X-Geeks

The Mandalorian – S2,E2: The Passenger Review

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

This review contains spoilers.

With ‘The Marshal’ setting the bar very high for Season 2, there was always going to be a lot of interest in how Episode 2 would take shape. It was always going to be a tough one to follow, and with the Boba Fett stinger at the end last week’s episode, the excitement and expectation were dialed up to 11!

In true Mandalorian fashion, we find ourselves taking a step back this week, with a slight deviation from the main arc. For some, this episode is going to cause some frustration, but personally? I really enjoyed it and had no issues with slowing the main arc progression down a little to do some world and character building.

So, let’s get into the episode!

The Mandalorian – Season 2, Episode 2, Chapter 10: The Passenger

Episode Breakdown:

We carry on from where we left off last week, Mando and The Child riding on the speeder bike on Tatooine heading back to the ship. Some bounty hunters are seen laying out a trap for the unsuspecting duo, and it’s not long before the bike crashes and The Child is flung to the floor, causing gasps and concern from a majority of the audience. Mando has some better luck with his landing, using his jetpack skills to make a pretty impressive landing, considering. After a brief fight with the bounty hunters, only one remains, sadly, that remaining goon has a knife to Baby Yoda. This will not end well! Mando offers his jetpack in exchange, but before the unsuspecting bounty hunter can get away, he uses his remote control to fire the jetpack into the air and safely back down, killing the bounty hunter in the process! This was a funny little moment, but again shows the ruthlessness of Mando when it comes to protecting The Child.

Mando meets up with Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) who is playing a game of Sabacc with a giant ant-like creature called Dr. Mandible. Man, you can tell that Ant-Man’s Peyton Reed directed this episode! She informs Mando that there is someone, a frog-like woman, whose husband knows of a Mandalorian covert, but in order to get this information, he will have to transport her to her husband off-world. The major issue here is that it cannot be by lightspeed. Why? Because she is transporting some of her eggs for fertilisation, and they would not survive travel at light speed. Mando reluctantly agrees, but what other choice does he have? Oh and Mototto forgot to mention that she doesn’t speak any language that Mando knows. This deal gets worse all the time…

Once in space, Baby Yoda decides he’s a little peckish, and eats one of the eggs! Well, we know he likes frogs! Luckily, Frog Lady didn’t notice. We also get to see that Baby Yoda sleeps in the tiniest little hammock above Mando’s bed. As if he couldn’t get even cuter! It’s not long before two X-Wings appear at both sides of the Razor Crest and ask Mando all sorts of questions that he really doesn’t want to answer. We also see that Dave Filoni is back as the same X-Wing pilot from last season. Mando has no choice but to ‘punch it’ and heads down to the nearest planet, hoping for cloud cover. The X-Wings are in pursuit, and we get some lovely shots from behind the X-Wing’s engines. Mando pilots the Razor Crest into a cave before making a tactical landing, unfortunately the floor gives way and the Crest now sits in a subterranean ice cave.

With the Crest’s hull breached and the ship’s hold starting to freeze over, Mando faces a race against time to try and secure the ship. As Mando takes a well earned nap, he is awoken by a familiar voice. It’s Richard Ayoade! Yep, the broken up droid is back and the Frog Lady has managed to bypass his vocabulator in order for her to communicate with Mando. Genius! She tells Mando, by proxy of Zero, that these eggs are the last of her line and that she needs to get them to her husband before the tank’s power runs out. Mando continues to patch the ship up but is soon prompted by Baby Yoda that something is wrong. The Frog Lady is missing! Mando and Baby Yoda track her footprints and find her, along with her eggs, enjoying a nice warm soak in a geothermal pool. Mando tells her that it’s too dangerous and starts to gather the eggs, putting them back into the tank. He quickly tells Baby Yoda “No!” as he tries to help, we all know what the end result would be! Soon, Baby Yoda toddles off, and in a scene not too dissimilar from Alien, rips open an egg and eats a spider-like creature. This sets off a chain of events that Mando would never have anticipated! As the eggs all begin the hatch, more spiders appear, including the big Queen spider who all begin the chase down the trio.

On board the Razor Crest, the spiders pour into the ship with Mando struggling to fend them off. One lands on Baby Yoda’s head, but luckily the Frog Lady expertly fires a blaster bolt killing it. With the ship only just operational, Mando tries to execute an emergency takeoff, but is thwarted by the Queen landing on the ship. Just as she is about to crack through the cockpit, blaster fire knocks her off. Mando heads out of the ship to see two parked X-Wings with both pilots shooting the spiders (Hi again Dave!). They explain that, while Mando is technically wanted for his part in the prison transport heist (Chapter 6: The Prisoner), he also captured three known criminals and tried to save the life of the guard, so they allow him to go on his way.

Mando doesn’t hang around to let the pilots change their mind and quickly launches the ship into space. Only the cockpit of the Razor Crest is fully sealed, so it is going to be an even slower journey now! With Mando and the Frog Lady deciding to take a quick nap before arriving on Trask, all that’s left is for Baby Yoda to end the episode by popping one final egg into his mouth. What a little scamp! This was a charming little ending which fitted nicely with the rest of the episode, which had a lot more focus on Baby Yoda being unbelievably cute. So if you had issues with the lack of Baby Yoda last week, they more than made up for it here!

Final Thoughts:

I can already envisage some fans finding a lot of frustrations with this episode. The main points will be that It’s just filler, it’s not progressing the story and we’ve seen this type of episode multiple times in the first season. I understand this to a degree, I also think there is some validity to this. However, I think these episodes add value in terms of character growth and world building. It was great to have Richard Ayoade back as Zero and the events of Chapter 6: The Prisoner were mentioned by Dave Filoni’s character again which just helps to create more layers for the show. I am also convinced that the main arc will take more focus this season, but we need these episodes to help break things up. I don’t have any issues with this episode as a buffer. The next episode will likely start off with Mando learning the location of the other Mandalorians and therefore we are straight back into the thick of things. There is no need to rush the story.

Finally, I want to quickly mention the tone. This, to me, felt very much like an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels. In fact it had very strong echoes of the Rebels episode ‘The Honorable Ones’. It was a one-shot story that was still connected to a longer journey.
Oh and space spiders? I am all for this! It’s something we haven’t seen in live-action Star Wars before and it gives us a different type of threat. As good as seeing the familiar, it is also nice to see something that we haven’t. Mixing the classic with the new, this is the way!

What are your thoughts about this episode of The Mandalorian? Let us know in the comments below! After all, this is the way…

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