Wanted for murder and unable to lean on Anakin for help, Ahsoka's options are looking grim on this week's Clone Wars. But while the Jedi and the Clone Troopers are hunting her down, Ahsoka finds herself with two allies—one from the Light Side of the Force and one from the Dark. But she may be wrong about which one to trust. As always, spoilers below.
When last we left Ahsoka, she had just escaped from a Republic jail cell and defied Anakin's orders to turn herself over to the Jedi Council. Now she's on the loose in the lower depths of Coruscant, trying to find the clues that will prove she didn't kill the Temple bomber Letta.
Tarkin delivers his conclusions to the Jedi Council, telling them that he has no doubt that Ahsoka murdered Letta and the Clone Troopers outside Letta's cell. Because they have terrible Evildar, the Jedi Council is inclined to believe him, though Anakin still advocates for her. Windu doesn't want to send Anakin on the mission to retrieve Ahsoka, arguing that he's too emotionally tied to her, but Anakin assures the Council that he wants Ahsoka recaptured so they can all learn the truth.
In the lower depths, Ahsoka uses her communicator to contact Barriss. Barriss promises to do a little detective work and find out what she can to clear Ahsoka's name, but warns Ahsoka not to contact her using the Jedi communicators again. After smashing her communicator, she barters for a cloak and hides out from the authorities. But the Coruscant police department have all seen the wanted reports, and they spot Ahsoka on a train. Ahsoka isn't doing much to improve the reputation of the Jedi; the locals are not pleased to see her kicking and using her Force powers to avoid capture.
Eventually, though, Ahsoka encounters a far more competent potential captor: Asajj Ventress. Ventress, who has turned masked bounty hunter, is gleeful to discover that the Jedi have put a price on Ahsoka's head. Ahsoka, wisely, decides that Ventress might make a better ally than a foe. She appeals to Ventress, pointing out that they are now both outcasts of their respective orders. Ahsoka promises that if Ventress helps her, she'll appeal to the Jedi Council on Ventress' behalf. Perhaps Ventress could score a full pardon and actually show her face around Coruscant. This proves a tempting enough carrot, and Ventress helps Ahsoka flee from Anakin and company. Anakin spots Ventress with Ahsoka—perhaps setting up future seeds of doubt.
At a public communications terminal, Ahsoka calls Barriss again, and the other Padawan tells her that Letta visited an abandoned munitions factory during the time that she acquired the nanodroids. During the call, a camera Droid spots Ahsoka and reports her location to a nearby group of Troopers. I'm loving this tour through the lower depths—the people, the industrial look, the sense that anyone might be a mercenary.
The Clone Troopers corner Ahsoka and Ventress, and, at Ahsoka's request, Ventress gamely leaves the Trooper alive when they fight them off. "See?" she tells Ahsoka. "Didn't kill one. It's the new me." There might just be hope for Ventress coming out of the cold.
They reach the factory and agree to part ways. "I have to admit," Ahsoka says, "I never saw us doing anything together, ever."
"These are strange times," Ventress agrees. I'm really hoping that this arc proves a turning point for Ahsoka, leading her to question the Republic government and the Jedi Order, and perhaps leading her to make friends Anakin wouldn't approve of. She's grown up a lot this season, and there's an opportunity to see her growing apart from Anakin.
After she leaves Ahsoka, however, Ventress is attacked and her mask and lightsabers are stolen. While Ahsoka investigates the factory, the attacker, a slender female Force user, attacks Ahsoka while wearing Ventress' mask and wielding her lightsabers. Ahsoka mistakes the attacker for Ventress, and the two duel. Their battle, which sets off some of the factory's explosives, attracts the attention of the authorities, and Anakin's team closes in. The fake Ventress bests Ahsoka with one final kick, sending her through a rotten floor into a storage area filled with boxes of nanodroids. Just a moment later, Anakin and the Troopers find and stun her. Anakin is shocked to learn that these are the same types of nanodroids Letta used in the bombing. In reporting back to Yoda and Windu, Anakin notes that there are still too many puzzle pieces that don't fit—like Ventress. But he looks worried. Could he be doubting Ahsoka's loyalty to the Jedi?
So this week's lesson is "Never become desperate enough to trust the untrustworthy." But Ventress fulfilled her promises to Ahsoka. Does the admonition refer to Barriss? Last week, I said that I suspected Barriss was planted in this arc as a red herring, but this episode was pointing at her with neon arrows. After all, Barriss directed Ahsoka to the factory and she's slim enough to pass for Ventress. Could another Jedi be manipulating Barriss, or could she be involved in this plot against Ahsoka? Next week, Anakin takes over the investigative reins, and hopefully we'll get a satisfying answer as the season ends.