In what feels like no time at all, we’ve arrived at the penultimate episode of the sophomore season of The Mandalorian on Disney+. This season has flown by so quickly it’s hard to believe that chapter 15 is the 7th episode of the run. Written and directed by Rick Fukuyama, who directed chapter 2 and chapter 6 in season one, this episode sees Din and Cara recruit an old ally in an attempt to locate Moff Gideon.
After Grogu was taken captive by Moff Gideon last week, Mando isn’t rolling over and has amassed a squad to rescue the little guy from the clutches of the Empire. Grogu a.k.a. Baby Yoda was entirely absent from this episode and his lovable charm and goofiness were missed. But while we missed out on his adorableness, we got to see Din’s squad in action, which includes Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, Boba Fett and the recently recruited Mayfeld from Chapter 6: The Prisoner last year. Bill Burr’s Mayfeld is very much at the forefront of the episode, getting the most screentime next to our titular Mando. The former Imperial sharpshooter was serving time for his crimes last season but recruited to help team Mando find Moff Gideon’s location. On the promise of “a better view”, he agrees.
In order to gain access to the refinery where a terminal can pinpoint Gideon’s location, Din and Mayfeld commandeer a truck full of explosive materials and disguise themselves as stormtroopers that look like the Imperial combat assault tank pilots from Rogue One. Mic drop. Knowledge. While en-route, the truck is ambushed by pirates in a sequence that definitely feels like padding. I found the scene didn’t really serve to do anything aside from looking cool and to showcase how much Din is likely missing his Beskar armour. It also just kept going and felt very video-gamey the longer it went.
Once at the refinery, we get probably the biggest plot hole we’ve faced in the series thus far. In the transport, Mayfeld took his helmet off (likely to give Burr more screen time) but fears he’d be recognized by a commanding officer in the mess hall, where the terminal is located. I’m not sure why Mayfeld just didn’t go back to the transport, get his helmet, put it on his head, then return to the terminal, where he’d take it off once again and allow the terminal to initiate the facial scanner (which is more of a scan to prove the one doing the scanning isn’t a droid, not an ID check). This is all just a plot device to get Din to remove his helmet and allow us to see Pedro Pascal’s face for the second time on this show, and that was welcome, but it felt lazy getting there. That said, Din taking his helmet off was a crucial piece of storytelling, as he’s slowly drifting away from the doctrine he grew up on. Mayfeld even saw him unmasked and Din sort of just accepted the reality of the situation. Bear in mind this was the guy who would rather die than be unmasked in the season one finale.
Feeling a little guilty, it doesn’t take long before Mayfeld straight-up murders an Imperial officer (Richard Brake) after a conversation about Operation Cinder, an event we’ve seen depicted in Battlefront II’s story mode and mentioned throughout some of the books and comics. Thankfully, Din was able to acquire the location of Moff Gideon before the shootout began and the duo ran for freedom under the watchful sniper fire of Cara and Shand. Then, in a giddy little moment, Boba Fett picks up Din and Mayfeld and drops a seismic charge from Slave I onto two TIE fighters, which explodes and makes, in my opinion, the coolest Star Wars sound to date.
All in all, this was a decent episode that was important to Mayfeld (I’m sure we’ll see him pop up again in the future) in terms of putting the Empire behind him, and for Din, as he showed his face to another being for the first time (and didn’t combust). I think slowly but surely, Din will begin taking his helmet off more and begin to move away from the teachings of Death Watch/The Children of the Watch. That said, the episode did feel a little anti-climactic and padded, with some frustratingly lazy writing at times. But there’s only one episode left and all the pieces are in place for Din to recover Grogu next week after he straight-up threatens Gideon over a holo. Will Din recover Grogu? What threat will the Dark Troopers pose? Will Gideon make it out of it? Will the Darksaber pose too much of a challenge for Din, or will that Beskar spear save the day? Guess we’ll have to wait and see what the finale shall bring. Stay tuned for that review, as well as my overall thoughts on season two.