No. 4: “Chapter 7: The Reckoning”
After a proposition by Greef Carga, Mando gets the band back together, recruiting Cara Dune, Kuiil, and the newly reprogrammed IG-11 to join him on his return to Nevarro. The deal that Carga proposed turns out to be a set up, but he saves Mando and they devise a plan to take out The Client. That plan goes awry as Moff Gideon crashes the party and pins down the crew.
I’m a fan of team up episodes, and this one does not disappoint. Unlike previous episodes that featured forgettable side characters, this chapter brings back the supporting players worth caring about. It’s fun to see the best people from Season 1 working together.
The episode also presents the first real danger as it doesn’t end on a happy note like the others; instead, Gideon has the main characters surrounded and Kuiil is seen on the ground while stormtroopers scoop up Baby Yoda. The cliffhanger ending is the first one of Season 1 and it leaves your mind wondering about what will happen next because you care about the characters involved, a credit to the work that the first six episodes put in.
One highlight: I really enjoyed the Jurrassic Park-like part of the episode when the crew is attacked at night by Mynocks, with only the camp fire providing any kind of lighting — it made it almost horror-esque as terrors hunted from the shadows.
No. 3: “Chapter 8: Redemption”
Season 1’s finale is full of humor, surprises, and action. The crew escapes Gideon thanks to help from IG-11, and the droid also saves Mando after a brain injury. The bounty droid then sacrifices itself in order to protect Baby Yoda, leading the Mandalorian to a showdown with Gideon. Mando’s newfound jetpack helps him clear the threat … for now.
What a powerhouse ending to Season 1. IG-11 plays a major role. Mando is tested, even wounded. The Armorer makes an appearance and helps guide the bounty hunter on what to do next, setting up an interesting Season 2. The Darksaber is finally seen in live-action. You couldn’t ask for anything more.
One highlight: The emotion that IG-11 brought to the episode, even as a droid. Chapter 8 showcased the turn for the droid from hunter to hero.