'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Slow-paced before spider spectacle with ice monsters, frogs and humor
This episode may seem likes it is meandering a bit but the wait is absolutely worth it
Spoilers for 'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 2 'The Passenger'
'The Mandalorian' has never been just a one-kind of a show. All through Season 1, it experimented with different kinds of storytelling, with each director bringing their own unique take on the kinds of stories they could tell with the tools that the show offers. This week, an episode written by series creator Jon Favreau and helmed by 'Ant-Man' director, Peyton Reed, may have been a little meandering but continues to provide a stellar action scene that may just be one of the most memorable in 'Star Wars' history.
Though it takes a little while to get there, this episode of 'The Mandalorian' is really all about the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) protecting the Child and one of his passengers from a horde of frost spiders of all sizes while trapped in an icy cave. There's more to it, of course – Mando accepts a passenger who can lead him to more Mandalorians on the condition that he safely transports her at sublight speeds, which leads him to a run-in with X-Wing pilots seeking to arrest him for his role in the events of Season 1, Episode 6 - 'The Prisoner'. Aside from a breathtaking chase scene in the clouds above this ice planet, however, it's all really just light filler leading up to the spiders - and the end credit images seem to agree.
While 'The Mandalorian' is no stranger to humor, this episode takes it a step further than others, including a hilarious scene with Mando's jetpack, and a greater focus on Baby Yoda attempting to munch on everything he can get his grubby little hands on. Increased focus on Baby Yoda starts to really show where the animatronic puppet falls short - even one bolstered by CGI. It's a small flaw, one that would go unnoticed on any other show, and it's only noticeable because of the high level of production value 'The Mandalorian' has had on every other level. From the sandy dunes of Tatooine to the ice caverns on an unnamed planet, everything is visual candy - even the frost covering Mando's reflective armor looks fantastic.
Mileage may very among fans who are more into the series for the plot, however. It definitely feels like the episode has one main focus but time to kill before it can get there. Unlike last episode, where there was a set goal from the beginning that kept switching up throughout as events changed, it would be hard to say just what this episode is about until halfway through.
Once the spiders are awakened, however, it's another story entirely. Not even the movies have managed to bring in a threat level this visually dynamic - spiders of all size swarming in on the Mandalorian and those he's protecting, spitting webs, crawling through ice caverns, crowding his ship and even landing right atop of it. It may not outdo the battle with the Krayt Dragon in terms of scale, but it's a visual masterpiece that definitely deserves equal ranking. Even the fact that the Mandalorian doesn't finish off the threat himself doesn't take away from how great the battle is, and though the series has a light, almost lukewarm ending, the episode hits a high mark on visuals and action.
The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs on November 13, on Disney+.