I was worried going into this episode that this was going to just be another filler episode. After last week’s episode set the stage for the finale, I didn’t just want an episode about Mando breaking Bill Bur’s character out of jail.
Thankfully that wasn’t exactly what we got. Bill Bur gets excused from his lifetime jail sentence very early in the episode and joins Mando on a slightly more plot-centric heist mission.
As were reminded, Bill Bur’s character is an ex-Imperial agent with more than a few chips on his shoulder. Because he has operational intel on the Empire, he’s useful as someone who can get Mando access to an intel terminal with coordinates for Mof Gideon’s light cruiser.
With the help of Cara Dune, Bill Bur is reprimanded into our team’s custody and the group fly off to a small imperial mining facility where they can slip in and gain the intel.
There’s a lot of Mad Max: Fury Road imagery in this episode. The main set piece is a chase between a truck filled with explosives and groups of alien space pirates who are determined to blow up the materials before they reach the hands of the Empire.
In order to sneak into the imperial base, Mando is forced to shed his armor for a suit of stormtrooper armor. In the fight scenes, he’s forced to singlehandedly face off against multiple squads of pirates without a blaster or the protection his armor usually affords him.
As an action scene, this particular chase scene ends up working surprisingly well. The stakes feel a lot more immediate and unnerving than usual since you realize just how exposed our traditionally overpowering bounty Hunter is in most situations.
Most of the best fan service stuff appears towards the end of the episode. When Mando and Burr’s character finally arrive at the base, they’re greeted with an imperial welcoming party and salutes for their incredible bravery. It’s a rather amusing sequence that the characters themselves comment as being somewhat bizarre to be on the receiving end of Imperial applause.
With their cargo delivered, the team sneak their way into the officer’s quarters where Mando is forced to surprisingly remove his helmet to access the intel machine. The next few scenes are extremely awkward as a clearly disturbed Mando is dragged around by an imperial officer who wants to chat them up and reminisce about Imperial victories.
The sequence works really well. I’m not exactly sure what having Mando take off his helmet but force means for his immediate character development but it allows for some really good bonding moments between him and Burr who starts respecting him and his willingness to go the distance for what’s right.
We actually get to see Burr’s character soften from the hardened murdered in Season 1 into a character we understand somewhat. As he says, he does what he has to so he can sleep at night. He’s a radical realist in the mold of a Han Solo-esc cynic but his heart is screaming out to do what’s right.
Thankfully the ending makes it clear he’s going to be hanging around in the wings whenever the writers decide they want to bring him back!
For good measure, the episode ends on another note of naked fans service by letting the SLAVE I get into a brief dogfight with two tie fighters. It’s brief because the ship drops one of it’s massive bombs used in Attack of the Clones that destroy entire asteroid belts and it quickly dispatched of the fighters.
What can I say? If they’re gone do fan service, make it obscure and reference movies that the majority of the fan base despises!
Thankfully Boba Fett didn’t get overused in this episode. He mainly got relegated to pilot duty. Maybe Filoni knows how to keep his fan service instincts in check… maybe…
The episode overall felt like another holding action. This season is going to go down on the record for it’s excessive use of fan favorite characters (to launch spin-off series) and its large numbers of plotless episodes. It’s still fun and I’ll will enjoy The Mandalorian for as long as it’s running but I would like future seasons to make their stories more focused and forward moving.
I should note this may be my final episode review for The Mandalorian for this season. I’m planning a full season write-up for Geeks Under Grace following next week’s finale and I’m not sure I’ll have enough to say to fill two reviews.
If nothing else, I’m going to be moving this segment forward by moving onto new television shows here at the Cultural Revue!
I need to catchup on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 and I’ll begin doing weekly updates on that and I’ll also begin doing weekly updates on the final season of Attack on Titan. I also plan on covering Wandavision in January and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in March! Beyond that, Disney has three new Star Wars shows set to premiere in 2021 including The Bad Batch as well as several new Marvel shows and the third season of Mandalorian around Christmas 2021.
Feel free to send me suggestions for things to watch if you’d like me to review anything you like!