Welcome to my latest episode review for The Mandalorian. I’ve really enjoyed writing my episode reviews of Resistance so there was no way I was going to miss the chance to do the same here. The reviews will take on the same format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole.
I have been looking forward to this show so much, so there was no way that I wasn’t going to watch this as soon as I could. Unfortunately, living in the UK, Disney+ is not going to be available over here for a while, so I’ve had to channel my inner Hondo Ohnaka to see this! Today, we’ll be looking at Chapter 6: The Prisoner.
Mando arrives at a space station, where he meets up with Ranzar Malik, an old friend who is surprised that Mando reached out to him. Ran is aware that Mando is having issues with the Bounty Hunters Guild, but tells Mando that he is welcome anytime. Ran is putting together a crew for a job – one of their associates ran afoul of their competitors and now needs springing from their grasp – and wants Mando as the 5ᵗʰ member as they need the use of the Razor Crest. Mando is introduced to the rest of the team: Mayfeld, who will be leading the mission; Burg, a Devaronian; Zero, a droid pilot; Xi’an, a Twi’lek who worked with Mando previously when he worked with Ran.
“He’s one of the best triggermen I’ve ever seen. Former Imperial sharpshooter.”
“That’s not saying much.”
“I wasn’t a stormtrooper, wise-ass!”
Ran and Mayfeld brief the team on the mission, at which point Mando realises that the associate was arrested by the New Republic rather than taken by competitors. The job is to infiltrate a New Republic prison ship and break him out. Mando is reluctant due to the heat that this job could bring, but Xi’an tells hi that the crew will be all droids. Zero will bring the Razor Crest in through the prison ship’s blind spot and jam the New Republic codes. The team depart on the Razor Crest.
During the journey, Mayfeld and Burg become curious as to what Mando looks like under his helmet. Burg attempts to remove it, leading to a scuffle that ends as Burg hits a button that opens up Mando’s sleeping area and reveals The Child. With the team becoming curious about The Child, Mando passes it off as being a pet. The Razor Crest‘s arrival at their mission point brings an end to the discussion. Zero successfully manages to bring the Razor Crest in to land on the prison ship’s hull and scramble the prison ship’s signal. While this is going on, Mando reclaims the Child and puts him back in his cot, before opening the hatch that connects to the prison ship.
While Zero stays in the cockpit to direct them, the rest of the team infiltrates the prison ship and makes their way to the control room. On the way, they are attacked by a group of New Republic security droids, which advance on Mayfeld, Burg and Xi’an. Mando flanks the droids and attacks them from behind, taking them all out single-handedly. Arriving at the control room, they find that their is in fact one non-droid crew member: a New Republic soldier called Davan, who pulls out a tracking beacon that will alert New Republic reinforcements, which will arrive and blow up the ship, with all of them on it. The Mandalorian tries to reason with Davan to bring a peaceful solution, but Mayfeld and Burg intend to kill Davan, leading to a 4-way stand-off between Davan, Mando, Mayfeld and Burg, which is quickly ended as Xi’an kills Davan with one of her throwing daggers. The team realise that Davan managed to activate the beacon before they arrive, leaving them just 20 minutes before the New Republic arrives.
“I don’t like this.”
“You always were paranoid.”
Having found out what cell their associate is in while in the control room, the team make their way to the cell in question, which they open to find Xi’an’s brother, Qin, who sees the irony in Mando rescuing him when he was the one who left Qin behind before. As Qin exits the cell, Burg pushes Mando in and the team seal the cell back up. On the Razor Crest, Zero is going through the ship’s transmissions and learns of Mando’s difficulties with Greef and the Guild.
As the team make their way back towards the Razor Crest, Mando manages to pull a security droid to the cell door, rip its arm off, shoot it and use the arm to open the cell door. Returning to the control room, Mando closes a number of blast doors, separating Xi’an and Burg from Qin and Mayfeld, while also cutting communications among the mercenaries. Qin makes his way to the Razor Crest while Burg, Mayfeld and Xi’an all split up to find and take down Mando.
Mando manages to dispatch Burg, Xi’an then Mayfeld with varying degrees of difficulty, while Zero, who has seen The Child in the cockpit, hunts The Child around the hold of the Razor Crest. Mando catches up with Xian at the base of the ladder up to the Razor Crest. Guessing that Mando has killed the rest of the team, he reminds Mando that he was hired to bring Qin back to Mando and that Mando’s honour won’t allow him to break away from completing the job. Zero finds The Child in his cot, but Mando arrives and shoots Zero in the back.
“You killed the others?”
“They got what they deserved.”
Mando takes Qin back to Ran. Ran asks where the others are, to which Mando reminds him of the bounty hunting policy of not asking questions about the job. Ran pays Mando, but as soon as the Razor Crest leaves the hangar, he orders Mando be killed and calls up a gunship. Qin and Ran realise that Mando has left the tracking beacon on Qin. As the Razor Crest flies away and jumps to hyperspace, 3 New Republic X-wings jump into the system, take out the gunship and attack the station.
Xian, Mayfeld and Burg wake up to find themselves locked in a cell on the prison transport.
