The Mandalorian Episode 2 Review: The Child

Episode 2 picks up right after Episode 1 ends.  I guess its not a spoiler anymore that Mandy’s bounty target is a baby Yoda!  Not THE actual Yoda, but whatever Yoda’s species is called.  George Lucas always called him a frog and even once jokingly referred to him as “the illegitimate child of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.”  No further information is provided about the species origins or home world other than physical descriptions on Wookiepedia:

Members of the species were much shorter than an average Human, most standing below 70 centimeters, with lifespans of many hundreds of years (though their average lifespan is unknown because all known members of the species were Jedi, who generally lived longer than ordinary members of a species). Adults of the species were characterized by sharp, elfin ears, ridges on their foreheads, tridactyl hands and (most commonly) anisodactyl feet. Their leathery skin and blood were both light green. Their sharp teeth suggested a carnivorous diet. The diet of the most famous member of the species, Jedi Master Yoda, consisted of nutrient most other beings considered disgusting.

It was established in episode 1 by the bounty droid IG-11, that the bounty target was already 50 years old, but when we see the child he (or she) is the same size as a human infant.  Anyway, Mandy has captured the target and after several scenes that gave me straight up Lone Wolf and Cub vibes including a fight with several Trandoshan (i.e. Bossk) bounty hunters, he returns to his ship he notices that it is being stripped by Jawas.

Lone Wolf and Cub in space…. I like that.

The rest of the half hour episode (Really? Only a half hour?)  Mandy is fighting and later hilariously negotiating with Jawas to get his weapons and missing parts of his ship back, climbing up the side of a moving Sandcrawler and fighting a Mudhorn (similar to the rhinoceros beast from the arena battle in Attack of the Clones).  The Sandcrawler scene is a throwback to the old western tv shows and movies, with a dash of Adam West Batman wall crawling, where the hero jumps from his horse to a moving stagecoach or train only to get tossed over the side once he makes it to the top.

After that exercise in futility, Kuiil and Mandy negotiate for his missing items.  The Jawas tell him to get “the egg” from the lair of a Mudhorn, which of course he unhappily obliges.  In the final stage of the battle with the Mudhorn, Mandy is miraculously saved by baby Yoda who uses the force to levitate the beast to allow the fatal blow to be struck, thus proving that Yoda’s species is indeed strong with The Force from a very young age.

If I can talk about the Mudhorn and baby Yoda really quick… The monster is completely digital; however, baby Yoda seems to be a combination of both CGI and puppetry.  At least I think so.  Sometimes the child looks well rendered with tiny grey hairs on his head slightly moving in the breeze and his little mouth curling over tiny teeth and other times it straight up looks like a hand puppet operated by a kindergarten student in a school play. A little strange if you ask me and at times not well done.  

Another complaint that I didn’t address in my review of episode 1 is how flatly Pedro Pascal delivers his lines as The Mandalorian.  I realize that in general Mandalorians don’t speak very much, but I would hope that your lead character at least does something to make what little dialogue he has somewhat memorable.  Nick Nolte as Kuiil is far more interesting to listen to and spices it up a bit with his, “I have spoken.” This I remember.  After watching I can’t easily recall one line of dialogue uttered by what should always be the coolest character on the screen.

The episode ends with a touching scene with Kuiil where Mandy thanks him for negotiating with the Jawas and helping to repair his ship before taking off into space to return the child and retrieve his fortune.  Since Mandy doesn’t really let us viewers in on what he’s thinking were left to suppose that he has formed a bond with the child and won’t be too eager to hand him over.  At least not without asking some questions first.  I’m willing to bet that is what the rest of the season will be about: Mandy not handing over the child and now he is the one who is hunted by all the colorful bounty hunters the galaxy has to offer.

It was a solid episode for what it was, but to me the biggest missed opportunity at the end of the show is not having a preview to what comes next.  I guess I’m conditioned for that but not having that small inkling of what happening next and how the story is progressing makes each episode feel like they take place in a void.  You may or may not agree, just something to think about.

I give The Mandalorian Episode 2: The Child a: B-

What did you think of episode 2?  What do you think will happen next? Is the Mandalorian hitting you right in the Star Wars feels? 

Comment below and let me know!

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