Now, Baby Yoda, don't you eat this egg...
Remember that time Baby Yoda ate a frog? It was so cute. Remember when he was sipping broth from a bowl? So adorable. Yeah, what if they made an entire episode based on that?
This week's episode (Chapter 10), directed by Peyton Reed, picks right up where the previous story left off. We join Mando as he makes his way back from slaying a Krayt Dragon (as you do) where he reunites with Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) who has a lead on his mission to find his missing Mandalorians.
In order for Mando to track down his creed, he must ferry an alien mother who is carrying what is essentially frog spawn to another world in order for the eggs to be fertilized. Unable to use hyperspace, Mando, The Child, and The Contact (just call her The Mother, and there, happy family?) must run from a series of challenges in order to get to their destination.
First off, the strengths of the show really are what makes it quality entertainment every episode, especially for Star Wars fans. Details and allusions to the way the galaxy operates post-empire make for some interesting situations, especially when Mando is facing enemies on all sides.
The western esthetic of the show, which was especially prevalent in Chapter 9, continues to be a strength here also. The motif of a lone-cowboy transporting a desperate mother is a troupe that adds to The Mandalorian's hubris.
Alongside this structure, we also have the conventions of the hero being pointed from story to story as he carries out his overall goal. While I've had an issue with the diversions the show has made from its overall story in the past, surprisingly that isn't the biggest issue in this episode.
With our two leads being Mando (Din Djarin) and The Child, it is down to them to provide the character growth of each episode, especially if there is none from the supporting cast. With the only other major character being a prosthetic frog lady who doesn't speak basic (English), we are only really left with Din's frustration to relate to.
The biggest disappointment here is that the script had plenty of opportunities in which they could have provided some much-needed growth. The fact that I have referred to "The Mother" and her frog-like similarities, likely makes it clear the type of story this tells in relation to The Child. While the comedic and playful nature of this is not necessarily a big issue, especially as Star Wars is often aimed at children, it seems bizarre the situation wasn't used as a learning curve for Baby Yoda.
The puppetry, and production values of the series, of course, continue to astound, with the music especially adding to many of the scenes, giving a light innocent twist on The Mandalorian's main theme.
It all makes The Child's innocence and curiosity understandable, it's just unfortunate the script doesn't want to commit to that narrative, especially with the infuriating final scene of the episode.
Animation and puppetry have demonstrated in the past the sympathy and affection we can get from inanimate characters. It would have been nice to have a lesson learnt and perhaps a tender moment with The Mother and The Child, especially considering what keeps happening is quite dark, and morally unsettling.
While the episode gives us some tense and thrilling action, presenting an almost Alien/ Aliens like aesthetic towards the end, unfortunately, it all comes off as a little bit lacklustre. The creepy spider-like creatures are a great addition and show the obsession fantasy worlds seem to have with arachnids, but the situation and episode as a whole is ultimately just filler.
Amy Sedaris adds some nice humour, and the visuals and action are fun, if not distracting. But let us hope next week we get back to business with a more driven story and the return of actors like Giancarlo Esposito!
If you want to hear more thoughts on this week's episode and everything Mando don't forget to check out this Monday's episode of The Monday-lorians which will be breaking down this frog filled chapter. The first two episodes are online now!
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