Season 2 is finally starting to pick up in a serious way. I’m not sure how the fans are going to enjoy it going forward since it seems the usual suspects are already starting to complain about the show but I can’t help but appreciate that the series is starting to unveil its long term plans.
A lot of fans went into the fourth episode of the season assuming it was going to be ANOTHER filler episode like the first two. The episode in particular was directed by Carl Weathers and didn’t seem to be pushing the plot of the show ahead.
Next week’s episode is directed by Dave Filoni and most of the fans are assuming this will be the premiere episode for Ahsoka Tano.
Much to many people’s surprise, episode 12 actually did go a long way to pushing the overall narrative forward. The story once again returns to Mando’s home planet of Navarro where it turns out Carl Weathers and Gina Carano’s characters have been in putting a lot of work into cleaning up the streets of their home city in hopes to turning Navarro into a major trade outpost in the Outer Rim.
Mando shows up mostly because the Razorcrest is still in tatters and needs to be seriously rebuilt before he can jump across the Galaxy to confront Ahsoka and ask for help. When he arrives, he is propositioned to help the old guild members take out the last Imperial base on Navarro in order to permanently free the planet from the Empire’s remnant going forward.
None of this is surprising. It’s pretty much the basic setup for how the series approaches its episodic storytelling. What ends up being surprising is just how many revelations the episode offers in regards to where the plot seems to be going.
As Mando and his crew begin fleeing the base, they discover that the base is actually a secret science facility and that The Client who commissioned Mando’s capture of The Child was working for an unexplained genetics program of some kind. The Child was necessary for the process of experimenting somehow because his blood allowed them to achieve some unstated task.
The final shot of the episode seems to suggest that the genetics experiment somehow ties into the creation of an army of Imperial Super Soldiers of some sort. That said, we still don’t know who the Child is or what role his blood plays in Moff Gideon’s attempt at revitalizing the Imperial Remnant.
The final lines of the episode tho do a good job at reestablishing the threat going forward. As it turns out, one of the repairmen on Navarro attached a tracking beacon to The Razorcrest which is currently en route to meeting with Ahsoka and delivering the Child to the Jedi. This seems to be setting up the final four episodes to be some sort of continual chase scene with the Empire.
By itself, Episode 12 stands up as a really good piece of action storytelling. Mando’s raid on the imperial base is a lot of fun and the extended chase scene of the crew getting pursued by speeder bikes and tie fighters in a canyon is easily one of the best action beats in a show that’s constantly topping itself in that regard.
The scenes set in the newly revitalized Navarro are also quite enjoyably. It’s fun watching a class of children getting taught about hyperspace trade routes by a protocol droid and goes a long way to separating this new space port from the gross backwater hole it was in the first season.
Even though it sucks that this season’s solution for how to handle the Child in combat scenes is to fridge him for the duration of the action scenes, rending his presence dramatically moot, the few scenes we do get are as cute and enjoyable as ever!
Overall, good stuff! If the show could keep its filler episodes THIS good people wouldn’t be complaining about the show so much!