Chapter 7 - “The Reckoning”
Directed by – Deborah Chow
Written by – Jon Favreau
Okay, we've reached the second last episode of this maiden voyage of "The Mandalorian"! Up until this week it was tough to say where we’d end up by the season’s end, but I’m happy to announce Chapter 7, “The Reckoning”, brings a lot into focus. And it not only gives us a much clearer idea of how this season might wrap up, but does so in an extremely entertaining way!
We start off with the Mandalorian cruising along in space when he gets a message from Greef Carga. Turns out ever since the Mando left Nevarro in a dust-up, the “Client” (remember him?), has increased the ex-Imperial presence considerably.
This is making life difficult for Greef and his Guild, and he wants Mando to come back and help him assassinate the Client. In exchange, Greef offers him a large bounty and a clean slate with the Guild, a fresh start.
Too good a deal to pass up and tired of looking over his shoulder, the Mandalorian accepts. But, before he heads back, he must make two quick stops.
First, he heads to Sorgan to recruit Cara Dune, knowing he’ll need her help and she needs the work. She hasn’t been doing much since we last saw her and when the Mando finds Cara, she’s pit-fighting for credits. Not exactly glorious work.
Second, he swings by Arvala-7 to enlist Kuiil as well. Kuiil, having fought and earned his way to freedom, won’t fight again, but goes along in the best interest of the Child.
While visiting Kuiil, Mando gets an unwanted surprise when he learns the Ugnaught has repaired and reprogrammed IG-11. He’s now a service droid, not a killer, but will defend himself and Kuiil if necessary. This sequence is tremendous and easily one of my top moments of the season.
Kuiil and Cara have an interesting relationship. They argue and disagree over semantics, mostly concerning past service and determining one’s worth, but get along for the most part. There is a very tense moment between them, and IG-11, and if not for Mando, things may have gotten out of hand. It’s an incredible scene really and you’re not sure how these two veterans will find common ground.
Anyways, with the cast of The Mandalorian Poster now complete, they head back into the lion’s den. They meet up with Greef upon landing who has three guild members with him. Tensions are high obviously, but they begin their journey.
Kuiil brought along three blurrg’s for transport and they head out. We don’t know how far out they are, but they do have to camp for the night. Things seem to be going well until they are attacked at night by some mynocks. They lose one of Greef’s hombres, and more importantly, two blurrgs.
During the attack Greef gets injured by the hooks of one of the creatures, which injects poison into him as well. It’s getting bad and no one is sure what to do, except for the Child that is! Our little green friend sneaks over and puts his little green hand on the wound and it starts to heal.
It seems one of his abilities is a healing power as well, which only increases his value. Greef’s dudes, after seeing this, start to spin their wheels. So, just before they reach town, instead of going along with the plan, they get other ideas.
But before they can turn the tables, Greef shoots them both, citing guilt as motivation. It seems turning them over was the plan all along but after the Child healed Greef, he had a last second change of heart. So, Mando, Greef, and Cara carry on with the mission, while Kuiil takes the Child back to the Razor Crest for safety.
This is where I’ll stop recapping because the rest of the chapter will both surprise and shock you. And I’ve left out little details that come to play in the final act, that would be best left for you to discover.
But understand that we learn things that will answer many questions you’ve had to this point and set up the final chapter of this season in important ways.
So, how does this compare to the previous six chapters?
Yes, yes, and yes. Man did I love this episode. If you know me even a little, you know I love droids and montages, and the “Kuiil brining IG-11 back to life and training him” bit is incredible. In fact, the entire sequence on Arvala-7 is maybe my favorite this season. It’s “Pinocchio” meets “My Iron Giant”, and it’s glorious. Here’s hoping IG-11 sticks around a little longer than those two!
I wasn’t put off by Gina Carano’s take on Cara Dune last time, just noted they didn’t give her enough to do. They changed that this time around in a big way. Gina does a great job being more involved in the conversation and contributing to the story overall.
And her exchanges with Kuiil were fantastic as we learn so much about their respective pasts, both harrowing and tragic. There’s this unease between them, having both fought on opposite sides at one point, ultimately, they understand they are the rulers of their own destiny’s. Gina isn’t Meryl Streep, but she has strengths, and kudos to Deborah Chow for playing to those.
As for the Child, we learn some interesting tidbits about our little green friend, things that would be considered spoilers, so I’ll refrain. But, listen closely to a conversation between Kuiil and Mando on Arvala-7 and you’ll get something mighty interesting. In fact, we get more from the Child in this chapter than we have the previous 2 or 3 combined, including that new Force ability I mentioned.
Listen, Deborah Chow has the goods, there’s no question about that. She plays with angles very well and has a point of view besides over-the-shoulder camera angles and wide shots.
She plays with balance and composition in a really great way and keeps things moving at a pace that is very fluid. Her storytelling ability is off the charts, just look at the scenes I mentioned above as examples.
Her two efforts this season will most likely both be in the top 2 or 3 chapters this season, and Kenobi is in very good hands.
The score again made its presence felt and if you had to pick an MVP this season, it would have to be Ludwig Goransson’s amazing work.
Speaking of IG-11, next week, for final chapter of Season One, Taika Waititi gets a crack at it. Will he be directing himself I wonder?
If you listened to our season preview podcast, I mentioned this one stands out for a myriad of reasons. And after watching this chapter, things should start to come into focus. It’s going to be a wild finish that’s for sure.
Until next time…MTFBWY.
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