Well, hot roasted Porg on a stick, Deborah Chow just directed the best episode of The Mandalorian by a large margin. I’ve been pretty lukewarm on Jon Favreau‘s Star Wars series, stuck somewhere between boring, rib-nudging fan service and a devotion to Baby Yoda so fanatical I’m legally not allowed to write Frank Oz letters that start with “Dear Dad” anymore. It’s been a trip! But “The Reckoning” was the first chapter that felt like an actual episode of television, not an enjoyable side-quest from a janky first-person shooter, complete with stakes, team chemistry, and an ending that finally pushed this narrative into hyperdrive.
It’s not perfect, of course, because the whole thing hinges on The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) being a Rancor-sized dumbass. Mando, who has spent three straight episodes exclusively being betrayed by scoundrels, accepts a call for help from noted traitorous scoundrel Greef Karga (Carl Weathers). Dude’s name is literally Greef. It’s like lending cash to a guy named Sorrow Bakstabbian. (An absolutely A+ Star Wars name that Disney can have for $6 million and/or a new season of Gargoyles.)
Either way, Karga wants The Client (Werner Herzog) and his posse of former Imperial Stormtroopers off Navarro, so he hatches a three-pronged plan. 1) Mando uses Baby Yoda as bait, 2) Mando kills The Client, and 3) Mando can eff off to wherever with his beautiful green son, his name cleared for good. Sensing shenanigans, Mando brings back-up in the form of a three-foot-tall metalsmith (Nick Nolte), a killer robot who has been de-programmed from killing (Taika Waititi), and a badass rebel shocktrooper (Gina Carano) who 100% would’ve gotten shot right in the back if Karga didn’t have a change of heart. In the end, nobody’s ruse works. The sudden, dramatic arrival of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and his wonderfully flashy magician’s cape brings blaster-bolt chaos to the proceedings; Mando and Cara Dune are trapped, Kuiil is seemingly dead, and Baby Yoda gets scooped up like a fumbled football right into the hands of the enemy.
You probably have a few questions. I know I have a few questions. Let’s get into it.
(Quick note: There are very light Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker spoilers in the last entry of this page. I’ll put another warning right before it, but if you don’t even wanna risk it, fly outta’ here ASAP.)