After episode 3 of season 2 of The Mandalorian dropped, there were definitely some major theories about where the show could be going. And at the end of episode 4, we are at the halfway point for season 2 of the show. So what happens in the episode?
?ALERT! SPOILERS for The Mandalorian S2E4 “The Siege” from this point forward!?
Recap of The Mandalorian, S2E4: “The Siege”
We get a delightful first scene as the Mandalorian is trying to coach the Kid through some repairs on the ailing ship. It is a fun little vignette that shows a dad wanting his kid to be able to help but he isn’t quite ready for it. It is a fun opener but leads them to the reality: the Razor Crest is in bad need of repairs and so they decide to head to Nevarro, home of their friends Cara Dune and Greef Karga.
It turns out that they are doing pretty well for themselves, as we get a scene of Cara laying down the law and being declared the Marshal of Nevarro and Greef has an economy that is making it so that Nevarro could quickly be a powerful point of trade.
That is good for everyone, including kids, as we see the old lab where the Mandalorian first stole the Kid is now a school. He reluctantly leaves the Kid there as he and the others go to deal with the one thing that holds back Nevarro – a former Imperial base on the other side of their safe zone.
Greef, Cara and Mando are joined by Mythrol, who was one of Mandalorian’s very first captures that we saw in the show. He serves as comic relief as they sneak into the base, to flip its reactor core and cause it to blow up.
They are mostly successful, though they have to flee the base in a hurry, especially after they find just a few days old message from Dr. Pershing to Moff Gideon about how they can no longer continue their experiments without more of the blood from the Kid. And the experiments, or at least their discarded parts, seem pretty hideous from the tanks that the crew saw earlier.
On the way out, we get a great escape scene with Cara driving, Greef working the guns and Mythrol being bounced around an old transport vessel that they swiped from the main deck. Chased first by speeders and later by tie fighters, they manage to survive when the Mandalorian returns with Razor Crest, fresh off her repairs and with the Kid in tow, gobbling down a bunch of macaroon cookies that he force swiped from a kid at the school.
But we get two big reveals at the end, as the Rebellion tries to recruit Cana and it is revealed that she is from Alderaan, which is a planet that is Death Star’d in Star Wars: A New Hope. Though it doesn’t appear that she is signing up, her recruiter, Captain Carson Teva, a veteran of Alderaan, leaves her a badge anyways.
And the second reveal is that one of the mechanics who helped repair the Razor Crest managed to put a tracking device on it for the Empire, and, more dangerously, Moff Gideon and the room full of dark troopers that he appears to be about to unleash.
Review of The Mandalorian S2E4: “The Siege”
Nostalgia is a dangerous thing, especially in a relatively new television series like The Mandalorian. But there is no doubt, nostalgia is the power at work in this episode. Sure, there is the obvious call back to Nevarro and Cara and Gref, all integral parts of last season of the show. Their presence is welcome, familiar and you see ways that they have advanced and grown as characters and as a colony. They are out there on the raggedy edge of space but holding it together.
But this episode even more so is a nostalgia trip for fans of the first Star Wars movies. And, to me, it was a mixed bag. For starters, the Empire and their stuff from the base that is being raided is great. You can tell the set designers were told “Make this as close to the original movies as possible.” And they succeeded. Even the colored lights on the control panels managed to look cool and retro and throwback.
But there was more as well, with the speeders seen and then later called into duty, followed by the TIE fighters. And when Greef, played by Carl Weathers – who also directed the episode – crawls into the back gun and we get the old school gun targeting system that looks like it is an Atari 2600. That was fun. As was hearing about the part of the Star Wars lore we know coming from the teaching droid at the school.
Now, the bad part of nostalgia – you can over do it. And when I heard the doctor reference the Kid’s “M-count”, I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t heartbroken a little. I mean, we don’t need to know about the midichlorian counts aka Lucas’ terrible attempt to make the Force a medical phenomenon with little Anakin Skywalker in the first of the prequels.
That said, we are halfway into the season and there are some significant dangling plots.
Quick notes and observations from “The Siege”:
- Obviously, they are still coming for the Kid. And while I love the Mandalorian, he is going to need back-up when the full wave comes. Who is going to be counted among his allies at that point?
- Is our Mandalorian in a fringe sect of the overall Mandalorian Way? Last week’s episode left some fascinating stuff on the table to still be unpacked.
- When does Marshal Cara become Captain Cara and re-enlist? Is this new thing a cause she can believe in?
- Can the Kid and the Mandalorian make it to the Jedi survivor that he has heard about? And will the Jedi automatically assume the parental rights over the Kid?
- And, lastly, what in the world is that creepy, nasty looking squirrel-like thing that Cara encounters in the bar? From the artwork at the end of the episode, it looks like it can breath fire but all it did was give me the heebie jeebies.