I really enjoyed this episode and would currently rank it 4ᵗʰ of the 6, which shows the overall quality of the series. The only real negative that I have for this episode (so I’ll get it out of the way first of all) is how we appear to have yet another “villain of the week” story, which wouldn’t be such an issue in a longer season but with just 8 episodes and the last 3 now having felt largely disconnected from the main story (Mando and Yoddle vs the Imperial remnant), it feels like too many unconnected episodes – though there is still every chance that the remaining 2 episodes find a way to tie these in. Hopefully, we get a scenario where the final 2 episodes require Mando to bring in some help so calling on some of the characters from these episodes to team up with him, with more of these characters also returning in season 2 (as right now, I’m not sure if Mayfeld and company would feel right teaming up with Mando so soon after he bested them and likely caused Qin and Ran’s deaths).
“Do we need to leave the room or something?”
Moving onto the positives, I really enjoyed all of the characters in this episode. Everyone felt very individual with their own specific role in the episode that felt right: Ran as the untrustworthy old friend and benefactor, Mayfeld as the leader who feels threatened by the new guy (Mando), Burg as the dumb muscle, Qin as the selfish one who will do anything to stay alive and Xi’an as a slightly crazy fighter, while also being the former acquaintance in the team that allows us to learn more about Mando’s past in a way that feels natural to the story. For such a small role, I also thought that Davan was written really well as someone who knows that he is in over his depth and is rightfully scared, leaving him conflicted between his duty and wanting to stay alive. Unlike Amy Sedaris last week, everybody felt like they were a part of this galaxy. The only thing I would have liked though, would have been for Qin and Xi’an to have French accents, as they have become the natural accent for Twi’leks in canon.
It feels like I say this every week now, but the score was great once again and visually, this episode looked fantastic, especially with the way that we had such a clear difference between the dark and dirty space station and Razor Crest interior, compared with the clean white of the New Republic prison ship. And then when Mando escaped and started tracking the mercenaries, the combination of the red emergency lights and the flashing of the white lights created an amazing look – though I have heard some people say they had issues with the flashing lights as Mando stalked Mayfeld. That stalking sequence was probably my moment of the episode as it took advantage of the flashing to see him approaching behind Mayfeld while disappearing in a (literal) flash. I also really loved the stand-off with Davan and thought that Rick Famuyiwa did a fantastic job of building up the tension in that scene.
“That’s a max-security transport and I’m not looking fr that kind of heat.”
I also really enjoyed the surprise appearances in this episode, of which we had a lot. Clancy Brown is a fantastic voice actor, with roles in Rebels and The Clone Wars and I loved his work as Burg, he brings a menace and strength to the character, while also bringing some humour to the role. It was great getting to see Matt Lanter (the voice of Anakin Skywalker) in a live action role as Davan, but I do find myself a little disappointed that this likely means we won’t get him in a larger role in the future. Perhaps the greatest though, was how the X-wing pilots were played by directors from this season: Dave Filoni as Trapper Wolf (of course his name would have wolf in it!), Famuyiwa as Jib Dodger and Deborah Chow as Sash Ketter. Pilots are simple roles to play, but they all did a great job and it was great to see them on-screen. With Taika Waititi and Jon Favreau also voicing roles (IG-11 and Paz Vizla respectively), it leaves Bryce Dallas Howard as the only season 1 director to have not yet played a character in the show – unless I missed her completely!
Much like last week, this chapter did a great job of giving us a lot of familiarity but in a way that felt natural, with an Ardennian prisoner (Rio’s species in Solo: A Star Wars Story), a Devaronian and 2 Twi’leks in the main group of characters, a mouse droid, references to the Gungans (including Mayfeld’s sarcastic imitation of one), X-wings and even Davan’s uniform, which though technically new to us was a throwback to the old Rebel Alliance uniforms.
Lastly, I just want to mention Mando’s mindset and how it’s perceived in this episode. Honour is something that we have clearly seen as being important to him (he refused the Mudhorn sigil as he had help killing it) and Qin mentions how Mando’s honour means that eh has to complete his job. Much like when he was sent after Yoddle, we see that he will complete his job but then find a way around it, last time by later deciding he needs to rescue Yoddle and this time by leaving the beacon on Qin for him and Ran to be attacked by the X-wings. Similarly, Mando’s dislike of droids continues to be shown in the episodes, and I loved the way Xi’an was quick to mention that the New Republic crew would be droids in order to convince him to do the job.
“A job’s a job.”
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- I loved finding out more of Mando’s history and hope we get a novel telling us his story prior to the show. I got the feeling that the job on Alzoc III that Xi’an mentioned could be the mission where Mando left Qin behind.
- Yoddle’s reaction after Zero suddenly exploded before we saw Mando stood behind him was brilliant: a quick look at the hand he had raised, as if he was saying “did I do that?”
- I often think the best comedy in Star Wars is some of the less on the nose moments that feel completely natural to the character. As such, Bill Burr’s portrayal of Mayfeld really hit with me
Moments in Canon
“Come on, let us all see your eyes.”
- Mayfeld compares the Razor Crest to a slot machine on Canto Bight
- Davan’s uniform and the security droids all included the New Republic roundel, which includes the old Rebel Alliance Starbird. This is the second time we have seen New Republic uniforms on screen, as Kaz and his fellow pilots were in their blue New Republic flightsuits (with the full New Republic sigil) in the first ever episode of Star Wars Resistance – as seen in the picture
- The way that Gungans speak appears to have become somewhat of a stereotype, Han speaks to a Gungan in the same speech style as Mayfeld uses during the novel Last Shot
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. This is the way.