If you’ll recall, in my last review, I found The Mandalorian to be wanting. While I’ve loved it on the whole, it’s just been moving so. Dang. SLOW. For a while, it seemed like it was following a “monster of the week” type format, where Mando and Baby Yoda kept encountering folks who would like nothing better than to do Mando in and turn in the baby for cash, but none of them did much to increase the plot. I was fearful that this would be the outcome of the rest of the series.
I am quite happy to have been proven wrong this week.
“The Prisoner” does a little more than hint at the backstory of our hero. It tells a tale of a man who once relished killing, a man who once held no notion of moral character, a man who would ruthlessly do whatever it took and then some to finish a job.
The Mando we have now is clearly a changed man. He didn’t want to kill a single person (sparing even his enemies) and based on his statement, “I thought you said there were only droids!”, he wouldn’t have taken the job if he thought he would have to take a life. According to Xi’an (the ever-delightful Natalia Tena), this is not the Mando she knew before.
With Star Wars’ ever-present aim to genre-bend, “The Prisoner” looks and feels like classic Star Wars, with a splash of horror straight out of Alien (thinking specifically of the flashing red lights and Mando sneaking up on his quarry), and perhaps even a little dab of a war film.
I’ve got to tell you, dear readers; this is the most fun I’ve had with Star Wars since 1×03 of this series, “The Sin.”
The little nibbles we get of Mando’s past, the ever expanding cast list of new characters played by top notch genre actors (aside from the aforementioned Tena, we have Clancy Brown, Richard Ayoade, and a REALLY DEEP Star Wars deep cut with Matt Lanter), and way more Baby Yoda cuteness than the Star Wars fandom truly deserves, “The Prisoner,” is a solid offering from The Mandalorian. I’m hopeful again for the remaining 2 episodes.
Keep in mind the next air date for 1×07 (Tuesday instead of Friday), due to the release of The Rise of Skywalker. Until then,
I have spoken.
The seventh episode of The Mandalorian airs on December 18, 2019 on Disney+.