The Clone Wars returned from its hiatus with the new episode "Senate Murders," which centers around a critical vote in the senate to increase the production on clone troopers and escalate the war against the Separatists. Standing against the increase is Senator Amadala and her posse, including Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and Rodian Senator Onaconda Farr, who was introduced last year as an old friend and mentor to Padme.
Overall, "Senate Murders" is one of the weaker episodes this season, and not just because it is a Padme-focused, politics oriented story (although the movies handled this kind of political intrigue in a much more satisfying way). For me a lot of the new characters fall flat and feel off in this episode. Deechi is a one note, "evil" character and does little before his demise. While I was happy that a plausible explanation was given for there being a senator from Kamino, Halle Burtoni was jarringly different from the placid, ethereal, Kaminoans we saw in Attack of the Clones. Her aging vamp personality didn't feel quite right for the character. The other new character, Detective Divo was annoyingly caricaturish and it was hard to take him seriously with his round little body and Karl Rove-like face. It turns out he is the one in charge of those goofy Bobby Droids we've been seeing.
"Senate Murders" was a lackluster episode marred by some over-the-top characters. I did like that it was a different kind of a episode, a Star Wars who-done-it and when the killer was finally revealed, that person had a good reason for doing what they did. This is another example of the show's evolving moral complexity. I just wished that this point would have been packaged in a better episode.