'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 5 Preview: Has Mando's arc with Baby Yoda made him a softer character?
In what has been a slow, but natural case of trust, perhaps even love, developing between Baby Yoda and Mando, the show has made the character a lot more human
'The Mandalorian' as a show is sheer badassery. A bounty hunter with exceptional combat skills was a story not many thought would see a live-action show. And to add, Baby Yoda was a global phenomenon during this time last year. While the opening season of Jon Favreau's brainchild pretty much saw Din Djarin/Mando (Pedro Pascal) and the little frog-muncher travel across the galaxy, the end of the season saw him being tasked to deliver the child to it's kind.
This forms the crux of Season 2 and there have been some interesting additions to the show. There's a massive Ahsoka Tano connect and we have already seen a few names from the 'Star Wars' universe appear on the show leaving fans asking for more. Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, Temuera Morrison's Boba Fett, Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth have been starring in their own right in the four chapters of Season 2 so far.
With four episodes left in the season, there is no doubt the show will focus on the bond between Baby Yoda and Mando. That is assuming Season 3 will not see Baby Yoda. If he does find his place of origin, which is what makes the role of Ahsoka Tano so much more integral to the series, then Season 3 would miss the green little brat.
Over the last 12 episodes of 'The Mandalorian', there has been a drastic change in the chemistry between the two characters. Mando has gone from being a gun-slinger to a protective father-figure of sorts. And this isn't a bad thing at all as far as character development is concerned. Mando had a rough childhood and joining the warrior race has made him what he is
Baby Yoda is pretty much a character whose past is an enigma and has no idea about his origins either. The unlikely pairing, however, has seen their relationship grow and the second season so far is ample proof. Perhaps the best moment is in Episode 2 when an alien threatens to kill Baby Yoda and for the first time, we sense concern and rage in Mando's voice.
The scene is heartening as Baby Yoda waddles his way to Mando with relief and then snorts with understanding as Mando exacts revenge on the alien. It's "my-dad's-got-this" vibe the green imp showcases. "Wherever I go, he goes," is another recurring Mando line we have heard so far in the series. This is a stark contrast when he used to ask the child to stay put in the Razor Crest in Season 1.
There's trust too. The Baby is force-sensitive and saved Mando when he was attacked by the mudhorn. So in what has been a slow, but natural case of trust, perhaps even love developing, the show has made the Mandalorian a lot more human. It also means Mando's softer side is shown as the season inches to an end.
While there could be a counter-argument that Mando is training Baby Yoda to be his partner-in-crime, and is devoid of emotions, it's a bit of a stretch really. True the green cuteness is becoming a brat by the episode— first eating the frog lady's eggs, then whacking space macaroons from a kid, but there's a feeling Mando has begun to understand the nature of the kid.
In all fairness, Baby Yoda, despite being 50 years old, is still a baby according to their species' aging history. This means Mando can relax his guard a little and perhaps even train the little tyke to be a formidable warrior. And this means he will have to be a bit lenient at times with the kid which he is. The opening, hilarious wiring scene in Episode 4 is another example of how Mando has been a tad softer and understanding of the child's behavior.
While we honestly have no idea how the season may end, what 'The Mandalorian' has done is build Mando and Baby Yoda's character arcs better and provide them with more depth. It might be another season or two before we see the child speak or even wield a lightsaber, but for now, he's got Mando by his side.
'The Mandalorian' Season 2 drops with a new episode every Friday on Disney+.