REVIEW: ‘The Mandalorian,’ Season 2 Episode 7 – “The Believer”

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The Madalorian Season 2 Episode 7 "The Believer"

The penultimate episode of The Mandalorian‘s second season, “The Believer,” features the return of an old enemy and a deeper insight into the scars war and tribalism can leave on a person. Following the events of “The Tragedy,” Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) liberates former Imperial sharpshooter Miggs Mayfield (Bill Burr) to gain the access code to Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) Imperial cruiser. With the help of his new allies, Djarin and Mayfield travel to the planet of Morak.

The episode is written and directed by Rick Famuwiya, who previously helmed “The Child” and “The Prisoner“. Famuwiya’s script takes a closer look at what the aftereffects of war can bring to a planet, especially when Djarin and Mayfield drive a stolen Imperial transport through the forests of Morak. Mayfield waxes philosophically about how whether one is Imperial, Mandalorian, or Republic, it doesn’t matter to the people who have their homes and lives upended by combat. Much like Rogue One and Rebels before it, The Mandalorian continues to explore a hidden side of Star Wars.

Another positive of the episode is how it manages to humanize Mayfield. In “The Prisoner,” he came off as nothing more than a cynical mercenary. Here, his cynicism is revealed to be hiding some heavy post-traumatic stress disorder and anger at the way the Empire treated him. It’s easy to simply dismiss the Empire as “the bad guys,” but Famuwiya paints a different picture here. Djarin also gets a similar humanizing moment, as he breaks one of the biggest rules of his creed in order to complete the mission. The episode’s title isn’t just for show; it highlights how belief can often be challenged and changed, sometimes for the better.

As befitting The Mandalorian, “The Believer” also contains high octane action sequences. One such sequence features Djarin fighting a band of pirates who intend to detonate the supply the transport is carrying. At this point, Djarin has had to disguise himself as a Stormtrooper (a classic Star Wars trope) and the pirates keep coming in waves. This fight sequence showcases that even without his Beskar armor and weapons, Djarin can handle himself in a fight. It’s also a way to keep the tension running; it’d be boring if the hero didn’t run into new challenges every so often.

The only real issue I had is that this episode more or less covered the same ground as “The Siege“. Djarin needs information: check. Djarin teams up with people he met in previous episodes: check. Djarin has to infiltrate an Imperial outpost for the information: check, check and check. What helps “The Believer” stand out is the philosophical underpinnings in Famuwiya’s script.

“The Believer” sets the stage for the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, while fleshing out a prior antagonist and exploring the trauma that war can cause. Famuwiya continues to be one of the best directors attached to The Mandalorian, and I also can’t wait to see Djarin battle Gideon and save the Child.

The Season 2 finale of  The Mandalorian Season 2 will air next Friday on Disney+.

The Mandalorian, Season 2 Episode 7 - "The Believer"

TL;DR

“The Believer” sets the stage for the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, while fleshing out a prior antagonist and exploring the trauma that war can cause. Famuwiya continues to be one of the best directors attached to The Mandalorian, and I also can’t wait to see Djarin battle Gideon and save the Child.