Main cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Amy Sedaris (Peli Motto), Jake Cannavale (Toro Calican), and Ming-Na Wen (Fennec Shand)
Director: Dave Filoni
After the events in the last episode, Mandy and Baby are looking for a new stop to head over to when they get jumped by a random encounter with some red shirt space pilot. The ensuing fight forces Mandy to make a stop at Mos Eisley for fuel and repairs, and – da da dum! – The Gunslinger begins. Mind you, Mandy immediately gets sassed by Peli Motto, the pragmatic and feisty mechanic, without him getting all alpha and grumpy about it, so he’s such a gentlemanly single daddy that way. Hot. Peli bonds with Baby, because come on, who can resist that thing?
Mandy needs money to have his ship polished and upgraded, so it’s back to fetch quests for the dear. He meets Toro Calican, a mercenary who wants to score a big bounty in order to get himself into the Bounty Hunters Guild. Tori wants Mandy to help him out, as this is his first gig, but he sure knows how to aim big. His target is Fennec Shand, whom Mandy points out is such a bad-ass mercenary with a big body count that he doesn’t even want to look at her direction. Still, Toro offers him 100% of the bounty – the lad just wants the fame and the reputation to get a leg up in the Guild – so what the heck.
They end up in the right map where they realize that Fennec is a raid boss and it’s too late to set up an LFG to fill up their party, as Mandy has already attracted aggro from her. So what can they do now?
The Gunslinger is, for better or worse, a typical episode in this series. It’s still a day by day account of Mandy’s life as he moves from one point to another, and since this is the fifth episode with only three more to go before the first season wraps up, I can only wonder whether we’d be going anywhere here. Sure, I mean, hey, give me a season full of episodes of Mandy going all Charles Bronson on people, but right now, aside from Baby Yoda and other toy commercial opportunities (those bikes, ooh), the episodes feel somewhat disjointed from one another.
That’s not me saying that this is a bad episode. It’s alright. It starts out slow, has some action in the second half, but on the whole, it’s decent without any distracting flaws or memorable awesome scenes. It doesn’t help that I correctly guessed at the “twist” of the episode early on, because the script is really basic and predictable that way.
Here’s the thing – if this show wanted to be some anthology-style action of the week thing tied together by Mandy and Baby, I’m all for it, but I need something more substantial to engage my attention. Character development, perhaps, or maybe a small build up every episode to a season finale that will have me drooling in anticipation. Right now, it’s just a point A to point B thing, and I’m starting to feel restless. Hopefully the remaining episodes in this season will ramp up the excitement.