I’ve talked to a few fans about how S2 has been going so far, and a lot of comments of E1 has been “It didn’t progress the story”. If they thought E1 didn’t progress the story, they were in for utter disappointment with E2. “The Passenger” was a complete filler episode and a sidestep in any “progression” of the main story. S1 had a couple of fillers too, so it’s not like this is anything new. I’d argue that E1 did indeed progress the story. I mean, last season’s finale had Lady Armorer give The Mando a quest to find others like Baby Yoda. His best bet was to find other Mandalorian coverts that can possibly help him. Episode 1 of Season 2 had him start off right at that spot: he had a tip that someone may have seen one, got a lead from that guy, and off he went. How is that not progressing the story? Did they honestly think he’d find another covert like right away? I mean, this isn’t a Dick Wolf production, things don’t happen in the episode at an accelerated rate with nothing but dialog to connect the dots. If you’re looking at the big picture, you’re going to miss what makes The Mandalorian such an exquisite experience. Each episode has a premise, and that premise is followed through one thousand percent. The premise may not “advance the story” to a great degree, but that’s okay. But no matter where the episode falls within the range of filler-ness, the production value is consistently excellent and top notch. Each episode feels more like a mini Star Wars movie than a TV show. Nothing ever feels rushed, nothing ever feels cheap, the practical effects and wire work has that old school film-making flavor. Jon Favreau is treating the property with the love, care, and respect that was sorely lacking from the last three movies. The Mandalorian has been the best thing to happen to Star Wars since Rogue One. I, for one, am enjoying every tasty second of every episode. No complaints from me yet. Anyways, let’s move on to the recap.
So this episode literally picks up right where we left off from the last episode. With the krayt dragon slain, a hunk of dragon meat strapped to the back of the speeder, The Mando and Baby Yoda are speeding their way back across the desert. Shenanigans are afoot as a band of hooligans are hooliganing by setting a trap, a trap that is basically a clothesline. Speeder bike + clothesline? This is gonna be ugly. Now, since this isn’t Mad Max, The Mando keeps his head on his shoulders as his speeder hits the wire trap nose first. The Mando goes flying but, thanks to his jet pack, lands on his feet. Baby Yoda goes tumbling in what seems like an eternity for a baby to be rolling. The Hooligans attack The Mando but you know they ain’t gonna win. One of them goes for Baby Yoda and holds up a knife. The Mando negotiates for Baby Yoda’s safety, the Hooligan wants The Mando’s jet pack. He gently puts it down, the Hooligan puts down Baby Yoda, picks up the jet pack, and starts running away. Baby Yoda runs to daddy who picks it up. Wordlessly, he activates his jet pack and it and the Hooligan launch straight up into the air with only the Hooligan falling back down to the ground. Hard. Baby Yoda gives him a look. The Mando gives him a look back like, “What? I had to do it.” The jet pack comes back down and lands slightly less gracefully than a reusable SpaceX booster. Insert title card.
With his speeder busted, The Mando has no choice but to walk back to Mos Eisley carrying all his loot across his shoulders. Kinda wonder if his armor, with all its electronic gadgets, has an air conditioning unit. Probably not. The Mando heads straight to the Cantina to find Peli in a Sabaac game. Her opponent, Dr. Mandible, needs a little help to cover a bet and will give The Mando some info he has about where more Mandalorians might be if he can pony up. The Mando says okay. Dr. Mandible loses but says his informant will rendezvous with him at the hangar entrance.
It’s full-on night time now and time for dinner. The Mando’s dragon meat is on a treadwell droid’s arm, rotating like a spit behind an engine. Peli discusses some of the finer details of what Dr. Mandible promised. There is another covert nearby, one system away so they’re close. There’s no cost for the information but the the informant wants safe passage to the system on the condition that they not travel at light speed. The Mando is like nuh-uh but it’s imperative that they travel slow because Frog Lady, aka the informant, is carrying a bunch of her eggs that will die if they travel that way. These are the last eggs of lineage she needs to meet up with her husband who is on the planet with the other Mandalorians so that he can fertilize these eggs. Once Baby Yoda sees the container of eggs, he starts to drool. Given his propensity to swallow frogs whole, you can kinda see where this is going.
The Mando, Frog Lady, and Baby Yoda, are on their merry way in space. As precious as the cargo is for Frog Lady, she leaves it in the cargo hold. It’s a container backpack. I’d be holding on to that thing while strapped to my seat, but this is television and jokes need to be set up. Enter Baby Yoda from stage left. It makes his way over to the container while looking like he’d give up all his force abilities for a boba straw. Meanwhile, The Mando is setting coordinates for the Razor Crest‘s autopilot to make its way to the rendezvous planet. He advises Frog Lady to get some rest as he heads down to his sleeping closet. He drops down and sees Baby Yoda suck in one of Frog Lady’s egg and tries to tell him that it’s not food and to not do that again. After that admonishment, it’s bedtime for them.
Traveling at sublight speeds on autopilot isn’t the best situation for them. Things can happen, especially when you’re asleep. He’s liable to be attacked, boarded, or tracked. Which is exactly what happens. The Mando is woken up by some radio chatter coming in from two X-Wings that appear out of no where. Since the galaxy is under the control of the Alliance now, new rules are in place unbeknownst to The Mando. The X-Wing pilots are insisting that The Mando identify himself in some way. The Mando is reluctant in doing so probably because he has a shady past and/or he’s done something that the Alliance wouldn’t like, like.. I dunno, attacking a prisoner ship or something, just as an example. After some back and forth, The Mando reluctantly sends a ping. The X-Wings lock their S-foils in attack position and ask if he was anywhere near a prisoner transport. Yep. The past is coming back to bite him in the ass so he makes a break for it. He heads straight into the atmosphere of a nearby planet to try and escape the new republic’s law enforcement.
