The Mandalorian season 2, episode 2 review: The Passenger

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in THE MANDALORIAN, season two. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Child in THE MANDALORIAN, season two. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

“I thought you said you vouched for her with your life?” Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 2 follow.

The Krayt Dragon is dead, and with no real Mandalorian to be found, the titular Mandalorian and the Child must find a new lead in the second episode of Disney Plus‘ The Mandalorian season 2.

Luckily, they come across just the person to help them after returning to Mos Eisley. The catch though is that he has to transport her to a nearby planet. Without using hyperspace.

The search for the Mandalorians

In just two episodes, it’s become very clear that the goal of this season is very different from the first season of The Mandalorian. There was a very passive approach to the storytelling of season 1 which very much reflected the attitude of Din Djarin. Just survive and on move onto the next mission, or bounty, or planet. However, it is much more abundantly clear that the storytelling is taking a much more active approach in moving the story forward, which, yet again, reflects Din’s attitude.

So, with Din proactively searching for more Mandalorians this season, rather than just running around the galaxy, there’s already a different feeling to this season. There actually feels like a bit of narrative progression for a season-long arc in these first two episodes. The episodes are still incredibly episodic like the first season, but that’s the charm of this show. It feels very classic television in the sense that you could just jump into basically any episode and not be lost for the most part. It’s kind of refreshing for a streaming series to be like that.

Survival of a line

As for the focus of this episode though, honestly, this is about as monster horror-adjacent as Star Wars may ever get. There’s just a lot of dread of happening in this episode. There’s existential dread. There’s the dread of oncoming doom. And really, there’s the dread that comes with the fear that something terrible could happen at any moment.

So, to start off with existential dread (as you do), this episode does a really great job of conveying the urgency that is needed for the Passenger to get her destination. She’s a reptilian creature, so she is transporting her eggs to her husband, but here’s the rub, this is the last batch of eggs she can make. If these eggs don’t get fertilized, her family line will die out. And, while the episode doesn’t explicitly state it, it makes it seem like her species is endangered as well. Because of all that, this episode does a solid job of getting the audience to quickly care for her plight and scared that she won’t be able to make it to her husband in time.

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There is a recurring bit here though where Baby Yoda constantly eats the eggs and, while funny, it’s tonally jarring as the urgency and plight of the eggs is terrifying so Baby Yoda basically destroying the eggs shouldn’t be funny.

As for the dread of oncoming doom, arachnophobes (like this writer) might want to skip this episode. Definitely skip it if your fear of spiders is crippling. There are so many spiders in this episode. SO. MANY. @#^%&^!. SPIDERS. Specifically, a variation of the Krykna spiders introduced in Star Wars Rebels, but much more heavily inspired by Ralph McQuarrie’s designs for The Empire Strikes Back than their appearance in Rebels. The climax of this episode revolves entirely around them in a creepy chase sequence through some ice caves. It’s something so different for the show and, this may be my very anti-spider biases coming through, there might’ve been a bit of an overzealous use in how many there were. The scenes were effectively tense and scary, but at times it felt like they were trying to just go overboard with how many spiders there were.

The New Republic

Apart from all the spiders though, we do get see some more appearances of the New Republic in this episode. Sure, they’re just a couple of X-Wing Pilots, but it gives us a glimpse as to how the galaxy at large is now being run by the New Republic.

Obviously, the having anything to do with the New Republic is nerve-wracking for Din, which leads to one of the tensest portions of the episode, just write behind the cave sequence. We get to see a dogfight between two X-Wings and the Razor Crest. It’s an incredibly tense scene and there’s not a single blaster bolt that is fired. The ships simply fly. And it has a very Episode I Pod-Racer race vibe to it as well. No score, just the sounds of the engines and from inside the cockpit. It’s an incredibly tense, well directed and well sound engineered scene and it really just creates an urge to see more aerial dogfights.

The Mandalorian season 2 puts out its most different episode yet with an incredibly tense and unsettling episode featuring too many spiders and not enough aerial dogfights.

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What did you think of The Mandalorian season 2, episode 2? Let us know in the comments below!