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The Mandalorian 1.7-1.8 Review

February 19, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
The Mandalorian Giancarlo Esposito Moff Gideon
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The Mandalorian 1.7-1.8 Review  

Author’s Note: This will be a full in-depth look at the last two episodes of The Mandalorian, spoilers included. Please read at your own risk.

OK, here we are for the final two episodes for the first season of the live-action series TV series, The Mandalorian. First off, apologies on my part for taking so long to get to the finale. The last two months have been incredibly busy for me, and I wanted to give these episodes a lot of attention. Not to mention, I wanted to wrap up m y reviews for this season before the debut of the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Thanks for reading all my previous reviews. While the first three episodes for the show played out like a three-parter, the next several episodes for Season 1 were more or less standalones. Now, the show rounds back to its finale with an epic two-parter delivering one of the best Star Wars stories in years.

Chapter 7: The Reckoning

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian receives a very interesting offer from Greef Karga that could mean his salvation along with The Child’s, at least from the Bounty Hunters’ Guild. Karga offers a deal to Mando, kill The Client (Werner Herzog), and he will be free from any reprisals by the Guild. Luckily, Mando is smart enough to realize this could be a trap and returns to Sorgan to recruit Cara Dune (Gina Carano) for assistance and Arvala-7 to ask Kuiil (Nick Nolte) for help. Events from the rest of the season all converge, as even IG-11 (Taika Waititi) makes a welcome return.

It seems Kuiil found IG-11’s damaged chassis and managed to repair and reprogram the droid, much to Mando’s chagrin. Kuiil tries to reason with Mando that droids themselves are not evil, they are simply “reflections of those who program them.” They return to Nevarro trying to prepare for any eventuality. They are greeted by Greef Karga and his security envoy to plan their strategy. While they are camping at night, they are attacked by wild winged creatures, and one managed to attack and mortally poison Karga. However, because The Child has Gary Stu Force powers, he managed to learn Force Heal before Rey could even figure it out at infancy. That basically means The Child is probably even stronger in the Force than Rey, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, and possibly any Jedi who has come before.

After The Child heals him, Karga has a change of heart and comes clean on the obvious trap. So, new plan, the group walks into town pretending that Mandalorian is their prisoner. Unfortunately, the plan goes FUBAR after The Client’s own superior officer, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), opens fire on the cantina, and that’s all she wrote for The Client. Mandalorian warns Kuiil to get back to the Razorcrest, but Scout Troopers on speeder bikes are hot on his tail. Meanwhile, a heavily armed group of reinforcements led by Moff Gideon himself arrives to the cantina. Gideon wants the child, and Mando, Dune, and Karga are running out of time. Not to mention, Gideon’s got even more Stormtroopers, a troop transport, Death Troopers, a Tie Fighter and heavy ordinance all under his command. Basically, the good guys are sitting ducks.

The Mandalorian

This episode was fantastic. This gives a better sense of why the first season played out the way it did. Characters and moments that took place individually beforehand now converge for the greater story. The people Mando has encountered along his journey reappear and lend him assistance. We learn the real mastermind behind who wanted The Child, though, not a whole lot else.

I hope people don’t take my jokes about The Child’s Force abilities too seriously. They are meant to be facetious. That said, a lot of people have taken issue with Rey’s Force abilities. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that The Child used Force Heal in this episode, which debuted on Disney+ just mere days before The Rise of Skywalker‘s theatrical release.

This episode is really best viewed with the Season Finale, but it ends on a good, old-fashioned cliffhanger, and the heroes are in a rough spot. It definitely gives off those classic action serial vibes. I was sad to see Kuiil go, but what a heartbreaking way to end it. The episode builds it up that Kuiil just might make it to the ship with The Child, but he just falls short, and the Scout Troopers gain possession of The Child. This set the stage for an epic, action-packed finale.

Episode Rating: 9.0 out of 10.0

Chapter 8: Redemption

It call comes down to this. “Redemption” picks up right where “The Reckoning” left off. Kuiil is lost. Moff Gideon and his fully stocked Imperial Remnant troop have Mando, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga all cornered with seemingly no way out. Not only that, Moff Gideon is well informed about the trio’s backgrounds, including Mando’s real name, Din Djarin. Interestingly enough, Pedro Pascal just casually dropped that name in an interview well before the show’s debut on Disney+. Who does Pascal think he is? Mark Ruffalo?

So what’s the good news? Those two Scout Troopers who wasted Kuiil are completely inept, as most Imperial Stormtroopers often are. Early on, we get an amusing scene of Scout Trooper banter, portrayed by actors Adam Pally and Jason Sudeikis. I enjoyed this scene, it sort of had a Tag & Bink quality to it. Unfortunately, their poor treatment of The Child marks them for death, and the reprogrammed IG-11 shows up. Thankfully, Kuiil reprogrammed IG-11 to serve a nursemaid and protector for the child before he died, and The Child is saved. This leads to a daring action sequence with IG-11 storming the township to provide aid to the heroes under siege in the cantina.

This was another great action scene, with Taika Waititi taking the reins behind the camera for this episode. IG-11’s intervention manages to scatter the troopers, and the heroes battle back. Unfortunately, Mando, or Din Djarin as he’s been revealed to be, is badly hurt. Cara Dune, Karga, and The Child manage to retreat to the sewers, hopefully in search of the Mandalorian covert. It’s here that Djarin’s helmet is removed by IG-11 in order to treat his head injury and save his life. Djarin is ready to die in order to maintain his identity and Mandalorian code, but IG-11 reasons as he’s not a living thing, removing his helmet and receiving his face does not break the code.

