The Mandalorian: Season Two, Episode Seven Review


Photo by Tomas Anunziata from Pexels

The lush, forest setting of “The Believer” was a nice refresher after a season of deserts and snow.

The Mandalorian continues its incredible winning streak with “The Believer,” a fast-paced, thought provoking episode that raises more questions about the Empire and morality than any other Star Wars entity before. It is another great addition to a season that is continually outdoing itself with each new chapter. The episode is directed by Rick Famuyiwa, who also directed season one’s “The Prisoner’’ (the first episode to feature Bill Burr’s Mayfeld). Both of these episodes have successfully pushed The Mandalorian into new territories and genres, making him one of the show’s finest directors. “The Believer” has an evident style, and thanks to Famuyiwa, it wholly embraces the overall weirdness of Star Wars. I often measure episodes of The Mandalorian by how much I would want to ever watch them again. After “The Believer” ended, I almost immediately wanted to start it over.

“The Believer” is, for the most part, a heist mission. After getting Mayfeld out of his New Republic prison chains, Mando, Boba Fett, Fennec, and Cara take the old enemy onto Slave 1 to explain his importance to the mission. It turns out that Mayfeld used to be in the Empire, and they need him to use his old chain codes to find the location of Moff Gideon’s ship. The team soon after lands on Morak, a lush planet home to a secret imperial mining base. But it quickly becomes clear that there is a problem with the mission– who will accompany Mayfeld on his mission? When Cara, Fennec, and Boba all have separate reasons for why they cannot enter the imperial base, the responsibility turns to Mando. So, he makes a compromise, and he and Mayfeld shoot their way into an imperial bus, where they put on stormtrooper outfits. This way, they can drive around without anybody noticing them, and Mando can continue to keep his face covered. But on the drive, Mayfeld points out the question that is on everybody’s minds: is Mando not allowed to take off his Mandalorian helmet, or is he only not allowed to show his face? This leads to a long conversation between these two characters over what it means to follow a moral code. Mando refuses to change the ways of his ancient religion, while Mayfeld believes that you have to do what you can to sleep at night. The episode never really picks a side on who is right. It just shows two sides of an argument and allows you to decide. It is a profound conversation, and it shows the growing maturity of both The Mandalorian and Star Wars as a whole.

Naturally, something goes wrong on this mission, and a group of pirates begin attacking the imperial buses. There is a quick brawl atop the bus between Mando and the pirates, but things are wrapped up when TIE Fighters fly by and blast the pirates down. As Mayfeld and Mando, on the last bus standing, enter the base, stormtroopers stand on either side of the road. They wave, cheer, and salute the two new heroes of the Empire. These disposable enemies have never seemed more human than they do here. Mayfeld smiles, waving back. “Never thought you’d be happy to see stormtroopers,” he jokes to Mando. 

As they enter the base and are cheered on even more by a crowd of soldiers, the two quickly make their way to the information kiosk. There is then another slight delay; Mayfeld spots his old commander in the imperial cafeteria where the kiosk is located. He says he’s unsure if the officer will recognize him, but he doesn’t want to take the risk. Mando quickly grabs Mayfeld’s chain code stick and goes to the stand. He plugs it in, but the machine needs facial recognition. And so, for the first time in the show, Mando must take his mask off in front of people.

He completes the scan, but he is approached by Mayfeld’s ex-commander himself. Mayfeld runs over to save Mando, and he is thankfully not recognized. As it turns out, the officer was just congratulating the two for making it back to the base alive and rewarded them with a round of drinks. The two awkwardly sit down with the commander at a table, where he regales them with tales of the Empire. Eventually, the subject of an old imperial battle comes up. Mayfeld, who presumably fought in this battle, engages in conversation with the officer. Conversation quickly turns to argument over if all the death of war is necessary. It is here it becomes clear the Mayfeld has some unresolved internal conflict regarding the Empire. Eventually, the officer leans in closer to Mayfeld, and he goes on a slow, terrifying rant about how all people truly want is order. The entire scene is filled with tension, and it reaches a climax with the creepy commander’s final words: “Soon, they’ll all come crawling back to us,” he says as he grins and raises a glass, saying, “To the Empire.” As he takes a sip of his drink, Mayfeld pulls out a blaster and shoots him in the chest. Mando and Mayfeld jump up and shoot their way out of the base, escaping through a window as the stormtroopers that cheered them on mere minutes ago try to shoot them to death. The Slave 1 quickly comes to the rescue, and the two jump onboard. As they fly away, Mayfeld grabs a sniper and shoots a reactor, blowing up the base. “Everybody’s gotta sleep at night,” he says to Mando remorsefully.

The ship lands at a safe distance from the base, and Mando and Cara decide that Mayfeld should not have to return to the prison. They quickly make up a lie that he died during the mission and send him off into the forest. The episode is capped off with Mando delivering a final message to Moff Gideon via hologram. The foreboding warning has Mando throwing the Imperial’s infamous words back at him: “Moff Gideon, you have something I want. You may think you have some idea of what you are in possession of, but you do not.” After last week’s action-packed episode’s cliffhanger, I went into Episode 7 wanting it to be a fun, table-setting adventure for the finale. Instead, we were given an excellent, self-contained adventure story that challenges the old “good-vs.-bad” morality of Star Wars, as well as successfully made Mayfeld one of the show’s best recurring characters. I’m glad to say that I’m more pleased with what I got than what I wanted.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

5 out 5 Stars


  • Boba Fett really didn’t do too much this episode, but at least Fennec is starting to feel more like a real member of the team and not just a filler character.
  • The greatest Star Wars nerd easter egg in “The Believer” was getting to see exactly how Slave 1 took off. The inside of the ship is a sphere, and the rest of the ship just spins around it, and that’s awesome.
  • I found it odd that the imperial commander didn’t notice how old Mayfeld was. Bill Burr is over 50 years old, and I feel like that’s a little old to be a stormtrooper.
  • On the subject of the imperial commander, he was my favorite part of the episode. I love creepy people in film and television, and he was one of the creepiest I’ve seen in Star Wars. His only real competition for that title is the CGI Tarkin in Rogue One.
  • I’m still not sure how I feel about Boba Fett being a good guy now. He’s been fairly synonymous with Star Wars villains for a very long time now, so him just helping Mando out of the goodness of his heart doesn’t fit right. Perhaps he’ll turn evil in the final episode.
  • This was the first episode of the show to not feature Grogu. In many ways, this was the show that the original trailer for The Mandalorian promised us: a disconnected adventure with no connection to the Jedi and Sith.