Spoiler alert: This blog is published after The Mandalorian airs on Disney +. Don’t read unless you’ve seen season two episode seven.
“If you are born in Mandalore, you believe one thing; If you were born in Alderaan, you believe in something else. But guess that? Neither of them exists anymore. ”- Migs Mayfeld
You won’t like him when he’s angry. Anyway, not if you’re Moff Gideon.
After 15 episodes of The Mandalorian, we finally see our hero lose his temper this week. Up to this point, Mando has generally subscribed to Teddy Roosevelt’s maxim: speak softly and carry a big stick (or small blaster plus grenades). But when she texts Gideon on her cruise ship to let him know she wants her little green boy back, the language is strong and the delivery is forceful.
“You have something I want,” he says (which is more or less the same language that Werner Herzog’s Client used to use). “You may think that you have some idea what you are in possession, but you don’t. He will be back with me soon. It means more to me than you will ever know. “
That’s a poignant way to talk about a creature whose main contribution to the relationship is eating or thinking about eating, and who might be in the process of wandering to the dark side. But still, it’s enough to make Moff’s hair stand on end, with Giancarlo Esposito’s eyes widening as if he had just seen an old Mexican with his finger on a bell. The end of next week should be crazy.
Not that this installment is left behind. It’s another mission episode, with another support band on another planet with the same old enemy. But, directed by Rick Famuyiwa, it feels fresh and the suspense never falls. From the transporter chase, in which Mando and Mayfeld (an intergalactic prisoner on liberation day) hold off the raiders while preventing their rhidonium payload from exploding in a pastiche of the French classic The Wages of Fear, to the disconcerting exchange with the former Imperial of Mayfeld. boss and escape scene on the steep banks of a dam, you don’t have time to catch your breath.
Along the way, we like Mayfeld a little more. He’s a former Imperial agent who sewed Mando up like Trask’s herring during last season’s prison break, but this week he rescues our hero on more than one occasion. We can also see Pedro Pascal’s winning characteristics, as entering the Imperial base (to access their communications and get the whereabouts of Moff Gideon’s cruiser) means – gasp – Din Djarin showing his face.
For the most part, Pascal’s fizzog remains neutral as Mando pretends to be the half deaf “Brown Eyes”. Meanwhile, Mayfeld remembers Operation Cinder and all the thousands of people who died, with his former boss, Valin Hess. That doesn’t end well, with Hess reveling in the memory and insisting that the people would happily welcome the return of the Empire, preferring “order” to “freedom.” (An interesting proposition to consider right now, huh, UK readers?)
In response, and on behalf of the dead, Mayfeld ends up attacking Hess, and the escape begins. The duo clamber up the window sills and shuffle across the cliff, shooting at the soldiers who are trying to explode their ankles. From the opposite side of the ravine, Fennec Shand and Cara Dune drift away, before Boba Fett swoops down on his side boat to take our crew to safety and blow up a pair of Tie fighters with a beautiful blue bomb. The gang leaves Mayfeld a free man (Dune decides to tell the prison bosses that he was killed in an explosion) and they go in search of Moff.
The moral of the story
One good deed deserves another. Yes, Din Djarin was responsible for Mayfeld ending up in jail in the first place. But, by releasing him, he earns some grudging respect from the cynical mercenary with his salt and ginger beard. In turn, Mayfeld fulfills his end of the bargain on a dangerous mission, despite having more than one chance to turn into a rat. In fact, we learn enough about their experience to understand that their motivations are a bit more complicated than “I’ll do whatever it takes for whoever pays me the most.” We will surely see it again.
Apparently the only creatures native to Morak are humans. So who are those raiders jumping out of their floating rafts? Responses gratefully received.
It’s mostly about Bill Burr this week, but, for those who saw Valin Hess and felt particularly cold, there may be a reason for that: Richard Brake also played the Night King on Game of Thrones …
Completely absent. We don’t know if he’s okay, if he’s hungry, if he even has the knob of a gear stick to play with. It is awful.
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