We officially have one more episode left of The Mandalorian season two. It has been quite a journey and I’m glad I’ve been able to share it with you. The penultimate episode aired a few days ago and it really reminded me just how far we’ve come. First we we were dealing with Krayt Dragons, then frog people, and now we’ve dealing with things that have fundamentally changed Star Wars.
Now, I’ve had my gripes with the first few episodes of The Mandalorian. But each episode has set the bar even higher. Chapter 15: The Believer might be my new favourite episode for reasons that I don’t think I’ve been able to explore, until now. But before we make the jump to hyperspace, where do we find Mando in this penultimate episode?
Mando’s party has grown significantly and they’ve called on Cara Dune for some help. In order to track Gideon and locate The Child, they’ll need to rely on prisoner Migs Mayfield who surprisingly holds the key to locating Gideon’s ship. In an unlikely alliance, Mando and Mayfield work together to infiltrate a mining facility swarming with imperial troops and officers.
Boba upgraded his gear
First of all, I was incredibly surprised to see Bill Burr back in action. Back in season one, Mando outsmarted him and he was dealt with by the New Republic. That was his story over and done with. Apparently not. Although, I was very glad to see him. We didn’t really have time to explore his character in season one so all we really knew about him at the time was that he was a former sharpshooter for the Empire and that he was incredibly untrustworthy and quite dangerous. That was enough to make his character function, but he wasn’t fully fleshed out. Not by a long shot.
However, Mayfield is the standout character of Chapter 15: The Believer. This may be Mando’s show, but Bill Burr really stole the limelight. Burr gives us a touching and compassionate performance that allows us to connect with Mayfield. Burr may be a stand up comedian, but he’s able to turn Mayfield into a thoughtful and sincere character. This is a side of Mayfield we’ve never seen, and it’s certainly something I didn’t expect. Mayfield acts as a gateway into the Empire. Not only does he allow us to see what it’s like to be in the Empire, but he also shines a light on past events. He may have been the villain in his debut episode, but he reminds us that there are worse people in the Galaxy and, like Finn and the First Order, not everyone agreed with how the Empire were operating.
What a team up!
Similarly, I also felt that Pedro Pascal performed exceptionally. This is a very intense episode. It’s an infiltration episode, after all. There needs to be that threat of detection. But the spirit of this episode, really comes from the relationship between Mayfield and Mando. They are very similar and they are very vulnerable. For different reasons, of course. Mayfield is confronting his past head on. While Mando has his own internal battle regarding what it means to be a Mandalorian. It was a really interesting dynamic. They both struggled and we got to see how that unraveled whilst under extreme pressure. It definitely mixed things up and it was really nice to see The Mandalorian expose these characters and allow them to be vulnerable.
In addition to being one of the most heartfelt episodes- despite the stressful circumstances- It was also highly entertaining. Rick Famuyiwa directed this episode and he also directed the Mudhorn episode from season one. What’s really nice to see is that there are visual similarities between the two episodes. The circumstances couldn’t be more different, yet it took me back to Mando battling the mudhorn. It was a cleverly executed episode. The action was very different compared to what we have seen in previous episodes. The noticeable difference would be Mando himself. Let’s just say he doesn’t seem happy with the situation. But what this episode does so well is play on Mando’s position through the action. They don’t let us forget that Mando’s isn’t himself and the action is used to drive that notion.
Someone isn’t happy…
You’ve got action, heart and suspense. It may not have been the most gripping penultimate episode, but it was an excellent episode in general. There was a clear objective, we had some fantastic action, some humor, and we got to know some of the characters more intimately. This episode really had everything. If I could critique it in any way, it would be that it didn’t like the end of a season. I was expecting more of a intersection where the two final episodes crossed over. If we look at season one, the final two episodes flowed seamlessly and felt like one big finale. I didn’t really get that this time. However, I don’t want to jump the gun because these episodes are working differently. We don’t know what’s going to happen so I don’t want to scrutinize this episode too much based on the next episode. But I feel that it is an interesting comparison to make. It shows that the way these episodes are evolving and it shows that they are experimenting more with the format and I welcome it.
This is it guys. We’re almost at the finish line. Can you believe it? I certainly can’t. Make sure you are all prepared for what’s to come. I can’t even predict what’s next for Mando and his posse. One thing is certain, Gideon won’t go down without a fight.
Tune in this week for Chapter 16 of The Mandalorian exclusively on Disney+.
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.