The Mandalorian S2 Ep5 Review

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. Was it worth the wait?

We got a lot of info dumping this episode, which was inevitable given Ahsoka’s grand entrance. We learned a LOT about Baby Yoda’s past (including his name). Furthermore, an important Imperial antagonist still lives and may make a future appearance.

“Chapter 13” functions as a traditional western and samurai mashup. Mando arrives on Corvus in a newly repaired Razor Crest ready to meet Ahsoka. He stumbles upon Calodan, a city run by tyrranical Imperial magistrate Morgan Elsbeth.

However, Ahsoka’s been busy fighting off the magistrate’s band of soldiers. This made for a cool lone samurai reference, especially with a character like Ahsoka.

Ahsoka and Din’s paths cross, and we learn just who Baby Yoda actually is. Then, we quickly move on to this week’s mission.

Ahsoka’s fight scenes drew me in immediately. It was obvious a lot of time, effort, and attention to detail went into the choreography. Every moment was carefully curated.

Even the cinematography flourished in all the right places. When the reveals happened, the setting allowed them to settle. Corvus appears as a bleak and lifeless place at first glance, much like Ahsoka’s hope for Baby Yoda’s Jedi training.

All in all, it was impressive return for Ahsoka. We may not see her again for a while, but it works. We now have a new objective: find the Jedi Temple. And with Moff Gideon not far behind, I’m sure we’re heading into the best this season has to offer.

The Moff Gideon showdown is coming.

The Mandalorian S2 Ep4 Review

I wasn’t expecting that, and that’s a good thing.

Okay, I finally conceded to the Mission of the Week format. It’s obviously staying. The showrunners made that clear at this point. Luckily, our favorite duo’s side quest packed plenty of action and foreshadowing.

We find ourselves back in Nevarro (where all the interesting stuff happens anyway) to repair the Razor Crest. Of course, Din gets swooped into another mission because he’s Din. And what is this mission? Destroy some more Imperials, of course!

Except, that’s when the new plot developments start rolling in.

The gang learns that Moff Gideon is, in fact, alive. They also learn via Dr. Pershing (as a hologram) why the Imperials need baby Yoda. My guess? Girl, they trying to make a clone Sith army.

And honestly, if that’s truly the plan, I’m REALLY going to side eye the First Order still using Storm Troopers. Like what is their purpose besides selling new toys? Okay never mind. I’ll stop being cynical.

Back to “Chapter 12.” We end our side quest with a high speed chase and a scene with Gideon revealing he’s placed a tracking device on Mando’s ship. So, expect a showdown in the season finale at least.

We lost some of the momentum from last week’s episode, but I’m okay with it. There were still plenty of important plot beats to move things forward. Now, with the Razor Crest repaired, it’s time to complete our quest.

Ahsoka Tano is coming!

The Mandalorian S2 Ep3 Review

Now we’re getting somewhere! Quite literally.

In my earlier reviews, I lamented at the lack of clear plot progression. “Chapter 12” succeeded in knocking my opinions flat on their backs. We not only meet other, native-born Mandalorians. A crucial detail about our protagonist materializes: he’s been indoctrinated.

Fans have long speculated Din was adopted by the Death Watch during the Clone Wars. Now, we have our confirmation, which gives Din MUCH more depth and opens him up for quite a few character moments.

There’s still the Mission of the Week format, but it works here. Clearly, the showrunners want to fold overarching plot developments into each mission. We just get a little bit more each episode. Viewers like some level of routine, so I can appreciate that that.

We learn the Imperial outcasts have quite a bit of firepower left, led by the incredibly capable Moff Gideon. We also learn the whereabouts of Ahsoka Tano, which is really what we’ve all been waiting for.

“Chapter 12” displays a near-perfect blend of humor, tension, and world-building all in its 30-minute run time. It didn’t feel like a short episode, as there was a lot to process. So, with that being said, maybe I should just trust that the showrunners and their decision to slow-burn us to death.

Clearly, they know when and how to quickly bring us up to speed.

The Mandalorian S2 Ep2 Review

Yup, it’s another dungeon quest and Boss battle.

I’ll give kudos to this episode for trying something different (or for not forcing us to look at sand anymore). “Chapter 10” offers a subtlety in the place of clear plot momentum.

We still have the main objective: find the Jedi. However, as I mentioned in the previous review, we’re still gonna have some sidequests along the way. Thankfully, this side quest manages to shed light on an important dynamic for our protagonist: parenthood.

