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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S3E15 "Through Imperial Eyes"

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"There is a rebel spy in our midst; codename Fulcrum. And perhaps today we will learn their true identity."
Grand Admiral Thrawn

Fearing that the identity of a rebel spy will soon be discovered by the Empire, the rebels launch a plan to rescue him before he is caught.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Absentee Actor: For the second episode in a row, Hera and Zeb are absent.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The introduction has Kallus waking up during an alert, and spending a moment to go to his sink and look in the mirror.
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  • Actually, I Am Him: Yularen, early on, asks Kallus for his opinion on who the spy is. Unsurprisingly, Kallus answers that question very carefully.
  • All Too Easy:
    • After dismissing the other Imperials, Yularen notes to Thrawn that the reveal that Lyste is Fulcrum fell into place a little too quickly, and that Lyste doesn't have the right skills to do what Fulcrum has done, such as accessing high level intel. Thrawn agrees, and then a Stormtrooper brings in Ezra's helmet...
    • Deliberately invoked by the heroes when Thrawn came back to his office to see what was out of place, only for him to find everything's too all right for his liking...Cue the assassin droids ambushing.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Thrawn is seen training against assassin droids early in the episode. When Kallus reprograms them to attack Thrawn as a distraction, he was only slightly surprised by the assassination attempt and manages to overcome them, though he does get hit once or twice. From that, he does realize the situation involving a traitor is far more serious than he had assumed.
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  • Assassination Attempt: To humor Thrawn, Kallus makes one by reprogramming the sentry droids to turn on him. It fails, but Thrawn thinks it was an impressive effort.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Thrawn is in top form in this episode, noticing the artwork on the helmet of the "bounty hunter" is awfully similar to Sabine Wren's work, meaning it likely belongs to her associate Ezra Bridger, meaning Kallus should have identified him from the beginning. Since he didn't...
  • Bait-and-Switch: It appeared that Thrawn deliberately let Kallus and Lyste hear him give his sentry droids the override code so that he'd know that one of the two is up to something if they also try to give the override code to his droids... but then later, Thrawn is the one who can't use the override code on his own droids, and it's implied that Kallus somehow got rid of it when he tampered with them.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Though the rebels have managed to hide their base from Thrawn for the time being and he didn't suspect that anyone tampered with his database, it's already certain he will discover the base another way. Kallus is still with the Imperials and Thrawn's suspicion that he's Fulcrum is confirmed.
  • Blind Mistake: A serious variant. It's likely that if Kanan had known the woman meeting him and Rex in the Chimaera's hangar was Governor Pryce, he probably wouldn't have tried to mindtrick her. Of course, not only does he not know who she is, neither does Rex, so he can't warn Kanan about Pryce's identity. Thus, Kanan gets himself stunned.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Ezra does this twice.
    • He does a gruff accent while pretending to be a bounty hunter. It's not that good.
    • Later, when convincing the stormtrooper guarding Thrawn's office that he's Lyste, he does a surprisingly good impression of Lyste's accent.
  • The Bus Came Back: Admiral Konstantine appears for the first time since "Iron Squadron".
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Lyste is so simple-minded that he's easily taken advantage of. It ends with him framed for treason, arrested, and likely to remain in prison because Thrawn wants Kallus to think that his Fulcrum identity is safe.
  • Call-Back:
    • Just like in "Stealth Strike", we have Kanan and Rex disguising themselves as Stormtroopers and flying in a stolen Imperial shuttle. Rex again comments about the fit of the armour, although this time it fits better because he's lost weight.
    • Kallus revealed himself as the new Fulcrum to the rebels back in "An Inside Man", with Thrawn also hinting that he knows about Kallus' Heel–Face Turn in the ending scene.
    • Thrawn previously noted in "An Inside Man" that the rebels are attached to Lothal, also noting another time that the rebels will always go back for friends, allies, and loved ones as well. The rebels return to Lothal to extract Kallus from the Empire.
    • Just like the last episode in which he played a major role, Lyste winds up getting manipulated by someone much more intelligent than him who he believes to be a loyal Imperial, albeit with far more serious consequences for him this time round.
    • Due to the events of "Warhead", Thrawn now knows that one of the 94 planets he suspected as holding a safe haven for the rebels is confirmed, and has further narrowed it down to a handful of those based on rebel activity in the region. Ezra and Chopper sneak into his office to try and modify the list to throw him off the trail.
    • Kallus awakens in his quarters, previously seen in the ending of "The Honorable Ones".
