After last episode’s detour, which resulted in our baby Yoda exhibiting force powers, we return to The Mandalorian with the hype for Disney+’s flagship show at an all-time high. Surprisingly, this bounty hunting Western rides the wave of expectation perfectly, delivering an action-packed episode that progresses the story and world-building in a compelling manner and keeps things wide open going into next week’s episode.
Flying back home, we begin with Mando feeding back the good news about baby Yoda to his contractors before landing in the desolate ruins and handing over the package. Given how precious and important this is to the empire, Mando finds himself torn between the livelihood of baby Yoda and taking payment for his contract. Eventually he ignores his heart and instead, takes the credits and hands them over to the armourer deep in the heart of Mandalorian territory.
It’s here we learn more about the Mandalorian and their way of life. After telling the others he’s never removed his helmet or broken his code of conduct, his new armour is crafted but as the metal is moulded, we see more flashes to the past as a couple clutch a child close and rush him to safety amidst droids killing everyone in sight. Is this Mando?
Intent on keeping busy, Mando ignores the lavish praise put on him for completing the contract and grabs another, far away in the Ocean Dunes. However, before he leaves the room he questions just what the Empire are planning on doing with the baby Yoda. Knowing in his heart he may have subjected this child to death, on his ship, just before flicking the switch to fly away, Mando has a change of heart and decides to save the baby Yoda. After ripping the entrance scanner off, Mando blasts a hole inside the building and heads in, fighting his way through stormtroopers to get to the baby.
Cradling it under his arm, Mando evades more troopers in the hallway before eventually coming to a large, open room and finding himself surrounded. After some ingenuity, Mando manages to get away but unfortunately this action happens to sets off the alert for every bounty hunter in the vicinity. Completely surrounded this time, Mando is forced to use his flashy weaponry to outsmart and outmaneuver the hunters. The rest of the Mandalorians arrive and hold off the hunters while Mando scrambles on-board his ship. After blasting the contractor in the chest for his troubles, he flies away into space, leaving the carnage behind him for now.
With more worldbuilding and a solid dose of characterisation throughout, The Mandalorian delivers a great episode here, one that shows off a combination of decent character development and story progression at the same time. With all bounty hunters now seemingly after Mando, this poses an interesting problem going forward for our antihero to solve. The snippets of dialogue references the New Republic are a nice inclusion too and seeing this tie both trilogies together does well to keep this consistent within the Star Wars Universe.
It’s so refreshing to find a compelling two-dimensional character fronting this show and given that we don’t have any facial expressions to go on for Mando, hats off to Pedro Pascal for his performance because through his body language and delivery of dialogue alone, he’s fast becoming one of the more morally complex and interesting characters in this universe. Quite where the plot will go next remains to be seen but if this episode is anything to go by, The Mandalorian looks set to deliver one heck of a rollercoaster ride.