Just like the Jedi and the Sith, it just took one episode of The Mandalorian to balance out my feelings on the Star Wars franchise after The Rise of Skywalker. The home stretch of the season hasn’t lacked for excitement and while last week’s episode was an excellent standalone, The Reckoning was great for connecting everything so far.
At this point I should just stop saying so and so episode is the best of the season as the next one keeps knocking it from the top spot. This one might be hard to beat.
Greef Karga called Mando proposing a truce. They can team up and take out The Client, since Imperial officers fetch a hefty bounty. Greef will pocket the money and square things right with Mando and the Bounty Hunter’s Guild again. Smartly not fully trusting Greef, Mando heads out to a familiar location to get some backup with one of the few people he trusts.
Seriously if Cara Dune isn’t a series regular at this point she needs her own show ASAP. No one else could pull this role off as convincingly as Gina Carano and she’s one of my favorite Disney-era Star Wars characters in only two appearances. After he nearly wrecks the ship acting like a toddler, Mando realizes he still needs someone to watch The Child.
He hits up Kuiil, who’s got his own surprise — a reprogrammed IG-11. This was good stuff as well as I liked this addition to the IG ranks whether he’s blasting bounty hunters or serving tea.
Kuiil is so fun as he patiently breaks down how he invested the time rehabilitating IG-11. This is a solid crew and the best part? The foundation is already laid out for the basis of Season 2 with Mando and his new squad.
Then things get even wilder when Mando and company meet up with Greef and they encounter some dragons, who apparently aren’t under Daenerys’ control. Greef gets sliced up real nasty, but The Child does what he wanted to do with Mando earlier and heals him. This is the scene people who loved The Rise of Skywalker kept pointing to in order to support some of my major gripes with the film.
Again, if any Force user can do anything that’s possible on the Force power board it’s Anakin Skywalker so this power retcon still doesn’t work for me beyond fixing some cuts and scrapes.
The Child’s actions change Greef’s mind and he turns on his crew to help Mando take out The Client. I was fine with Greef as a somewhat friendly antagonist, but I love the idea of him as part of Mando’s crew.
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Director Deborah Chow continues to provide some of the season’s best action moments after building incredible tension. This time, Greef, Mando and Cara meet up with The Client and his Imperial guard. They’re having a fairly civilized discussion when gunfire rains through the bar killing The Client and his Stormtrooper guard.
They were gunned down by a squadron of Death Troopers, who debuted in Rogue One. This felt like the first time we’d gotten some connection of clearly toy-driven creations inserted back to the universe after their introduction. And it was a great use of them here.
In a great scene, a TIE fighter arrives and its pilot, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito, The Boys), emerges. He wants The Child, but he’s not here. Kuiil is racing off with The Child as a pair of speeder bikes close in.
That ending was a major shocker with Kuiil gunned down and the Scout Troopers riding back with The Child. That totally went against my expectations of IG-11 coming out for the last minute save.
The Reckoning was another amazing installment of The Mandalorian that delivered high stakes drama, action and a legit shocking death. This show is delivering on a better than the movie universe at this point.