survive the testing.
  • Vehicular Turnabout: Ezra, Kanan and Chopper hijack an AT-DP. When they're caught in the act and nearly crushed by an AT-AT, they use their lightsabers to enter and steal that.
  • Wham Line: Fulcrum's name comes out of the last person you would expect to be him.
    Kallus: Listen to me; I am Fulcrum!
  • You Are Number 6: Slaves at Imperial factories are given numbers for identification.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Since obviously, they're not going to immediately trust an adversary that has been their enemy for years, and Kallus doesn't have time to explain everything that's happened to him since the last time they've had a close confrontation like this, he makes a quick sum up of why the trio should trust him now.
    Kallus: Listen to me, I am Fulcrum! [...] By the light of Lothal's moons. [...] Your friend Zeb trusted me on the ice moon, I saved Sabine Wren at the fighter academy, and now I'm trying to save you! But you have to trust me.


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