The planet-hopping adventures of bounty hunter Din Djarin (played by actor Pedro Pascal) and his 50-year-old ward “The Child” have followed a fairly predictable pattern going into the second season of the hit live-action Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian. Mando arrives on a new world, takes care of business in some way or another, then leaves in search of his next destination. Serialization comes in small drips, which allows for more freedom to have stand-alone stories function on their own in the individual episodes.
That pattern does hold true for the second episode of The Mandalorian’s season two, entitled “Chapter 10 – The Passenger,” though the installment picks up pretty much immediately where last week’s left off: with our protagonists racing through the Tatooine desert on a run-down speeder bike, Boba Fett’s armor in tow. After being ambushed by a gang of not-competent-enough thieves, the bike’s integrity is compromised and Mando is forced to hike the rest of the way back to Mos Eisley, where he meets up with mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) in the local cantina.
Peli barely tears herself away from a game of sabacc against Dr. Mandible to accept some of the krayt dragon meat salvaged outside Mos Pelgo and offer Mando a new lead on where he can find others of his kind. The only hitch is he must take a passenger along with him: an unassuming frog-lady whose name we never learn. Oh, and they can’t travel by hyperspace or her barrel full of unfertilized eggs won’t make it to the estuary moon of Trask alive. Mando reluctantly accepts, though once everyone is aboard and on their way, Baby Yoda starts eyeing those eggs as tasty treats. It’s an adorably hilarious but fairly dark running gag that further demonstrates how The Child’s sense of morality hasn’t quite fully formed yet.
Of course, traveling at sublight speeds means the Razor Crest is open to threats, and the ship is soon flanked by a pair of New Republic X-Wing starfighter pilots (series producer Dave Filoni reprising his role as Trapper Wolf and guest star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as new character Captain Carson Teva) demanding signal-based evidence that their quarry is not Imperial. When the pilots uncover the Razor Crest’s involvement in last season’s prison break and lock their S-foils in attack position, Mando makes a break for it and manages to evade the X-Wings, crash landing on an unnamed ice planet. The ship is badly damaged once again, and our hero spends a good amount of the remainder of the episode repairing it, but not before he’s interrupted by the frog-lady wandering off to bathe with her remaining eggs in a hot spring she discovers in a nearby cave.
Naturally, the characters aren’t alone in this particular cave– in his trademark curiosity Baby Yoda comes upon a batch of pods reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien, but instead of face-huggers these pods birth horrific spider creatures, and they have a mom, too. A frantic chase back to the Razor Crest ends with the spider infesting the hold of the ship and Mando having to seal himself and his allies inside the cockpit, as the giant spider monster attempts to crush them from outside. I won’t say how this conflict is resolved, but I’ll opine that it feels a little too much like a deus ex machina that merely sends Djarin and company back on their way to Trask, instead of making this detour actually feel consequential– in a way other than having the Razor Crest get banged up yet again, that is.
“The Passenger” was directed by Ant-Man helmer Peyton Reed, and his established style is a good fit for the episode’s somewhat lighter tone and insect-based action sequences. I also liked the scene in which frog-lady reactivates the Zero droid (voiced by Richard Ayoade) for use as a translator, which helpfully broke down the language barrier between her character and Mando. I’m guessing next week we’ll pick up on Trask, where Din will have to get the ship fixed… again… and continue to seek out those other Mandalorians. Let’s just hope Baby Yoda doesn’t eat too many more of those eggs before then.
New episodes of The Mandalorian are released Fridays on Disney+.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.