Review: “The Passenger”
Had the regime of our sublime spray-tanned president been toppled at the ballot box sooner than Saturday, you would have seen this review day-of on Friday. Sadly, stricken by my contractually obligated, bi-yearly respiratory virus, I was unable to get back to Mando-ing till now. In truth, I positively procrastinated on this episode, because nothing much happens and its relatively bad. But enough of this.
His latest adventures in Mos Pelgo concluded, Mando cocks things up on the return journey to Mos Eisley. Ambushed by bandits, The Child is briefly taken hostage and Djarin narrowly survives the encounter by the plates of his Beskar armor. Returning to that notorious hive of scum and villainy where he parked his Razor Crest, Djarin is persuaded by Peli Motto and that giant roach dude, Dr. Mandible, to take on a passenger, the Frog Lady, who, as her name implies, in literally an anthropomorphic female frog. The episode rapidly goes down hill from their. Djarin must convey the Frog Lady to a moon called Trask in order that her husband may safely fertilize her eggs and continue their ancestral line. She carries said eggs around in a floating cooler. This is unnecessary and gross and, yes, The Child’s penchant for eating frogs remains on full display as he surreptitiously devours her offspring at every turn. This one-to-one transposition of a real-world animal to a sentient “alien” is unpersuasive and lazy, constituting a significant act of corner-cutting in world-building. I know of no instance of such uninspired creature creation in the rest of the canon, and its persistent mining for low-brow humor is tiresome.
After running from two X-wing pilots after a traffic stop gone wrong, Djarin and Co. crash land on one of those cool glacier planets always popping up in Sci-fi, the Crest gets totaled, and a realistic chance of death via hypothermia sets in. The episode is thin on dialogue and long on this Frog Lady fucking around as The Child eats her offspring. Given the fact that we are intended to sympathize with the Frog Lady’s plight to preserve her bloodline, the total lack of consequences or moral reproach faced by The Child for its ovavoric tendencies negates the seriousness of what is literally a hamfisted attempt to make us sympathize with a frog. It simply reaffirms the frivolity and grotesqueness of the entire concept. Some other stuff happens with yet more frog reproduction, an anticlimactic battle with ice spiders ensues, and finally we have the deus ex machina of the earlier X-wing pilots swooping in to kill said spiders. See! Not all cops are bastards.
Even more, the X-wing pilots, who totally should arrest Djarin for flying an unregistered vehicle along with an outstanding warrant for his arrest in connection to the prison break of S1E6, let him go despite literally saying as much because he…interceded for the life of the transport captain; caused the arrest of the other team members; and liberated Nevarro from Neo-imperial tyranny. And because these are “troubled times”. Right, because that’s how law enforcement works, even in a space opera fantasy universe. I shall now proceed to rob a bank than single-handedly bring down an Aryan Nation compound. When tried for armed robbery, I shall appeal my case to SCOTUS besides asking for a presidential pardon, making sure to actually commit these crimes and redemptive vigilantism after Jan. 20th. I shall definitely present The Mandalorian S2E2’s criminal justice philosophy as my case, and air footage from the episode as evidence. This is silly. 5/10. Do better, Favreau.