Rotten Potatoes: Mandalorian’s second season plateaus
The following review contains spoilers for Season Two of The Mandalorian.
Following the new teasers and reveals of the previous episode, Chapter 10: The Passenger of Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian left me a bit disappointed. As only the second chapter in the new season, I was hoping for a bit more to continue my excitement about the show’s return. This chapter was significantly slower than an already slow first episode, and I found myself asking “oh, that’s it?”. Coming to your screens with some dark humor and creepy creatures, this episode of The Mandalorian can be appreciated for its connection to the Star Wars Universe, but not its pacing.
The first two episodes have both been pretty slow, and I am a bit concerned about the pacing of this season. I loved how the first season slowly built up into two very action-packed finale episodes, but I am concerned that this season will wait too long for the excitement to happen.
Chapter Ten picks up right where Chapter Nine left off, as Din Djarin, The Mandalorian, continues across Tatooine on his rusty speeder bike. Only a small amount of time has passed, as it is morning, and the previous episode ended at twilight. The episode cuts to bandits preparing a rope to trap Djarin and The Child. Upon pulling the rope tight as they pass by, Djarin is launched off his speeder, causing it to crash and explode. Personally I found this trap flawed, as the speeder should have simply pulled on the rope, draggin those who held onto it with them. Due to its speed and force, it should not have been tripped up so easily.
Despite that detail, I love how Djarin handles one of the bandits, who holds The Child hostage with a knife. He immediately switches to a soothing tone, addressing the bandit calmly with reason. He does not even hesitate to give up his getpack when requested. Knowing how crafty The Mandalorian is, I knew that no matter what was given away, Djarin would be able to easily get it back, as proven soon after. Instead of immediately resorting to whistling birds, or trying to kill the bandit, he willingly gives away his armor to protect The Child.
I love the continued development of the relationship between Djarin and The Child. After being released by the raider, The Child runs back to Djarin with open arms, in need of comfort. They also share a fun moment as Djarin ignites the jetpack, sending the raider crashing back to the ground. During this time, they both look at each other, and shrug, creating a moment of humor and mutual understanding between the two.
What I hoped would be a big reveal of Boba Fett in the desert, however, never happened, as he did not appear in this episode. I hope he appears at some point in this season, and I hope fans do not have to wait too long for an epic team-up.
Upon arriving back at the Cantina, several things make the scene, and episode, very detailed and interesting. Dr. Mandible, the ant-like creature was playing the classic Star Wars card game Sabacc with Peli Motto. Also, both Dr. Mandible and the character later introduced as “Frog Lady” were both in shots of the same Cantina in Season One.
I feel like the Star Wars Universe plays into more detail than any other show I have seen. They create connections from old video games and concept art, previous episodes and old characters. These details make Star Wars so unique, and there is always new, exciting information to learn about these characters, creatures, and planets.
As with Episode Nine, I loved the continued dynamic between Motto and Djarin. She says “Is that all?” sarcastically when Djarin says he killed the Krayt Dragon to gain stolen Mandalorian armor. Also, her line “stop crying, you’ll rust,” was a personal favorite from the episode. Compared to Djarin, who is very up-tight, it is fun to have such a dynamic character to balance him out. She is easily one of my favorite characters in the series for her wit and personality, and I hope this episode is not the last of her.
Soon after, Djarin sets off on his new quest, as he continues to search for other Mandalorians. He must transport Frog Lady, and her eggs to the Trask with him, which is one system trailing. They must travel at sublight, meaning they cannot travel at lightspeed because it will kill her eggs. Frog Lady, although seeming simple at first with her other language, is an amazingly intelligent character. She rewires a droid to translate for her, and saves The Child with her blaster skills. Frog Lady has become an icon to mothers everywhere, who praise her for her protection of her eggs and her motherly instincts.
The trip goes south when two New Republic X-Wing Fighters complain of the Razor Crest not having a beacon running. Despite Djarin’s best efforts to get rid of them, they refuse to leave until they get a “ping” from his beacon. The humor of this moment balances out the tense scenes ahead. I loved the moment where Djarin claims he does not have the hardware until he has to follow the fighters to their base. Suddenly, he magically has the technology. He hid it due to not wanting to be arrested by the New Republic.
