REMINDER, THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD, WATCH CHAPTER 10 AND COME BACK
Chapter 10: The Passenger
Anything this simple, always goes wrong. That’s what the tagline for Chapter 10 of The Mandalorian could have been. An episode that starts off with so much action, and only really continues with that was the best way to continue. Chapter 9 was a bit of fan service with all of the references to either the past, or the extended Star Wars universe. This time around we’re left with a much more heart-felt story of a mother and the drive to keep a family alive.
Also just in case you wanted a dose of horror with your Star Wars, you get that here too. Let’s start from the top.
We’re still on Tatooine. Mando is getting back to town and The Razorcrest. On his way back, we’re treated to a wonderful action scene involving our hero and some unknown raiders. They’re definitely after The Child, and know how much it’s worth. Outside of Mando kicking some ass, we don’t learn who they are or who they’re working for.
Back with Peli Motto, she’s playing cards with an Ant-like alien. She tricks Mando into betting another 500 credits for her, but she wins. Dr. Mandible as Pelli calls him, gives up the information about an informant that might know the whereabouts of more Mandalorians.
The Shift Of Chapter 10
From here the episode shifts. We’re leaving the confines of Tatooine and heading to places we haven’t been in Star Wars. Like most of the first season, this is the bread and butter of the show. Sure, we’re here to see cool familiar things, but we also want new, exciting places to go with these characters. So we meet the informant in a very entertaining scene with Peli and Mando.
The informant turns out to be a distant species resembling a frog. And to top it all off, she doesn’t speak Mando’s language. So you’re left with an odd-couple of sorts here. The whole cherry on top is that to get her to where she needs to go, he can’t use hyperdrive. She needs to get her offspring back to her husband to keep her species alive. And they’re on sort of a time-crunch. Way to get the adrenaline flowing for audience early on, Favreau.
Obviously from here it all goes well, and nothing bad happens. Except up until New Republic pilots “pull over” the Razorcrest. Some very subtle comedic moments from Pedro Pascal and the pilots lead to a chase. Like a fugitive outrunning a traffic stop, Mando takes the ship down to an icy planet below. The X-Wings give chase and he’s forced to crash land to evade capture.
That Horror I Was Talking About
I thought that Star Wars: Death Troopers was the pinnacle of Star Wars horror. From when they crash, the Mother needs to keep her eggs warm, so she finds a hot spring. Meanwhile, The Child keeps trying to eat the eggs. It’s a complex situation that leads to The Child being hungry and trying to find things to eat.
That urge to eat ends up costing us our sanity and leading to one of the more terrifying sections of Star Wars. The Child stumbles upon what look like egg sacs and eats a baby spider. You guessed it, the other spiders wake up and give chase. So if you’re an arachnophobe, you might want to skip this section.
We get a bunch of cool moments with the Mother, Mando, and The Child running away from the mob of arachnids. Including some use of the flamethrower that we all love. It looks like all is lost when the biggest of the Arachnids attacks the Razorcrest when they’re saved by wayward blaster fire. It’s a familiar sound though, that of an X-Wing’s weapons. Mando goes outside and is greeted by the two pilots that pulled him over originally.
In a touching, and very Rebel-like moment, the two pilots trade basically Mando giving up three fugitives and helping another Rebel for his own freedom from arrest. They decline to help him fix the hull of his ship however.
Not Quite The Earthshattering Ending, But Leading To Bigger Places Perhaps
Now, the episode leaves off with The Razorcrest broken, hurtling through space. It’s not quite the HOLY CRAP, BOBA FETT ending that we had last week. But they all can’t shake the very core of Star Wars fandom. After all, this is supposed to be a serial based show. We get a cliffhanger to keep us going.
For people who might levy complaints that the episode felt like filler, it did. But remember back to the first season. Lots of those episodes felt like filler, until they weren’t. The stories are all interconnected. We get this ending for a reason.
Who knows what’s going to happen next with the planet that Mando and The Mother are hurtling toward. But our crew is at a very vulnerable moment. Let’s go through a bit of what I really liked about this episode though.
Touching Moments Mixed With Crap Your Pants Horror
I do not like spiders. I don’t think many of you out there reading love them either. So to combine the tense stakes, with a huge mass of spiders, led to quite the moment in this episode. We weren’t treated to the all out action-a-thon that Chapter 9 was, but it didn’t need to be. This episode overall, retained the subtle humor that was present in the first season. We also got more of The Child this time around. The first episode of this season didn’t really have much, and at points you could have taken The Child away completely and it wouldn’t have changed the episode.
This time around, however, The Child is front and center. They move the plot along, they make the bad choices during the episode that lead to the problems. Also, it helps a lot that “Baby Yoda” is still really adorable and chews up every scene they’re in.
The tender moments of a mother protecting their offspring at all costs are also great here. While the only time you’re really hearing the Mother’s voice is when she takes over The Murder Droid from the first season, you still feel the performance visually. You feel every strain, every bit of stress, and most importantly for the motion capture, you get to see the pain that she feels.
The Mother’s species is dying, and this is the last shot. So you also get to see a bit more of Mando’s motivation here. While he’s a lot like Han Solo in some of the scenes, he’s not going to just cut and run, which makes his character that much greater.
Overall, Fantastic Episode That Doesn’t Follow A Formula
When I say it doesn’t follow a formula, I mean it doesn’t follow the set path that you might think. It’s at it’s core an episode about ferrying a passenger. Therefore, it’s titled “The Passenger”. But it’s much more than that. And I feel like this episode is going to have even further weight down the line. I don’t know where we’re going, but I loved this episode.
If Chapter 9 was the action filled blockbuster, this was the more tender, emotional, art-film mixed with horror and frights. This one was well worth the watch, and I can’t wait for Chapter 11 next week.
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