I know SOOOOO many of you were probably wondering, “where did Stanko’s Mandalorian reviews go?” Well, life got in the way a little bit, work got busy, and I unfortunately wasn’t able to keep up with the schedule I set for myself.
So in substitute, I will briefly rank them here. There is no denying that The Mandalorian season 2 was entertaining as all hell. It was appointment TV and one of the few non-Netflix streaming shows that broke the mold. Amongst the more intertwined story, there were exotic screams and streaming tears of happiness and sadness.
This is all subjective. This it not me tooting my horn. This is purely my opinions on the matter.
Chapter 10 – The Passenger
Alright, the frog lady. Let’s get into it.
I think it’s safe to say that if you ask The Mandalorian fans what was their least favorite episode of the season, this would be the answer. It is the “filler” episode of season two with not a ton linked to the main story line that unfolds.
The spotlight “The Passenger” shines a light on is reminding the audience of “The Siege” episode from season one, which comes into play later in season two.
The spider is cool like any big bad Star Wars monster, but nothing about this episode sticks out.
With that being said, this is not a bad episode of TV. By no means. I’ll still gladly re-watch it, but it’d be bottom on the queue.
Chapter 11 – The Heiress
Yes, Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian is cool. Having her played by Katee Sackhoff, who voiced the same character in The Clone Wars, well that’s even cooler.
There are two best parts of “The Heiress”; the first simply seeing Titus Welliver as his asshole self playing an Imperial captain. I love his work in Bosch, so seeing him pop up made me happy.
The second most delightful part of this particular episode was the conversation Mando has with Bo-Katan about the nature of the Mandalorian tradition and religion. The audience is opened up to a new world of how the Mandalorian creed can be lived and perceived. It highlights how Mando’s way isn’t the only way, and maybe his “This Is The Way” mantra is the eccentric version.
The action sequence at the end of the episode is neat with all the Mandalorians flying and such. But if I am being honest, it made me just want to watch the ending of “The Sin” from season one.
Chapter 9 – The Marshall
TREMORS. “The Marshall” is simply an ode to the cult classic horror comedy classic, Tremors (1990). You have a giant monster that burrows underneath the ground and terrorizes a helpless town until a group of rag-tag people must unite and take it down. AKA. Tremors.
Credit to the entire The Mandalorian team for not overloading its debut of season two with Baby Yoda. They stuck to the name of the show and focused on its main character, and how simply badass he is.
While the audience didn’t get to see a ton of their baby Yoda fun, they did get nostalgia triggers with the armor of Boba Fett. The sexy grey-haired Timothy Olyphant embraced his Justified roots and played a smooth-talking sheriff who is in over his head. He garners a tone of attention from Mando because he is wearing Mandalorian armor…and he takes off his mask with ease. HOW DARE HE!
“The Marshall” plays out a lot like a standard The Mandalorian format: Mando needs something, he must do a task to get what he needs and things go wrong, but he eventually figures it out. This tried-and-true formula sprinkled with a tease of Boba Fett and a return to good Star Wars makes it a memorial season premiere.
Now looking back the episode, it foretold a motif that rang through all of season two: the concept of what it takes for a Mandalorian to hake a helmet off. Cobb Vanth (not a Mando) does it with ease, but Bo-Katan does it because of her believes. The we watch Din Djarin grow and develop himself and his feelings till he does so for someone he loves and cares for.
THAT IS STORY TELLING!
Chapter 15 – The Believer
The return of Bill Burr! The comedian reprising his role as Mayfield, the central from season one’s “The Siege” (MY favorite episode from season one). The crew needs his talents and history to get into a imperial mining base to find the coordinates to find Moff Gideon.
The most important and obvious best part of “The Believer” is when Mando enters the officers chambers and removes the helmet of his imperial disguise to get the coordinates he wants and needs. It is emotional for everyone watching, and illuminating to Mayfield because the person he thought acted like a killing robot is actually a real human being with feelings.
“The Believer” also has the AMAZING small scene inside Slave 1 where Mayfield, Mando, Cara Dune and Fennec Shand are seated in the orb center and its rotating AND IT IS JUST SO COOL!
Chapter 16 – The Rescue
Alright, let’s get to the main crux here. Luke Skywalker is back. He came in to save Mando and the crew, kicking ass in the process. Now, was him coming back a really cool sight to see? For sure. Follow up…is this good for The Mandalorian? That I am not sure…
Part of the reason I love The Mandalorian is because it is (or was) so far separated from the main aspects of the Skywalker saga? We have the lesser connections like Boba Fett and Ahsoka Tano that are fantastic connections for more hardcore fans, but now with Luke Skywalker coming back, even more regular fans are tuning in.
DON’T TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT MAKES THIS SHOW GREAT. STICK TO THE OUTER RIM IN TERMS OF STORYTELLING!
Alright, I got that out of the way.
Now for the really cool stuff from “The Rescue.”
- The T-Fighter going into the hanger is just so freaking cool. It’s the exact thing that makes this show remarkable.
