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The Mandalorian

Chapter 15: The Believer (The Mandalorian - S02E07) - Live Action Series

Series: The Mandalorian

Title: Chapter 15 - The Believer

Season: Two

Episode: 7

Original Air Date: December 11th, 2020

Runtime: 30 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"Your rules start to change when you get desperate!" SPOILERS.

Mayfeld was sentenced to forced labor on a scrap yard

Chapter 15 "The Believer" has once again a simple story. It's also mostly setup for the finale, so not all that much actually happens in the episode. Last week we learned that Din Djarin needs the help of Mayfeld, the mercenary we met in season 1 and who was ultimately captured by the New Republic and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Mayfeld is a former Imperial sharpshooter and could help with locating Moff Gideon's light cruiser.

A fresh coat of paint makes all the difference

Din turned to Cara, who is now an official New Republic Marshal. And of course she helps. She orders that Mayfeld is released into her custody, Mayfeld is confused and even taken aback when he realizes that Din Djarin needs his help. But what choice does he have? The rest of the story is rather simple: Mayfeld can locate Gideon's ship, but he needs access to a special internal Imperial terminal. Mayfeld knows about a Remnant base on the planet Morak that has such a terminal. Once on the planet the team comes up with a plan to infiltrate the base. Mayfeld and Din will capture an ore transport en route to the base and pose as the two drivers. The journey is not uneventful since raiders on skiffs attack them. Din tries to fight them off, but is almost overwhelmed, but then two TIE-Fighters swoop in and make short work of the skiffs and the raiders.

To the rescue

The remaining raiders are finished off by the Stormtroopers on the base. Mayfeld and Din are celebrated as heroes, since they are the only ore transport that got through, the others were destroyed before. But Mayfeld and Din don't waste much time. They find the terminal they need, it's in the mess hall. Mayfeld wants to access the terminal but turns around on his heels when he recognizes an Imperial officer he served under and he fears the officer may also recognize him, blowing the cover.

When you break the rules

Din wants to access the terminal instead, using Mayfeld's data stick. But there's a catch, the terminal requires a face scan, so Din would have to remove his helmet. But Din takes the stick, walks to the terminal and when it tells him that a facial scan is required and a countdown starts he simply removes his helmet, revealing his face. He gets the data and things seem to work out when the Imperial officer approaches him. He wants Din's TK number. Mayfeld ignores his own concerns and rescues the situation by joining the two and providing some bogus info.

Fennec and Cara have it all covered

The Imperial officer invites Mayfeld and Din to his table. The two follow him, since they have no other choice. Meanwhile Fennec and Cara scout the roof of the base, they will provide cover fire while Boba Fett will land on the roof with Slave I and pick up Mayfeld and Din once they have made their escape.

Drinking with the devil

Meanwhile a very uneasy conversation unfolds in the mess hall. Mayfeld becomes more and more agitated as the Imperial officer drones on about "sacrifices" that had to be made and how he thinks the people will turn to the Empire again when they realize that order is more worth than freedom, and the New Republic certainly doesn't have the manpower to provide order.

Mayfeld has had enough

It turns out Mayfeld was part of Operation Cinder and that it left some scars. He eventually cannot take it anymore and shoots the Imperial officer. A hectic and rather violent escape follows.

A visual representation of the best sound effect ever

Mayfeld and Din fight their way up to the roof, Slave I picks them up. When TIE Fighters approach Boba gets rid of them with a seismic charge, the weapon we last saw in Attack of the Clones in the asteroid field above Geonosis. All is well that ends well, and this mission was a success. Mayfeld expects to be thrown into prison again, just with at better conditions, but Cara lets him go instead. Mayfeld died in the explosion on the base, no one will ever know better. Mayfeld can hardly believe his luck and heads out. But the episode is not over yet.

He means more to me than you will ever know!

Din contacts Moff Gideon's cruiser and delivers a bone chilling message to him, which exactly copies the words Moff Gideon used in season 1 when he talked to Din on Nevarro. Din leaves no doubt that he will come for Grogu and free him, because he means more to him than Gideon will ever know...

