Wednesday, December 18, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Mandalorian' - Mando Rounds Out Some Allies in Order to Face the Client Once More in 'Chapter 7: The Reckoning'

Disney+'s The Mandalorian - Episode 1.07 "Chapter 7: The Reckoning"

An old rival extends an invitation for The Mandalorian to make peace.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Disney+'s The Mandalorian.

"Chapter 7: The Reckoning" was written by Jon Favreau and directed by Deborah Chow

This season has proven it knows how to tell captivating episodic stories. Sure, some of them worked more effectively than others. However, the overarching plot was one that remained in mystery. Yes, it was important for Mando to keep Baby Yoda safe. They were continually hunted by members of the guild. One of the most thrilling sequences in the show to date was Mando breaking Baby Yoda out of the Client's base of operations. That effectively put the target on their backs in the first place. As such, a meaningful confrontation had to happen sooner rather than later. It doesn't quite feel like there is enough urgency on the run where Mando believes accepting Greef Karga's deal is the only way to escape these dire circumstances. It may be predicated by the plot a little too much. However, the escalation of tension is excellent and ensures that the audience remains very engaged by the story as it happens. Sure, it overwhelmingly poses the reality that the audience still doesn't know a whole lot about these characters and what they are hoping to achieve. They have basically been kept to their basic plot descriptors. That can be perfectly fine. Cara and Kuill can be allies for Mando when the time comes for it. Meanwhile, Greef can tow the line of how far he is willing to go in this particular conflict. He is more than willing to stage this trap so that Mando is eliminated as a threat and the relationship with the Client is restored to its former prosperity. Mando knows that this offer is luring him into a trap. That's why he recruits Cara and Kuill as support. He knows exactly where to find both of them and how to procure their services in this dire mission. Sure, it's also strange and alarming when Baby Yoda uses the force to choke out Cara when she Mando are simply arm wrestling. On one hand, that shows the naivety that comes from it still being a child. On the other hand though, it shows just how dangerous and mysterious this creature is. It's an abusive action that has potential consequences for someone that Mando needs on his team now more than ever. He trusts Cara and Kuill more than the reprogrammed IG-11. Again, he hates droids. He sees this one as nothing more than a trained killer that will compromise the mission because of its former target. Mando doesn't believe that people can change. However, this series presents a wild west world following the demise of the Empire. The Client even suggests that the rebels were wrong to completely destroy the entire government. From his perspective, the Empire brought a sense of peace and order to the world. Now, everything has descended into chaos. Of course, the audience will rightfully question that assessment because of the numerous abuses the Empire condoned. They destroyed planets in the name of dominating over the entire galactic universe. And now, they may even still hold power over a select few communities. The Stormtroopers have grown a major presence on this planet. It makes the odds of success seem daunting to Cara. Greef eventually becomes an ally because Baby Yoda uses the force to heal his wounds. That's astonishing and proves that this child is special even if the majority of people don't understand what's going on. And then, the episode concludes with the series taking out one of its villains in order to introduce a new one with seemingly more authority in this world. Werner Herzog was certainly an amusing and unique presence in this world. And now, Giancarlo Esposito makes his debut as Moff Gideon as he has Mando, Cara and Greef trapped inside a building. That is a precarious scenario heading into the finale. It can also read a little false because the audience has no genuine understanding of the present threat. It's just clear that Moff already has the child after Kuill is also seemingly killed while traveling back to the Razor Crest. Moff presents as knowing much more about this particular species and what this child may be capable of. That may make him incredibly dangerous. However, the Client also functioned in a similar way and it's almost silly that he is dispatched from the board so efficiently here. That's a little lackluster even though the tension continues to ramp up in engaging and overwhelming ways.