Welp. They can’t all be winners. Contrary to what most whining about on the internet have been loudly shouting for all to hear, I’ve actually really quite enjoyed this season of THE MANDALORIAN. Say what you will about this “not being about anything” (which is wrong by the way), or about this “not being about The Mandalorian” (also wrong, it’s about Din, and Bo, and all of Mandalore), but it’s been a stellar season that has rewarded longtime fans of the Mandalorian mythos.
That being said, 70% of this was a dumb episode. Even its title is dumb.
It’s taking me a lot of restraint not to outright give this one a “Never”.
I’m not kidding when I say a majority of the episode was garbage filler. I mean, what the hell were they thinking? Bryce Dallas Howard, one of the most reliable directors this series has seen, managed to waste 3 big-name stars on an inconsequential subplot that really took up way more of this episode than it should have.
After last week’s official declaration that Bo would be leading the charge to recruit Mandalorians across the galaxy, we were in for a big payoff for her to set on her quest to do so. And in 30% of this episode, that’s true. But much like the only episode of the series I actively hated (E3 THE CONVERT), we don’t get much of it here as we should have. We get more than we got in THE CONVERT, and in that respect, this doesn’t deserve the “Experience Never” I would have given that episode. But to get to the point of the episode, we have to wade through Bantha dung.
Now granted, I’ll give them credit for making some bits of the useless subplot entertaining. There’s a buddy-cop feel to this that is somewhat funny to see within a STAR WARS story. And I strongly believe those so enamored by the prequels will find something to like about this. But this portion of the episode played like a slightly-better episode of OBI-WAN more than the marquee show that put STAR WARS back on the map! Complete with inconsistencies and plot holes (What happened to “wherever I go, he goes”, Din?).
Furthermore, the cameos are REALLY distracting. 2, in particular, got me thinking, “Really, what the hell are you two doing here?” Well, apparently, they are there to give Din and Bo a stupid errand to run to distract any momentum to the main storyline. Note to showrunners: Celebrity appearances do not a good story make.
That being said, once we dispose of the stupid side-quest, we are treated to a really good bit of Mandalorian conflict and story progress in the final act. It was enjoyable and constructive and reverent to Mandalorian mythology. It was the only thing keeping me from giving this a “Never.” I really wish we had more of that, or at least that it took up the full episode.
That being said, no season of THE MANDALORIAN has ever been perfect for me. I think Season 2 was near-perfect. But it’s always been the case that maybe 1-2 episodes out of an 8-9 episode run were more misses than hits. And so far, they’ve hit 2 for me this season.
My hope is that if they end strong and stick the landing, all will be forgiven as if they bathed in the Living Waters of Mandalore.
But until then, we just have to go in blind and hope for the best. This is the way.
THE MANDALORIAN S3E6 is now streaming on Disney+