In the penultimate episode of The Mandalorian’s sophomore season we follow Mando on yet another heist mission to get Moff Gideon’s co-ordinates so they can rescue Grogu. To do that Mando and Cara enlist the help of a few old faces. ‘Chapter 15: The Believer’ is directed by Rick Famuyiwa.
To be completely honest here, this episode has me going back and forth so much that I’m over it. This is such an incredibly late review. It’s partially my own fault for not feeling all that motivated this week but I also couldn’t make up my mind about whether or not I liked this episode. I came to the conclusion that I actually do really appreciate it. Sadly, the lackluster episodes behind it made this episode fall as a victim to my annoyance with the show. An episode like this makes perfect sense in terms of placement and theme, the problem is we’ve been though this so many times. The first season expanded on a world and introduced great new characters. It stood out because it didn’t follow the traditional rules of modern television. A sequel is supposed to develop character arcs and introduce new concepts and sides to the story. We should have gotten to know the villains a bit better by now and granted there is an episode left but it’s disappointing that it’s coming at the last second. The only show I can match this to is ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ since it has a similar first season but even then the second season of that show is famous for it’s dark twists and turns and it’s new, iconic villains. ‘The Mandalorian’ hasn’t introduced any new characters from this season, it’s relied on past material to do so rendering this season feeling repetitive. It doesn’t feel like a true continuation of the first season. That being said this episode is an exception.
‘The Believer’ features some very interesting approaches on the war and how the line between good and bad is blurred. It treats the light and dark side as a spectrum as we see by Migs Mayfield’s character. He made some very interesting points about our loyalty to our own rules only being there unless we are desperate. We get to see a true difference in Din’s character as he breaks his own code, a code which he swore by religiously in the first season. Overall I really appreciated that ‘Star Wars’ is actually talking about the complexity of war and it’s moral ambiguity. It’s very bold for a franchise about good versus evil to talk about that. However it is weird considering the main villain for this show is a mustache-twirling cliche of a villain (who we love but that’s not the point). Of course, there isn’t a single excuse that justifies the violence of war, no matter the side it’s coming from. In fact, we’ve even seen Rebels blowing people in this show which I always found odd, it was definitely put in there for a reason. Maybe the Rebels have a God complex to them.
This episode felt particularly refreshing considering it gave the show back to Mando. I have been tired of seeing his own show got stolen by other characters. The amount of disrespect people have for such a wonderful character genuinely baffles me. His character arc from being a loner who stuck with the rules to breaking said rules to protect a child he cares for makes him one of the most interesting leads in all of ‘Star Wars’. I’m not gonna lie, I got hyped up at the end when Mando recited Moff Gideon’s speech back to him as a warning. It worked so well because we’ve seen the dynamic between him and Grogu grow so you could feel the power in his voice when he delivered that speech.
Overall this was a pretty great episode with a lot to say, definitely one of the better written episodes so far this season. It did what it had to do, I am hyped for this week’s finale, again I am so sorry this is so late but it is what it is. I can’t wait to see you this weekend to talk about the finale which will hopefully be longer than a half-hour but until then, this is the way.