All plans and deals are off as the Razor Crest crashes in ice. Djarin mentally gives up, and refuses to continue the journey. However, Frog Lady gives him the push he needed, just like Kuiil did in Season One. They both motivated him by reminding him of the stories of Mandalorians from the past. A flaw in Djarin’s character is his inability to have stamina on journeys. Typically, at the first sign of perilous danger, he bails. I love how screenwriters did not make him a perfect being, and instead someone who, like every human, is in need of help. These characters who rekindle his inner fire are crucial to the storyline and Djarin’s progress.
The appearance of the once again destroyed Razor Crest was, like everything in the episode, super detailed. The poor ship that cannot seem to catch a break was covered in sparks, leaking fluids, crumpled metal, snow, frost, and loose cables. As Djarin begins to fix the ship, The Child alerts him to the fact that Frog Lady has vanished. Although the details of the ship were great, the details of The Mandalorian’s lines were lacking. While talking to The Child, his lines feel a little too robotic. I understand that he is a pretty serious guy, but it felt a little too much like reciting lines without emotion.
Soon after, disaster strikes, and the climax of the episode is in full swing. The Child eats a creature known as Krykna, a spider native to Atollon. This sets off the Krykna to attack, and the characters choose to run. I was a bit confused as to some of Djarin’s methods to scare the Krykna away. He used fire and explosives while under a massive cave of ice, which could have collapsed on them.
Also, I was not a fan of the recurring theme of the largest Krykna having a big explosion that created its supposed death, only to reappear as a jump scare later. This felt like a repeat from the previous episode with the Krayt Dragon. This scene also gave me Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets feelings as the main characters are chased by giant spiders. I even thought “why can’t we follow the butterflies?” when the chase began. Personally, I do not have a fear of spiders, but I am not the biggest fan of seeing them on screen.
I definitely felt more of a state of urgency and peril than in Episode Nine, which I appreciated. I felt the nerves invade my brain just as the Razor Crest was invaded by the Krykna. Compared to the previous episode, I enjoyed the final fight more. The Frog Lady’s hops were especially notable, as she realizes it is more effective for her than running on two legs. This makes the chase highly effective and unique.
The return of the New Republic fighters proved that there is gray-area between who is considered the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in Star Wars. These fighters proved to be super unuseful, as well as super cocky. They did not arrest The Mandalorian, but I feel that was honestly more out of laziness than it was anything else. For example, there was no room for Djarin in the X-Wing fighters. Therefore, they would have to either help him fix his ship, or haul the Razor Crest out of the ice cave, which both require immense effort.
The end of the episode shows Djarin, The Child, and Frog Lady back in the air, with the Razor Crest in terrible condition. I think it is strange for as dangerous as The Mandalorian made traveling sub light sound, he sure takes a lot of time to nap on the journey. I think this is because traveling takes much longer without lightspeed, but it still felt weird to me that he checked out so much.
Now, I could not review this episode without addressing The Child, and his obsession with Frog Lady’s eggs. He consumes them throughout the episode. The purpose of this detail by the writers was to create some dark humor, which ended up creating a lot of controversy. Mothers everywhere were horrified as they understood what it feels like to protect their children from harm.
There were massive debates on whether The Child was turning to the Dark Side as well. Another example of this is when he force chokes Cara Dune in the first season. However, I think that since The Child is still a baby, he does not understand what he is doing. He is just super hungry. After all, he does not just target the eggs, he also goes after a baby Krykna.
I would also like to remind audiences that at the time of him eating the eggs, they were unfertilized. This is the equivalent of humans eating chicken eggs. When in the first season, The Child eats live baby frogs, but that is considered adorable and funny. I do not understand why him eating unfertilized eggs has created so much controversy.
The pacing in this episode felt even slower than Episode Nine. I am waiting for the action and plot to take off, but I feel less eager than before. If the next episode continues to be this slow, I am afraid that fans will abandon the season. While the details in this episode, connecting it back to decades of folklore, is fantastic, I cannot deny the plot’s pacing.
With the slow rate this is going at, I wonder if Djarin will not find any other Mandalorians until the final episode, and will spend the entire season searching. I also am curious to see if the Razor Crest is beyond repair, as it is in the roughest shape it has ever been. I wait eagerly for Boba Fett to be reintroduced to this storyline, and I hope the tease is not all fans will get.
I hope the next episode redeems this season. While I still feel that it is interesting and fun, I am hoping for a more exciting plot ahead.