    • Yularen makes a reappearance in animation, previously seen in The Clone Wars. His Leitmotif plays as well.
    • Thrawn trains with Imperial sentry droids, which debuted back in "The Wynkahthu Job".
    • As in "Call to Action", the Empire will trace any communication the rebels beam out, unless it comes from one of their sources.
  • The Cameo:
    • Titus, Slavin, and Brunson make wordless cameos as they leave Thrawn's office.
    • For whatever reason, Thrawn has Commander Gree's helmetnote  in his office, otherwise known as Luminara Unduli's clone commander and one of the clones on Kashyyyk that Yoda decapitates in Revenge of the Sith when Order 66 is given out.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Thrawn may know Kallus is Fulcrum, but he has no intention of executing him for treason. Instead, Thrawn plans on using Kallus to sabotage the Rebels, and lead him to their base.
  • Captain Obvious: When Yularen asks Kallus for his opinion on who he believes Fulcrum may be, Kallus simply answers that since that person has access to high level intel, it must be an officer — when there are probably thousands alone that have had any amount of contact with the crew within a year at the very least. Kallus then clarifies that he thinks this person might be in the communications division, but Yularen believes that it'd be too obvious and that person would've already been dealt with by then.
  • Ceiling Cling: Ezra in his second cell — with his hands cuffed behind his back. He doesn't get a chance to ambush anyone, as his first visitor is Kallus.
  • Chekhov's Gun: There's a shot of Ezra's bounty hunter helmet being left in his cell on Kallus' ship. This is ultimately brought to Thrawn at the end and allows him to deduce that Kallus is Fulcrum.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Yularen and Kallus mention how the latter was a star pupil at the Royal Imperial Academy. While this was first stated in All There in the Manual, this was also briefly touched upon in one of the comics from Rebels Magazine.
    • Thrawn has Hera's Kalikori on display in his office. Ezra instinctively goes to take it, but Kallus tells him they have more important matters to attend to than retrieving it, let alone the fact that Thrawn will notice if it's gone or even touched.
    • Kallus and Lyste pass by Commander Titus (and this also confirms that he escaped Reklam Station), Captain Slavin, and Captain Brunson while on their way to Thrawn's office. Presumably, Yularen had summoned them for questioning.
    • Though never commented on, this isn't the first time Ezra has been captured by Kallus and put in a cell to be interrogated by him.
    • Lyste confides to Kallus that he wants to look good to his superiors because he screwed up when Princess Leia visited Lothal. He also recognizes Ezra as the boy that stole his shuttle during that same incident as well.
    • Ezra's impersonated Lyste before, over Aresko's stolen comlink in "Spark of Rebellion".
    • Thrawn has the piece of retaining wall Sabine graffitied from "An Inside Man" in his office. Ezra and Chopper end up hiding behind it when he comes in while they're still there.
    • Once again, a character chooses to stay behind, believing that doing so will benefit the Rebellion more. Unfortunately for the situation in this episode, no one knows how bad of a decision this actually is.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This episode gives the audience a more in-depth view on how the Empire deals with the Rebels.
  • Deadly Dodging: Thrawn gets the upper hand on the assassin droids by getting one to shoot the other, temporarily taking it out of the fight.
  • Death Glare: Brunson, Titus, and Slavin all eye Kallus and Lyste as they pass each other in the hallway, presumably because whatever the three finished doing and the two are about to do is going to suck.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Ezra's plan to rescue Kallus seems a little light on details, as it goes off the rails when Kallus and Lyste are summoned by Thrawn.
  • Disappointed in You: Yularen at the end, when he finds out that Kallus, who was one of his best students, is the traitor.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Ezra finds Hera's Kalikori and is tempted to take it, but Kallus tells him not to touch it. It's a good thing Ezra didn't or Thrawn would've instantly known something was up.
  • Dressing as the Enemy:
    • Once again, Kanan and Rex don Stormtrooper outfits and use a stolen Imperial shuttle. It doesn't work because Colonel Yularen was suspicious of the shuttle coming in the middle of an alert and warns Pryce so she can go down there and arrest them.
    • Chopper is in his Imperial paintjob. AP-5 doesn't need a disguise because no one knows him.
    • Ezra dons an officer uniform to impersonate Lyste.
