REVIEW: ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 Episode 8-“Chapter 16: The Rescue”

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'The Mandalorian' Season 2, Episode 8-"Chapter 16: The Rescue"

The Mandalorian pulls out all the stops for its Season 2 finale, “The Rescue.” After delivering an ultimatum to Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) in “The Believer,” Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) makes a daring raid on Gideon’s Imperial light cruiser with the help of Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison). A battle between Djarin’s allies and Gideon’s forces ensues, with Djarin intending to rescue the Child from Gideon’s clutches.

This episode sees the return of Peyton Reed to the director’s chair, and from the opening sequence, he slams his foot on the gas and never lets up. Reed’s previous episode, “The Passenger,” received a mixed reception from fans for taking a detour from the main storyline. With “The Rescue,” Reed reverses course and brings the various plot threads from Season 2, as well as a few from Season 1, together. Djarin and Gideon finally have their long-awaited confrontation. Gideon’s plans for the Child are revealed. And it turns out a Jedi did feel the Child through the Force, in what has to be one of the biggest jaw-dropping moments in Star Wars history.

One thing that Reed does bring back from “The Passenger” is the use of tension in certain scenes, particularly when Djarin and Gideon face off and when Djarin battles a Dark Trooper. The Dark Troopers are one of the most frightening antagonists in Star Wars canon, as they are immensely powerful droids. None of Djarin’s weapons make a dent in the Dark Trooper’s armor, and it outmatches him in sheer strength. Likewise, Gideon has the Child within killing distance, forcing Djarin to use his words to try and talk the Moff down. Viewers will be on the edge of their seats for both confrontations.

Series creator Jon Favreau writes the finale, and in my opinion, this is his strongest script yet. There are several emotional moments, including the reunion between Djarin and the Child. Over the course of two seasons, we’ve seen these two grow from “jaded bounty hunter and child” to “father and son,” and Djarin’s fight to liberate the Child is a key part of that. Favreau has a clear understanding of what makes Star Wars‘ heroes so compelling: they are willing to put others before themselves, out of love. Djarin truly loves the Child-why else would he face nearly insurmountable odds?

The episode features stellar performances as well, especially where Pascal and Esposito are concerned. Esposito has made a career out of playing villains and Moff Gideon may be one of his best; he is calculating, revels in his enemies’ peril, and is willing to kill himself in order to evade capture. Pascal delivers what may be one of the best physical performances he’s had on the show; his body shakes with sheer adrenaline as he struggles to escape the Dark Trooper’s grasp, and there is a fiery rage in his combat against Gideon. Viewers will also get to see Pascal’s face in perhaps one of the most emotional moments the show has ever done. I defy viewers to not shed a tear.

One element I remain mixed on is the appearance of a certain character. While it made sense story-wise (and as I mentioned before led to a jaw-dropper of an action sequence), the visual look of the character felt off due to special effects. I have never been averse to VFX, but I can also tell when it needs work and this effect needed a bit more fine-tuning.

“The Rescue” is a blast from start to finish, closing several doors on The Mandalorian and opening up new ones. I cannot wait for Season 3 to see Djarin’s further adventures, and a Marvel-style post-credits scene hints at a fan-favorite character receiving his own series. The future of Star Wars has never looked brighter.

Seasons 1 and 2 of The Mandalorian are currently available to stream on Disney+.


The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 8 - "Chapter 16: The Rescue"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

“The Rescue” is a blast from start to finish, closing several doors on The Mandalorian and opening up new ones. I cannot wait for Season 3 to see Djarin’s further adventures, and a Marvel-style post-credits scene hints at a fan-favorite character receiving his own series. The future of Star Wars has never looked brighter.