A Hunter, a Marshal, and Magistrate walk into an Imperial base...
As we reach the mid-season point of The Mandalorian Series 2, we re-join our heroes- Mando and The Child who are on their way to find the Jedi- Ashoka Tano, who can help home Baby Yoda.
The start of the episode sees pair in their dilapidated ship in a classic red wire/blue wire debacle. Making no headway whatsoever, and after almost frying Baby Yoda, they decide to pay a visit to some old friends on Nevarro.
Now I like a returning character as much as the next person, however, I have to admit to feeling a little uneasy at the return of Cara Dune (played by Gina Carano) after some less than desirable social media activity which caused almost as much of a "conflama" as The Death Star did to Alderaan (too soon?).
Considering this, it may be a good idea not to revisit this character for the time being? After landing on Nevarro, the dream team is reunited as Cara, Mando and Baby Yoda are joined by Greef Karga and Mythrol. The town/planet is much different from how we left it in season 1, as we now have a thriving little society complete with marketplace and school.
While the Razor Crest gets some much-needed repairs, the gang infiltrate an (almost) abandoned Imperial Base and attempt to blow it up, thereby finally ridding Nevarro of its scum once and for all.
While our rag-tag gang heads to the base, our adorable Baby Yoda is deposited in the school where he proceeds to cause mischief by using his force powers the way we all know we would... For stealing food.
The Siege directed by Carl Weathers, pulls out all the stops in terms of traditional action movie tropes, including high-speed chases, shoot-outs, daring escapes, premature shouts of victory and last-second saves. Jon Favreau obviously took several pages out of the Star Wars book of plot devices and consequentially as an episode it does not really bring anything new to the table. It follows the prescriptive structure for a typical episode, which is essentially Mando failing to progress in his mission due to never-ending side-quests. And as much as I usually enjoy our beloved bounty-hunter/ accidental space dad, endlessly doing favours for others, after the jammed-packed episodes we’ve had so far this season, this, unfortunately, fell flat.
After successfully infiltrating the base, our crew uncover clues to an insidious cloning project. They discover a lab with bodies in vats, a chilling insight into what The Empire needs The Child for. The team also learn Moff Gideon is still alive, prompting our space daddy to disappear from the action and fly to rescue our little green boy, leaving us alone with the Star Wars equivalent to Mystery Incorporated.
While I do not think Mando needs to be in every scene, his absence here in this daring escape attempt leaves a big hole which our secondary characters, unfortunately, struggle to fill. Nevertheless, our characters do escape the base, albeit haphazardly only to be followed by a stream of TIE fighters, resulting in a chase so awesome, that the lines of who I want to win and lose became blurrier and blurrier.
Our hero swoops in at the last moment, the same way the eagles swooped in at the end of The Return of The King and while it may be predictable and a bit too convenient it is still undeniably awesome!
All things considered, I can’t help but feel like this episode is just one long build-up to the reveal of the Dark Troopers at the end of the episode. And however awesome that reveal was, I couldn’t help but feel cheated after we were teased so effectively last week with the prospect of Ashoka Tano.
Overall this episode felt very filler and it was a shame to see some of our most beloved characters used as mere plot devices, only there to fill in space until we get to an (ever-so-slightly) anticlimactic ending.
It wouldn’t even be so disappointing had we not been expecting our Togruta darling. After the jammed packed action we experienced so far this season including a Krayt dragon and ice spiders, this episode ultimately, just felt slow...
What will next week bring? Here's hoping season 2 shifts it up a gear with new content, and never before seen thrills.
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