The real twist comes later, as the Ghost's crew tries to rescue Trayvis from the Imperial threat. It quickly becomes clear that he's not quite the heroic figure we hoped for. Trayvis can't keep pace with the group and suggests surrender to the Empire almost the instant they appear. But the final blow comes when he gets a blaster in his hand while alone with Ezra and Hera - and turns on them. Tayvis was an Imperial agent all along, placed in a position where he can track Rebel forces across the galaxy and mark especially dangerous cells for his superiors.
It's a twist that some fans will likely see coming, especially when Trayvis openly asks for Rebel intel during the escape, but it remains a well-executed one. "Vision of Hope" does a great job of hiding the truth in plain sight. Ezra's vision about Trayvis knowing his parents was accurate, but not in the way he thought - Trayvis was the one who turned them over to Stormtroopers. "Vision of Hope" is built entirely on a theme of optimism versus cynicism that pivots around this moment. Ezra's vision, Hera's optimism during the broadcast, the more cynical comments from other crew members is all appropriate foreshadowing. Even Kanan warns Ezra (and the audience) not to trust his vision fully, and he was right - while the visions were technically correct, it lacked all the context of Trayvis' true loyalties.
While it makes for a great twist moment, the downside is that the characters aren't really doing much that's new for two-thirds of the episode. Rebels is still hitting all the right notes, but falling into this comfortable routine could easily become a rut without new details to mix things up. We're not even allowed to dwell on the fact that the entire Rebel movement is compromised. Consequences will likely emerge in future episodes, but the short runtime means we just end up with the status quo in the end. While tightly constructed, I can't help but feel "Visions of Hope" would've worked better as a two-parter to allow the significance of what's happening to fully sink in.
It's probably worth mentioning that one of the best part of Rebels right now is its villainous cast. Trayvis (played by Brent Spiner) makes a perfect turn from optimistic leader to Imperial lackey, presenting enough clues to pick up when rewatching the episode. Agent Kallus is also a welcome sight after being the Inquisitor's second-in-command for several episodes, and has somehow become an imposing force of his own. The voice work of these two characters is top-notch, and they really make Rebels feel like it's facing something bigger than Stormtrooper squadrons.
Bottom Line: "Vision of Hope" is the best episode of Rebels 2015 season. It begins as a well-executed, but by the numbers story, only to turn the tables in a twist with major implications for the Star Wars galaxy. Combine that with a solidly-structured plot, engaging action sequences, and stellar performances from its villains, and "Vision of Hope" proves that Rebels will leave its mark.
Recommendation: Whether you're a Rebels fan or enjoy Star Wars in general, "Vision of Hope" is well worth watching..