The seventh chapter of The Mandalorian, subtitled, “The Reckoning”, dropped today!
Instead of coming out on Friday like usual it released today in order to avoid a conflict with the opening of The Rise of Skywalker. This episode was directed by Deborah Chow, and I’ll say this: based on the two episodes she has directed, the Kenobi show is in very good hands.
This episode was absolutely fantastic, and it featured some really satisfying moments and ended on a massive cliffhanger that sets up the season finale next week. Let’s dive in to the review!
As the episode begins, the Mandalorian receives a message from Greef Karga requesting him to return to Nevarro for one last job: taking out the client. Karga explains that things have gotten much worse since the Mando’s revolt, and so Karga’s plan is to use the Mando and the Child as bait… and then have the Mando kill Werner Herzog’s character. Karga reasons with the Mando that this is the only way for the Child to truly be safe, as otherwise the Imperials will keep sending more and more bounty hunters after them.
Before returning to Nevarro, however, the Mando begins recruiting his team. He travels to Sorgan and convinces Cara Dune to join him (convincing her once she realizes they’re fighting Imperials). They then travel to Arvala-7 to recruit Kuiil, and it’s revealed that Kuiil re-programed IG-11. The Mando doesn’t trust it still, but Kuiil and IG-11 join them to protect the child. On the way, the Mando and Cara arm wrestle, and the Child mistakes Cara’s actions for hostility and uses the Force to choke her, until the Mando can get it to stop. This team (and Kuiil’s Blurrgs) arrives to Nevarro, meeting up with Greef Karga and his bounty hunters.
They make their way across the planet and camp out in the wild overnight, where they are attacked by flying dragon-like creatures. These creatures take two of Kuiil’s Blurrgs and one of Karga’s bounty hunters before they are driven away, and Karga is badly injured. His arm was injured and the poison spreading throughout his body, and nobody can stop it… until the Child walks over, puts his arm on Karga, and heals everything by using the Force.
The next day, as they’re traveling, Karga kills his bounty hunters, explaining to the Mando that the plan was to kill him and take the Child, but the Child’s actions the night before caused Karga to have a change of heart. So they come up with a new plan: Karga and Cara will take the Mando prisoner to meet the client, at which point the Mando will kill him. Kuiil, meanwhile, is to take the Child back to the Razor Crest and lock it down. They set out, but they soon realize that Karga’s estimation of the client only having four stormtroopers is not accurate. They meet face-to-face with the client, but he has plenty of stormtroopers in the room with him. The client gets a call from Moff Gideon, who says that the client might want to check again to make sure he actually has the child (he had yet to look inside the floating carriage).
Before he can do so, however, Death Troopers standing outside blast into the room, killing all the Imperials, including the client. The Death Troopers are lined up outside, and dozens of stormtroopers are deployed on transports. Moff Gideon then flies in on his TIE and lands. The Imperials have the Mando, Cara, and Karga trapped, but they’re also on to the plan. Scout Troopers intercept a communication from the Mando to Kuiil telling him to get to the ship and leave them behind, and they race off. Before Kuiil can get to the Razor Crest, he is (presumably) killed and the child is picked up by the Scout Troopers.
This episode was amazing, heartbreaking, nerve-racking, and exciting. Plus, of course, it ended on a massive cliffhanger, and we’ll have to wait until next Friday to see the eighth and final episode of season one.
This episode was just so satisfying in that it brought together the major characters we’ve been introduced to so far this season. I have really been enjoying the previous episodes, but it was starting to feel a bit more like a new story each week. But we see now that it has actually all been building the characters and the context, leading up to this point. Seeing Cara Dune, Kuiil, and IG-11 all join forces with the Mandalorian to protect the Child and take out the client was such an awesome and rewarding moment. The payoff was great.
Sadly, however, it wasn’t all happy. It seems that Kuiil was killed trying to protect the Child, which is truly heartbreaking. We learned in this episode that he served the Empire as a slave, and finally after a few hundred years he was free… and then he was killed. It’s a tragic story, and it makes me sad just thinking about it. But he (presumably) died doing the right thing: trying to protect the Child from the hands of the Empire.
Now, however, the stakes have been raised. The Imperial remnants have the Child, and the Mando and his team are pinned in the cantina. What we assume is the main villain has finally shown up at the end of the second-to-last episode of the first season (though remember, there’s still that mysterious figure introduced a few episodes back…). This all sets up for what figures to be a thrilling season finale.
Of course, after a few weeks in which it wasn’t the main focus, the Child was a key player in this episode. The whole story is put in motion because of a desire to truly keep the Child safe for good, and it gives the team something to rally behind – including Karga, who has a change of heart. But this episode also gave us even more insight into who this Child is as it used the Force, including to Force choke Cara Dune and to Force heal Greef Karga. We have seen it use the Force before and try to use the Force at other times, but this really escalates just how interesting the Child actually is. Moff Gideon states that the Mando could never want the Child as much as he does, and we still don’t know why Gideon and the Imperial remnants want it (based on the dialogue of the doctor in an earlier episode I still wonder if it has to do with the midichlorians?). I hope we get a bit more clarity on why the Imperial remnants want this Child in the next episode.
This episode, however, was absolutely fantastic. It was a very satisfying payoff to bring back all these lovable characters, and they all teamed up for the greater good. The Child got some starring moments, there was some exciting action, and the whole episode was filled with plenty of uneasiness and tension. And then, of course, to leave us on a cliffhanger like that was cruel… but I can’t wait to see the next episode!
My grade: 10/10