REVIEW: The Mandalorian, Chapter 2 – The Child

After that big reveal, we thankfully only had to wait 3 days for a new episode of The Mandalorian! How would The Mandalorian deal with such a strange and unexpected twist? This episode doesn’t really tell us much about that, or anything else for that matter. It was more of a coda to Chapter 1, adding a few fun world-building elements, but not much by way of substance.

Not Much Happens

My biggest complaint with this episode is that very little happens. There are a few action set pieces, whether it’s the fight with the Trandoshans or the head-to-head battle with the Mudhorn, but the in-between bits are just a lot of walking in silence. And while that can evoke some beautiful imagery, it did very little for me in terms of character building. We knew The Mandalorian was a good person already. The way he treats Kuiil and The Child with selfless compassion is admirable, but it’s something we’ve seen already. 

I can’t shake the idea that this was basically a filler episode, something that plagues longer episodic series, particularly in later seasons. When you’re committed to X number of episodes a season, but the overarching story doesn’t call for as many, you end up with stories that while functional and well-made, do nothing to advance the larger narrative at hand. That’s this episode in a nutshell. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, and really fleshes out the world, but if you somehow skipped it, you didn’t really miss anything.

Goodbye, Kuiil?

One thing The Mandalorian has going for it is the element of surprise, and that was in full effect in Chapter 2’s ending. The Mandalorian offers Kuiil a job, but he turns it down. The promo shot of Kuiil in the cockpit of the Razor Crest was in this episode, but it came as part of the repairs montage. As it stands, we might not see Kuiil again, at least this season. He turns down the Mandalorian’s job offer, choosing to enjoy retirement rather than work for someone again. That’s disappointing as he’s a very interesting character that I’d like to learn more about. Adventure? Excitement? An ugnaught craves not these things, apparently.

I admire Kuiil’s restraint to maintain his simple life rather than go traipsing through the galaxy. More though I admire Favreau’s decision to limit Kuiil’s role in the series. It would be the easy choice to have the entire season be about The Mandalorian building his crew of misfits and outcasts, but that doesn’t appear to be the goal here. Kuiil served his purpose and provided a one-liner that will be forever etched into the annals of Star Wars history, but he didn’t need to stick around. He doesn’t, so we move on to other things.

Greater Purpose

While the events of the episode don’t seem all that significant on the surface, we may find out they have greater meaning later. I’m not going to discount that possibility, particularly The Child’s ability to use the Force. That being said, there may be other opportunities to reveal that fact later in the series that are potentially more impactful. We’ll have to wait and see.

If one moment has a larger impact from this episode, I expect it will actually be the mudhorn fight. The Mandalorian has yet to receive his sigil, and there has been a lot of speculation that his mark will be of a mudhorn. The outcome of the scene seems to confirm that theory, but we won’t know for sure for I’m guessing a least a few episodes. If the mudhorn takes on added significance later, I’ll readily admit I was wrong, but right now it feels like this fight was nothing more than a fun action set piece that serves no greater purpose.

Score

7/10 – Good, but not great

Chapter 2 of The Mandalorian is a solid entry in the series, but it still feels like a classic filler episode. It’s fun, but nothing of consequence happens, at least as far as we know.

Recap Video

For a longer discussion on this episode, check out our Recap Show on YouTube!

Adam Soucie
Adam has been a Star Wars fan for as long as he can remember, dating back to watching the original trilogy on VHS and collecting his first action figures with the Power of the Force launch in 1995. His favorite character is Kanan Jarrus, and his favorite piece of Star Wars is the Rebels animated series.

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