"Chapter 2: The Child"
Air date: 11/15/2019
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
Trying to return to Nevarro with his tiny green bounty, the Mandalorian returns to his ship to find it has been completely stripped by Jawas, who roll away in their tank-like traveling warehouse. He chases after them, engages them in a mighty struggle, but is repelled. Stuck on the planet, he returns to Kuiil, who helps him broker an arrangement with the Jawas: They'll give him back the parts to his ship in exchange for retrieving the Egg. Why do they want the Egg? That's their business — although when Mando finally finds out why, he can only (rightly) shake his head.
The egg belongs to a massive rhino-like creature that lives in a cave. The creature, justifiably, does not want to part with its egg without a fight. A fight between the massive beast and the Mandalorian, with his mostly ineffective weapons, ensues.
"The Child" reminds me of those episodes of Lost where a trivial problem that would normally be passed right over with an ellipses by a show not interested in biding its time — in this case, the trivialities of getting off the planet — becomes procedural fodder for an entire episode's run time documenting the details of the solution. Take, for example, the opening 10 minutes with Mando chasing the Jawas and trying to get into their rolling fortress. It's purely visual/action storytelling; there's not a single line of dialogue in the episode before we get to the 10-minute mark.
The battle with the animal is notable for its competence and impressive scale (although Mando's kill shot with such a small knife seems unlikely to bring down such a mammoth). But more notable from the story perspective is how it brings to light the abilities of Baby Yoda, who sees Mando in trouble and intervenes with the Force, levitating the massive beast in the air to stop it from trampling Mando to death. Mando — unaware what the Force actually does — gets a surprising lesson from the Child who unexpectedly saves his life. (And afterward, the toll this takes on Baby Yoda prompts him to take a very long nap.)
"The Child" is a lean, simple, brisk story that doesn't try to be anything more than a fun, well-executed adventure yarn. And that it is.
Previous episode: Chapter 1: The Mandalorian
Next episode: Chapter 3: The Sin
Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.
4 comments on this post
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
But the best thing about this episode is what we learn about Mando. I'm NOT talking about his background and history and all of that that most people want to know now now now. But this episode tells us about the Mandalorian himself, his skills (taking out a few guys at once in the cold open) and his limitations.. he can't take down the jawas. We learn about his patience, and his ability to learn and work together with others.
Tue, Mar 2, 2021, 5:09am (UTC -5)
The battle with the creature doesn't quite live up to that but the dismay when they get the egg was brilliant. Also a chance to see Grogu flex his mental muscles was cool.
Fri, May 14, 2021, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
I have really, really enjoyed the show's back-to-basics episodic approach to storytelling in the era of streaming epics with plodding, convoluted plots and juggling multiple character arcs through overlong runtimes.
*A scene so fun they tried to duplicate it in each subsequent sequel to *severely* diminishing returns
Fri, Mar 10, 2023, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Really liked the part about how the Mandalorian wants to give Kuiil some compensation for all his help and how he could use him as a crewmember. But Kuiil won't accept -- just thanks Mando for bringing peace to his valley. "I have spoken" indeed.
The encounters with the Jawas or the 1-horned monster weren't anything to write home about but I like the steadfastness of the Mandalorian - never giving up. But what's brewing is the mystery of the child. Mando doesn't understand what happened -- but even with the mask on one can tell Mando wonders what is up with this child when he stared at it.
2.5 stars for "Chapter 2: The Child" -- there's a good ethos about this show already for me. Not a massive fan of the Star Wars universe but it does certain things quite well and they're at work here.
Submit a comment
◄ Season Index