Main cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and Nick Nolte (Kuiil)
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
I think I get it. The Mandalorian show is an RPG thing. Instead of taking part in some overarching plot, our protagonist Mandalorian is stuck going through various fetch quests like a protagonist in an MMORPG game in order to grind for gold, level up, and gather enough materials to upgrade his equipment.
By the end of the previous episode, Mandy discovered that his bounty is a baby Yoda, which is the cutest thing ever. Unfortunately, his ship – his only means to get out of there – has been scavenged by the Jawas. He mercilessly vaporizes a few of those filthy natives, only to be humiliated when he was eventually knocked out by those squealing, thieving midgets. The damage is done and his ship is missing crucial parts. Now, he has to do a fetch quest for those Jawas in order to get those parts back. The chief NPC ask him to go retrieve an egg from the local equivalent of the dragon. Will Mandy and Baby get through all this alive? If you have any doubt, let me remind you that this is only the second episode of the season.
Watching The Child, I can only wonder why they need to cast Pedro Pascal. At the rate things are going, any stuntman could have just suit up and play Mandy. Still, them casting a specific actor probably means that Mandy will have a nude scene or something some time in the future, hence only someone like Mr Pascal can do such a scene justice. What? I can hope, can’t I?
Still, this episode knows what it is doing, because it offers me so many close-ups of Baby Yoda and scenes of that thing being adorable. Seriously, I don’t know whether I want to buy a Baby Yoda plushie or kill that thing out of disgust, because it is so cute. That scene where it swallows a frog-like thing is truly a Kodak moment. Given how much of a heartless badass Mandy is, seeing him getting all paternal over that thing is giving me crazy urges, like making me want to look up fanfiction of Mandy being a daddy to Baby online and going “Awww!”.
As for Mandy, it becomes evident by now that he can kill someone in ten thousand ways in a heartbeat, but his dry sarcasm is just as lethal. Hence, it is hilarious when the Jawas basically laugh at his face when he tries to act all intimidating and snarly at them. The stumpies reduce this badass, sexy mofo into a petulant brat pouting that he can’t scare them into having his way, and I find myself marveling that Mandy still retains his badass mojo throughout what is tantamount to a complete emasculation by the Jawas. Dude’s a butt monkey here, but darling, what a butt.
On a more serious note, I like that Mandy isn’t an all-around perfect hero who goes through obstacles as if he was some character played by Dwayne Johnson; having to work hard to achieve his wins humanizes Mandy, for the want of a better word, and gives me a reason to root for this adorable SOB.
So, this episode. It’s well paced, funny when it needs to be, dramatic when it wants to ramp up the tension, and there is so much cuteness from Baby Yoda to the Jawas. Oh, and Mandy is still a badass after my heart. True, the plot moves slowly, but I’m having fun in the process, so I’m not complaining. I’m definitely on board this ship. Bring on the next episode!