From the first episode of the series, we knew Mando was going to be conflicted with his feelings about taking Baby Yoda under his care. Heck, it’s a strong possibility he’ll be quite reluctant to part with the adorable blob once he meets the Jedi.

So what role does the Mandalorian want to fill for his charge? We’ll need a few more episodes for that question to be completely answered, but “Chapter 10” succeeds in foreshadowing what will surely be a critical character moment.

Nevertheless, “Chapter 10” still feels like an unnecessary episode, but it’s at least better than “Chapter 9” and its return to the Wild West schtick. With only 6 chapters left to go, this needs to be the final episode where we get no new developments.

I’m sure Disney+ wants to keep the “I only subscribed for Mandalorian” numbers up, so here’s to hoping we there’s a narrative shift next episode. We’ve had enough side quests. It’s time to continue with the main storyline.

The Mandalorian S2 Ep1 Review

Are there other important planets besides Tatooine?

The Mandalorian kicked off its season premiere with more of the same and came across as more of a retread of earlier story elements.

After a fantastic season finale, many fans were expecting a narrative shift that would more directly follow the reveals and outcomes of the season 1 finale. However, it seems season 2 wants to take the slow approach, which is fine. I’m all for subverting fan expectations, ESPECIALLY Star Wars fans. We’re annoying.

Still, it would have been nice to see some sort of nod or tease thrown in the mix. Where is Moff Gideon? Where did Cara Dune end up? Is Greef Karga planning a new way to double-cross someone? It would have been nice to see what they’ve been up to (and plotting).

An episode like “Chapter 9” wouldn’t be so glaringly tedious if not for the fact that we’re only getting 8 episodes this season. Did we need to get sidetracked in Mos Eisley yet again? Did we need another Boba Fett tease? Just wheel the guy out already!

Not every episode needs to be a mind-bending, plot twisting, explosions and cool poses extravaganza, but more of the same won’t cut it this season. There are other, more creative ways to make us wait for our questions to get answered.

All in all, this season still holds plenty of promise. The “go find Jedis” mission rings very much like an RPG video game objective. However, from the looks of “Chapter 9,” we’re going to be going on a lot of side quests until things get interesting.

I Really Tried to Like the Wonder Woman Movie

I really tried to like Wonder Woman. Really, I did. As one of my ultimate favorite superheroes, I was more than excited when they announced she would get her own standalone movie. Still, I found myself dazed, confused, and well…bored upon seeing her grace the big screen.

As someone who’s always prided himself on being one of the few people in my circle who can actually enjoy things without picking them apart, this was a hard pill to swallow. I went to see a movie with a 92% Rotten Tomato score, and I ended up being unimpressed with it as a whole.

A few things that really bothered me?

The Action

The action scenes were amazing…when they weren’t constantly interrupted by slow motion close-up shots. Diana would kick a bad guy. Said bad guy would fly out of a window in slow motion. Time would speed up when Diana turned around to face another baddie…only to slow down again when she reached for her sword. Every. Single. Punch. Nearly every step taken in an action scene involved the overuse of slow motion. It became jarring the majority of the time.

The Pacing

This movie was too long. Let’s face it. Much of its screen time could have been reduced, especially the scenes in the third act. By then, it felt like the movie was padding itself to make you wait until the inevitable final boss battle at its climax. Hopefully this doesn’t become a habit with DC’s movies being overlong just for the sake of it (looking at you, Justice League).

The Villain

For every wonderful superhero, there has to be a bad guy or a bad situation that truly elevates the story and raises the stakes. Ares’ anticlimactic reveal at the end of the film was both disappointing and boring. By then, I was ready for the end credits to roll, and the fight scene between the two was nowhere near as impressive as Wonder Woman’s fight against Doomsday.

You have to understand. Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic superheroes of all time, male or female. After the unnecessarily botched Batman v. Superman, much was riding on Wonder Woman’s big screen success. With Marvel continuing to kick DC into the ground in terms of consistency, redemption was necessary.

Enter Wonder Woman. No, literally. I’m still amazed at how someone can mess up a movie about Superman and Batman fighting each other, but it still happened. One thing many critics agreed on? Wonder Woman was the best part of the movie.

So, no I didn’t have a problem with Gal Gadot’s performance. I didn’t think the story was lackluster. I thought it was pretty consistent with its source material. I didn’t have a problem with the woman-only screenings or the ridiculous politics surrounding the film. I simply didn’t like it. Yet, I understand and respect its position as a game-changer for female superheroes (and female leads in general).

Your Thoughts?