It’s Hollywood director Peyton Reed’s (Bring It On, Ant-Man) turn to play with his Star Wars toys in the second episode of season two. His story (again written by Jon Favreau) picks up right where the previous episode finished with the Mandalorian and child racing on a speeder across the sands of Tatooine but it doesn’t stay there for long and soon becomes a spin on a different sci-fi franchise. This episode is being described by many as filler but people who say that are missing the point of the series.
The actual plot of ‘The Mandalorian’ is very simple. To paraphrase Jango Fett it’s just about a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe. What the show is really about is a exploration of character and in this episode we learn a lot about Din Djarin and the child. On his quest to find more Mandalorians Din is tasked with transporting a passenger who can get him some information at their destination.
This passenger turns out to be a frog lady who is also carrying a precious cargo, the last of her eggs that she is taking to her husband to fertilise. If she fails then her family line will die out. Djarin and the frog can’t communicate but there is an understanding between them about what they are doing. Through there interactions Din learns that you need to do whatever it takes to save your family.
The child takes more of a central role in this episode with there being several scenes with him on his own and a lit of closeups. He is observing everything that happens around him and soaking up all the Mandalorian’s violence. After the pair are ambushed at the start we see Din dispatch a rival bounty hunter through the child’s eyes. When the child sees the frog lady’s eggs we see his face light up we recognition but we soon realise that he just see them as food. Din repeated tries to stop him eating them, remember that they are the woman’s last, but like any toddler he just can’t be controlled. But we also see moments of tenderness from him as he cuddles up to Din, he definitely is a child in the process of being sculpted by his experiences.
The story plays out in a cave on a snow planet where the Razor Crest has crashed following a run in with a couple of New Republic X-Wings who asked for his ID. Our cast of characters end up fighting the elements and the wildlife of the planet. While the frog lady bathes her eggs and herself in a hot pool, the child wanders off and finds a whole load of other eggs that look like something straight out of the ‘Alien’ franchise. When one off the eggs opens the child, without hesitation, devours the contents which triggers an attack from thousands of Ralph McQuarrie inspired spiders.
When all hope is lost, the team are rescued by the same two X-Wing pilots they where earlier fleeing. The pilots explain to Din that they saved him because he has been doing more good than bad but they won’t aid him more than that. This is a large revelation for the show as it means the New Republic are aware of the Mandalorian and this is bound to play into the large picture. Also, this is clearly not the last we are going to see of the frog lady.
People who says all this filler obviously haven’t watched or paid attention to a show like ‘Star Wars Rebels’, another Dave Filoni show that regularly got labelled with this tag. Don’t judge it on one episode, give it time and you will get the connections and the plot will reveal itself.
All in all, it wasn’t as flashy as the previous episode but it was still forty minutes of Star Wars fun.