The Mandalorian Chapter 15 posed an interesting challenge for Mando, and he pulled it off!
Warning! Spoilers follow for The Mandalorian Chapter 15.
Season 2 episode 7 is the penultimate episode of The Mandalorian season 2. Yes, somehow amidst all the noise of 2020, the Star Wars fandom got to enjoy something. But the show isn’t over yet! The episode that dropped today, titled “Chapter 15: The Believer,” really saw Mando stretching his moral code for the love of Baby Yoda, and we just may have seen some character growth unfold within him.
The episode begins exactly how we expected based on last week’s episode. Cara Dune used her authority as a marshal to pull Migs Mayfeld (played by Bill Burr) out of prison. Mando knew that in order to get closer to the Empire and Moff Gideon, he would need someone who worked for the Empire — and that person was Mayfeld. Joining them on this operation was also duo Boba Fett and Fennec, and it was quite awesome to see the Mandalorian actually team up with Boba. It was like one of those “pinch me, I’m dreaming” moments.
But the operation they pull off ended up being the most interesting part of the Rick Famuyiwa-directed episode. In order to get Moff Gideon’s location, they would have to infiltrate the Empire, and Mayfeld explained they could do so by going to an Empire base and using their terminal. This then led the group to a tropical-looking planet where highly explosive material was being transported by the Empire. But in order to get into the Empire facility, Mayfeld and Mando would have to disguise themselves as Empire troopers, drive the vehicle transporting the explosive material and fight off some pirates along the way.
This chapter pulled off something no Star Wars fan thought they would ever do: cheer for the Empire. That is, at least after the TIE fighters swooped in to save the disguised guys while pirates relentlessly chased after them. The second after that happened, you had to do a double-take. “Did I just cheer for the Empire?” Then, all guilt sets in, and you can’t believe what you’ve done. Well, if you feel embarrassed about cheering for the Empire, just think how Mando felt stripping off his Mandalorian armor and putting on that of the enemy’s.
But that’s where this episode really shined. For the first time in perhaps a long time, we see Mando pushed out of his comfort zone and forced to go against what he believes. “Believer” is the title of the episode after all, and strangely enough, it’s the loud-mouthed Mayfeld who challenges Mando at the beginning of the mission to face what his beliefs are (no pun intended). Can he never remove his helmet? Can he only not show his face? Or has he become amenable now that he’s fighting for someone he loves?
Another award-worthy moment in this episode branches off of that, when Mando was forced to remove the trooper helmet he was wearing in order to operate the Empire terminal, which required a face scan. Things got even more complicated when an Imperial higher-up invited them for a drink to celebrate them fending off the pirates. I never once assumed I would see Din Djarin making the face of a deer caught in the headlights. But this definitely gave Pedro Pascal the opportunity to put his full acting skills to use and convince us that Mando was absolutely scared sh– well, you know the rest.
The operation ended in an explosive shoot-out after the despicable Imperial higher-up celebrated the Empire’s conquests, resulting in Mayfeld shooting him in cold blood after not being able to take any more of his scummy banter. Needless to say, the job was a success. They got the coordinates for Moff Gideon, and Mayfeld walked a free man.
This episode leaves so much on the table for the season finale. We didn’t even get to see The Child in this episode. And it has us wondering what’s going to happen when they make it to Moff Gideon’s location. Will they so easily be able to grab The Child and go? Or will Moff Gideon put up one heck of a fight? As always, we’ll just have to wait and find out during the finale episode.
The season 2 finale of The Mandalorian begins streaming Friday, Dec. 18 on Disney+.