  • Epic Fail: Kanan's attempt to mind trick Pryce just outs him as a Jedi and gets him stunned. In a larger sense, the plan to save Kallus from Thrawn working out his identity only managed to out him as Fulcrum.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Lyste's reaction to Kallus for setting him up and refusing to speak for him when he gets framed as Fulcrum.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Thrawn found out about Fulcrum and that he has been feeding sensitive information to the Rebels. Thrawn decides that until said traitor comes forth, or until he obtains enough hard evidence to single out someone, nobody can be trusted, and only a select few shall remain above suspicion.
  • Feed the Mole: Thrawn has no intention of outing Kallus as Fulcrum, nor does he plan on killing him, feeling he would serve more use in that role than he ever did as a regular loyal officer.
  • Frame-Up: Kallus uses the excuse that Pryce wasn't in the meeting with them to make Lyste suspect Pryce of being the mole, and then he switches code cylinders to make his boss Yularen think Lyste is the mole. As a result, an alerted Pryce ended up fighting the disguised Kanan and Rex in front of Lyste, convincing the latter to go there and capture her. This ends up convincing Yularen of his guilt, although he starts to question what a neat little package the case suddenly turned into. It doesn't quite work because Pryce is above suspicion and Lyste being the mastermind is considered beyond his capabilities. Still though, it doesn't look like Thrawn intends to let everyone in on his plan and correct the other Imperials, and Lyste attacking Pryce isn't going to get him off the hook either.
  • Hero of Another Story: In the lead up to the events of the episode, the rebels found out that one of Kallus' Fulcrum transmissions might've been compromised. They sent Ezra dressed in bounty hunter garb, accompanied by AP-5 and Chopper, to Lothal to steal a shuttle from the spaceport, and it catches up to the beginning of the episode.
  • I Choose to Stay: Kallus decides to stay in case more useful information pops up, not knowing that Thrawn, now being onto him, plans to Feed the Mole.
  • Internal Reveal: Thrawn and Yularen learn that Kallus is Fulcrum, though Thrawn had seemingly suspected as much already.
  • Intro-Only Point of View: The Cold Opening is literally shown from Kallus's eyes as he silently awakens to an emergency and looks at himself in the mirror. It is used to show that his lonely dilemma of being the Reverse Mole that everyone is actively looking for.
  • Jedi Mind Trick:
    • Ezra does this to the guard at Thrawn's office to convince him that he's Lyste.
    • Kanan tries this on Pryce. She knows he's a Jedi and immediately orders him shot.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: Kallus and Lyste bear witness to Thrawn sparring with his assassin droids when they're first summoned to the Grand Admiral's office.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Kallus sleeps in the same uniform he uses while on the job, armor and all. In-universe, it's just for practical reasons in case something suddenly happens in the middle of the night, but out-of-universe, there wasn't enough time and budget to make a new animation model for him, especially not for one that would only be used once.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Thrawn and Colonel Yularen opt not to tell the other Imperial officers that they know Kallus is Fulcrum, despite publicly announcing that Lyste is the spy. By not telling them, Thrawn can maintain the deception that will allow both Kallus and the rebels to think they've succeeded.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The override code Thrawn uses to shutdown his sentry droids is "Rukh", the name of the Noghri bodyguard who ultimately assassinated Thrawn in Legends. Sure enough, Kallus ends up reprogramming the droids to attack Thrawn and ignore the code, though Thrawn overcomes them.
    • Kanan calls Rex "Gramps", a nickname also given to the minor character Nik Sant from Return of the Jedi who is rumored by fans to actually be Rex in the future. (Both are also rebels disguised as Stormtroopers.)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Kallus not only does too good a job framing Lyste — leading Thrawn to be intrigued about the prisoner Lyste supposedly risked so much for — he also forgets to dispose of Ezra's helmet, which bears Sabine's distinctive artwork... but then again, you could also blame the rebels for being too concerned about Kallus by attempting to rescue him in the first place.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Thanks to Kallus egging him on, Lyste helps the rebels escape. Ezra even mocks him for it.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Thrawn, Pryce, and Yularen immediately know that Kanan and Rex's shuttle is a fake and thus send Pryce with a squad to arrest them upon arrival. When Kanan tries to Jedi Mind Trick her, Pryce cuts him off midsentence to order her troopers to just shoot him. As a result, Kanan ends up being knocked out for the rest of the fight and Rex is nearly killed.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: The rebels settle on this and attempt a rescue plan to extract Kallus from Lothal.
