‘The Mandalorian’ Episode 2: Adventures in Babysitting

The titular Mandalorian is in it deep. After obtaining his mysterious and surprising bounty in the last episode (Surprising if you haven’t been on Facebook since every jerkbutt on there has been spoiling the heck out of it. Thanks, jerkbags!), our anti-hero comes up against a new roadblock as his favorite and only spaceship is stripped for parts by Jawas and he must go on a sidequest if he is to repair his vehicle and nope the heck off the planet and get paid.

With the second episode, we get a little bit of a broader look into what this series is actually going to be about (and spoilers because I’m not a lonely rainbow of jerks spoiling everyone in my orbit just because I’m a pitiful piece of doodoo). With the baby Yoda who is not actually Yoda, obviously, in tow, this looks to be an epic quest in which the Mandalorian (hearin just called Mandi) is going to try to get the baby to Werner Herzog.

I loved this episode far more than the first. Now, I’m not saying that there was anything wrong with the first, but I found this one much more engaging and much more fresh. Where the first was steeped in atmosphere and setting the stage, this episode felt ambitious and exciting.

For one, the episode is nearly dialogue free. Sure, when Kuiil is around, there is talking, but for the most part it’s just Mandi and the Baby Not-Yoda slumming it through the desert wilderness on a quest for parts. Given that Mandi is wearing a helmet and Baby Not-Yoda is a gosh darned puppet, I really don’t think anyone is appreciating just how hard this episode probably was to put together.

Aside from that, I really appreciate how well this episode established Mandi’s character: He’s not a complete BA who has an answer for everything and can effortlessly kill his enemies without mercy as I was afraid the first episode was setting him up as. Here, he’s in over his head, frustrated, and vulnerable. He gets his armored butt handed to him by Jawas — JAWAS who have the upper hand during the entire episode and then, almost gets killed by an alien creature. The rest of the time, you can tell he’s trying incredibly hard not to fall for Baby Not-Yoda’s irresistible cuteness and develop feels for him/her/it.

Additionally, the action in this episode was top notch. I loved the Sandcrawler chase scene even though it was slightly derivative of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade which, honestly, it was probably meant to be. It was exciting, big, and even humorous without getting too far into comedy.

The scene where Mandi fought the alien creature was also amazing, highlighting just how outmatched the Mandalorian actually was. The revelation that Baby Not-Yoda not only has force ability but FORCE ABILITY in all caps was handled well, felt magical, and opens up a number of plot possibilities with the little guy/girl/thing.

All in all, this was a fantastic second outing that outshines the first. The board is set, the pieces are moving, and I can definitely say that this is the show I am looking for. I have spoken.

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