As of this week, we’re officially at the halfway point of this new season of The Mandalorian, and so far each little side quest has revealed something about the bad guys master plans. This week is no different, and it brings back Carl Weathers, Gina Carano, and Horacio Sanz as Greef Karga, Cara Dune, and Mythrol from season one.
Seriously. Spoilers galore are coming. You’ve been warned.
While the last episode saw Mando and Child headed toward the forest planet of Corvus to find Ahsoka Tano, this episode starts with that journey underway but the haphazard repairs they received not really working out. Luckily they are close enough to Nevarro, where the big showdown at the end of season one took place and where Greef Karga and Cara Dune were last seen.
Speaking of Dune, we first see her single-handedly taking out a group of criminals (who have taken up residence in the old Mandalorian hideout) to remind us how badass she is.
After a friendly reunion and Karga putting his best men on repairing the Razor Crest (including one who very obviously and totally innocently looks around) they ask Mando for his help. Karga and Dune have been busy cleaning up the planet and making into a respectable place, but the base is preventing them from achieving that goal planet-wide.
Leaving the Child in a newly formed school in the village, the group of them, plus Mythrol (who was the first bounty we ever saw our hero collect), head to the base. They believe it to be all but abandoned, but of course, it isn’t. Lots of stormtroopers are present, and after they set the reactor to blow up and take the place out, they stumble upon a lab.
In that lab are several bodies suspended in tanks. There are two imperials who really don’t want anyone to find out what they are doing and manage to destroy the console before they get shot. However, Mythrol is still able to bring up a recording from Dr Pershing to Moff Gideon letting the latter know that the small supply of genetic material that Pershing was able to extract from the Child before Mando rescued him is now exhausted.
Realizing that the place isn’t a normal base but a lab with some nefarious goings-on going on and that Gideon is alive, they all decide to high tail it out of there. Mando gets outside and jetpacks his way back to the village, while Dune and Co have to fight their way out. They steal an imperial tank, and there’s an extended chase in which they fend off three imperials on speeder bikes, followed by four tie fighters. They manage to down one of the ties, but that destroys the tank’s guns, but then Mando shows up in the nick of time in a newly repaired and shiny Razor Crest to save the day.
Knowing that Gideon will be after them for the Child, Mando takes off. Back in the village, our friends are visited by Carson Teva, the x-wing pilot from episode two played by Canadian actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee. In a brief exchange with Cara Dune, he says that he knows something is going on, that they don’t believe it in the core worlds of the new republic, but something has to be done, and they need help. He also reveals that Dune is from Alderaan, to which she reveals that she lost her entire family when the planet was destroyed.
The final scene cuts to an imperial light cruiser (fans of Rebels will recognize the design) flying over the top the camera (a la the opening shot of Star Wars). On the bridge, an imperial officer receives a communication from that totally innocent mechanic from the start. She reports to Moff Gideon that not only is the child still with Mando, but there is also now a tracking device installed n the Razor Crest. As the camera pulls back in the room he’s standing in, we start to see rows of .. something. It’s hard to tell exactly what they are, but they’re imperial, they’re all black, they have helmets that resemble Vaders, and they’re hooked up to a bunch of tubes in a mist-filled room. This can’t be good, is what I am saying.
This was another solid entry in the series so far. I like that each episode is its own mini-adventure, and I like the slow drip of bad guy plans that we have been getting so far. I also love, love that this show clearly has the budget of a Star Wars film. Or maybe it doesn’t, but the effects in this hold up against any of the films, so I assume it does.
It was nice to see Carl Weathers and Gina Carano back, and them working together to do right is a nice touch. They could have so easily just had him running bounty hunters still and her becoming one of them, I enjoy that they have been written as striving for something better.
Where the episode stumbles for me is still the amount of fan service going on, from the speeder bring the same (or similar) to Lukes from Star Wars to the little girl with the same hairstyle as Rey, to the fact that the bad guys were almost certainly using the kid’s blood to genetically engineer either Supreme Leader Snoke or Palpatine’s new body. I know that the Star Wars universe is conspicuously small, but not everything needs to be connected, you know? I know that I am in the minority on this one, but I do want Star Wars to be less beholden to its own past.
This episode was directed by Carl Weathers and I have to say it is one of the best directed so far. It can be hard to pull off a car chase but this one is thrilling. The geography is always clear, the action is inventive, and the payoff is great.
We’re officially at the halfway mark now so I’d be willing to bet that the season-long plot starts to ramp up a bit next week. I know I just said that I want Star Wars to be a little more original, but I am looking forward to seeing Ahsoka Tano. I’m also looking forward to seeing a lightsaber in the show, perhaps in a fight with Gideon and the Darksaber. We’ll find out next week hopefully!
- I do so love how every planet in the Star Wars universe is basically a small village.;
- The big winner this season continues to be Ludwig Göransson’s score. I wish they were releasing episode scores like they did last season.
- I’ve always liked the slang “slice” as a synonym for “hack”.
- That first scene of Mando trying to coach The Child through plugging in a wire was gold.
- Giancarlo Esposito is always a win.
- I’m a little embarrassed to say that two weeks ago, I didn’t recognize Paul Sun-Hyung Lee until well after I had written my piece, but it is awesome to see him recurring this series.
- I really hope they keep making the kid get excited by ships blowing up and eating everthing he can get his hands on. Basically I want them to keep him as weird as possible as long as possible.
- I love it when SciFi series come up with their own curse words, so I am rally enjoying people saying “dank farrik”. I hope they develop a whole system of slang like, say, Farscape did.