A chase ensues. The heavy, vintage Razor Crest doesn’t seem like it’ll be much of a match against the nimble and agile X-Wings but after some fancy maneuvering, The Mando manages to park his ship under an ice shelf (yes it’s an ice planet no it’s not Hoth) and you see the X-Wings fly by. Just as he’s about to start up the engines to get out from under the shelf, the ice beneath the Crest gives out and the entire ship falls into a cavern. Fade to black to show that everyone blacked out from the impact. No bueno.
When The Mando wakes up, he assesses the situation: there’s a gigantic hole in the side of the ship, power’s out, and it’s about to turn to night. And on top of that, he finds Baby Yoda munching away on some more of Frog Lady’s eggs. He lays it all out for Frog Lady and says to get some rest cause and he’ll figure something out in the morning. Frog Lady ain’t having any of that and uses a busted up droid, the one that almost killed Baby Yoda back in Chapter 6, as a universal translator to call out The Mando’s lack of Mandalorian ethics. And to remind him that she needs to get her eggs to her husband so that her family line doesn’t die off right there on the frozen planet.
This spurs him into action. He gets off his lazy butt and goes outside the ship to begin making repairs. Not long after, Baby Yoda comes outside too and tries to get his dad’s attention. He wanders off and The Mando follows him, only to realize that Frog Lady wandered off. He uses his infrared vision to track The Passenger to a hot spring where she’s taking a bath with her boba eggs. The Mando warns her that she just can’t up and do that and starts gathering the boba and putting them back in to blue milk tea container. While all of this is happening, Baby Yoda, ever hungry, wanders off into a field of eggs, breaks one open and eats the baby spider inside.
And yep, in a sequence that would give anyone scared of spiders the heebie jeebies, all of the other hundreds of eggs start cracking open with baby spiders crawling out. Oh did I say hundreds? Honestly, there’s probably thousands of them. Baby Yoda cries out in distress, The Mando picks him and takes in his surroundings. He finally sees all the eggs and all the baby spiders coming towards them. Then, bigger more juveniles ones start coming out of the cave’s passageways, followed by Mama Spider. The Mando starts pewpewing the bugs as he and Frog Lady book it. Frog Lady even starts leaping on all fours…. leapfrogging if you will… The Mando throws a couple of charges around and one at Mama Spider, the same charges that blew up Moff Gideon’s TIE Fighter, and detonates them. Mama Spider disappears in a cloud of smoke.
They make it back to the Crest, but with the hole in the side of the ship, the only safe place is the cockpit. They make their way in. The Mando is desperately trying to close the door as baby spiders crawl their way in. A couple are threatening Baby Yoda when Frog Lady who at this point probably suspects Baby Yoda of hoovering in some of her eggs into its gullet does it a solid by blasting the the bugs. The Mando barbecues a pile of spiders jamming the door and finally manages to get it closed. Ice spiders are crawling all over the ship so he has no choice but to see if they can get out of there. He fires up the engines and just when they’re lifting up off the ground, Mama Spider lands on top of the Crest forcing it down to the ground again.
Mama Spider wants dinner, and tries to break through the cockpit glass with its mouth appendage to no avail. It pierces through the glass with one of its legs. Things are looking grim: they’re trapped inside the cockpit, an ungodly number of spiders are just on the other side of the door, Mama Spider’s about to break through the glass, and they’re stranded as can be because no one knows they are there. Well, almost no one because some blaster fire shoots down Mama Spider and a bunch of the Baby Ones. You can hear blaster fire continuously going off. The Mando is all, “What the heck…” and wanders outside only to find the two X-Wing pilots firing their blasters at every last spider, saving the Razor Crest and its occupants.
After they eliminate every last spider, there’s a bit of banter between The Mando and Kim’s Convenience. Because of the events in “The Prisoner” episode, the two pilots were willing to let him go. Specifically, he captured three culprits from the Wanted Register and risked his own life protecting that of a New Republic officer. There is a warrant for his arrest, though, due to freeing the one guy, but they consider that a wash so they leave without helping him repair his ship. The Mando gets back in the Crest and seals off the cockpit. The ship hobbles out of the cave, off the planet, and lips its way to its destination. Roll credits.
About Baby Yoda eating those eggs. Some people found it horrifying. I honestly didn’t see anything wrong with it considering it’s a show about a baby alien with mystical powers adopted by a man who’d give Iron Man a run for his money. It’s a fantasy sci-fi show but somehow Baby Yoda trying to eat some unfertilized eggs is a major sticking point.
It’s interesting to see that one filler episode, S1:E6 “The Prisoner”, tied to another filler episode in a not-so-inconsequential way. That episode and this one make up a B-storyline that can be threaded along the main story. So all these episodes that feel like filler or “don’t progress the story” may not be so much fluff as initially thought.
Barring any other diversions, the next episode should have The Mando at least make it to the planet. Whether or not he hooks up with the covert there is up in the air. No matter. Like I said at the top, I’m enjoying every high-production second of the show whether it’s a story-progressing episode or more filler.