The adventures of the Mandalorian and the Child continue! This week’s episode, “Chapter 10: The Passenger,” comes courtesy of director Peyton Reed of Ant-Man fame.
After the slam-bang season premiere, the general fan consensus has been a bit cooler regarding this episode. But take heart. You can still love Chapter 10. Here’s why.
Compared to Chapter 9, this episode scales things back a bit. But it still feels bigger than almost anything in Season One. The big action moments here feel completely of a piece with the episodic Star Wars films. On a technical level, there’s seemingly nothing the films can do that The Mandalorian can’t.
Some fans might think of this chapter as “filler,” a label slapped on some of last season as well.
But I think that’s the wrong label. I’ve seen the entirety of Smallville twice. I know what filler episodes feel like.
The question isn’t “does this episode advance the plot?” (which it actually does, perhaps even more than Chapter 9). The question is: “Does this episode have substance? Does it tell me something significant about the characters? Does it have artistic integrity?”
Yes, yes, and yes. This chapter is visually-stunning, fast-paced, and most importantly, it advances the themes of previous chapters.
And that makes it worthwhile even if the plot doesn’t plow along as quickly as some would like.
This is a great episode for Baby Yoda action. The last chapter held off a bit, refreshingly, but this one goes all in. We get to see the child’s personality emerge–see his wry smirk when Mando drops a bandit from the sky (maybe my biggest laugh of the series, by the way). But if Baby Yoda would stop eating those eggs, that would be great.
The X-Wing chase stands out as one of the best action sequences in the whole show. As an audience, we’re trained to see X-Wings as the good guys. It’s a clever move to cast them as antagonists for the first half of the episode. The tie to Chapter 6 also stands out–perhaps some “filler” episodes have more consequences than people thought.
And of course, the giant spiders. If you hate spiders, you probably hated this episode. But if you love the monstery side of Star Wars, or if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise like me, you probably had a great time with it.
Also, Dr. Mandible. Just Dr. Mandible. That is all.
Be mindful of the future (but not at the expense of the moment):
This episode doesn’t raise too many new questions, but it gives some clarity on where we’re going.
Since Frog Lady is, in fact, a frog lady, we’re likely headed for the ocean planet from the trailers. Which means perhaps the yet-unnamed, hooded Sasha Banks character might have some relation to the Mandalorians there.
So is she Sabine Wren? Does she know Bo-Katan? Or is it someone totally new?
If I had to wager 500 credits on it, I’d say we meet more Mandalorians by the end of the next chapter. This season doesn’t have time for many more standalone, adventure-serial episodes. Remember, the Mandalorians are just a step on the way to finding the Jedi. The Mandalorian and the Child have a long path ahead.
Merch we need:
Frog Lady frog-egg bubble tea. That is all.
Tune in next week for our thoughts on Chapter 11 of The Mandalorian!