The Mandalorian on Friday followed up its premiere with an episode that was even shorter — exactly 27 minutes of actual content — but also sweeter. How are this Disney+ series’ breezy running times working for you?
Upon acquiring his valuable “target” — a 50-year old child of the same species as the venerable Yoda — at the close of the pilot, the Mandalorian aka Mando aka Dyn Jarren (per a recent Pedro Pascal interview) almost immediately ran into interference, in the form of a trio of Trandoshans. The Mandalorian makes pretty quick work of them using his multipurpose weapon, but he doesn’t come away unscathed. Afterward, as he tends to his damage, we see the Child take interest, and seemingly show concern, repeatedly hopping out of its hover-Britax to maybe lend a hand — only to be promptly returned to the carrier.
Returning to the Razor Crest’s parking space, Mando sees that his ship has been stripped for parts, by a band of Jawas. A chase after the scavengers ensues, with Mando going so far as to leap onto the side of their Sandcrawler, Indiana Jones-style, and attempt to wall-crawl the side of it, Batman and Robin-style. The Jawas lob random objects at and cattle-prod the interloper, impeding his progress. And at one harrowing moment, he is nearly crushed between the vehicle’s side and a fast-approaching canyon wall. But he finally makes it to the top… where he is met by a group of Jawas who shoot him with electricity bolts in unison. Thoroughly dazed, the Mandalorian toppled off the Sandcrawler, landing on the dirt below with a thud.
After coming to, and with the Razor Crest rendered inoperable, Mando and the Child make their way back to Kuiil. He suggests a proper bartering session with the Jawas, who at first request the bounty hunter’s Beskan steel in trade for his own ship’s pinched parts. When Mando balks, they instead task him with retrieving “The Egg!” from the cave of a large, rhino-like creature. The Mandalorian does battle with the beast, but almost immediately has his ass handed to him. The creature is about to gallop toward the bounty hunter and deliver a finishing move when the Child, observing from his carrier hovering nearby, juts out his tiny hand, closes his eyes, and uses the Force to not only keep the beast at bay, but even levitate it off the ground a bit. This nifty trick only lasts a few moments, until the Child falls back, drained, but it’s long enough for Mando to regain his bearings, grab a dagger and lunge at the creature for a deadly gutting.
The Mandalorian fetches The Egg! and delivers it to the Jawas, who neither revere it nor preserve it, but instantly lop off its top and begin gorging on the Cadbury creme filling inside. (I’ve seen recappers assume it was a great delicacy, but my take, based on their feverish consumption of the goo, is that it is almost like a drug. Or at the very least, a damn fine dessert.)
After repairing the Razor Crest with help from Kuiil, Mando invites the Ugnaught to either share in his payday, or join his journey as a crew member. Kuiil, though, is simply glad to have his valley rid of the menace that guarded the Child, and he has no interest in being in anyone’s servitude. So he simply bids Mando adieu, with a final, “I have spoken.” And from there, the Mandalorian fires up his refurbished ship and zooms off into space, as the Child, whom he obviously worried about, finally comes to and takes in the chasm of space ahead.
What did you think of Episode 2, “The Child,” and the series thus far?