We desperately needed this show right now. It couldn’t have come sooner. We rejoin Mando and the child as they head into a Fight Club to meet with a Gor Karesh (voiced by John Leguizamo). Mando is following a lead on another Mandalorian. Karesh decides to chance a fight with Mando and ends up on the wrong side up. He tells Mando that the person he seeks is on Tatooine.
A short visit with Pelli Motto (the always charming Amy Sedaris) gives us a chance to learn that our stoic hero isn’t as anti-droid as he was last season. He’s evolving. He asks Motto for directions on this largely deserted “looking” planet and the duo are on their way.
The shots on Tatooine are reminiscent of seeing the opening of the original Star Wars for the first time. Ludwig Goransson’s score along with the view gives a calming feeling. For the next fifty minutes, you are on this quest and things are going to be okay.
Like a scene from a spaghetti western, Mando enters a dimly-lit tavern and asks where he can find the Mandalorian. Another Mandalorian enters the frame. I knew it was Timothy Olyphant when he started speaking, I’ve seen every episode of Justified twice. He swaggers over to a table after grabbing a carafe and two glasses. The minute he sits down he removes his helmet. It’s a rule-breaker for a Mandalorian to remove their helmet, but I think even the helmet understood that a face that handsome can’t be masked for an entire episode.
Mando asks for the armor back and a stand-off ensues. The Mandalorian versus Raylan Givens great-grandson a few thousand millennia later. Who do you root for? Their stand-off is interrupted by a tremor monster hurtling out of the desert floor to eat a billy goat cow. I like that we’re adding in scary moments. This show can go anywhere, it’s fantasy.
Cobb Vanth explains that on the night of the second Death Star explosion, the Mining Collective attacked Tatooine and enslaved the people. He made a run for it and lucked into Mandalorian armor. He donned it to defeat the intruders and save the town. He’s been their marshal and protector ever since. Their latest problem is the tremor that pops up every few days to eat a few people. Vanth offers a deal – he will return the armor if Mando helps him kill the tremor monster.
Different Tribes Working Together
Mando and Vanth run into Tusken raiders and learn that they too are trying to kill the monster. They grudgingly agree to join forces. There’s a campfire scene that is reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Like the character of Willie Scott, Vanth rejects a drink from the Tuskens, which insults them and starts an argument. It’s a little on the nose, but still a good scene. Vanth is the old-time character that is grudgingly agreeing to get along with those he may not really understand or get along with.
The people of Tatooine, regardless of tribe or background join forces and head to the beast’s lair. When they finally provoke the monster out of the cave, we learn that it’s much bigger than either Vanth or Mando had thought. It’s a Megalodon Tremor.
The technical work that went into creating this action sequence is pure art. The scene builds tension and you’re actively rooting for the good guys. Mando comes up with a kamikaze scheme at the last minute and he blows up the megalodon tremor from the inside out. Before he takes off on his solo mission, he says to Vanth, “take care of the child.” If there’s ever a sign that Mando trusts someone, it was that statement.
The day is saved and the people rejoice. It’s a feel-good moment that’s captured perfectly by Olymphant’s high wattage smile. Today was a good day. Vanth returns the armor to Mando and they agree that running into each other again in the future wouldn’t be bad.
As Mando and the child ride across the Tatooine desert, we see a lone figure watching them. It’s Boba Fett. The show is back, it’s epic, and things are getting real.