Blue macarons for everyone! In an episode assumed to be somewhat of a filler, The Mandalorian S2E4 “The Siege” turned out to be a whole lot more! Mando returns back to Nevarro this episode, reuniting with his old friends Greef Karga (Carl Weathers, also the director of the episode!) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano). Before diving into this episode, I would like to acknowledge the current controversy surrounding Gina Carano and the statement we made in response to this.
“Chapter 12: The Siege”, much like “The Heiress“, picks up right after its previous episode. Mando is putzing along in the Razor Crest, now with the Child as his little junior mechanic. I know I’ve been saying for weeks that Mando is a bad dad, now I’m realizing Mando just might be a typical dad? That wiring scene hit a little too close to home for me, mild electrocution and all. Put that with the fact that this man seems to only be able to feed the kid soup and this is seeming more and more like a typical bachelor dad life. I do not take back my criticism but it was improperly labeled.
Since taking back Nevarro, Magistrate Greef Karga and Marshal Cara Dune have really made an attempt at cleaning the place up. We are reintroduced to Cara in a sequence of her fighting a group of Aqualish scavengers who name her as the Marshal. Making quick work of the scavengers, she returns back to see Mando’s arrival. Sputtering and groaning with a landing ramp that barely works, the Crest lands and Mando greets his friends again. Okay, Greef. Two things: One, your reaction to the Child: same. Two, you have to get better people if one of your “best people” is also an Empire spy! Come on, Greef.
Nevarro is a changed place since Mando last left it. The cantina, once shot to hell by Gideon’s troops, is now a quaint little school for the young children complete with a female protocol droid teacher. Leaving the Child to get a navigational lesson (major trade routes, regions of space, etc.) the group leaves to go talk business. The Child is obviously immediately the center of attention for the kids and we’re treated to another show of the Force, this time to get a pack of blue cookies from a fellow classmate’s desk. The fact that Baby Yoda’s main reasons for using the Force this season has been because of food speaks to me on a fundamental level.
And, look who has also made a return! Mythrol (Horatio Sanz)! From the pilot episode! He promptly expels something when he sees the bounty hunter who last encased him in carbonite. Since his recapture, he’s been working off his 350 years of debt to Greef. Anyway, Greef and Cara need Mando’s help with an old Imperial base nearby. The source of Moff Gideon’s troops, the base is still being manned despite Moff Gideon being assumed dead. While Greef and Cara think the base is full of weapons (which it may be), its actual purpose is far more nefarious.
The trio heads off with Mythrol driving them in his speeder. A+ to Mythrol for getting 130 years knocked off his debt in this single, deadly mission. While trying to get in through the front door, Mando spots a trooper at the shuttle bay and realizes that this base isn’t manned by the skeleton crew they thought it was. On their way to the heat shaft, more and more stormtroopers are spotted by the group. With the coolant lines drained, the reactor becomes unstable and the group has about ten minutes to clear the base before it completely explodes.
On their way out of the base, they come across two officers purging the drives and realize what is actually going on at this base: it is a lab. Liquid tanks full of mutated specimens float on display, some of them looking suspiciously like Snoke. Mythrol is able to access a message from Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) on the experiments:
“…replicated the results of the subsequent trials, which also resulted in catastrophic failure. There were promising effects for an entire fortnight, but then, sadly, the body rejected the blood. I highly doubt we’ll find a donor with a higher M-count, though. I recommend that we suspend all experimentation. I fear that the volunteer will meet the same regrettable fate if we proceed with the transfusion. Unfortunately, we have exhausted our initial supply of blood. The Child is small, and I was only able to harvest a limited amount without killing him. If these experiments are to continue as expected, we would again require access to the donor. I will not disappoint you again, Moff Gideon.”
Wow, lots to take in from this. Not only is Moff Gideon intent on extracting midichlorians from the Child, but he intends to inject it into a living subject. Previous attempts have failed, presumably, the subjects in the tank are the results of failed experimentation. Does Gideon want the blood for himself? Is he trying to wield the Force in order to strengthen his power? Is it related to Snoke and Palpatine and the First Order? Will the introduction of Ahsoka present Gideon with more M-saturated blood for these experiments?
There’s no time for questions, though. Gideon is alive and that means Baby Yoda is in danger. Mando books it back to Nevarro, splitting off from the group to jetpack back. This leaves Greef, Cara, and Mythrol to fight their way off the base, forcing them to take the Trexler Marauder on their way out. RIP to Mythrol’s speeder. The chase that ensues with the Marauder, the speeders, and the TIE fighters is great fun and it definitely looks like Carl Weathers is having a ball manning the guns. The TIE’s are hot on their tails, even though Greef manages to take out one of them, the guns are destroyed. Thankfully Mando and his newly fixed Crest come in for backup with the Child sitting in the cockpit with him. Question: It feels like it’s been maybe four or five hours since Mando landed, how the hell did those mechanics fix up the Crest so quickly?
The aerial dogfight is awesome, complete with spins and Baby Yoda with his hands up in the air munching on blue macarons. But, too many cookies + motion sickness = a bad time and poor Baby Yoda gets a little sick. We’ve all been there, my guy. Happy the ship is fixed and Nevarro is safe, Mando sets off on his way.
Not long afterward, we are reunited with Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) from “The Passenger“. He is inquiring about the Crest, but Greef doesn’t budge on intel. It’s interesting to see how the Outer Rim and our heroes view the New Republic, less heroic and more bureaucratic. Even Teva, a loyal soldier to the New Republic, knows that there is a disparity between those who live in the Core worlds and those in the Outer Rim. He suspects something is afoot and has been connecting the dots. He spots Cara outside and tries to recruit her to the New Republic. As a drop soldier and Alderaan native, she has a good reason to join up with the New Republic. Perhaps Cara calls in New Republic support in the final fight against Moff Gideon?
Somewhere in space on an Arquitens-class command cruiser, Moff Gideon is informed that one of the mechanics has planted a tracking beacon on the Razor Crest. Pleased with this knowledge and the fact that the Child is still with Mando, Gideon proclaims that they will be ready for him and looks on at a new set of troopers. Judging from the single frame, the troopers look similar to the Dark Troopers from Legends canon, potentially like the Phase II Dark Troopers. While it could be an homage, what is for sure is that these are not your typical stormtroopers and will come in handy in a fight against Mandalorians and even Jedi.
Next week’s episode will be directed by Dave Filoni and therefore has been predicted as the episode where we will officially meet Ahsoka Tano for the first time in live-action. Will Gideon be there to meet them? Will Ahsoka take the Child off Mando’s hands? Will she join him instead? What will Baby Yoda eat next?!
The Mandalorian streams new episodes every Friday on Disney+.