Another week, another satisfying episode of The Mandalorian goes by. The fourth chapter of Disney’s popular Star Wars spin-off is directed by none other than Jurassic World and Black Mirror actress Bryce Dallas Howard. Luckily, she was given a better script to work with than her father Ron Howard was when he directed the ill-fated Solo spin-off, but I digress.
Warning: There are spoilers past this point.
Mandalorian‘s fourth outing packs a lot into its short running time. We’re introduced to several new characters, including mercenary Cara Dune and widowed mother Omera, both of whom reside on the planet Sorgan.
The introduction of Cara is a little hoakey. The Mandalorian essentially brawls with her in what looks more like an underwhelming Power Rangers battle than what we’ve come to expect from the brilliant fight choreography from previous episodes. Still, she’s a solid character, and actress Gina Carano does her justice as a believable partner to Mando, outside of their awkward introductory scuffle.
Said awkward scuffle impresses Mando enough to invite Cara along to help him defend a local village at the behest of some lowly farmers. At the start of the episode we see their village being attacked by Klatooinian marauders that resemble Moblins from the original Legend of Zelda. It was only a matter of time before the Mandalorian got involved.
From there, the duo meet the previously mentioned Omera who seems to take a shining to the Mandalorian. They have some genuine on-screen chemistry and for a while I was fooled into thinking she could become a love interest for our hero, but by the end of the episode that seems less likely.
Nonetheless, their meeting allows us a further glimpse into Mando’s origins. We learn that he’s not really a Mandalorian, but was adopted by their people following the death of his parents. So, now we have a better handle on why he became so attached to Baby Yoda.
He also gives some additional exposition as to why he never takes off his helmet and I know I say this every week, but I swear this show resembles Goblin Slayer more and more with each episode.
The highlight of the episode has to be the showdown with the Imperial AT-ST. The impressive battle with the armored baddie almost makes up for the sloppily handled Mando/Cara duel earlier on.
After their triumphant victory, it seems like all is well in the little village on Sorgan. The Mandalorian even considers leaving his toddler pal there, assuming it will have a better life and happier childhood in the village. Alas, it’s not meant to be. The ongoing threat of assassins sent to take out Baby Yoda forces Mando to continue traveling with and protecting it.
Thus concludes episode four, which does a nice job at expanding the world of The Mandalorian even further without becoming top-heavy. The good news is that it doesn’t signal the end of Mandalorian‘s excellent run of solid stories. It’s a worthy addition to the series catalogue so far, and it continues doing a better job than the goofy third trilogy at balancing the serious tone of something like Rogue One with the lightheartedness of the original trilogy.
That said, this latest installment of Mando’s adventures simultaneously feels slower-paced and yet more rushed than the episodes before it. It doesn’t necessarily bite off more than it can chew, but it felt more dangerously close to falling off the tightrope than its predecessors. Still, it’s quality television that deserves your attention.