Over a year after the jaw-dropping season finale, which saw the fall of Tipoca City, The Bad Batch is finally back for its second season, reuniting audiences with Clone Force 99 as they try to make a life for themselves in the wake of Order 66. Now that the Empire thinks that the Bad Batch is dead; Hunter, Wrecker, Echo, Tech (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), and Omega (voiced by Michelle Ang) have newfound freedom to venture out on their mission of the week for Cid (Rhea Perlman) without imminent fear of death. Not that they don’t have their fair share of death-defying moments throughout the first 14 episodes of Season 2.

The Bad Batch is up against steep competition when it comes to Star Wars programming, as its premiere sees it bridging the gap between Andor’s season finale and the return of The Mandalorian. After a shaky Season 1—which saw fans calling out its whitewashed animation designs and the storytelling, which often left something to be desired—The Bad Batch has corrected at least one of those issues.

While the 16-episode freshman season benefited from its emotional connection to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Season 2 really hones in on the Bad Batch and their interpersonal relationships and personal character growth. Balancing six central characters is no easy feat, especially not for an animated series with an under-30 minutes runtime. This unfortunately meant that the first season often overlooked integral character beats and rushed past much-needed conversations in an effort to wrap up highly complex adventures and missions.

With its sophomore season, the storytelling is much tighter, and it also gives its characters room to make mistakes and grow from them, rather than just brushing past conflict and differences of opinions. However, in order to achieve this, The Bad Batch opts to remove one of those central characters to make room for others to shine. While the titular Bad Batch of genetically modified clones is an ever-present part of the season—including their Empire-supporting brother Crosshair—their youngest member, Omega, is the heart of the series. In the time between Season 1 and Season 2, she’s aged and matured, and while she still sees the world through rose-colored glasses, across the first fourteen episodes, she learns that actions have consequences. Taking her in changed the course of the Bad Batch’s fate, just as teaming up with them has changed her future, and those choices are not without fallout.

The Bad Batch is at its strongest when Omega is learning more about herself, the Batch, and the galaxy’s oppression and treatment of Clones, which becomes a prominent plot point in the latter half of the season. Watching her childlike naïveté slowly be stripped away really underscores the perils of this period of time for anyone, regardless of whether they’re rebels or a band of clones.