In “The Mandaloriian” recap, Mando leads a team to an Imperial base looking for information to hunt down Moff Gideon in order to retrieve Grogu…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Never doubt how far a father will go to save a child.
In the penultimate episode of “The Mandalorian” season 2, Mando proved that very point as he began moving heaven and Earth in order to be reunited with his surrogate child Grogu, who was Yoda-napped by Moff Gideon and the last remnants of the Galactic Empire.
In order to retrieve the little green guy, Mando had to call in some favors from old friends Cara Dune as well as Boba Fett so he could put the pieces in place to finally go after Moff Gideon and his Imperial Star Destroyer.
Mando was also forced to team up with Megs Mayfeld, the former Imperial sharpshooter who actually betrayed him during a prison break mission back in season 1. This time around, however, Mando was fully prepared for whatever Mayfeld threw at him because he only wanted him to help access the Imperial database to lock onto a location for Moff Gideon’s ship.
With that said, let’s get to our recap for the latest episode of “The Mandalorian” titled “Chapter 15: The Believer”….
The Lines We Cross
Rather than a prison break, the new episode options with Mayfeld serving time in a labor camp after he was sentenced to 50 years behind bars for his part in the death of a New Republic officer. A prison droid comes along to inform Mayfeld that he’s been remanded to the custody of New Republic Marshal Cara Dune, who has an assignment for him.
Mayfeld is seriously confused by this command, especially after Cara removes his ankle restraints and allows him to walk free. Of course, she also reminds him that she had to pull a lot of strings to get him a weekend pass to help her so trying to escape or causing problems is not in his best interests.
When they arrive at Slave I, Mayfeld spots Boba Fett and he’s alarmed for a moment because he thought it was a different Mandalorian from his past. That’s when Mando emerges from the shop and Mayfeld can’t be sure this isn’t a set up to kill him for betraying the bounty hunter during their previous encounter.
Instead, Mando informs Mayfeld that his services are needed because he still has access to Imperial databases and protocol. They need him to locate Moff Gideon’s ship, which gets an instant reaction from Mayfeld asking to get put back into chains on the labor crew because going after that particular Imperial commander is akin to suicide.
Eventually, Mayfeld relents but he informs the crew that he needs to access a direct Imperial computer in order to get that information, which means they are going to have to head to a planet called Morak where the remnants of the Empire still has a mining station. It seems the Empire has been mining a substance called Rhydonium, which is volatile and highly explosive.
After landing on Morak at the location of the mining facility, Mayfeld wonders if he’s going to be sent in alone to complete this mission but obviously Cara and Mando have no desire to place their trust in him. Unfortunately options are limited because a DNA scan will show Cara Dune as a Rebel trooper and Fennec Shand has a warrant out for her arrest as well.
Even Boba Fett is forced to bow out after joking that the members of the Empire might recognize his face if he shows up. Remember, Boba Fett is a direct clone of his father, Jango Fett, who was the base for the entire clone army that the Emperor assembled in order to take over rule of the galaxy.
That leaves Mando as the only person able to go with Mayfeld but he doesn’t remove his helmet to show his face to anybody. After Mando spots the transport vehicle carrying the Rhydonium he gets a bright idea.
After taking over the vessel, Mando removes his Beskar armor and helmet and instead wears the uniform of a Stormtrooper — he’s still wearing a mask but just not the one given to him by the Mandalorians. He boards the ship with Mayfeld and they begin their journey back to the mining facility to access the Imperial computer.
Along the way, Mayfeld remarks how deep down he’s just like Mando and the former bounty hunter turned Grogu protector is quick to scoff at that suggestion. Mayfeld counters by pointing out that all he’s ever done is try to survive and the means at which they get there aren’t that dissimilar.
For instance, Mando always said he would never remove his helmet in front of other people and no one can see his face. But with Grogu in danger, he’s willing to change his beliefs just enough to wear a Stormtrooper outfit so he can break into the Imperial facility undetected. In other words, there are lines anybody is willing to cross when the situation gets dire enough.
“Everybody’s got their lines they don’t cross until things get messy. As far as I’m concerned if you can make it through your day and still sleep at night, you’re doing better than most”
After dropping that truth bomb on Mando, the unlikely team hears a distress call from one of the other transport trucks and a few seconds later they witness a huge explosion. A few moments after that, another transport truck is blown to bits from the Rhydonium they were carrying back to the facility.
Mayfeld knows trouble is coming and sure enough a few seconds later, a group of pirates arrive to do them harm and blow up this transport vehicle as well. Mando gets out of the ship in order to battle the pirates and it turns out they are locals trying to sabotage the Empire from mining their precious materials. The pirates aren’t stealing anything — they are setting charges on the Rhydonium and watching it blow everybody to smithereens.
Mando is able to battle back against several ships filled with pirates but the last group finally gets the upper hand on him and it appears they won’t make it to the mining facility. Out of nowhere, a pair of TIE fighters zoom out of the sky and wipe out the last remaining pirates chasing the vehicle.
