The Mandalorian Episode 15 Review
When people fight in wars, or for survival, things like morality tend to fall by the wayside. The desperation, the compromises, the loss. No one’s immune, not the Jedi, and not Mando. With Grogu/Baby Yoda held captive by Moff Gideon, he’s going to great lengths to get his son back. And in the process, we get a surprisingly insightful episode on the nature of good and evil with those in power.
Migs Mayfeld Returns
The last time we saw the ex-Stormtrooper Mayfeld, he was arrested by the New Republic for that failed prison break. Now serving a harsh prison sentence, Cara bails him out to help Mando’s team track down Moff Gideon’s ship. Which leads to the group to a remote Imperial outpost mining an extremely explosive chemical. So, high stakes all around.
I actually forgot about Mayfeld after last season, but this episode gives the returning character a surprising amount of depth. Yeah, he snarks against Cara (who’s happy to shoot him if necessary), but he also waxes himself philosophical about the effects of those in power. Namely, he says that whether it’s the New Republic or Empire that’s in charge of the Galaxy, nothing changes. People still suffer in squalor thanks to those in charge.
The sad thing is, he’s not wrong. No matter who’s in charge, the Outer Rim remains the same, underdeveloped frontier region its always been. It’s a sad reflection of real world issues of poverty.
Yet underneath his cynicism, we see that Mayfeld has a good heart, as we learn why he left the Empire. Operation: Cinder.
What is Operation: Cinder?
Operation: Cinder is an important event that occurred in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor. Long story short, Sidious planned to destroy the Empire and most of its worlds and people. As it turns out, Mayfeld was one of the Stormtroopers who found themselves as cannon fodder in Operation Cinder. He watched as his former CO left his comrades to die alongside countless civilians, all in the name of the Empire. He lived, but he turned his back on them for good.
As it happens, his former CO is in the base he and Mando infiltrate. Through various circumstances , the pair have to listen to the man frantically talk about how those deaths were a glorious sacrifice. Enraged by this, Mayfeld kills the guy in revenge, and the. Blows up base.
I saw this as a very powerful moment. Mayfel may act like he doesn’t care, but underneath his cynic ism is a potentially good man. It’s moments like that that remind me it to lose hope in people.
Mando Makes a Big Sacrifice
Mando may be a shining example of a “defrosting ice king”. When we first met him, he was a cold-hearted bounty hunter who didn’t care about anyone. But thanks to Baby Yoda, he learned how to care for others. Now he’s willing to go after Gideon to get Baby Yoda back. Not because he’s his mission; because he’s his son. And during this episode, we see him do something that cements just how much he cares for Baby Yoda/Grogu.
In order to find the location of Gideon’s ship, Mando has to use this facial recognition device. Even though he’s in the mess hall with several Imperials, he makes the ultimate sacrifice. He. Takes off. HIS HELMET.
Granted, he was disguised as a Stormtrooper, but the point remains. He willingly broke his people’s rule of never showing their faces. The Mando at the start of the show would never do this. The fact that he’s willing to do this for his son’s sake shows how much he’s grown as a character.
If the rest of the Watch finds out what he did, they may denounce him as a Mandalorian. However, if you ask me, I think it makes more of a Mandalorian than all of them. I respect those willing to break the rules for the right reasons, and this is for the right reasons. Even if they do learn though, Mando may have passed beyond the need for their approval. Plus, if you ask me, I think he’s more a Mandalorian than any of them.
Mando Goes to War
So, next week is the big finale, and Mando’s about to go Liam Neeson on Gideon. He’s going to get Baby Yoda back, no matter what. Will he beat Gideon in the process? Honesty, I’m hoping he won’t. That would be A waste of a villain, and I’m hoping to save their final fight for when the Mandalorians take back their home for good. It’s gonna happen!
In comparison to the penultimate episode of last season, this one packed the high stakes, but had the same level of stakes. I liked it, just not as much as it’s predecessor, though.
This is the way.
Also, if you haven’t heard, Disney just dropped a ton of reveals for Star Wars, Marvel, and a bunch of other things yesterday. Ashoka’s getting her own show, but this is what I’m most excited for!
I Give “The Believer” a 3/5
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