The Mandalorian season 2 and the unspoken rule of selective television

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+
The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+ /

Fans view the Mandalorian with an unspoken rule of selective television.

Chapter 10 of the Mandalorian came out on Friday. In contrast to the relatively positive reception of the season premiere, the response to Friday’s episode was… lukewarm, to put it accurately. There were no big character reveals, no overarching story progression and no surprise guest stars (apart from Dave Filoni, I guess). But these types of episodes are not unique to this show, or Star Wars in general.

I first started watching The Clone Wars regularly in its fifth season. The season started off with a bang, as Darth Maul attempted to intimidate a bunch of pirates and got left for dead again. The episode hinted at more to come with Maul while also teasing Palpatine’s sinister intentions. It was a great way to start off the season, and I couldn’t wait to see how the story would continue.

I would have to wait anyway. The season premiere was followed by four okay episodes about an unrelated planet and then another four episodes about training younglings, and then the oft-forgotten story arc where a bunch of droids meander around and fail to justify four episodes of content.

Though Filoni and co. have hopped over to live-action work, The Mandalorian’s serialization structure remains much the same as that of The Clone Wars. Escapist writer Darren Mooney pointed out that the story of the first season could’ve easily fit in a 2 and a half-hour film. Instead, because of the eight-episode quota, this show is stuffed to the brim with filler.

There are two types of episodes for this show: story arc episodes and sidequest episodes. The story arc episodes are the ones where Mando betrays the guild, IG-88 sacrifices himself and Moff Gideon wields the Darksaber. The sidequest episodes are the ones where the ongoing story gets put on hold so we can see Mando face off against giant monsters in a cave.

That’s not to say that Chapter 10 was a bad episode. It was quite entertaining, and the action scene of the final act is filled to the brim with palpable tension. But I understand why some are disappointed at the season’s lack of forward momentum so far, and I’m fairly confident that’ll all fade away by the end of the season.

If The Clone Wars is any indication, fans tend to view these shows with an unspoken rule of selective television: the good episodes matter more than the mediocre ones. That’s why some Clone Wars fans were quick to name season 5 as their favorite season of the show — because of Ahsoka being framed and Darth Maul taking over Mandalore. Never mind the arc where droids wandered around the desert for 20 minutes.

So I predict that, by the end of this season, all of these criticisms will pass, and people will remember this season more for Mando’s dealings with Ahsoka Tano and Boba Fett, rather than the frog lady and the giant spiders.

Next. The Mandalorian Chapter 10: The Passenger ending explained. dark

The Mandalorian season 2 is currently airing on Disney+.