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The Mandalorian

The Prisoner (The Mandalorian - S01E06) - Live Action Series

Series: The Mandalorian

Title: Chapter 6: The Prisoner

Season: One

Episode: 6

Original Air Date: December 13, 2019

Runtime: 40 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

I told you that was a bad idea! SPOILERS.

Discussing plans with Baby Yoda, because why not?

The 6th chapter of The Mandalorian is yet another stand alone episode. This week the Mandalorian meets some of his former gang members on a space station. The Mandalorian apparently needs credits and reached out to an old acquaintance, Ranzar, for a job.

I thought you were bigger!

The episode wastes no time and quickly introduces us to the Mandalorian's team mates for the job. Mayfeld (comedian Bill Burr), an ex Imperial Sharpshooter, who insists he was not a Stormtrooper (who can't hit anything) and Burg, a really friendly Devaronian portrayed by Clancy Brown are the first we meet.

Meeting an old flame

But they are nothing compared to Xi'an, a female Twi'Lek who is apparently an old flame of the Mandalorian. How that ever worked out when he never takes his helmet off is something the episode leaves to your imagination, even if Mayfeld actually asks about it. She seems to be a really loose cannon. And we also find out that a droid named Zero is on the team. It turns out they actually need the Mandalorian's ship and not all that much him and Zero is going to be the pilot. The job is to free a prisoner from a New Republic transport and the Razor Crest is more or less a ghost, off the old Imperial and New Republic grid. It's the only ship that can approach the prison transport close enough so they can jam New Republic code and board it. The Mandalorian is not all too happy about raiding a New Republic prison ship, but still agrees to do the job. What can go wrong?

An Ardennian behind bars

Burg turns out to be a lovely person, as he tries to remove the Mandalorian's helmet on the Razor Crest. In the short fight the door to Baby Yoda's compartment opens. Mayfeld wonders if the Mandalorian and Xi'an had a child, but the Mandalorian more or less convinces Mayfeld that Baby Yoda is something like a pet. The Razor Crest then approaches the prison ship and everything works according to plan at first, more or less. The gang boards the prison ship and they make their way to the bridge to find out where exactly their target is. On their way we get a glimpse at a few prisoners, one of them is an Ardennian, certainly a nod to Jon Favreau's Solo character Rio. Burg also meets a Mouse droid, it is timid as all Mouse Droids apparently are and as it doesn't want to approach Burg he shoots it. Because, why not, it's what crazies apparently do! This however alerts the security droids, but the Mandalorian makes short work of them in what is to be the only actual action sequence in this episode.

Matt Lanter as scared New Republic trooper Davan

As the gang enter the bridge they find out the ship is not crewed just by droids after all, it also has a human pilot, played by Matt Lanter, who voiced Anakin Skywalker for the Clone Wars cartoon. The Mandalorian, as the only cool-headed person in this episode, tries to resolve things peacefully. Things get dicey when Davan pulls out his tracking beacon, that, once activated, will alert the New Republic. The gangs wants to kill him, the Mandalorian tries to defuse the situation, but eventually weapons are drawn and pointed at each other. Mexican stand-off! But as the Mandalorian tries to reassure Davan that everything is going to be fine if he just relinquishes the beacon and that no one needs to die, Xi'an throws a knife and kills him. Too bad that Davan managed to activate the beacon before he died. They now have 20 minutes before the New Republic will arrive with their ships...

Another fine mess! The gang quickly finds the prison cell and release the prisoner. Who turns out to be Xi'an's brother Qin, who apparently still has a score to settle with the Mandalorian and seems to be equally well-tempered as his sister.

And so it happens that the outlaws double-cross the Mandalorian, push him into Qin's cell, shut the door and leave him behind. However, the Mandalorian quickly frees himself by luring a droid to the cell door and then killing it, using its arm to open the door. The Mandalorian quickly makes his way to the bridge and uses the controls to close various bulkheads. The gang is more or less trapped.

Mayfeld takes down some droids

Burg finds the Mandalorian on the bridge and we find out that Devaronians are very, very tough. Getting roasted by a flamethrower doesn't even faze Burg. But eventually the door finishes him off, it seems the Mandalorian loves using doors to take out enemies, it's a callback to the first episode. The following sequence is quite suspenseful, as the Mandalorian stalks Mayfeld and Xi'an and takes them out like the deadly predator he is, even if Xi'an manages to throw a few knives at him.

