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The Mandalorian: The Child

“I’m surprised you waited.”
“I’m surprised you took so long.”

Solid second episode. Mando’s character is absolutely magnetic, and so is his relationship with Baby Yoda. Any plot line would work with these two characters, in my opinion. This episode in particular introduced a few key themes for us to explore: the fact that Mando’s not invincible, Mando’s relationships with others, and of course, what we were hoping to see- Baby Yoda’s connection with the Force.

In the first episode, it was established that Mando is, in a word, formidable. He kicked ass the entire time and showed no weakness. In this second episode, we see he has some. Weakness, I mean. The opening scene had him taking out yet another squad of enemies effortlessly with his high powered Amban sniper rifle. But for the rest of the episode, he was constantly taking hits. This was meant to show that Mando’s not a god. He’s not invincible. He’s someone that was trained into this skill set. He’s presumably this good because he worked at it, not because he was born with it. And as good as he is (the best in the parsec), he can be beaten.

This leads into another central theme introduced in this episode; that even Mando needs help from time to time. He’s forced to rely on the Ugnaught, not once but twice. And Baby Yoda returned the favor of Mando saving his life in the opening sequence by saving him from the Mudhorn in the end fight. He was even trying to heal Mando’s wound. It’s implied that Mando is a bit of a lone wolf. But this episode challenged that notion and established burgeoning friendships. We’re already seeing character development and it’s only the start of the show.

And finally, the Child. (I’m having a hard time divorcing myself from calling him Baby Yoda. Ah, well.) He did indeed use the Force and what an impressive display of it! That’s some serious power. Recalling Anakin and Yoda from the movies, that brings up some interesting questions. Are certain people or species more predisposed to wielding the Force? To wielding it more powerfully?

On another note, the Child was out for DAYS afterwards. That’s a long time to be out. Is it because he’s a baby? Because he hasn’t been trained? A bit of both? From the movies we know using the Force depletes the wielder’s energy but this kind of recovery was on a different scale completely. Andrew was speculating if this may have been the first time the Child used the Force. Huh.

And finally, we saw a return of the Jawas, who were as cute and annoying as ever. Their presence brought out an interesting tidbit not seen previously: that Mando is not a man of infinite patience. Loved him firing his flamethrower in aggravation. Although I feel like Jawas would try anyone’s patience. I would have been majorly pissed to take on a Mudhorn just for them to enjoy an omelette. Mando just shook his head in exasperation. Maybe not infinitely patient, but more patient than most.

We also had Mando connecting with the Ugnaught. His name is still not mentioned but it’s shown briefly in the end credits – Kuiil. Mando did his best to thank Kuiil, by offering him part of the reward, then a job, and when both were refused, his gratitude. Pretty honorable, for a bounty hunter. Kuiil is quite the Ugnaught. He saved Mando’s bacon multiple times and with no ulterior motives. It’s interesting Mando offered him a job as well – for a loner like Mando, we can only assume that means he trusts Kuiil, if not outright likes him. We’re getting more and more hints that despite being a bounty hunter, Mando is probably a good person. Color me pleased.

And now where is Mando going? To turn in the Child? Will he do it? He seems to be developing a connection with it but I can only assume a camtono of beskar is a very handsome payment. And it’s important to his tribe. We shall see.

Interesting details and tidbits:

The orange guys in the opening scene were bounty hunters as well, because they had a tracking fob like Mando’s. This presumably means that bounty hunters can steal contracts from each other. That makes things a bit messier. These were definitely less cordial negotiations than Mando had with IG-11 in the previous episode.

I did a little research and found out that their species is Trandoshan – a race of hunters, seen briefly in The Empire Strikes Back, but mostly in the Star Wars literature. In this episode, they were skilled in combat with a weapon that looked like a war axe. But they were no match for Mando’s disintegrating rifle. And they were clearly trying to terminate. Was Mando the only one who received orders to return the bounty alive? Then it's not just the fallen Empire that has interest in the Child.

I thought I saw a few Trandoshans among the ones guarding the Child in the previous episode as well, but maybe that was a coincidence. I’m still unsure as to who Mando took the Child from. Maybe it’s not important.

The presence of the Jawas pretty much confirmed the desert planet is indeed Tattooine, since they’re native to Tattooine. It was raining in one scene as well. Did we ever see it rain in Tattooine in the movies?

Kuiil speaks Jawa – not too surprising. Mando seems to understand it but speaks it horribly, apparently.

I was kind of surprised Mando left his ship unprotected in Jawa territory. At first I thought maybe he didn’t know about Jawas, but then later something he says to Kuiil implies he does, and then of course, he’s familiar with the language. All things considered, you would have thought he would have parked a little closer. And hit the lock button. (I'm kidding on that last one.)

I was laughing out loud at the Jawas throwing small objects down on Mando and the objects just glancing off. And then Mando was on the receiving end of about ten stun guns. Too bad he didn’t have a full set of beskar armor. Maybe later.

The Jawas' cockpit isn’t tall enough for Mando.

Mando was fixing his own armor and cauterizing his own wound. It looked like the Child was going to try to heal him. Twice. I don’t know, I think I would have let him go ahead and do what he was going to do.

It’s implied Mando doesn’t know anything about the Force.

It looked like Mando and the Child were walking for a while. In a desert. In full armor. Did Mando have a canteen or maybe a Camelbak under all that armor?

The Child is a carnivore. I was somewhat surprised. I think I always imagined Yoda preferring buddha bowls in the Star Wars movies.

Kuiil literally face palmed when the Jawas brought up “the Egg.”

As a mom, I felt bad for the Mudhorn. It was just trying to protect its young. I know, I know. Moving right along.

Kuiil is an excellent mechanic. And diplomat. He would have made a good addition as a crewman. But he chose to enjoy his life of peace. Good on him.

Mando did a full weapons check before going into the Mudhorn’s cave. Unfortunately, it didn’t help him much.

It looks like the Child is forming an attachment to Mando.

Memorable quotes and moments:

Kuiil: “This is what was causing all the fuss?”
Well, yeah.

Mando: “I’m a Mandalorian. Weapons are part of my religion.”
Very cool, and very intriguing. Did he mean this literally? Inquiring minds want to know.

Mando (in broken Jawa): “They... they... belong... to me...”
Jawa: “You speak terrible Jawa. You sound like a Wookiee.”
Mando (in English): “You understand this?!”
*Mando fires flamethrower at them*

Kuiil: “They really don’t like you for some reason.”
Mando: “Well, I did disintegrate a few of them.”
From a considerable distance too, might I add.

Kuiil: “Explain it to me again. I still don’t understand what happened.”
If it had not been for the Jawas, I would have thought this exchange meant the planet was not Tattooine. They don’t have legends of Obi Wan, Anakin or Luke circulating around? Tattooine seems to be the epicenter for those strong in the Force.

Kuiil: “I have worked a lifetime to finally be free of servitude.”
Mando: “I understand. Then all I can offer is my thanks.”

A good one.

Three out of four crawling fortresses,

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