*** Be warned that FULL SPOILERS ARE AHEAD, so if you haven’t watched this episode, don’t read this article. ***
The weekly adventures of Din Djarin and the Child, a.k.a. The Mandalorian, returned today with the second episode of season two.
Chapter 10, “The Passenger,” continues on the theme of Djarin’s quest to find other Mandalorians, but as you might expect, it doesn’t go exactly as he expects.
Let’s dive in to this week’s episode!
After taking down the Krayt Dragon and heading off with Cobb Vanth’s Mandalorian armor, Din Djarin rides back on his speeder bike across the Tatooine desert. But some thugs lay a trap for him, springing him from the bike and attacking him, trying to take the Child. Djarin is able to take the others out, but one of them grabs the Child. Mando offers anything in exchange for the Child’s safety, and the thug requests his jetpack. Djarin gives it to him, and as the enemy runs away, the Child runs to Mando’s embrace. Mando then activates the jetpack, which launches the thug, sending him flying to his presumed death, while the jetpack then returns to the Mandalorian.
Djarin reunites with Peli Motto, who is playing Dr. Mandible in a game of sabacc, and Dr. Mandible knows someone who knows the location of other Mandalorians. That “someone” later meets them at Motto’s shop: it is a frog lady who needs passage to Trask to reunite with her husband. She is carrying her eggs and needs her husband to fertilize them or else their line will die out. This requires no hyperspace travel, but the frog lady insists that her husband has seen other Mandalorians on the planet. Djarin reluctantly agrees to give her transportation – without jumping to lightspeed.
Meanwhile, on their journey, the Child takes a fascination with the frog’s eggs and eats some of them. But an even more pressing trouble for Djarin is that two New Republic X-Wings (one of which is piloted by Trapper Wolf!) intercept the Razor Crest for not transponding. When Djarin eventually does, they recognize it as having been near a New Republic prison break. Mando then tries to evade them, flying in the skies of Maldo Kreis, but he crash lands – and the ship then falls through the ice and is badly damaged.
Djarin gives up on his mission, but the frog lady re-wires the bounty droid, Zero, in Mando’s ship to use its vocalizer to communicate with him, saying that she thought Mandalorians always kept their word. And so Djarin gets to work fixing the ship… but before long, the Child lets him know that the frog lady has left. So Mando and the Child head off through some ice caves and find her swimming in a hot spring. As they prepare to head back to the Razor Crest, the Child grabs and eats a spider from its egg – which seemingly wakes all the others. Suddenly dozens of spiders come swarming after Djarin and the others, including a giant one. They attempt to flee back to the ship and eventually get there, but the Razor Crest is overrun with spiders. Djarin attempts to take off, but the giant spider falls on top of the ship, preventing an escape.
Just when all hope seems lost, the spiders are blasted by someone outside the ship. Mando cautiously makes his way out to find that the two X-Wing pilots had taken out all the spiders. They tell him that there’s a warrant out for his arrest since he aided a prison break, but also mention that records indicate he did a number of noble things in that escape as well. So they leave without arresting him. Djarin can’t repair the whole ship but can pressurize the cockpit, allowing them to take off. As they head toward their destination, the Child again eats one of the frog lady’s eggs while Djarin sleeps.
This episode put the Child front and center and continued to unpack Djarin’s relationship to him. There were a number of absolutely adorable moments from the Child, plus the continued emphasis on him trying to eat the eggs of the frog lady. That was played for laughs – and I’ll be honest, the one at the very end of the episode did just that for me – but it’s also problematic for the Child to be eating the eggs, after so much emphasis was placed on them in this episode. But I think that’s kinda the point. Everyone has fallen in love with the Child (and rightfully so!), but remember that the creators didn’t want him to be too cute, and he is a baby creature after all. So him eating the eggs is just him searching for food, and he needs direction. Djarin attempts to give that to him in this episode, but there’s a long way to go.