Djarin had resented droids throughout the series, blaming them for the annihilation of his family and childhood home. The episode depicts more flashbacks, showing how Mandalorians of Death Watch rescued Djarin from certain doom at the hands of Battle Droids for the Separatist Droid Army. It’s also this episode we also learn that while Djarin calls himself Mandalorian…he wasn’t actually born on Mandalore.

Here’s where things get a little wonky. Now, obviously, there needs to be some dots that are connected here. The whole idea of “Mandalorians isn’t a race, it’s a creed” thing is neat. However, it directly contradicts material that as previously established for Mandalorians in both Clone Wars and Rebels, shows where we saw Mandalorians removing their helmets and showing their faces frequently. Now, maybe the clarification is that after the Great Purge, Mandalorians changed the rules. But then Djarin was adopted into the Mandalorians during the Clone Wars, so all this is kind of murky right now. This isn’t a deal breaker. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni simply need to clarify what happened here. Obviously, Death Watch weren’t the pure heroes that this episode depicted them to be. So, there needs to be a better explanation of what separates the Mandalorians of Djarin’s covert from Death Watch, Sabine Wren and her family, and the other Mandos depicted in past canonical material because not everything is matching up here.

Unfortunately, the Mandalorian covert got wrecked by the Imperial remnant. Thankfully, The Armorer (Emily Swallow) managed to survive and provide some valuable exposition. Now, interestingly enough, I’ve enjoyed how across this series Djarin has basically leveled up. He’s gotten more pieces of armor, and here, he gets his first jetpack and also a signet. Djarin is given a new mission, to protect The Child, who is now a foundling in Djarin’s “Clan of Two,” and find its home.

There’s also a cool action scene involving The Armorer this time. I’m glad she appeared to survive, and I hope we might see her again in later episodes. Here, IG-11 is ready to make his great sacrifice. You don’t just tease a self-destruct bomb like he did in the first episode and not use it at some point. Here, IG-11 does self-destruct, but he does it to protect his newfound friends. What a change Djarin has gone through, from hating and resenting all droids, to begging IG-11 not to go. It was a touching moment.

It’s not over yet as there’s one more climactic battle sequence as Moff Gideon attacks the heroes in his Tie Fighter. Carl Weathers of course gets the one-liner of the episode, possibly the entire season, when asks The Child to “do the magic hand thing!” Of course, Moff Gideon never expected Djarin to have trained in the ways of the Rising Phoenix. FYI, Rising Phoenix is the Mandalorians fancy pants term for a jetpack. After some trial and error, Djarin manages to bring Gideon and his Tie Fighter down, freeing Nevarro from the Imperial Remnant.

Here’s my one other main issue with this episode. Upon the crash, it was pretty obvious that Gideon likely made it out intact, which he did. IG-11 and The Armorer took out all the other Stormtroopers. Why not actually check the wreckage and look for a body? You know, make sure the leader who is trying to kill them all and take The Child has rejoined the living Force. Predictably, Gideon was fine and carves his way out of the Tie wreckage with the Darksaber. So, doesn’t Gideon possessing the Darksaber mark him as the rightful ruler of Mandalore?

When we last saw the Darksaber, it was in the possession of Bo-Katan Kryze, the sister of Satine, who was the Duchess of Mandalore. One could assume that Gideon gaining control of that Darksaber is likely an ill omen for Bo-Katan’s fate over the course of the last several years and the Imperial Civil War. Either way, Gideon is alive, holds the Darksaber, and he lives to fight another day, and it’s all because the heroes were too stupid to check the wreckage. I mean right after the crash, those Jawas were already stripping the ship for parts. In other words, the heroes are not as smart as jawas at this point.

And so we end the season with Moff Gideon’s forces defeated, but Gideon is still kicking with the Darksaber. Mando, aka Din Djarin, will now act as the adopted father for The Child until it can defend itself or its reunited with its people. Nevarro is free from Imperial Remnant control, at least for now, and Mando’s debt with Karga and the Bounty Hunter’s Guild has been wiped clean, and Karga offers Cara Dune a job.

So, we didn’t get much in the way of insight of The Child’s origins and where it came from. Though I recall some dialogue by Kuiil in the penultimate episode that suggests The Child was not grown in a lab or cloned. (“I don’t think it was engineered. I’ve worked in the gene farms. This one looks evolved. Too ugly.”) I imagine the greater mysteries for The Child will be left out in the open for later seasons. Hopefully, there’s also clarification for what exactly happened to the Mandalorians and why Djarin’s covert has such radically different rules from the others, such as Sabine Wren. Either way, this season has been a thrilling ride.

Episode Rating: 9.0 out of 10.0

The Mandalorian is streaming now on Disney+.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
And so the first season of The Mandalorian comes to a close. It's nice to just watch and enjoy Star Wars again without all the bitter anger, feelings and hatred, which this series was largely able to avoid. This show truly felt like all the best things about Star Wars again. Not to mention it brought forth compelling, fresh and new characters and worlds. Overall, I think Favreau and Filoni did well in largely focusing on new characters without having to wade through the expectations of iconic legacy characters. They used characters that clearly resemble iconic characters, but they are granted creative freedom with them because this show is their starting point. After such an auspicious start, hopefully Season 2 of The Mandalorian can live up to the first.