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Chapter 7 of ‘The Mandalorian’ sets up Jon Favreau’s plot for the series’ season finale. (Photo provided via @starwars on Twitter)

TV Review: ‘The Mandalorian’ revisits old friends, enemies in preparation for its final confrontation

For the last two episodes of The Mandalorian, its titular character and “baby Yoda” have drifted through space on narratively separate adventures, likely a result of guest writers taking over for series creator Jon Favreau on both accounts. For the latest chapter, however, Favreau is back, and so is the plot.

As briefly hinted in the previous episode, Mando (Pedro Pascal) receives a transmission from Greef Karga (Carl Weathers). He has a plan to kill the Imperial-affiliated client (Werner Herzog) and free his town, however, and negotiates with Mando to help set it in motion.

In order to accomplish this, Mando travels back to old friends from earlier in the series, including Kuill (Nick Nolte) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano). The bounty-hunting droid IG-11 (Taika Watiti) also makes a reappearance as a domesticated droid of Kuill’s, but his “rebuilding” sequence is one of the few parts of the episode that feels unnecessary.

Otherwise, however, “The Reckoning” puts together all of the pieces The Mandalorian had placed in its first four episodes, kicking off the series’ final act in spectacular fashion. Baby Yoda predictably continues to be adorable, but his significance is given even stronger intrigue. Carano and especially Nolte give stellar performances to their respective characters, fully fleshing out each character in ways that proper Star Wars films seldom have the time to do.

Deborah Chow also returns as director, giving the episode some of its most impressive shots and scenes yet, especially during its most tense moments and subsequent action. 

At this point, The Mandalorian has unquestionably confirmed its identity as a western set within Star Wars’ galaxy, and it continues to follow the traditional beats of one: tense confrontations, often decided by quick draws and double-crossings, and even the return to an old town overrun by an immoral leader and his cronies (in this case, Storm Troopers). That formula works near-perfectly for the show Favreau set out to create, however, and the result thus far has been undeniably enthralling.

Each element — the soundtrack, cast, direction, writing, etc. — of the episode in particular has been finely tuned to a painstaking degree, resulting in one of The Mandalorian’s best offerings yet. The minutes fly by, and audiences will no doubt await the show’s finale with bated breath.

The finale of The Mandalorian will release Friday on Disney+.


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