  • No-Sell: The Jedi Mind Trick doesn't work on Pryce because she's too suspicious of everyone, even when Kanan tries to disguise it.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • While it's more subdued, this is Kallus' reaction when the escaped bounty hunter turns out to be Ezra.
    • When Thrawn tells the other Imperials that there's a traitor in their midst, it cuts to Kallus nodding alongside the others.
    • Thrawn has a typically subtle one when his droids don't respond to the override code.
    • Lyste when he realizes that he just helped Ezra escape.
  • Override Command: The deactivation code for Thrawn's assassin droids is "Rukh". Kallus disables or changes it when he reprograms the droids to attack Thrawn.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Even though he's technically not an Imperial anymore, Kallus is still relatively amicable to Lyste up until he starts manipulating him so that he can be his scapegoat.
    • While Lyste is still a jerk, he's friendly to Kallus and shows concern for the other troopers (actually Kanan, Rex, and Ezra in disguise) after the fight with Governor Pryce.
    • Pryce asks Kallus and Lyste about the report on capturing a criminal from Lothal, which she commends Lyste for when Kallus claims the credit belongs to the lieutenant. She also thanks Kallus for apprehending Lyste after the latter stunned her and was supposedly the traitor they were looking for.
  • Police Brutality: The Stormtroopers hit Ezra, who's disguised as a criminal, simply because they can. Ezra also pretends that Kallus hit him to help keep up the agent's cover.
  • Police Brutality Gambit: Ezra makes it look like Kallus beat him when Lyste comes in. Unlike most examples of this trope, this is to avoid getting Kallus caught.
  • P.O.V. Cam: The opening scene has Kallus being woken by an attack on his ship, shot from his perspective. His identity isn't shown until he looks in the mirror.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Kallus is pissed when he finds out the rebels launched an operation to rescue him without informing him. Given that nothing of use to the rebels ends up being accomplished beyond Ezra altering the list of planets in Thrawn's office (and even then, it's hinted that Thrawn may have realized the list was tampered with, but ended up being the least of his concerns for the time being), and ultimately leads to Thrawn figuring out Kallus is the mole, he's right.
    • Thrawn insists that all officers use their code cylinders to enter his office, and are allowed to do so regardless of how well they may be known. If Ezra weren't a Jedi, they'd have never made it inside.
    • Colonel Yularen is suspicious when an Imperial shuttle shows up with no warning and has the necessary codes to dock at the Star Destroyer when they have a prisoner loose and an informant aboard. He sends Governor Pryce down to confront them. She asks Kanan and Rex to remove their helmets, and she knows when a Jedi Mind Trick is going to be used on her, having her guard stun Kanan immediately when he tries it. A new arrival in the middle of an alert was a little too convenient.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • While "An Inside Man" suggested that Thrawn immediately figured out that Kallus was Fulcrum, this episode shows that while he definitely suspected him and was likely one of if not his top suspect, Thrawn is not omniscient and can't go around using theories that he's not completely certain will work/are true. Doing so would net him huge trouble with his superiors (and Tarkin probably really wouldn't like him and his unorthodox methods) and may be detrimental to his plans — you can't guess, but you should know, lest he look like an idiot to his boss.
    • Kallus's a mere man, so when he's Fulcrum and Thrawn comes into the picture, he's stressed out and can't keep every detail under wraps. He's also in fear for his life like every other soldier or fighter, because he doesn't want it to be a Senseless Sacrifice and knows exactly what the punishment is for treason by an officer. He forgets about getting rid of Ezra's bounty hunter helmet, which has a picture of a lothcat with Sabine's signature style on it, which causes Thrawn to confirm that yes, Kallus is indeed Fulcrum, as he did not report in a rebel he has had multiple encounters with in the past that he would definitely have recognized.
  • Red Alert: The siren wakes Kallus up.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Kallus frames Lyste as Fulcrum while aiding Ezra's escape, but forgot to get rid of Ezra's helmet when they left his ship. Thrawn and Yularen both already agreed beforehand that the events seem beyond Lyste's abilities, and it piques Thrawn's interest in the prisoner he went to such lengths to free. He recognizes the art on Ezra's helmet as Sabine's handiwork, deduces that the "bounty hunter" was likely Ezra, and as such Kallus failing to report his presence means Kallus is actually Fulcrum. And after finding out "Lyste" was in his office, Thrawn spends a suspiciously long time staring at his altered database, suggesting he's either spotted the sabotage or was itching to find something out of place.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Yes, Thrawn did figure out that Kallus is Fulcrum because he figured out Ezra was on board, but he didn't know the real reason why. As far as he knew, Ezra came to help Kallus assassinate him, and then be on their merry way, but whether or not that was accurate would've made little difference.
