‘The Mandalorian’ ‘Chapter 15’ Explores Its Excellent Pacing and Pascal’s Superb Acting — REVIEW
Fans are just one episode away from the finale of Season 2 of The Mandalorian and there’s a lot that needs to be tied up. Grogu is missing at the top of this episode and Mando needs to team up with Cara Dune to find a way to track Moff Gideon down. An old face (or two) make an appearance and fans get a closer look at the Empire. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian, “Chapter 15: The Believer”]
Mando goes on one last mission to find his way to Grogu
Last episode gave fans the Boba Fett no one knew they were missing. Temuera Morrison did a fantastic job of making his much more interesting than he ever was in the original trilogy, but that was to be expected. Considering Morrison had a lot more screentime as Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, it makes sense that he’d kill it as Boba.
Fennec, of course, is back as well, and they head with Mando and Cara Dune to pick up Mayfeld (Bill Burr). He’s under the New Republic’s imprisonment, currently, after last season.
Mayfeld used to work with the Empire, which is why he was so ruthless last season and why he’s so valuable to Mando this time around. It’s easy to see he’s also pretty conflicted, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
As we’ve stated in reviews before, The Mandalorian does what Star Wars does best when it comes to humor: it has great action but also can deliver some hilarious one-liners even in the tensest moments. There was quite a bit of that this episode, especially because Burr brings a ton of that with him, and even though Pedro Pascal’s din isn’t a comedic character by any means, they feed off each other nicely.
There’s a lot of action in a short amount of time, yet again
Mayfeld reveals that they have to go to a mining town on one of the outer planets, just so they can access a computer to catch Moff Gideon’s coordinates. This requires bodies that can be scanned and not have a trace in the Empire’s database. That’s not possible for Fennec nor Cara. And all Boba has to say is, “Let’s just say they’ll recognize me,” for the audience to get that great Clone joke.
That means Mayfeld and Din have to go in, and while Mando can get away with wearing a Stormtrooper helmet, for now, there’s some foreshadowing that that might not be the case going forward, fully.
Similar to last week’s episode, so much action happens in such little time, and it’s starting to become The Mandalorian’s strong suit. Instead of cramming a ton of information into a short episode or dragging out dialogue or long fight scenes into a long episode, this series has found a sweet spot with its pacing. With its writing, The Mandalorian can have great fight scenes — multiple, with several different characters — while also making the episode feel much longer than it is.
So, while fans got a pirate chase, a bit of sniper fire, and a shootout in an Imperial cafeteria, it all only happened in the span of fewer than 40 minutes. All while giving Din great character development and moving the story forward. Now that’s storytelling.
Pedro Pascal is a quiet Din Djarin but that does not mean he’s not doing the work
Speaking of Mando, Din Djarin has to make some quick decisions regarding The Way in this episode. While he finds a way out of showing his face and earlier with his Mandalorian helmet, he can’t help it once he has to scan his actual face once inside the Imperial base.
The only way to gain the critical information he needs on Moff Gideon and save Grogu is to break the only rule he’s ever known. It’s a massive moment, and not lost on the audience at all. And Pascal acts his butt off.
Pascal has played so many roles at this point in his career. And being Din, who’s in a helmet all the time and is stoic and unmoving in nature, doesn’t give him a ton of room to show off his emotional or expressive side. So taking the helmet off not only gives the audience the chance to see his face, and give Pascal the chance to act the part in a different way, but he still does it, fully, within Din’s character (of course). It just raises the stakes so much.
Plus, Mayfeld has a big redemption here in only a few bits. If we thought he and Mando were feeding off of each other before, then that’s nothing compared to their finale here.
After escaping the base, and Cara letting Mayfeld go free, Din finally leaves Moff Gideon a little message. One that rings clear in everyone’s ears, and leaves a chill.
“He means more to me than you will ever know.”
The finale is next week. And it’s going to be a big one.