- Luke Skywalker’s entrance was badass, but what makes it even cooler is that we got to see how powerful a Jedi is compared to Din Djarin. We think that Mando is a threat himself for beating one dark trooper (barely)…well Luke decided to just dismantle a crap ton with style and pizzazz.
- Was there subtle nod to The Terminator when the Dark Trooper’s eyes fading out like Arnold’s did?
- I teared up like a baby when Grogu saw Mando’s face for the first (AND HOPEFULLY NOT FINAL TIME!). Softly touching the face…I mean good god get the tissues.
- Was very cool to see the dark saber in action against the Beskar spear. The animation of the dark saber was cool in The Clone Wars and it was mirrored in The Mandalorian. Also that means that Mando gets the dark saber, and Bo-Katan is PISSED!
- “The Rescue” does female empowerment right as well. It is not like Avengers: Endgame (2019) where they were in slow motion and front and center and too obvious where it is eye-rolling. In this episode it fits into the story. The audience is naturally watching Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Bo-Katan and Fennec kick-ass. It isn’t framed like a “LOOK AT US” moment; it is instead a “HOLY SHIT THEY ARE KICKING ASS” framing.
After the episode ended we got a post-credit scene of Boba Fett and Fennec Shand taking over the Jabba the Hutt’s old place. Some blaster shots exchanged, and we just get to see Fett (in his newly shined armor) sitting atop a throw. This is the next show we are getting. VERY curious how they will make this show work; I think six episode mini series if I had to guess.
Chapter 14 – The Tragedy
That’s really all I need to put right?
The pure savage, brutal and destructive force that is Boba Fett finally flourished in his barbaric beauty in “The Tragedy.” Boba bashing in the armor of inept stormtroopers with his Tatooine outfit before evolving (or is it devolving because he is reverting to old self?) back into his rusted iconic armor is therapeutic to watch. When Boba, portrayed wonderfully by Temuera Morrison, erupts onto the scene and saves Mando and Fennec…I absolutely lost my shit. I was finger banging guns across my living room and loving every single second of destruction.
All credit really needs to be given to director Robert Rodriguez for directing this episode. His flair for action made the brutality pop off the screen and I am excited to see him involve himself with The Book Of Boba Fett which is set to some sometime in 2021.
Now dancing around the true focus of the episode, there was a lot of other tings that occurred in “The Tragedy.” Grogu is captured by Moff Gideon and his dark troopers…kind of a preview for what is to come in the season finale. Then we have the utter obliteration of the Razor Crest…which is indeed a sad moment. Everything Mando holds dear taken from him in mere moments. The only thing he can do is trudge through the wreckage…pick up a Beskar spear…and Grogu’s metal ball.
Mando is going to go berserker himself, embracing the old way to find his new love.
Chapter 12 – The Siege
Oh the nostalgia! “The Siege” begins the best three-episode stretch of TV I have seen since season six of Game Of Thrones: “No One”, “Battle Of The Bastards” and “The Winds Of Winter”.
“The Siege” is the reunion episode everyone loves; Mando, Cara Dune and Greef Karga bantering back and fourth while Mythrol tries to keep up. What is even more impressive is this episode was directed by Carl Weathers, a man of very limited experience at that position.
Ignoring the man in the blue jeans (if you know, you know), Weathers had a taste for little things that make Star Wars awesome. I squealed like a pig eating unlimited about from his sty during this episode. There were more than just a few nods to the original Star Wars magic
- The sound of the TIE fighters streaking through the air
- The storm trooper pushed down on the pedal on his speeder when chasing after Dune and Karga
- The cannon locked shots.
- When Mando and the crew are crawling through the imperial base…it was very much like crawling through the Death Star
- The Razor Crest coming from nowhere to save the day…aka like the Millennium Falcon.
- When Mythrol had to shut the power down to the base…just like Obi-Wan in A New Hope.
What I really respect about “The Siege” is how it blended the nostalgia feels with a developing plot. This episode set the final four episodes in motion when the crew learned that Moff Gideon was not dead.
Chapter 13 – The Jedi
I mean, it’s impossible to deny. The Jedi was such an AMAZING episode of television, and now that I am onto season seven of The Clone Wars, it makes this adventure even more rewatchable.
The Jedi is a kung-fu & western movie but instead of num-chuks and revolvers, there are lightsabers. Mando takes a backseat and is merely the sidekick to the master, Ahsoka Tano. Played by Rosario Dawson, Ahsoka is a terrorizing force-wielding mad-women. She is introduced to the audience in the shadows, and the emphasis on the lighting is a motif throughout the entire episode. There are at least three shots of just Ahsoka standing stoic (with our without Grogu) that are stunning to look at.
YEA THERE IS THAT TOO! WE LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT GROGU, AKA BABY YODAY!
The Jedi was such a huge fan moment for everyone who had already finished Clone Wars or Rebels. I am behind the curve on those two shows, but still this episode left me drooling for more Star Wars. It reignites the idea that we don’t know anything about what the Jedi can do because we are seeing it all from The Mandalorian’s point of view.
I think we all have to bow down to Dave Filoni for The Jedi as well. Need to just heap praise on him for developing Ahsoka in the animated Star Wars journeys, and then guiding her into live action with such kick-ass grace.