November 24, 2020

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The Mandalorian (Disney+)

THE MANDALORIAN 2×02 Review- back to square one

The Mandalorian Chapter 10: The Passenger is now live on Disney+

It feels good to be back. The UK may have entered another lockdown but at least we have The Mandalorian to keep us sane and excited. Having said that, I feel as though the next Chapter in Season Two may be met with some opposing thoughts.

Before you panic and swarm me like a pack of Tusken Raiders, let me explain. Chapter 10, entitled The Passenger, is a good episode, great in fact. However, much like the Season Premiere, it is held back by the little progress made by the title character.

After returning to Mos Eisely, Mando is told of a contact that can lead him to some Mandalorians. Finally. However, that information comes with a price, obviously. In order to gain an introduction to this contact, Mando must transport a desperate passenger and their cargo. As you’d expect, things don’t quite work out and Mando, The Child, and the passenger are left stranded in a dire situation.

As usual, lets just deal with the “cons” of this episode. Well, once again, the Mandalorian’s quest to search for more Mandalorians is put on hold. While the episode itself is great, it has just been an incredibly odd start to the Season. In regards to the overarching narrative, we’re still technically back where Season One left off. Mando has declared his cunning plan to return The Child, and that’s really it. As of now, it is one step forward and two steps back. This filler format could definitely hold the Season back. However, we still have 6 episodes left and I’m still incredibly hopeful.

Where are they this time?

So yes, this episode is another bit of filler. But there is still a lot to enjoy in Mando’s latest quest.

Unlike episode one, The Child has a much bigger role this time. He had his moments in Season One that melted our hearts but this time he had me laughing and smiling like never before. Lets not forget, the group are in quite a bit of danger and The Child seems to be adding fuel to the fire in the cutest way possible. It is also worth pointing out that this episode really shows how far the effects and puppetry have come. That’s not to say that they were bad in Season One, not at all.

The Passenger allowed The Child to be more curious and free. The puppetry is incredibly impressive and the results are hysterical. For a character that speaks entirely in “coos”, his movements and physical presence are imperative and this episode really knocked it out of the park. We get to see The Child in a whole new light and it is adorable. You’ll simply love The Child even more after this episode. Seems hard to believe but trust me. I have spoken.

As The Child’s role increased, so did Mando’s role as the Father figure. In episode one we didn’t see the duo interact a lot. However, this time we really get to see how their bond has strengthened. Not only that, but it is clear that Mando is softening up thanks to The Child. Of course, Din Djarin can still be pretty tight. He’s still the tough talking Mandalorian. But when The Child’s safety comes into question, he truly steps up. It is incredibly sweet to see and I think, as a result, he’s starting to warm up towards other characters.

The overall story of this episode is very good. I found myself hooked almost instantly. Despite it being a side quest, it was still a great exploration of Star Wars lore. We encountered new aliens and planets and revisited some familiar beasts. Star Wars: Rebels fan will know what I’m talking about. As highlighted above, it also allowed Mando and The Child to share some time together. Something that was absent in the premiere.

The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+

Additionally, this episode did something completely different and very unexpected. It was actually quite creepy. I won’t dive into what made it that way, but it was surprisingly frightful and very Alien-esque. There was this lovely balance between humor and tension. The Child led us into a false sense of security and then the wonders of Space quickly threw us back into reality. The Outer Rim is full of loathsome creatures and Mando has a habit of waking them up. Now, it isn’t enough to make you scream or hide so don’t worry. But I really have to commend the episode. The combination of terrifying creatures and a eerie environment makes for a chilling ride full of tension and non-stop action.

Fundamentally, it was a great episode. It had everything going for it. Humor, threat, The Child, great action, and a story worth investing in. It’s all there. The problem is that it feels like an episode that sits nicely in the middle of the Season. Acting as a short interval from the main story. Chapter 6: The Prisoner from Season One, was a fantastic little distraction before things went south. The calm before the storm, if you will.

It might be that these episodes are gearing up towards something big. A red herring. An intentional distraction.

But at the moment, I want to see what Moff Gideon has in store. I want to know how the Mandalorians will help Din. The “Monster-of-the-week” format works, but it can become very tiresome. Especially when you have a far more superior and engrossing story waiting for you. I don’t want to say that The Mandalorian is wasting my time, it’s not. Each episode so far has been great, but we need to move forward.

To summarize, The Passenger is a really fun little quest that is riddled with throw backs and enough Baby Yoda to make your cheek hurts. Mando steps up and proves that his character is developing magnificently as a father figure, and as a figure that inspires hope. We’ve been bombarded with tonnes of fantastic action, incredible beasts and set pieces throughout The Mandalorian and this episode can, without a doubt, be added to that list. Depending on your own fears, this could be the episode that proves just how creepy space can be.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Tune in next week for Chapter 11 of The Mandalorian! While you wait, you can check out more coverage right here. If you need a Season One recap, we got you covered! This Is The Way.

The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, with guest stars Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito. Directors for the new Season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez. Showrunner Jon Favreau serves as executive producer along with Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson, with Karen Gilchrist serving as co-executive producer.

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