Baby Yoda does it again!

But not all is well. Zero has successfully decoded Greef Carga's old message about delivering the target to the client and now knows that Baby Yoda is not just a pet but a high value target. But Baby Yoda is certainly not as clueless as a human baby would be. Because he begins to display some serious stealth ninja skills and lures Zero out of the cockpit, who begins to search for him. Meanwhile the Mandalorian is down to his next to last target, Qin. But Qin appeals to the code, that the job needs to be finished, that the Mandalorian will get paid, when he delivers Qin. He doesn't seem to be too distressed that his sister is apparently dead.

Zero is zeroing in on Baby Yoda

Back on the Razor Crest Baby Yoda keeps trolling Zero, until he finally finds Baby Yoda - locked away in his compartment! Is the show implying Baby Yoda can force project himself like Luke, or maybe he can force teleport? Zero aims his blaster at Baby Yoda, but he begins to focus, he wants to use the Force. But then we hear a blaster shot. It turns out the Mandalorian arrived just in time to shoot Zero from behind.

The hand of death?

In yet another funny Baby Yoda scene the child apparently wonders if he just blasted Zero with the Force, until he sees the Mandalorian and all is resolved!

The Mandalorian didn't kill Qin after all. They fly back to the space station and the Mandalorian gets paid. He flies off with his money as Rezan orders the Razor Crest to be destroyed, it appears the Mandalorian has no friends, only frenemies who double-cross him all the time.

Not the brightest bulb...

But then Qin pulls something out of his pants. The New Republic tracking beacon. Qin wonders what it is, as the X-Wings already drop out of hyperspace!

Meet the new aces, Dave, Rick and Debby!

In what turns out to be cameo overload, Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow portray the X-Wing pilots Trapper Wolf, Jib Dodger and Sash Ketter. And they destroy the space station, killing everyone who is on it.

Target practice in space

The Mandalorian, flying away from the chaos, gives Baby Yoda his most favorite toy, the metal knob, and then berates Baby Yoda that he had told him it's a bad idea to do the job. In the final scene of the episode we find out that the other gangmembers are still alive though. Mayfeld, Burg and Xi'an are however locked away in a prison cell on the New Republic ship. The Mandalorian seems to be quite reluctant in recent times to kill people. Must be Baby Yoda's good influence!

Burg needs some Aspirin

I don't know what to think of Chapter 6. It was entertaining, it was fun, Baby Yoda is once again a scene stealer, even if (or because) he is used very sparingly. But the episode felt a bit off, the acting was really over the top here and there, it felt like camp at times. The entire episode reminded me of a campy 1980s or 1990s SciFi show. Maybe that was the intention? Rick Famuyiwa, who directed, is also credited with co-writing the screenplay, the script was not by Jon Favreau, Christopher Yost is credited with writing the script. Yost wrote several Star Wars Rebels episodes and Thor Ragnarok. So I guess the somewhat over the top performances were intentional, similar to the tone in Thor Ragnarok? But it didn't really work all that well, in my opinion.

And while I can appreciate the stand alone character of the recent episodes it would certainly be nice to get a bit more story again. Something is clearly up with Baby Yoda, he most definitely has some unusual force powers. He has the uncanny talent to appear in unlikely places and to be gone the next second, only to be somewhere else. But the show is apparently happy to give us stand alone adventures and not delve too deep into the lore.

Chapter 6 was the weakest episode for me, so far. The characters were somewhat unbelievable and too over the top, the story was not all that interesting, we even didn't get all that much action. It was still fun to watch though, some of the humor was fine, it's still worth your time. But the show should change direction in the last two episodes of the season and offer somewhat more substantial episodes again. Or else all the good will the show has may eventually turn into disappointment if The Mandalorian devolves into random adventure of the week episodes that leave little behind. Because, in the end, all the easter eggs and references to the Original Trilogy won't be enough if the stories don't meet the expectations of fans. The Mandalorian is still fun, still a really good show. But let's hope we won't see something like this week's episode all too soon again.

Added: December 13, 2019
Category: The Mandalorian
Reviewer: Thomas
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