At four episodes, the second season of 'The Mandalorian' is taking its sweet time to get where we all know it's headed.
Last week's episode introduced Ahsoka Tano, a prominent figure in the animated 'Clone Wars' series alongside Bo-Katan Kryze, but if you've come here looking to see what's going on with that, well, you're out of luck - it's another wheel-spinning episode, unfortunately.
One of the fortunate things that 'The Mandalorian' has understood both in this season and last season is that if you're going to string out an episode, it's got to have a good reason for people to hang around and wait for something to happen. In other words, it's got to have action and lots of it - and that's what this week's episode has in spades.
With the poor repair job on the Razorcrest barely holding together by the opening credits, Mando and Baby Yoda are forced to set down on Navarra - where much of last season's story took place - for repairs, rejoining Greef Karga (Carl Weathers, who also directed this episode) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano).
Life has moved on since Mando left, with Navarra now a far safer, quieter place and the local seedy cantina turned into a children's school led by a 3P0 droid. Of course, while the ship's being repaired, Karga tries to set Mando up with a quick job that will keep the planet safe and drive off the Imperials once and for all. Essentially, sneak into the local Imperial base, cause it to blow up from a volcanic geyser, and then the planet is free.
The action throughout their assault on the base is fluid and clear, but when you compare it to last week's episode, you can tell there's a gap in quality. It's not that last week had other Mandalorians in it, but it's that the staging and the camerawork felt much bolder and convincing then than it does here. Considering that Weathers' career was built around action roles - he was literally 'Action' Jackson, for feck sake - you'd think he'd have a better eye for it.
Still, the episode zips along and doesn't let itself get bogged down in either character development, themes, and barely pushes the overall plotline forward a tad. Now that 'The Mandalorian' is into the final four episodes after this, you'd hope for something resembling a resolution. Certainly, the materials are there to be utilised and given how 'The Mandalorian' has neatly kept to its corner of the franchise, lowering the stakes and focusing in on characters, you'd feel it'd be more satisfying that way.
All eyes now are on next week's episode, when fingers crossed, we'll get to see Ahsoka Tano, and Baby Yoda is somewhere closer to becoming more than just an all-eating, all-cooing baby figurine.