If you’re a Disney+ subscriber, you’ve been treated to two episodes of The Mandalorian in launch week. Chapter 1 introduced us to the title character and his particular plight in the galaxy far, far away but also ended with a bang of fan service in the form of a cute little swaddled 50-year-old Yoda baby, an unexpected but savvy move. Now, in Chapter 2 “The Child”, The Mandalorian keeps its Western Man with No Name aesthetic while also working in a heavy dose of Lone Wolf and Cub in this budding buddy tale that follows the unofficially named Mandalorian and baby Yoda. (Until we get a proper spelling of “Dyn Jaren”, I’ll be referring to the Mandalorian by his title. “Baby Yoda”, from here on out, is Boda to me; sorry not sorry.)
If you need a recap of the events of Chapter 2, and to pick up on some of the things you might have missed, please enjoy the following nerd-friendly rundown:
The Mandalorian escorts the floating crib with Boda the baby Yoda through narrow canyon populated with little lizard creatures in a scene reminiscent of something out of Jurassic Park/World. (Filoni, Favreau, if you’re listening, I really need a creature guide for The Mandalorian, please.)
It’s here he’s ambushed by the Trandoshan bounty hunters and fends them off, three against one, while keeping baby Yoda at a safe distance, even managing to absolutely disintegrate one who goes after the youngster. (That’s a trend of dealing with enemies that will continue throughout this episode and probably the series.) It’s at this point that the narrative switches from Man with No Name to Lone Wolf and Cub as the Mandalorian keeps Boda by his side and keeps them safe, and vice versa.
After the battle, the Mandalorian mends his wounds by campfire light as baby Yoda looks on; the little critter is rather inquisitive. They even approach the Mandalorian with their arm outstretched as if to help or heal but is quickly put back into place … too bad they don’t stay put long. The Mandalorian closes the floating crib door before continuing their journey together the following day.
While the duo have been out battling alien bounty hunters, Jawas have begun scavenging from the Mandalorian’s ship, the Razor Crest. The Mandalorian takes a few of the desert dwellers out—disintegrating them as well—and scaring the rest off into their sandcrawler. He tries to disable this monstrous tank of a vehicle—or at least put a dent in it—before hopping aboard. The Jawas inside scramble their defenses in one of the funniest but silliest battles of the series so far. (There’s also a great Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade homage shot here; think Indy on the tank vs the rock wall.) The Mandalorian tries to scale the roving fortress that is the sandcrawler while Jawas poke, prod, zap, and throw things at him, eventually severing his zipline anchor. The Mandalorian makes it aboard anyway and a waiting dozen or so Jawas all zap him together. He falls to the ground, unconscious, as Boda looks on.
Back at the Razor Crest, The Mandalorian surveys the damage; it’s extensive. (I like that he keeps his helmet on even when performing routine maintenance aboard his own ship; definitely not hiding anything behind it…) He wanders back to the Ugnaught’s domicile with Boda along for the journey, introducing the two to each other. The Ugnaught suggests trading with the Jawa; he’ll make the introductions. Meanwhile, Boda eats a frog creature (perhaps a variation on the Klatooine paddy frog), swallowing it whole like Jabba the Hutt. (Just as a side note, the score continues to be a winner here.)
Back at the Jawa’s sandcrawler (and yes, we get an “Utinni!”), the Ugnaught strongly suggests the Mandalorian drops his weapons or he won’t get his ship’s parts back. Negotiations break down when the Jawa insult the Mandalorian and he literally fires back with his flamethrower. Since Boda and the Beskar steel are off the table for trades, they want “The Egg.”
It’s at this point that I’ll say that The Mandalorian really does feel like a live-action version of a cartoon; the silliness, the pacing, the camera shots and angles, even opting for limited dialogue to let the picture tell the story. Filoni’s experience shines through here, for better or worse, though this episode is directed by Rick Famuyiwa. Anyway, back to the quest!
After a quick weapons check, it’s into a cave for the Mandalorian. But he’s soon thrown back out for a brutal battle against a massive horned beast. (Again, a creature guide or even a namedrop would be fantastic here. Perhaps people better versed in Filoni’s animated universe than I recognize the creature, but to me it looks like something in the evolutionary line of Reeks, Motts, and Zakkegs.) The Mandalorian gets the worst of it until Boda literally levitates the creature into the air before it can gore the Mandalorian to death. The Mandalorian finishes the animal off with a simple knife once Boda’s power–and the little critter themselves–is exhausted.
The Mandalorian trades the egg to the Jawas who literally just wanted to feast on its yolk. “Suca!” While the Blurrg tows the junk barge packed with parts back to the Razor Crest, Mando and the Ugnaught talk of Boda’s abilities.
Once they fix the ship (in a montage!), the Mandalorian offers to pay the Ugnaught for his help or to hire him onboard as his crew, but the Ugnaught refuses. He says that not only was the Mandalorian his guest, but that he had worked too long to be free from any sort of bondage; he thanks the Mandalorian for bringing peace to the valley, wishes him well and that the child survives and gives him a worthy blessing.
With that, the Mandalorian and Boda take off into space … until next time!