And speaking of that, I thought this episode really highlighted the relationship between Djarin and the Child, which has really grown to be a father/son dynamic in many ways. At the beginning of the episode we see Mando do whatever it takes to save the Child – though of course he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve – and that carries on. I thought one of the more notable moments in this regard was after the Razor Crest crashes and they sit in the hull somber and without much hope. The frog lady holds her eggs near, while the Child crawls up and snuggles with Djarin. In other words, here are two “parents” trying to care for their children. Perhaps that’s part of why Djarin agrees to help the frog lady in the first place. Even though part of the point of Djarin’s quest is to return the Child to its kind, we can see how their relationship is growing.
Speaking of that quest, that’s what is driving things in this episode once again. Djarin is searching for other Mandalorians, and after failing to find any on Tatooine, he gets a new lead (on that note, I thought Peli Motto joking about how he finally found a Mandalorian and then killed him upon seeing Vanth’s armor was great). So even though this episode was a detour from that quest, it shouldn’t be characterized as filler. We see the relationship between Djarin and the Child continue to grow, we’re still following the main quest (just with a slight delay), and if these first two episodes have proven anything, it’s that “filler” episodes rarely are filler. Consider: the first episode of this season really picked up on and expanded Chapter 5 of season one; and the second episode of this season really picked up on and expanded Chapter 6 of season one. Plus, let’s be honest: if you’re not familiar with the format of the show by now, that’s not the show’s problem. As I alluded to in the beginning of this article, this is a weekly serial following the adventures of Djarin and the Child, but it’s brought together by a larger theme that typically plays out over the course of a season, not each individual episode. And that’s totally fine.
So no, this episode wasn’t my favorite, but it was still enjoyable. Well, except for the whole spider part. I’m not a big fan of spiders, so seeing them all swarm was a bit terrifying. But anyway, on a similar note, it’s really cool how this show features so many different creatures from across the galaxy.
There are two other things I want to pick up on from this episode.
First, the opening scene of Djarin fighting on Tatooine was just great. I loved it, and it was probably my favorite scene from the whole episode. He at first was overpowered, but then outfought – and outsmarted – his opponents. It was adorable as he saved the Child and then the Child ran to him, and it was really great how he then just turned on the jetpack and got it back. That scene was just fantastic! But also suspiciously absent was Boba Fett. I figured they’d probably make us wait to pick up on that major tease at the end of Chapter 9, but when the episode opened and they were still on Tatooine I wondered if there was a chance. But nope. We’re left waiting, and I bet it’ll be a little bit before we find anything more out.
Second, I loved the New Republic X-Wings. It was, of course, great to get Dave Filoni back as Trapper Wolf, but I also really liked how Djarin’s past caught up to him – in multiple ways. His part in the New Republic prison break didn’t go unnoticed, and so the New Republic has a warrant out for his arrest. Actions have consequences. But it’s not just his bad actions that have consequences, but his noble ones too. The New Republic pilots choose not to arrest him because records indicate Djarin did much good in that prison escape too. We’ve seen Djarin come more and more to do the right thing, and now that’s catching up to him as well. I figure that will prove to be more encouragement to him to continue trying to do the right thing moving forward. That theme is also picked up on when the frog lady challenges him by saying that Mandalorians also keep their word; Djarin so strives to live up to the Mandalorian creed, and he again tries to do the right thing.
Another thing I loved with the New Republic pilots was them flying through the clouds above Maldo Kreis in pursuit of the Razor Crest, as it was an absolutely gorgeous sequence. Major credit to the visual effects people for that whole sequence, as it was fantastic. And also a really nice touch by Ludwig Göransson: as the New Republic pilots leave at the end of the episode after saving Djarin, we hear a slower and remixed version of the March of the Resistance. That was so cool, and a nice little way of foreshadowing what will come.
So yeah, this episode was a detour from the main quest, but still in service to it. The episode provided some really great moments and was entertaining to watch, and it seems to be setting up for next week’s episode, when they arrive and presumably meet up with Sasha Banks’s character. I’m excited for that, but in the meantime, this episode wasn’t spectacular, but still solid.
My grade: 8.5/10