'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 4 Review: A light-hearted welcome home party with Mando and friends
The Mandalorian returns to Navarro for repairs and helps Greef Karga and Kara Dune empty out one last Imperial Base
Spoilers for 'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 4 'The Seige'
For the second episode in a row, 'The Mandalorian' is being a little more light-hearted, giving us less of a Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) who is stoic, silent and to the point and more of a conventional action hero in a light-hearted romp through space. Carl Weathers's directorial debut gives us an episode featuring the closest thing the series has to a regular supporting cast, as Mando and friends take out one of the last remaining Imperial Bases on Navarro. What appears to be a simple mission turns out to have major implications, both for the show and for the larger 'Star Wars' galaxy, but for the most part, the episode is an amusing ride with one hell of an ender.
In what is sure to have thousands of voices crying out all at once in dismay, this episode does not feature the long-awaited return of Ahsoka Tano (Rosaria Dawson). Before he can head to the planet of Corvus, the Mandalorian needs repairs and what better place to get help than from his old friends back on Navarro? Given how many new characters we're introduced to every episode, it's almost surprising to see recognizable faces on the show, as Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) come up to greet Mando.
Turns out he has arrived just in time because Karga and Dune need his help to rid Navarro of the one remaining Imperial Base left on the planet. Bringing along one of Mando's previous bounties, the four infiltrate the base and discover exactly why the Empire wants the Child so badly, before blowing the base up and battling a number of Stormtroopers in the process.
The episode feels neatly divided into two parts - an easygoing comedic adventure with the Mandalorian and the people who essentially count as his sidekicks and an all-out action sequence with blasters, bikes, cliffs and mid-air battles. As far as the action goes, it's the high-budget special effects extravaganza we've come to expect from the series. The same breathtaking action that always manages to stay fresh, from episode to episode, showing us new ways to see battle done that's all so uniquely 'Star Wars'. The lighter side, however...leaves something to be desired.
There's a certain gravitas that's been missing from the last several episodes. There's a reason Mando keeps his helmet on that goes beyond his zealous faith. The Mandalorian works best as a stoic mystery. The more people you give him to play off of - and the more familiarity they have with him - the less gravitas the show feels like it has. An increased focus on Baby Yoda's antics also makes the show feel like it's veering more into comedic territory than anything else. There's nothing wrong with that, on its own, but it is a step in a direction that leads distinctly away from the lone warrior feel that gave the show such a powerful impact in the first place.
When it's at its best, 'The Mandalorian' perfectly balances its humor, its stakes, its complicated relationship with 'Star Wars' canon, and its supporting characters. The show is still good enough that when that balance is thrown off, it still makes for a great episode, but it's nonetheless a little disappointing when a show doesn't quite live up to the high standards that it set for itself.
The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs November 27, on Disney+.