Title: The Mandalorian: “The Prisoner” Review
Release Date: December 13th, 2019
Network: Disney Plus
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Western
(This review contains full spoilers for episode 6 of The Mandalorian)
In the episode “The Prisoner” we learned some things about Mando and were reminded of others. It turns out that Mano’s earlier life was a bit…Murky at best. He ran with a wildly different crowd while also having a different view on the galaxy. Unfortunately, this crew isn’t the most compelling. If anything they’re a one tone predictable group. On the fun side, we are reminded and shown once again why no one should mess with The Mandalorian.
Prison Break, The Mandalorian Style
The Prisoner started tense, albeit slow from the get-go. There were plenty of quick context clues that Mando was going into a less than ideal environment with, shall we say, not the loveliest of beings? This little space station feels off the beaten path, for good reasons. Mercenaries aplenty here, the first that welcome our hero is none other than Ranzar Malk played by Mark Boone Junior. You might recognize him from the Dark Knight Trilogy. He’s quite good at playing a low life, isn’t he?
This episode in terms of direction is pretty standard. There’s a job and they need a team. Your standard prison break for a member that got captured by a rival gang. By my count, Mando needs credits these days. Also, an entire bounty hunter guild is looking for him, so naturally, he’s pulling up leads for jobs anywhere he can. This means going back to a crew he used to run with, well two out four. Ranzar whom we’ve met. Then there is Xi’an a Twi’lek that has vampire-like fangs, played by Natalia Tena. Other than that we have your standard big dumb meathead Devaronian Burg, played by Clancy Brown. Also, we have a quintessential poor social skill droid, Zero. Voiced by Richard Ayoade. Last but not least the leader of the mission Mayfield played by comedian Bill Burr.
The Prisoner Brings Digs up the Past
Throughout the episode, we hear about the old days. This past seems like a time Mando is not particularly proud of, who could blame him? This group is a bunch of psychos. They’re more than just mercenaries, they also have no code, no honor, and no conscience what so ever. They’re just murders running free. We don’t get any concrete stores, simply mentions of the past. The group for this job hits a bit too on the nose, they’re so bad, with little depth to them. The Twi’lek and Mando had a thing supposedly (gross). She hates him. The other two hate him just for his reputation. The boss is the shadiest of them all. From beginning to end you can kind of guess where things are going.
Overall everything felt predictable. None of the characters were particularly compelling. Where it shines is a tense moment of Baby Yoda being dropped, seriously our whole galaxy could have ended right there. It does a much better job of giving us cameos as well, a bit more subtle than episodes past. The bread and butter, however, is Mando. We get what is some of the best action scenes by him yet. Unleashing all of his skills and fury to take out an entire group of security droids was a sight to behold.
Mando or Freddy Kruger?
The way the ending was shot was an unexpected albeit welcomed choice. After being betrayed (duh) and briefly locked up, Mando escapes. He takes over the prison and hunts down the group one by one. These takedown scenes look like they’re pulled straight from a horror film. Picking each member off one by one, a hunter taking down his prey. I feel as though this is the first time we’ve had Mando depicted as a bounty hunter, hunting. He’ll bring you in warm or he’ll bring you in cold.
Mando’s moral compass was on full display throughout the episode. He tried to stop the filth from killing the only human on board the prison ship. In addition, despite hunting down each mercenary, he didn’t kill a single one of them. Seriously how did the double door not kill Burg? Instead, he left them to rot in the New Republic jail cell. Pretty impressive considering the impending tracking beacon of the New Republic that was set to rain down all hell at any moment. The only one he “killed” was the droid, who pointed a blaster at Baby Yoda. Therefore, good riddance.
Mando Knows how to Make an Exit
In the end, he opted for the money by taking the “prize” with him. Don’t worry though, he still got his full circle of revenge. Leaving the tracker on Qin (Ismael Cruz Cordova), he left the space station to be assaulted by three X-Wings (filled with the directors of the show as pilots). First off, only three X-Wings? Not that intimidating. Their shoot now ask questions later mentality seems a bit… Questionable for the New Republic, but what do I know?
The Prisoner gave us another episode of Mando making money, learning bits of his past, being a good person and making more enemies. He’s not killing much, therefore the rap sheet he’s leaving behind for people that want him dead is growing ever so steadily. The real question is where is this going? We have two episodes left and more questions than answers. Who was the mysterious figure from the previous episode? Where is Mando going exactly? What’s the end goal when the entire guild is on your tale, including remnants from the Empire? It will be interesting to see how they wrap this season up. I foresee a big cliffhanger for the final episode of season one.
Verdict: Overall it was a pretty good episode. We have some insight into how Mando’s moral code has changed over the years. We also got to see Mando in prime bounty hunter action, with the best action scene yet. Rounded out with a horror film like sequence that was a welcomed directing choice. Where this episode lagged was the one-off characters. The show seems to be having a bit of trouble when it comes to baddies that only last an episode. They just seem flat and overly predictable. With only two episodes left, I’m practically on the edge of my seat on how everything is going to tie together with so many loose threads.
- Horror Movie Like Sequence
- Watching Mando Being an Actual Bounty Hunter
- One of the best action scenes yet
- A Glimpse Into Mando's Past
- A Predictable Episode
- Baddie Characters That Are One Dimensional
- Slow First Half of the Episode
Former podcast Co-Host, current freelance writer and lover of everything video games and the community along with it. Nintendo, Sony and Xbox are all great, @ me anytime on that.