Din Djarin is quickly becoming a galactic version of the ‘Littlest Hobo’ (showing my age with that reference). He wanders into town, solves someone’s problem, then moves on. This a standard template for classic American television and has been used for years in shows like ‘The Fugitive’, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘The A-Team’, the list goes on. But unlike those shows the story of ‘The Mandalorian’ doesn’t just reset at the end of the episode. This show’s characters are developing and the story is revealing itself and moving forward.
Not only is this the episode with the most wall-to-wall action, with probably the least amount of Mandalorian, and most outwardly comedic but we almost get the dreaded ‘M’ word. Jon Favreau is starting to show his hand with the larger story that is happening outside of Din trying to find a place in the universe for the child. By the end of the episode you get the feeling this could be leading to something epic in scale.
Carl Weathers not only returns to star but also directs. This is the most high profile project he has tackled from behind the camera, which is not bad for a man in his seventies, and he brings all his Eighties action experience to the table. There is a broad comedy lightness on display with a lot of one-liners and visual gags with nothing feeling out of place but he also has a good handle on the more serious and quieter moments. The episode is perfectly paced and flies by to the point you are surprised when it is over.
Weathers is ably assisted by Sam Hargrave who is directing second unit. Hargrave, a mainstay of the stunt work in the MCU, directed this year’s best action film ‘Extraction’. On display in this episode is just about every type of action scene possible. There is hand-to-hand combat, gunplay, vehicle chases, air combat, it just doesn’t stop.
Favreau clearly has a great love for the original trilogy but I wonder who much ‘Dark Forces’ he played in the 90s. Storywise this felt like a level from those games. Break into a base, steal something or blow something up, then escape. Also, the over-arcing plot of the series looks like it could be similar with the reveal that Moff Gideon is trying to create an army of black armored super-troopers.
The Mando and his team stumble into what appears to be a cloning facility where the child’s blood is being used. We get a hologram recording of the doctor from the first season talking about the ‘M’ count of the child and that subjects that have been injected with his blood are not surviving. This can only mean Midiclorians, a word we thought would never be uttered in ‘Star Wars’ again, and, as people had been predicting, Moff Gideon is trying to give people force powers.
We also get confirmation that not only is the remnants of the Empire keeping track of Din and the child but the New Republic is also. This is what is hinting at the epic scale to come. So far we have three faction in play, the Empire, the New Republic, and the Mandalorians, with a fourth in the form of the Jedi destined to join soon. This all seems to be setting us up for a mighty conflict most like for the heart and soul of what it means to be a Mandalorian.
Another thing of note about this episode is we have now burnt through all the footage from the trailers. From now on everything is going to be fresh. Who knows what the team has in store for but I can’t wait to find out.
It is becoming repetitive to rate these episodes.