The time has come and the Mandalorian can no longer keep hiding from the Guild and its top man, Greef Karga. However, things have changed dramatically on Nevarro as a result of his earlier actions, and the remnants of the dying Empire have lashed out and taken control of Karga’s town and old grudges must be put aside. Karga is desperate to recruit the Mandalorian’s help to overthrow the Imperials and assassinate the mysterious Client, and the Mandalorian’s code of honour demands that he helps.
Expecting a trap, the Mandalorian recruits the aid of his most recent allies before taking the job. But their alliance is an easily-fractured one, and working alongside Greef Karga and his men is more perilous than they had imagined. Can the Mandalorian continue to keep the Child safe, despite such overwhelming odds? And who can really be trusted, when the scars of betrayal and hatred run so deep?
More than that, but rarely has an “I told you so” moment felt so deserved as the one this episode delivers, practically slapping the face of viewers who’d assumed the show had become complacent. Seeing the threads of this story arc be pulled together so effectively, showing how those previous stand-alone episodes were important… damn, it feels good.
Just seeing the Mandalorian pull his rag-tag team together is an incredibly rewarding experience, something many fans have been waiting for since the very beginning. Mando’s team is the epitome of a motley crew, bickering and untrusting because of their incredibly unique backgrounds, and the character interaction is superb and feels genuine. If this episode had been about that alone, it would already have been great; instead, that’s just the beginning and it goes further, getting even better as the plot rolls out and races towards its cliffhanger.
There are so many amazing moments, big and small, at work here that it’s almost impossible to know where to begin or what to single out. It’s incredibly easy to become emotionally invested in this episode, and by the end it’s likely that you’ll be left awestruck and desperate for the next episode. Perhaps one of the most touching, heartfelt, and at times darkly hilarious moments must be the story-within-a-story of the return of IG-11 – told by Kuiil the Ugnaut. The amount of compassion on display here is impressive, and other films and shows could learn a lot from it.
The acting is solid, and this time out Gina Carano puts in a great performance as Cara Dune in particular. She shines both in the action department and in terms of measured acting, more so than her first appearance. Since it’s often mostly just her and Carl Weathers whose faces appear on screen properly, while Mando is constantly masked and other characters are puppets or CGI, you’d be forgiven for thinking think that the acting is secondary here; however, from voicework, body language and more it’s easy to get a sense of how every character is feeling. It’s impressive stuff.
There’s enough action here to please those who need that adrenaline boost, although for the most part this is about building the story with tension (and occasionally humour). Clues are dropped regarding the mystery surrounding the Child, while this episode again conveys the state of the galaxy following the Empire’s defeat at Endor. It’s some impressive world-building, and helps to sell the big picture. On top of that, this is one of the most striking episodes to date on a visual level and the editing is perfectly paced.
Oh, and Baby Yoda continues to be the cutest thing in the galaxy since… Darth Vader? Make your own mind up on that one.
So, is this the perfect episode? Pretty much. Any faults are so nit-pickingly minor as to be practically unnoticeable, or at least unimportant. Not only does it set up what could be an incredible season finale, but it delivers it with true style. It’s an early reward for viewers, and is Star Wars done right; in other words, it’s everything fans could want and more, without sacrificing its own identity or original creativity. If you miss this, then you’re missing out.
The Mandalorian: Episode 7
Tense, fast-paced, emotional… and almost perfect.