Synopsis and Overview
An old acquaintance offers up a new bounty hunting opportunity that Mando reluctantly takes. The Mandalorian and The Child then meet up with some fan favorites, from earlier this season, for this special mission.
The music in The Mandalorian (and all of Star Wars) has been significantly consistent, and this remains the same for this installment in the inaugural season. Ludwig Goransson has delivered a hit of a score in each of the episodes so far. Oftentimes, the music in Star Wars is as important as the main characters. So, it is important to nail the score, and he does just that. While the music for this show has been fantastic, this episode takes the music to another level. The soundtrack by Goransson seemed bolder and better than any episode this season, fully immersing the audience in this universe.
Cinematography and Visuals
Another masterfully constructed episode regarding the visuals. Everything popped out and each set was stunning to look at. This episode has the most locations of the episodes so far, visiting each previous planet besides Tatooine. These were all fun to experience once again and even added some new visuals that we have not seen before.
The visuals during the campfire scene were stellar and added something that we hadn’t had in Star Wars before. First, it adds a new concept through the pterodactyl bird-like creatures attacking our group of protagonists, which wasn’t something we had seen yet in a live-action Star Wars story. After this attack, we get to see Baby Yoda use a force healing power. Even though we have seen this hinted at before and briefly used, we finally got to see this new power up close. Another great moment and addition to force powers in Star Wars canon!
Another moment visually that I fell in love with was everything on the planet Nevarro. We got to see some lava that looked amazing, and every visual on this planet I have thoroughly enjoyed. There are also some great scenes at the end, like when the TIE fighter lands with Moff Gideon. It was visually very pleasing, and the way Gideon’s troopers mowed down everyone on the inside was executed perfectly.
There have been complaints about the writing in this season so far. The critiques have been mostly how each episode seems like a standalone and there is not a lot of continuity in the plot. It is safe to say that this week’s episode puts all of that to rest. This finally brought the star-studded cast together and the execution was marvelous.
This episode also helped the development of each of the characters, and it felt like this episode’s story had the highest stakes of any episode this season. The way it was written and crafted together made me have a genuine concern for each of the characters when their backs were up against the wall. It put our characters in tricky positions where they had to think on their feet, and that makes for good storytelling.
Also, this episode had real heart to it. It was the first time all season when I felt that all of our characters mattered. One of my biggest grievances with the show so far has been that in each episode the supporting characters do not have bigger roles, because they won’t make it to the next week. Not that they are killing off characters Game of Thrones style, but there has not been a ton of carryover with characters, outside of Mando and Baby Yoda. This episode brought everyone together and was the first time it had the family connectivity that Clone Wars and Rebels had.
Similar to above, I think the chemistry in this episode was off the charts. All of these characters got together for the first time and they played off of each other in an authentic, and real way. This caused me to fall in love with this group. They had some humorous moments and the fear that they might not make it out alive was genuine. My only hope going forward for them is that this wasn’t a tease for one episode and that we got more of the ensemble cast, because it seems they have Rebels potential if consistent enough. I think my only issue is that with the chemistry, it was all in this episode, and maybe I would have cared more if the chemistry had been built up in previous episodes.
None of the pacing was off and it didn’t jump around with how fast or slow the show was going. Like I mentioned before, this was a great adventure and an emotional episode. If anything, it might have dragged a little bit in the middle and then sped up in the end to reach the conclusion. It just seemed a tad rushed near the end, but nothing that would significantly derail the episode.
The MVP of this episode is Deborah Chow. Chow directed episode 3 and episode 7, and now I want her to direct every piece of Star Wars for the rest of our lives. She has a true knack for these stories and if her direction has offered anything, it is excitement where not only The Mandalorian and Kenobi series can go, but all live-action Star Wars. Certain stories just have that feeling of Star Wars. Not everybody can nail that feeling, but this is not the case for Chow; she’s excellent.
This was easily my favorite episode of the seasons so far. We got to see so much of the galaxy in just forty minutes. We were reunited with some old characters that we may have thought were done in terms of appearances on The Mandalorian. We even said some emotional goodbyes to some characters (long live Kuiil). This chapter had heart and humor with an excellent balance of action. I felt so invested in this episode and I hope we get more like these in the future, because it is not only good Star Wars, it is good TV.
Overall Score: 9.8/10
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