The Mandalorian

"Chapter 10: The Passenger"

3 stars

Air date: 11/6/2020
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Peyton Reed

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Djarin agrees to take on a frog-like passenger and her container of preserved unfertilized eggs in exchange for more intel on Mandalorians that allegedly live on her planet. The eggs are important to her — she needs to take them home to her husband to be fertilized — so when a hungry Baby Yoda starts eating them, of course we're hoping Mando stops him before things get too far out of hand.

I find it hilarious how the internet lost its collective mind over Baby Yoda eating Frog Lady's eggs. I read at least two think pieces on How Badly The Writers Miscalculated. Gimme a break. This was some mildly dark humor that grew from a place of simple logic. The Child is hungry. The eggs look like food. It's math. And yet, this is apparently the biggest controversy in the history of the show.

Shrug. "The Passenger" is another example of how this series uses simple stories (in this case, one that doesn't notably advance the series' plot) and executes them in great tactile detail, particularly with its physical settings and its set pieces. Take, for example, when Mando runs from the X-wing cops who want to run his plates. This leads to an extended, visually impressive aerial sequence through the mountains of an ice world that would stand up against any sequence in the Star Wars films. Ultimately, our crew ends up stranded in a crashed, broken-down Razor Crest in an ice cave.

This ice cave has a nest of alien spider eggs. Lots of them. When the Child tries to eat one — Don't do that!, we all yell at the TV screen — its massive mother and many, many, many siblings come scurrying out with a swarm attack, in an action-horror sequence that's impressive because it just keeps going and going and building and building as our heroes get ever more boxed-in. That they are saved with a last-second deus ex machina is okay, I guess, because they sure looked doomed up until then. There's not much to this episode, but it glides by effortlessly, boiling up the intensity just when it needs to.

Previous episode: Chapter 9: The Marshal
Next episode: Chapter 11: The Heiress

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6 comments on this review

Latex Zebra
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 3:10am (UTC -6)
No need for ice spiders. Horrifying...

Fun episode though.
Paul M.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
A very simple episode, probably the simplest and slightest to date, but that's okay. It does what it set out to do with great aplomb.

I commented on another review page on this site how The Mandalorian is very basic -- in a positive sense -- when it comes to its overall production design and story beats. Watching this episode, it also struck me how aptly this describes the show's more humorous side too! No convoluted setups that lead to "funny" payoffs, no intricate wordplay, just simple old-school comedic bits that nevertheless feel fresh and funny. That image of the Child staring into the "egg bowl"... priceless! This show is, simply put, supremely confident in its storytelling.
Dom
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 5:23pm (UTC -6)
@Paul, that's a good way to put it. Mandalorian isn't really pushing the boundaries in storytelling or doing anything subversive, except perhaps in daring to be simple. Episode 2 of Season 1 was one of the best examples of lean, pared down storytelling I can think of on TV. And no matter what the show does, no matter how silly or sentimental, it's almost always confident. I get the sense that the creators are having fun playing in the Star Wars sandbox.
CaptainMercer
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 10:26am (UTC -6)
One thing I thought about while watching this episode was our own history.. how the Native Americans have their entire culture based around the Buffalos.. everything that they eat, that they make, and even their ways revolve around those beasts. The same goes for the Tuskan raiders.. but their savagery (at least, as it appears) is due to the fact that that the Tuskans get no actual benefit from the Krayte dragon.. all they can do is hope to placate it. When Ben Kenobi used the call in episode 4 to scare them.. we now know why. I love how the Tuskans have become a fully realized culture (even riding single file)

Whereas discovery is using their huge budget to decorate the screen with effects, Favreau is using the money to create seemingly real cultures, and to create things that those cultures would actually USE. Plus, each episode maintains a good sense of humor.. the kind of humor Star Wars does best. things like the funny noises a creature makes
Yanks
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 5:09pm (UTC -6)
One thing we learn in this episode is that Mando doesn't feed Baby Yoda enough.

This is the worst episode of 'The Mandalorian' yet IMO. Baby Yoda eats eggs, then Baby Yoda eats "alien", the bug spider thing, blah, blah.

Nothing gained here at all. All spectacle. ... just like the new Star Wars movies.

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

I have no desire to watch it again.

2 stars.
SlackerInc
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 10:09am (UTC -6)
I was amused by how he kept eating the eggs, but also kind of horrified. I didn’t know there was a big controversy about this online, but that doesn’t seem too out of line to me. Actually, in a way I find it reassuring, tbh. While watching, I assumed everyone else would just shrug it off as a laugh and I found THAT idea disturbing.

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