And that's Chapter 15. An episode that is light on plot, it's not epic, the action is great as usual, but nothing too spectacular, but it's still a great episode. Why? Because of two things: Bill Burr as Mayfeld who delivers a fantastic performance and has some insightful dialogue; and because Din is shown to put other people, loved ones, over his rules and principles, which is a major character development for him.

The episode's real highlights are the dialogues this time, the scenes on the ore transport where Mayfeld asks about Din's "rules" about never removing his helmet and how rules change once you get desperate. At that point Din is wearing an Imperial helmet. Mayfeld is also the one who points how the common people see little actual difference between The Empire or the New Republic, they are basically both just occupation forces on their planet. But the best scene is probably the chat with the Imperial officer in the mess hall. Here we see an ice cold Imperial who walks over dead bodies, a typical psychopath you may expect in such an organization. It's bone chilling dialogue, but he also makes an important point. At the end of the day, he believes, people prefer order over freedom.

Here we also see Mayfeld beginning to crack, he's an ex Imperial for a reason, and it's not just because the Empire lost the war. It's getting very obvious that Mayfeld saw some horrible things in his time with the Empire, how during Operation Cinder an entire city was wiped out, including Mayfeld's division of several thousand troopers. When the officer keeps talking and reveals how they want to sow chaos, so the people will turn to them to provide order again, Mayfeld finally breaks and shoots.

This scene in the mess hall was one of the greatest all season, in my opinion. Not only does The Mandalorian once again revisit a character we previously met, who may have been a throaway bad guy, but the character is provided with real depth this time. Bill Burr as Mayfeld was certainly the MVP in this episode. He made the character believable. Mayfeld is a pragmatist, a survivor, but he's also someone who has morals. Star Wars usually portrays Imperials either as stone cold villains or as people with a heart of gold who defect. Mayfeld is different, he just wants to survive and get by, he has no lofty goals, doesn't want to be a hero. But he's also one of the must humane and relatable characters on the show.

And we have to talk about Din Djarin of course. Character growth is necessary. Din's relationship with Grogu, his encounters with his friends and allies, have changed him already. Mayfeld teases him about his rules. But in Chapter 15 we see how much Grogu means to Din, he's willing to abandon his rules for him. Rules are not bad, people and society need rules, but they should never be their own purpose, rules exist for reasons, yes, but are rules more important than your loved ones, than other people?

Din makes his choice and chooses his loved ones, in this case his foster son, Grogu the foundling. If the choice is to find a way to rescue Grogu or to follow his strict code, his rules become meaningless. Does that mean Din will eventually remove his helmet more and more? Maybe. Possibly. People who want Din to remain that stoic, badass helmeted character forever may be disappointed, but despite all the action and fighting The Mandalorian is also the story about a man who had nothing but his rules to live for and until he finds other things, other people, a child, that simply are more important than any arbitrary rules about never showing your face.

In the end this episode had not just one believer. It's not just the Imperial officer Hess who believes in the Empire and what it stands for, Din is as much a believer. However, where the Imperial will follow his orders and rules without question, even if it means killing your own people, Din has begun to question his beliefs. Mayfeld probably once was a believer, when he joined the Empire, but his belief was eradicated on the day his comrades were killed.

There is one other thing I want to talk about: I don't quite understand how Imperial terminals work. I can understand why it would require a face scan: what I don't understand is how Din's face was accepted. That, quite frankly, makes no sense and I consider it a serious plot hole. It is unfortunate, because this very plot device is used for some crucial character development. I wish they had found a better situation for Din to remove his helmet.

Ok, one more thing: I believe Ming-Na Wen is either a vampire or has found the fountain of youth. She looks like she's in her early 30s when she's almost 60 instead. She must have one fabulous set of genes.

All in all Chapter 15 was a great episode, but it suffered from a serious plot hole, but the dialogues and Bill Burr as Mayfeld more than made up for that.

Added: December 11, 2020
Category: The Mandalorian
Reviewer: Thomas
Score:
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