The Mandalorian season 2, episode 8 review: The Rescue

The Mandalorian chapter 15 "The Believer"
The Mandalorian chapter 15 "The Believer" /

“Help me rescue the child and you can have whatever you want. He is my only priority.” Major spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 8 follow.

With the life of Grogu at stake, team Mandalorian must get even bigger if they are to successfully take on Moff Gideon and his entire crew in the finale of Disney Plus‘ The Mandalorian season 2.

Now, when looking to recruit, who other is there to bring on board than even more Mandalorians, and that’s exactly what the team gets.

Two Mandalorians walk into a bar

What’s one constant that has been shown in The Mandalorian so far? It’s that if you want to start an episode off, make sure that characters enter into a bar. And much like the series premiere, this entrance starts off the episode with a bang. Literally, and figuratively. Who could possibly start off a finale episode like that though? Well, none other than Bo-Katan Kryze and her companion Koska Reeves.

This is such a great opening for scene for a lot of reasons. We get to see three different kinds of Mandalorians butting heads. There’s a really fun fight scene between Boba Fett and Koska. And the negotiation between Bo-Katan and Din is nail-biting. It’s really hard to think of a time where a fight scene was outshone by a negotiation between two people who are supposed to be on the same side. Yet, here it is in this episode and boy, does it do a great job of setting the tone for what’s to come.

Then we come to the planning of the rescue mission to get Grogu back. There’s never a point in time during the planning where it feels that anything team Mandalorian is planning on doing should work. The entire plan feels like something where any wrong move could lead to absolute disaster. But, there’s one thing that can count on, Moff Gideon’s overconfidence. Honestly, this planning scene is probably the weakest scene in the entire episode, which is so odd given that this episode is directed by Peyton Reed, who directed both Ant-Man films. He created some great planning sequences in those films, but here, the scene just feels a bit undercooked and doesn’t fully set-up the threat on the ship as well as it possibly could have. However, it’s not that long of a scene and it then jumps right into the actual rescue mission.

Into the lion’s den

Without anything else to say, the team heads straight into enemy territory. No backup, no escape option, they either capture the ship and save Grogu or they die. Actually, them dying is very much a possibility once the Dark Troopers come into play. Before that though, they have to make their way to their objectives. Bo-Katan, Fennec, Cara, and Koska head toward the bridge to take out as many Imperials as possible and capture the bridge, while Din heads to the brig to get Grogu, stopping along the way to stop the release of the Dark Troopers.

These both lead to some great action sequences. See Bo-Katan’s grew mowing down Stormtroopers is something we’ve seen hundreds of times before in Star Wars, but the flair that it’s done with in this episode is fantastic. Arguably, the best part of the sequence is when it focuses on Fennec and Ming-Na Wen has her time to shine. It’s some great physical combat combined with blaster play that is slightly reminiscent of John Wick.

As for Din, he heads to stop the release of the Dark Trooper droids before they can come online and absolutely wreck his rescue team. He manages to get there in time, but just barely as one still manages to escape, leading to a great fight scene between Din and yet another droid that he is bound to hate. Seriously, these Dark Troopers look like they are straight out The Force Unleashed video game and it’s very, very fun to see Din barely hold his own against one.

After escaping the grasp of the droid though, he has one more stop to make, Grogu’s holding cell and who other is waiting there for him but Moff Gideon. There’s so much great about this fight between Din and Gideon, but probably the best thing is just seeing the Darksaber in live-action. It looks incredible in motion and sparring with Din’s Beskar staff. It’s just a visual treat from the start of fight until the end.

The future of The Mandalorian

With Din defeating Gideon and taking control of the Darksaber, he heads back to the bridge, confident that Bo-Katan will be pleased. However, the opposite is true though as Bo-Katan realizes what has happened and that she can’t have the Darksaber, which is symbolic for the leader of Mandalore to wield, unless she beats Din in combat, much to Gideon’s pleasure. No matter how much Din doesn’t want it, Bo-Katan still can’t take the saber out of his hand. It’s a great dichotomy to the different sects of Mandalorians and how stringent they about different things. It’s such a complex culture that only keeps growing deeper with every episode.

More from Disney Plus

Before they can settle this though, the Dark Troopers that Din thought he got rid of have returned, trapping them on the bridge in a kill box. When all hope is lost, a single X-Wing makes its way onto the ship carrying a Jedi who has come to save them. That Jedi is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. In what is an incredibly satisfying scene of seeing Luke in his prime, easily taking out these Dark Troopers, the best part comes after when Din is preparing Grogu to leave with Luke and R2-D2.

In probably the most heart-warming, and simultaneously saddest, scenes of the entire series so far, Grogu finally gets to see his father’s face as Din takes off his helmet in order to say goodbye, at least for the time being. This scene is truly tear-jerking and is played incredibly well by Pedro Pascal and absolutely enhanced by the pitch perfect puppeteering of Grogu. This scene has been building for two seasons and it hits you right in the gut because of that. But that scene ends, and Grogu heads off with Luke Skywalker and Din holds the fate of Mandalore in his hands, thus ending season 2.

The Mandalorian season 2 ends on a fantastic note. With solid action sequences, great emotional moments, and a phenomenal reveal, this is a great season finale.

And stay for a post-credits scene, which won’t be spoiled here.

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What did you think of The Mandalorian season 2 finale? Have you enjoyed The Mandalorian season 2? Let us know in the comments below!