The Mandalorian: Season Two, Episode Two Review

“The Passenger” is, by far, the strangest episode of The Mandalorian yet, and I am not fully sure if this is a compliment or not. After last week’s hour-long Tatooine adventure, I was not sure where the next episode would take things. I certainly did not expect a frogperson, Mando fighting off hordes of giant spiders, and Baby Yoda swallowing alien eggs.

The episode kicked things off with a scene most Star Wars fans have seen multiple times before: some bounty hunters try to steal Baby Yoda from Mando, and Mando dispatches them in increasingly creative ways. This time around, the highlight is Mando launching a bounty hunter into the air with his jetpack. He then meets back up with the Peli Motto, and the episode starts to unfold: A friend of Peli knows of a Mandalorian, and she will take Mando to him, only if he gives her a ride to another planet. But here is the catch: This frogwoman cannot speak English, and Mando is not allowed to fly at lightspeed. It is a very interesting premise, one unlike anything the show has done before. Unfortunately, I am not sure if the results live up to the expectations.

After Mando and the unnamed “Frog Lady” figure out they really have no system of communication, they set off to their destination planet. There are, naturally, some wacky hijinks aboard the ship; mainly, Baby Yoda starts to eat some of the fish eggs that Frog Lady is carrying with her. But the plot begins to take a turn when Mando accidentally crashes his ship in a seemingly deserted ice-cave on an unknown planet.

Much of the rest of the episode takes place inside of this cave. For a good ten minutes, nothing really happens: Mando and “Frog Lady” figure out a way to communicate with each other in a highly enjoyable scene, some repairs are done on the ship, and Baby Yoda eats a couple more eggs. Compared to the breakneck speed of the previous episode, the laid-back tone is certainly intriguing, but there is still not enough happening on screen. Twenty-five minutes into the episode, the only major plot point has been Mando taking Fish Lady aboard his ship. Thankfully, the final act fares much better than the first two, because there is an actual event to fill up time. After wandering around in the cave for a while, Baby Yoda eats a small spider encased in a gooey shell. What follows is easily the most horrific five minutes of The Mandalorian, and possibly even all of Star Wars.

I think it is safe to say that I do not care for bugs too much; I detest mosquitoes, and the thought of tiny things with legs crawling on me is deeply frightening. So, when the ice cave that Mando and company are standing in is suddenly flooded with a horde of gigantic spiders, I was equally disgusted and terrified; I am assuming that this was the point. Mando, Baby Yoda, and “Frog Lady” run from the army of bugs, which are soon being led by a twenty-foot-tall mama spider. The action is tense, exciting, and unlike anything else in the show, up to this point. It is easily the best part of this season so far. I never really thought The Mandalorian would be the source of the most terrifying thing I have seen all week, yet here we are. The bugs are eventually defeated, and the episode wraps things up with the trio flying the busted-up ship out of the cave. As the credits started rolling, my initial thought was, Wow, those spiders were cool! My subsequent thought was, Wait, what was the point of that episode?

I am still not sure of the answer to this question. While this was probably just setting the table for episode three, or the rest of the season, the only truly memorable part of “The Passenger” was the spider attack in the final minutes. The length was, once again, an issue as well; the episodes in season one were all a good forty to forty-five minutes, but there was always enough plot, characters, and action sequences to fill the time. “The Passenger” could have easily been cut down to a half hour, without losing its main storyline. In the end, I would say this episode was better than “The Marshall” for a couple of reasons. The dialogue was not as choppy, there were some new and interesting ideas thrown around, and it felt more connected to an overall story. But I am still not entirely convinced season two of The Mandalorian knows what it is doing, and this uncertainty leaves me wary for the following episodes.

Final Grade: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

3 out of 5 stars