REVIEW: ‘The Mandalorian,’ Season 2 Episode 2 – “Chapter 10: The Passenger”

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The Passenger - But Why Tho?After a stellar premiere, The Mandalorian Season 2 slows down in this week’s episode. “Chapter 10: The Passenger” finds Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) agreeing to transport a reptilian passenger and her cadre of eggs to the planet Trask. However, an encounter with New Republic fighter pilots leads to the Mandalorian crash-landing on an icy planet. With a severely damaged ship and a hostile environment, Djarin struggles to protect his passenger and the Child from the planet’s horrifying inhabitants.

This episode features Peyton Reed stepping into the director’s chair, while Jon Favreau handles writing duties. Reed is best known for his work on the Ant-Man films for Marvel Studios, as well as his romantic comedies including Down With Love. With “The Passenger” he steps into the sci-fi/horror genre, paying homage to Alien along the way. The planet is infested with spider-like creatures that hatch from eggs similar to the Xenomorphs, and they also happen to be pure nightmare fuel. They have pale skin, multiple eyes, and spindly legs. In addition, the spider creatures range in size from the size of one palm to twice the size of the Razorcrest.

Reed knows how to build tension, no matter where the scene is set. When the Razorcrest is flanked by two X-Wing fighters, viewers will be on the edge of their seats as Djarin tries—and fails—to get them off his tail. Similarly, the spider creatures are introduced in a slowly escalating montage of dread. First, their eggs split open. Then, a massive swarm of them rushes across the floor toward Djarin and the others. Combined with Ludwig Goransson’s pulse-pounding score, it’s truly horrific.

Another great aspect of the series is how its characters manage to express themselves using little words or facial motions. I’ve praised Pascal’s performance in the past, and I don’t see that changing because the man is GREAT. You can hear the exasperation, the dread, the anger lacing his words which makes him more than a stoic action figure. He has his moments of badassery, but he also genuinely cares for the Child. Not only does he make sure it’s safe from harm from bounty hunters, but he also keeps it from eating things it shouldn’t eat and lets it sleep in his bunk. The Child also remains a highlight of the series, eagerly running to Djarin and eating nearly everything it can get its hands on. It helps offset the horror aspect of the episode.

If there’s an issue with the episode, it’s that it feels somewhat detached from the premiere. Season 1 was comprised of mostly stand-alone tales, but it had an underlying story of Djarin protecting the Child from a galaxy of threats. Season 2 sets a plotline of Djarin seeking out his fellow Mandalorians into motion, but “The Passenger” doesn’t really move this forward. I understand that not every episode will have a massive, jaw-dropping moment, but I hope that future episodes continue to work on the ongoing story that was set up. To his credit, Favreau touches upon the events of Season 1 in “The Passenger,” namely Djarin’s exploits in “The Prisoner“.

Although it’s a bit of a detour from the main story, “The Passenger” manages to deliver a solid episode laced with equal parts horror and action of an episode. Next week’s episode should hopefully pivot back to the main storyline.

The Mandalorian Season 2 will air new episodes Friday on Disney+.

The Passenger
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Although it’s a bit of a detour from the main story, “The Passenger” manages to deliver a solid episode laced with equal parts horror and action of an episode. Next week’s episode should hopefully pivot back to the main storyline.