So I was wrong about the episode titles just being plain Jane “Chapter n“. Episode 2 of The Mandalorian has a title, “The Child”. And yes, spoiler or not I’ll be including the title in the headline of these posts. Anyways, let’s get to it shall we?
Spoilers ahead, naturally. Avert thine eyes if you wish to remain untainted.
The Child opens with The Mando leading his Roomba-fied floating baby stroller through the shallow canyon we saw him jumping over while riding the blurrg in the previous episode. He’s surrounded by some local wildlife that disappear for obvious reasons. The Mando senses this and the ambush you saw coming a mile away happens. Three bounty hunters who are also in possession of a tracking fob decide it’s better to not attack all at once and The Mando is once again displaying his fighting prowess. They are taken care of easily enough but not before one of them makes a run at Baby Yoda. The Mando actually fires his long rifle, finally, and disintegrates the dude right before Baby Yoda’s eyes.
The Mando tries to John J. Rambo the injury on his arm. Baby Yoda is watching him in earnest. It clambers out of his carrier, reaches up with a hand wave and tries to use the force to presumably heal The Mando’s injuries. But The Mando has no idea what Baby Yoda is or what it’s potential is or what its trying to do, and promptly just picks it up and puts it back into the floating baby pod.
They continue along and head back to their ship only to find a sandcrawler parked near the Razor Crest with Jawas just stripping it bare. He fires his rifle a couple of times disintegrating a Jawa with each shot before they retreat back into their rolling fortress and run away. The Mando chases them on foot and tries to climb to the top. He manages to get there only to be shot by multiple ion blasters and then fall right on his back on a rock. Yes, this would normally kill a man, but this is Star Wars and physics mean nothing here.
The Mando finds his way back to Kuiil, the ugnaught who helped him with blurrg-riding lessons, and explains his situation. Now, this is 11 minutes and some odd seconds into the episode before we get to hear some dialog. The Mando didn’t so much as curse when his ship was stripped and rendered non-functional. But, Kuill being Kuill, speaks and says he’ll help The Mando get his ship parts back from the Jawas.
Kuill ferries The Mando on a trailer towed by a blurrg across the desert and finds the Jawas. The Mando seems to be a bit of a hothead because he tries to fry a couple of them during negotations using his wrist-mounted flamethrower. Kuiil calms him down and begins negotiations. They demand his armor in exchange but we know that ain’t happening. The Jawas try and bargain for Baby Yoda and we know that definitely ain’t happening either. They agree to give back his parts if The Mando retrieves an egg. No joke. The Mando really has no choice but to accept so he travels with Baby Yoda to a rather organic looking mouth of a cave in a muddy pit to find the requested egg. You just know this isn’t going to go well.
The Mando goes cave diving, pokes around, and wakes up the ginormous animal. and he happens as a rhino-like animal attacks while the Mando is cave diving. The Mando gets flung out of the cave and a fight ensues. The fight doesn’t go well for The Mando. He gets knocked around, dragged, and headbutted. After one particularly hard hit on the head, The Mando is struggling and he pulls a knife out of his boot as a last stand. He feebly raises it as the rhino creature charges straight at him. Baby Yoda can’t take it anymore and comes to the rescue by using the force to stop the rhino creature from killing his foster parent. As the rhino is floating in the air, The Mando turns around and sees Baby Yoda doing his force thing. Then Baby Yoda collapses, the rhino drops and hits the ground, and The Mando stabs his tiny knife into the neck of the creature, killing it.
The Mando goes back into the cave and retrieves a rather hairy-looking egg, and that is NOT a euphimism. Back at camp, the Jawas are packing up despite Kuiil’s objections for them to give The Mando some more time. The main ramp is lifting as The Mando reappears with the goods. The Jawas eagerly take the egg, slice off the top, and begin trying to eat the yolk with their bare hands. “Gross” is what my wife said about that scene.
Kuiil and The Mando make it back to Razor Crest and a repair montage scene ensues. The Mando offers Kuiil half the reward, but Kuill refuses. He’s just happy no more bounty hunting in his valley. The Mando asks Kuiil if he wants to come with him as part of his crew but Kuiil politely declines. The Mando takes off away from the planet. Baby Yoda was asleep this entire time but wakes up right before the end. Roll credits.
How freakin’ adorable is Baby Yoda? That frog-eating scene was pretty funny…
More gamification of The Mandalorian became evident the second that Kuiil told The Mando he had to go retrieve an egg to get his parts back. How much of a cliché is it when the main hero in the game is told to go to point A to continue the main quest only to reach point A and be told he has to complete some other quest to continue? A big fat cliché at that.
This episode was a bit of a snoozefest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still great. Because this episode, as slow and uneventful as it was, is still miles better than that other live-action Star Wars show that’s currently on the air. Oh, that’s right there is no other show. My point is, it’s better than nothing. But that being said, I’m a bit disappointed that after such a high of E1, this episode was nothing substantial, just filler. It’s only purpose was to bring the Mandalorian down to earth and build up the bond between him and the little yoda. Other than that, what exactly are they trying to stretch out here? We learn almost nothing new about anything and no questions that were raised previously are answered.
We did learn one thing though: the Mando isn’t invulnerable. He was in absolute top form in E1. Here we see his ride get stripped; he’s taken out by a couple of jawas and ion blasters; and nearly killed by a rhino-like animal (animals seem to be his weak point since he was also almost taken out by blurrgs in E1). It grounds him a little more and raises the stakes a bit. While ruthless and capable, he’s not undefeatable, and that makes his mission all that more precarious. That Baby Yoda is still being hunted; The Mando needs to protect it and return it to The Client and Dr. Pershing before anyone else can get to them and kill them both. He wants, nay, he needs that Beskar Steel reward.
The Mando learns about Baby Yoda’s force powers. He had no idea what it was trying to do during the John Rambo scene, he thought the baby was just doing baby things. He did learn about Baby Yoda’s power during the rhino fight scene but I don’t think he realizes just how big of a deal it is. As far as The Mando and most of the galaxy are concerned, there are no more Jedi. He may not even know what a Jedi is or what force powers are.
We the audience are on the outside looking in. There’s all kinds of things that can happen during this discovery phase. Let’s hope that Gutter can keep in mind what The Mando knows separate from what we know.
Tl;dr: Episode 2 “The Child” is slow, but still enjoyable.