NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “The Mandalorian” are present in this review
The Mandalorian took us to some pretty awesome territory last week, tying itself into the continuity of two of Star Wars’ best animated series, which in turn teased a reckoning for the Imperial grip on Mandalore. Such a huge episode was bound to be a tough act to follow though, and sure enough, this week’s episode doesn’t quite reach the heights of last week. “Chapter 12: The Siege” marks the halfway point of The Mandalorian’s sophomore season, and disappointingly, the show takes another forced detour on the path to Corvus here, denying us the teased live-action debut of former Jedi, Ahsoka Tano for at least one more week.
The good news however is that said detour takes Djarin and The Child to Nevarro, a planet that should be very familiar after the events of The Mandalorian’s first season. With the Razor Crest still barely holding together, following its pitiful repair job on Trask, Djarin decides to consult Cara and Karga in terms of proper repairs, resulting in another welcome guest turn for Gina Carano and Carl Weathers. In fact, Weathers even directs this episode himself, despite appearing frequently within it as Karga! Weathers appears to be another director with an eye for action to boot, since this is another action-heavy episode of The Mandalorian, once again putting Djarin and his allies against the lingering remains of the Empire.
Unfortunately, as good as it is to see Cara and Karga again this week, The Mandalorian’s latest battle against the Empire also brings with it the feeling of another bridging episode. Djarin even dumps The Child at another unofficial day care, yet again, to go on his latest mission. Okay, it’s a little thing, but for a character that’s made such a big deal about, “Where he goes, I go” (a line he repeats verbatim in this very episode!), Djarin sure is off-loading The Child a lot this season! This is a bummer, especially when it practically cripples Djarin in some situations, leaving him unable to take advantage of The Child’s high Force aptitude. Then again, The Child also can’t figure out a simple plug-in between two coloured wires in the Razor Crest, so what do I know?
In any case, Mythrol also ends up joining Djarin, Cara and Karga for an attack on the last remaining Imperial base on Nevarro. Remember him? Horatio Sanz’ unlucky criminal seen during the opening moments from the very first episode of The Mandalorian? Well, he’s out of Carbonite, and he’s working down his debt for Karga, leaving him conscripted along on the mission to the Imperial base. No one directly betrays Djarin this week for a change, which is nice, and Mythrol ultimately stays in line too, despite another twist coming at the base itself; It’s not actually an Imperial base, but an Imperial lab. Not only that, but it’s a lab that’s overseen by Dr. Pershing, who is trying to use blood samples from The Child to create some sort of clone, or Force-enhanced person, maybe. Given the specific mention of M-Counts (yes, this episode actually has the stones to bring up the existence of Midichlorians in the Star Wars universe again, albeit with a tweaked name so as to avoid triggering Star Wars fans), my money’s on a clone of Darth Vader, but this could also just as easily relate to the Palpatine cloning process on Exegol, as depicted in last year’s climactic movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Whatever the case may be, this discovery is made after Mythrol is coerced into disabling the lab’s cooling system, leading to a lava surge that’s about to vaporize all of the Imperial property in the area! This time limit also leads to more cool and exciting battles with Stormtroopers, along with Djarin finally discovering that Moff Gideon survived the events of the Season One finale. Well, that had to happen sooner or later. Anyway, Djarin then takes off to get a head start back to town after taking out a good handful of Stormtroopers, leaving this episode’s climax to surprisingly be anchored by the supporting characters, while they attempt to flee in a Stormtrooper transport.
This climax serves as an easy episode highlight for this week, even if The Mandalorian is once again sticking close to its usual formula for its latest mission. Four TIE Fighters chase after the fleeing transport, forcing Cara to drive around obstructions, while Karga attempts to shoot the TIE Fighters down. This is a very exciting sequence, one that only gets better when Djarin joins the fight with a freshly-repaired Razor Crest, picking off the last of the Imperial fighters! With his latest mission thus resolved, and The Child reclaimed, Djarin subsequently jets off, leaving what’s hopefully a safer, Imperial-free Nevarro in his wake. Alas, there’s still one treacherous surprise in store for Djarin though (because of course there is), namely when Moff Gideon appears to confirm that a traitor is spying on Djarin in this episode’s closing moments, complete with ascertaining that Djarin still holds The Child. Hopefully Djarin actually manages to successfully make it to Corvus next week then, because he’s probably about to have a fresh supply of Imperials after him!
“Chapter 12: The Siege” is another fun and exciting episode of The Mandalorian, but it also feels like a filler episode in terms of its narrative. The show is once again recycling its usual story template to try and tease a big new development for the weeks ahead, namely that the Empire appears to be trying to use The Child’s blood in order to clone someone, or maybe build a new supply of Force-enhanced soldiers. We already knew that the Empire was after The Child though, and despite another fun round of shooting up Stormtroopers, this time with some unlucky TIE Fighters joining the fun to boot, Djarin’s trip to Nevarro still felt like an annoying detour after the prospect of a live-action debut for Ahsoka Tano was dangled over fans’ heads last week. Now that the Razor Crest is fully operational again though, hopefully there are no other surprises on the path to Corvus, especially now that the Empire seems to have some sort of confirmed plan to try and re-assert their influence on the galaxy.
- Another welcome reunion with Cara and Karga (and Mythrol)
- Reveals The Empire's sinister agenda with The Child
- Plenty more exciting, explosive action
- Filler narrative that once again forces Djarin off-track
- The show is benching The Child far too much