The eighth chapter of The Mandalorian released today, ending the first season, and it was incredible!
This is a very exciting episode with plenty of awesome moments, and one that wraps up the first season really well while setting the stage for what could be coming in season two!
Picking up where things left off in last week’s episode, the Scout Troopers ride away with the Child, and they come up to the ledge overlooking the city. They radio asking if they can proceed, but they’re told that Moff Gideon has killed several troopers already, so they are to wait. The troopers banter back and forth, and one of them continually wants to take a look at the Child. They eventually do… and IG-11 soon arrives, saying he is the child’s nurse droid. He takes out the two stormtroopers and takes the child away on a speeder bike.
Meanwhile, the Mandalorian, Cara Dune, and Greef Carga are all trapped in the cantina by Gideon’s forces, and he calls out telling them to surrender. He knows Cara Dune’s history as a Rebel shock trooper, and he also knows the Mandalorian’s real name – Din Djarin. This lets the Mando know that it is Gideon, as he revisits his past: he wasn’t born on Mandalore, but his planet was attacked by the Separatists and his parents killed. Mandalorians showed up and fought off the droid army, rescuing him and taking him in to raise him. The only place his new name was found was in the archives on Mandalore, where Moff Gideon was stationed as an officer. Even though Gideon was supposedly executed for war crimes, the Mando knows it is him.
As they contemplate an escape, suddenly IG-11 shows up on the speeder bike with the Child, blasting stormtroopers. The Mando springs into action, charging out to join the firefight, followed closely by Carga, as Cara Dune provides cover fire. The Mando grabs the Imperial cannon and begins firing, but Gideon fires on the power supply, triggering an explosion. Cara drags the Mando back into the building, where they regroup with Carga, IG-11, and the Child. The Child uses the Force to save them from an Imperial flametrooper, pushing the flames back to kill the trooper. The Mando is badly injured from the explosion and tells the others to leave, and they eventually do, with only IG-11 staying behind. As a nurse droid, he wants to help and remove the helmet, and the Mando hesitantly lets him only after the droid insists he’s not a living creature.
As Cara Dune and Greef Carga take the Child to the Mandalorian tunnels under the city, they are soon joined by IG-11 and a recovering Mando… but discover the Mandalorians have been killed by the Empire. The Mandalorian blacksmith is still there, however, and she tells the Mando that the Child is in his possession and that he must take it back to its home – but first find out where that is. She gives him a jetpack to use once he trains more. They leave, floating down the lava river in the tunnel, but there are stormtroopers at the entrance. IG-11 triggers his manufacturer’s protocol and self-destructs, killing the troopers and allowing the others to escape.
Moff Gideon soon arrives in his TIE Fighter, however, and begins firing upon the others. The Mando puts on his jetpack and launches to the Fighter, eventually blowing up one of the wings. He says goodbye to Carga and Cara Dune, who both opt to stay behind on Nevarro, and he leaves in the Razor Crest with the Child. Meanwhile, Moff Gideon cuts his way out of his crashed TIE Fighter with the Darksaber, looking around as the episode ends.
This was my favorite episode of the first season. It was awesome, exciting, emotional, and really intriguing as to where the show will go next in season two.
I really love that the show went away from the “a new story each week” format that much of the first season had been following to allow two episodes for this season finale. I get why the earlier episodes didn’t – as they were setting up so many of the characters and plotlines that these last two episodes picked up on – but I am glad they gave this final chapter a bit more time to breathe. That allowed things to pick right up at the start of this one, with the Child already captured.
The characters are, of course, awesome. IG-11 again steals the scenes that he is in, and he plays a huge and very important role in this one, as he saves both the Child and the Mandalorian, and then ultimately gives his life so the others may live. Cara Dune proves her own in a fight. And the Mando is such a great and compelling character. He’s obviously the focus of this episode as well, and we learn more of his backstory – as well as where he may be headed next. It seems that his task is to find the Child’s home and return it, which is certainly very exciting since we know pretty much nothing about this species, besides the fact they’re apparently quite strong with the Force. So that could perhaps be the storyline that season two follows, and I’m super excited to see more of the Mando and the Child.
But Moff Gideon also is a very intriguing character, in large part because of what we learn about him in this episode. I have to start with that massive reveal at the end: he has the Darksaber!!! This saber has shown up in the animated Star Wars shows The Clone Wars and Rebels, and it is a saber that has incredibly special significance to Mandalore. And now we know that Moff Gideon has it! Furthermore, Gideon was an officer who had access to the records on Mandalore, which is how he knows the Mando’s real name. So combine that with the fact that he was supposedly executed for war crimes… and I wonder if Moff Gideon was the one responsible for the Purge of Mandalore? If so, I bet we’ll explore a lot more of Mandalore’s history next season.
I’ll also say that the action sequences were incredible in this episode. The massive firefight outside the cantina was thrilling and awesome, the Mandalorian blacksmith fighting off stormtroopers was great, and it then was such a cool moment to see the Mando use the jetpack to take down Gideon’s TIE. Everything about the action in this one was tremendous and exciting.
As we come to the end of season one, I have to say that I absolutely love this show. It has exceeded all of my expectations, and I cannot wait to see where things go in season two. There’s still the intrigue of who showed up at the end of episode five, but this episode gave us more intrigue by likely setting the stage for season two’s main storyline, while also showing us that Moff Gideon has the Darksaber – and increasing the intrigue with him as well. He still wants the Child, and I imagine he’ll be going after him in season two for sure. My biggest complaint with this episode? That we’ll have to wait so long until season two!
My grade: 10/10