It’s probably the first and only time Mando has ever been happy to see those ships appear.
The transport vehicle makes it back to the facility with legions of Stormtroopers emerging from inside to congratulate them on a job well done.
Once inside, Mayfeld tells Mando that the Imperial mainframe computer will probably be in the mess hall. He spots it while several offices are having dinner but Mayfeld realizes that he can’t go inside to complete the mission.
He spots Valin Hess — his former commanding officer in the Imperial army — and while he can’t be sure he’ll be recognized, Mayfeld isn’t willing to take those chances.
Mando decides to take care of the job himself and he gets the instructions to access the information from the computer but there’s just one problem — the security scan requires a person’s face revealed from behind a helmet.
Rather than argue, Mando makes his way inside the mess hall, accesses the computer and removes his helmet so the scanner can read his face. It’s only the second time Din Djarin has revealed himself during this series but as Mayfeld reminded him earlier — everybody’s got their lines they don’t cross until things get messy.
Mando retrieves the location of Moff Gideon’s ship along with the cell where Grogu is being held inside. He prepares to turn and leave when he’s confronted by Valin Hess, who recognizes him as one of the hero pilots that saved the Rhydonium from being destroyed by pirates.
Unfortunately, Mando isn’t able to answer Hess when he asks for his TK number. It appears the entire plan is about to go awry when Mayfeld makes the necessary save by explaining that his co-pilot suffered some hearing damage from the explosions.
Rather than reprimanding the pilots, Valin Hess invites them to have a drink with him as he talks about the disruption that the Empire has been causing while the New Republic attempts to restore order to the galaxy. Hess is convinced that eventually the Empire will rise again and it’s only a matter of time until people from around the galaxy are begging for that kind of order to be restored.
“You see boys, everybody thinks they want freedom but what they really want is order. And when they realize that, they’re going to welcome us back with open arms.”
~ Valin Hess
Needless to say this doesn’t sit well with Mayfeld after he served in the Imperial army under Valin Hess during Operation Cinder.
That particular operation was executed following the end of the Battle of Endor when the Emperor was defeated and the Empire crumbled. Before dying, Palpatine had set in motion plans to ensure the galaxy would not out live him so in the event of his demise, the remaining Imperial troops would wreak havoc on the galaxy, destroying as many systems as possible.
During Operation Cinder, Mayfeld and his unit were ordered to destroy a place called Burnin Konn and not only did the people there perish but he lost many of his friends and fellow troopers along the way. Seeing that kind of cruelty, Mayfeld couldn’t help but question if perhaps the Empire wasn’t the saving grace of the galaxy but rather a vicious machine that stepped on anybody and everybody to retain their power.
He seems to believe that people would rather live is chaos than die under extreme order.
Obviously, Valin Hess — much like Moff Gideon — is a true believer when it comes to the Empire and he’s not going to express an ounce of regret for all the lives that have been taken under his command. At that point, Mayfeld just can’t take it anymore and he pulls his blaster and shoots Valin Hess dead where he was sitting.
Mando, who is still stuck without a mask, then joins Mayfeld in cutting down as many Imperial officers and troopers necessary so they can make their escape. They eventually work their way outside where they continue to cut down Stormtroopers but the numbers might soon be overwhelming.
That’s when Fennec Shand and Cara Dune team up as snipers to take out the Stormtroopers coming after Mando and Mayfeld as well as the gunners who could shoot down the Slave I.
Boba Fett arrives in time to rescue both before the Stormtroopers can get to them as they fly away to safety. Before gathering up Fennec Shand and Cara Dune, Mayfeld uses one of the rifles inside the Slave I to take a final shot at the Empire as he targets the storage units of Rhydonium on the ground.
With one shot, Mayfeld causing a chain reaction that destroys the entire Imperial mining operation.
Back on the ground, Mayfeld is ready to be taken back into custody when Cara Dune remarks how it’s too bad her prisoner was killed during the raid on the mining facility. Mando agrees that it’s a sad day indeed.
It takes Mayfeld a moment to realize that Mando and Cara are giving him the opportunity to escape and start his life over again out from under the thumb of the Empire or the New Republic. He takes the opportunity to run away while the rest of the crew boards the Slave I as they prepare to go after Moff Gideon and his Star Destroyer.
Before the episode ends, we catch up with Moff Gideon as he continues his journey across the galaxy and one of his officers informs him about a message he needs to see. It’s a direct communication holo from Mando with a warning for Moff Gideon about the fight that’s coming to him.
“Moff Gideon, you have something I want. You may think you have some idea of what you are in possession of but you do not. Soon, he will be back with me. He means more to me than you will ever know.”
The stoic Moff Gideon just looks at the hologram with equal parts disbelief and rage that anyone could possibly attempt to go against him. This obviously sets up the huge season finale next week as Mando and his crew go after Grogu.
“The Mandalorian” will return for the season 2 finale next Friday on Disney+.