  • Sadistic Choice: Kallus only intended to get Lyste off of his back when he told him to follow Pryce in case she was The Mole. At the end, the situation gets bad enough that Kallus ultimately chooses to stay in case more useful information pops up, but in order to do so, he frames Lyste as Fulcrum (because by then, Lyste had already just stunned Pryce and there's really no talking his way out of that). The look on his face as Lyste is dragged away makes it clear that it wasn't a choice he was particularly joyful about making.
  • Seize Them!: Kallus orders the Stormtroopers to arrest Lyste after the latter blasts Pryce:
    Kallus: Troopers! Seize him!
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Apart from being able to delete Atollon from Thrawn's database without him suspecting it, Ezra and the others accomplished essentially nothing; Kallus may be alive for now, but they failed to rescue him from Thrawn, who has now confirmed his suspicion that Kallus is Fulcrum. On a somewhat positive note, Thrawn's intention of letting Kallus live means the rebels have at least one more chance to rescue him.
  • Shout-Out: The Holy Grail is in the possession of Thrawn, according to a blink-or-you'll-miss-it easter egg. note  Explicitly mentioned as such by the production staff.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • Downplayed. After two episodes intensely dealing with Sabine and the Mandalorians, we return to the "A-plot" of Thrawn's plan to defeat the rebels and Kallus being Fulcrum.
    • The episode begins from Kallus' literal perspective, being a first for a first person camera perspective sequence in a Star Wars medium outside of games as well as a first for starting an episode of Rebels from the Imperial side (though technically Kallus is just an undercover rebel now).
  • Spotting the Thread: Yularen is immediately suspicious of Lyste being the spy, both because he lacks the skills to pull it off and because it's just too neat and tidy. Thrawn is able to piece together Kallus being Fulcrum from Sabine's art style on Ezra's discarded helmet, along with the fact that Kallus knows Ezra well enough that failing to mention his identity is a huge red flag.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Kallus pulls one on Ezra when they're in Thrawn's office and find out he's coming back there. It's especially impressive because normally non-Force-users aren't able to pull this on Jedi. Ezra doesn't even notice the sound of the office door opening and closing. It turns out he didn't go that far and went to Thrawn's sparring room.
  • Tempting Fate: Ezra says most Imperials don't know what he looks like now. That may be true, but Thrawn would've recognized him instantly, and the art on his helmet was a dead giveaway.
  • Title Drop: The episode literally begins with a scene that takes place through Imperial eyes. It's also the first episode in Rebels that mainly takes place from the perspective of the villains.
  • Touché: When Ezra decides to transmit updated security codes from Thrawn's office, Kallus protests because it'll be recognized as a rebel transmission. Ezra agrees, then points out it will be traced back to Thrawn's office. "Good point," Kallus concedes.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Ezra allows himself to be captured in the guise of a bounty hunter, knowing he'll be taken to Kallus' ship and can arrange a rescue from there. It doesn't quite go to plan.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Ezra came to rescue Kallus, but Kallus doesn't want him to because it's a dangerous game. Kallus decides against going with his rescue party because he feels he can do more good while on the Empire's side.
  • We Need a Distraction: When Kallus, Ezra, and Chopper are trapped in Thrawn's office with Thrawn coming in, Kallus sneaks out and reprograms his assassin droids. As the droids attack Thrawn, the heroes use the opportunity to make a break for it.
  • Wham Episode: Kallus' status as Fulcrum has become compromised. Also, Thrawn knows Ezra is a Jedi despite Tarkin announcing that the Jedi have been taken care of.
  • Wham Line:
    Thrawn: Kallus is the Rebel spy, Fulcrum.
  • Wham Shot:
    • As the prisoner is escorted off the shuttle, his helmet is removed and it's Ezra.
    • "He is ready for us," says Konstantine. In Thrawn's office awaits not Thrawn, but... Yularen?!
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Rex is reluctant to fight Pryce, blocking most of her attacks until he finally knocks her down with a shoulder thrust. It nearly gets him killed when she manages to get her hands on a blaster. Rex only gets saved because Lyste is convinced of Pryce's "guilt".
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Upon realizing he's being arrested, Lyste tries to tell the others that Pryce is the traitor, but quickly starts begging for Kallus to help him instead when it becomes clear that no one else is going to listen to him.

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