This episode, entitled The Child, was directed by Rick Famuyiwa of Dope fame. If you've seen the episode, join us as we dive into Spoiler Town.
After taking out his fellow bounty hunter, the Mando (we might know his real name, but it hasn't been revealed in the show yet) travels back to his ship with his quarry: an adorable baby of the late Jedi Master Yoda's species.
The Mando's attacked by a group of Trandoshan bounty hunters (the dinosaur-looking race represented by Bossk in The Empire Strikes Back), but takes them down. He even disintegrates one with his Amban phase-pulse blaster (don't mess with the Mando), before spotting their tracker -- these lads were after the baby.
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Later, as he repairs his armor and tends to his wounds like a Grade A badass, the baby gets out of its pod and reaches toward one of the Mando's injuries. His gesture is almost... Forceful. We got ourselves a little Yoda-shaped Chekhov's Gun right here. The Mando is having none of it, and puts the baby back in its pod. There's something very cute about this pair's near-silent interaction, too.
After a gorgeous shot of the Mando stepping onto a hill with the rising sun behind him, we discover that his ship has been stripped by Jawas. These tiny junk traders are wearing dark robes, and they're clearly a bit Gothier than their Tatooine counterparts seen in A New Hope.
And they just rolled up in their Sandcrawler and stole his stuff, the cheeky Charlies. We won't be having that, will we Mando?
He opens fire on the Jawas, then takes off after the Sandcrawler on foot. The baby's pod hovers behind him, but maintains a safe distance -- it must be keyed to stay close, but this seems a bit unsafe for our little green friend.
In a seriously cool sequence, the Mando slaughters Jawas (Utini indeed!) as he makes his way to the top of the Sandcrawler... where the little dudes electrify his armor and send him crashing back down. Oucheroo.
He wakes up some time later, probably concussed (getting sick in that helmet wouldn't be pleasant), with the baby nearby. Realizing that his ship ain't startin' with most of its parts stripped, he sighs and the baby chirps. Even though they don't say a word, it's pretty obvious these two are fond of each other (seems like that could be a problem when it comes time to turn in this bounty to the former Imperials).
Without a way off the planet, the Mando returns to his only friend here, Kuiil (Nick Nolte).
"I thought you were dead," says the Ugnaught, in the first dialogue we've heard in this episode (approximately a third of the way through). He agrees to take the Mando to the Jawas so he can trade for his ship parts. Nearby, the baby swallows a froglike creature whole, with a burp and a giggle. Nom nom.
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They travel to the Sandcrawler, where negotiations are punctuated by the Mando nearly frying some Jawas with his awesome flamethrower gauntlet. They ultimately agree to give back the ship parts in exchange for "the Egg." That's "soo-ga" in Jawa speak, for all you would-be Star Wars linguists out there. It probably won't cause as much fuss as "maclunkey."
A couple of "soo-ga" chants later, the Sandcrawler arrives at a cave. What Star Wars character ever found trouble in a dark cave? The Mando enters, only to be flung back out by the rhinolike creature living inside -- presumably the Egg's mom.
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Battle for the Egg
The two dance a violent dance, with the Mando remotely moving the pod to keep the baby from getting trampled. Our hero's
prove ineffective and things are looking bad as the rhino bears down on him... only for the baby to raise its hand, suddenly stopping the beastie and levitating it. Exhausted from using the Force to protect its Mando pal, the baby falls unconscious and the Mando stabs the rhino in the neck, killing it.
Looking a little the worse for wear, the Mando secures the rather hairy, muddy Egg and brings it back to the Jawas. With great reverence for their prize, the scavengers immediately crack it open and feast on the goo inside.
With the parts in hand, the Mando and Kuiil return to the ship and repair it the only way they can -- through the Power of Montage. Kuiil refuses any kind of reward for his help and turns down an offer to join the Mando's crew (they would've been a fun duo).
"Thank you for bringing peace to my valley," he says. "And good luck with the child. May it survive and bring you a handsome reward!"
With one last "I have spoken," he waves goodbye. Composer Ludwig Goransson's score rises, the Mando takes off, and his baby pal awakens from his slumber (probably nursing a bit of a Force hangover).
Even though it's pretty short, at just over 30 minutes, this episode moves at a nice deliberate pace -- like the westerns it's inspired by. Seeing the Mando having a rough time reminded me of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in particular. Goransson's soundtrack (which is being released online as each episode airs) supports this tone.
It's not a huge surprise that the baby is Force sensitive; perhaps this is a common trait in Yoda's unnamed race. We don't know why there's a bounty on it yet. Maybe future First Order Supreme Leader Snoke is pulling the strings on the Imperial remnant and looking for an apprentice? Ben Solo, our future Kylo Ren, is only 4 at this point in the timeline.
Neither the Mando nor Kuiil understand that the baby used the Force. It seems the Empire did a pretty good job of wiping out all memory of the Jedi, especially since the Mandalorians' history is closely tied to the fallen Order (as seen in The Clone Wars and Rebels).
Check back next Friday for our recap of episode 3.