Synopsis and Overview
The Mandalorian, Cara Dune, IG-11, and Greff Karga have their backs against the wall and are tasked with rescuing The Child from what is left of the Empire. They meet an old enemy, Moff Gideon, and once they get The Child back, they must find a way to escape the grip the Empire has on them.
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. Along with all of the other music in previous episodes, the finale delivers another great score. The name of the episode is Redemption and the music reflects the ideas of redemption and hope going forward into season two.
Cinematography and Visuals
Another stunning episode from a visual perspective. This episode took place all on the same planet but had some epic set pieces that popped off the screen. The first part of the episode took place where the last one left off, our heroes backed into a corner by Moff Gideon and the ruminants of the empire. This location included some of the best action sequences in the entire season while balancing some of the more intimate moments in the season since Chapter 4: The Sanctuary.
The other main set-piece came from our team traveling in the underground tunnels to try and escape the empire. Although this did not have big action pieces like the beginning of the episode, it continued to deliver on great visuals. There were some cool visuals of Mandalorian armor in the old underground sanctuary. This included a look at the sigil of Mando, which had been teased throughout the entirety of the first season and was a huge payoff for the audience.
During the underground portion, there was also a trip down a lava river, which I always love the aesthetic of lava and it worked so well here. The red glow blended well with the white and grey of the planet, plus we get the visual of an R2 unit with legs! We end the episode with a great TIE fight visual, and then finally the big reveal of the Dark Saber! I was so excited about this item to make its way to live-action. Admittedly, I thought it looked a tad out of place visually, but nothing else about it stuck out as being bad.
The writing in the last three episodes of this season were top-notch and got better with each episode. It felt like the show finally got its rhythm during the final third of the first season. This episode had some truly emotional moments for characters like Mando, Cara Dune, and even IG-11. The writing closed season arcs for three main characters, all while building up a compelling villain in Gideon. With Mando, we get the last of the story from his childhood, which includes why he hates droids. It shows the trauma that he had endured, had a moment where he thought he might die, and we finally got to see the face behind the mask! Mando had some of his biggest emotional payoffs and closed his story for the season in every way one could have hoped. It also did a perfect job of balancing action, heart, and humor within the episode. It was the perfect Star Wars mix.
For Cara Dune, we get some insight into her character and her willingness to want to fight the Empire. We find out that she is from Alderaan, and this shows why she wants to make sure that the Empire will no longer reign over the galaxy. They destroyed her home and her family, so naturally, she would want to get revenge for her home planet’s destruction. It should also be noted that her delivery of saying she is from Alderaan was some of the best in Star Wars.
Then finally we get on to the writing of IG-11. I was disappointed when he was initially killed off in the first episode of the season. I was disappointed as I saw a ton of potential for the character. Then when he made his return last week and we saw this redemption arc for a droid that I did not expect. They made me care for this character that was more or less minor, but when he had his send-off, I was saddened that his journey had come to a close. It seems that he is gone for good this time, and I never thought that I’d have such an emotional connection to a redeemed droid. Overall, the writing of this episode did a beautiful job of closing character arcs, while leaving the audience wanting more immediately.
The chemistry of our main characters has been a huge beneficiary in the last two episodes. We finally saw all of our main characters have to learn how to get by together. Like I mentioned last week, the last few episodes leaned into more of a family vibe of Clone Wars and Rebels, which I hope is the tone we get from seasons going forward. Although it seems these characters are distancing themselves from each other, I hope they find their way back to one another because this season was at its best when Mando, Cara, IG, and Greef were all together.
This episode had a lot going on in it, but I never felt overwhelmed. With each moment, I felt that an adequate amount of time was spent, and I could fully take in each moment and none of the story felt rushed. It created an episode that was exciting with smaller emotional moments that delivered. A lot like this season, the final episode was action-packed that rarely felt rushed, and gave each character and moment time to breathe and develop.
The MVP of this episode is connectivity. I know, this might be an odd MVP, but there were a lot of moments that were connected to other stories in Star Wars. There was mention of the Jedi and Mandalorian wars, Dark Saber, Clone Wars, and even the mention of Alderaan ties all these stories together. Sometimes the creators of Star Wars seem to shy away from connecting everything, and not want to include nods to other stories. Hopefully, other shows and The Mandalorian continue to do this in the future.
This was probably my favorite episode. It had a little bit of everything and was a great way to close out the first season. It was exciting without jeopardizing the heart of Star Wars. It introduced a new villain in Gideon that I hope we get more of, and in short, I cannot wait until season two!
Overall Score: 9.9/10
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