It’s been a long year, but we made it to season two of The Mandalorian!
Before I fully jump into my recap of the first episode of this sophomore season, we would like to bring to light our official statement regarding the controversy occurring behind-the-scenes of this show regarding transphobia. The Beat stands behind and fully supports the trans community.
The Mandalorian S2E1 “Chapter 9: The Marshal” picks up right after the first season’s finale, with Mando on a quest to reunite the Child with the Jedi. This obviously poses some issues for Mando. One, Jedi were famously systematically killed during Order 66 so finding one is going to be a real needle in a haystack situation. But even if Mando is lucky enough to find a Jedi, two, Jedi were also famously the enemy of Mandalorians. Of course, the events of The Clone Wars finale show that the Jedi played a crucial part in protecting Sundari during the Siege of Mandalore.
Regardless, “The Marshal” opens up with Mando (Pedro Pascal) bringing the Child into some kind of underground fighting ring to meet the ultra shady Abyssin Gor Koresh, voiced by John Leguizamo (though you’d only know it from the credits). The meeting goes awry when Gor shoots one of the Gamorreans fighting in the ring and turns his guns on Mando. It’s a trap! Gor’s got a collector’s eye for that shiny beskar armor and he’s ready to pluck it off of Mando. But taking care of Gor and his henchmen is an easy job for Mando and he learns from Gor that there is a supposed Mandalorian on Tatooine in a place called Mos Pelgo.
I’d like to take this moment to state that unequivocally, Din Djarin aka The Mandalorian is the world’s WORST babysitter/father figure. This was a consistent thing in season one and honestly, it’s a good thing the Child can protect himself because WOW Mando can’t take care of any child.
The duo hop onto the Razor Crest and set a destination for Tatooine where we meet up with the mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) again. Peli is still just as smitten with the Child, telling Mando, “If this thing ever divides or buds, I will gladly pay for the offspring.” Same, Peli, same. And, after his experiences with IG-11, Mando’s got a bit of character growth under his belt, letting Peli’s droids give The Crest a once-over. Which leads to the droids immediately banging it up, of course.
Peli points Mando toward Mos Pelgo, a mining settlement that seems to have been wiped out after the war by bandits. He hops on her speeder bike and he and the Child make their way toward the settlement, with the Child’s ears flapping in the breeze. Arriving at the settlement, we meet The Marshal aka Cobb Vanth played by Timothy Olyphant (aka Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, I see you, Jon Favreau). A man wearing Mandalorian armor, but it happens to have a hole right in the helmet. Before Mando can jump to conclusions and kill the man right there in the bar for his stolen armor, the earth starts to shake. The two run outside just in time to see a krayt dragon rolling through town, terrorizing the villagers and swallowing a poor bantha whole.
(This is another moment I would like to say that Mando is the worst babysitter. “He’s seen worse” and leaving the kid in the bar while an actual dragon terrorizes the town. He would have been better off with Peli!)
Seeing the krayt gives Cobb an idea. “Help me kill it, I’ll give you the armor.” Easier said than done. Cobb reveals that the armor he wears was actually purchased from Jawas. After the second death star blew up, the village barely had a moment to celebrate before the town was invaded by the Mining Collective and turned into a slave camp. Cobb barely managed to escape with a camtono full of silicax crystals. Wandering out in the dunes, he was picked up by Jawas in a sandcrawler. Trading the crystals for the beskar armor, Cobb returned to Mos Pelgo where he killed the slavers and freed the villagers.
Maybe it’s just me, but I was sure Cobb’s story was too good to be true up until the end of this episode. I kept expecting him to lead Mando into a trap and take his armor. And as they travel toward the krayt dragon, they’re blocked by Tusken Raiders and their massiff dogs. I almost expected Cobb to leave Mando in a shoot out and come back to grab the leftovers. But, Mando manages to speak Tusken to the Tusken Raiders and manage a truce since they also want the krayt dragon to be killed.
There’s an obvious aggression between Cobb and the Tuskens. The Tuskens accuse them of stealing water and Cobb retorts back that they raid their villages. Mando manages to keep the peace, but it’s shaky at best. In the morning, Mando, Cobb, and the Tuskens ride toward the krayt’s den. It lives in a sarlacc pitt after having killed the sarlacc that was living inside. The Tuskens have studied the krayt for generations and have realized that the more they feed the dragon the longer it will sleep.
However, the krayt dragon is massive and their current numbers just aren’t enough, so Mando volunteers the Mos Pelgo villagers. In exchange for the krayt dragon’s carcass and ichor, the Tuskens promise never to raid Mos Pelgo unless they fire first against them. It seems to be a fair trade, and aside from a few altercations, the two groups work well together.
D-Day arrives and they begin to execute their plan. With the krayt dragon sleeping, they plant explosives under the sand where it will be able to attack the soft underbelly of the krayt dragon. The Tuskens also set up ballistae (Cersei Lannister, is that you?) in order to aggravate the dragon into leaving its cave. But, no plan is ever perfect, and when the dragon awakens, we quickly learn that even with the two groups combined, they are no match for the krayt dragon.
Spraying acidic ichor and melting people left and right, the explosives only seem to make the dragon furious as it launches attacks at the villagers and Tuskens. Spotting another set of explosives tied to a bantha, Mando tells Cobb, “Take care of the child,” (Another black mark on your babysitter’s card, Mando) and lures the krayt to swallowing him and the bantha whole.
The krayt dragon spits him out right as Mando sets off the explosives and kills the krayt much to everyone’s relief. With the beast slain, Cobb agrees to the deal and hands over his armor while the Tuskens pull out a highly valued pearl from the corpse of the krayt dragon. These pearls also happen to have a connection to the Jedi as the pearls can be used in the creation of a lightsaber if they are cleaned and installed properly.
With the armor safely in hand, Mando rides back toward his ship with the Child in tow, but watching him ride away is a familiar face. Yes, that is Temuera Morrison as bounty hunter Boba Fett. So does this mean Cobb’s armor was Boba’s? It certainly looked similar, but only time will tell.
“The Marshal” was a decent opener to this second season. Written and directed by Jon Favreau, the episode felt like a soft restart. No supporting cast, just Mando and the Child on a mission-of-the-week. This has the benefit of feeling like a standalone episode. However, those curious of the fate of Moff Gideon and the darksaber or the whereabouts of Greef Karga will have to wait just a bit longer. On top of the fantastic special effects this episode, Ludwig Göransson‘s award-winning compositions and musical themes are back and better than ever.
The Mandalorian streams new episodes every Friday on Disney+.