Review/Recap: ‘The Mandalorian’ Lets Robert Rodriguez Go Full Neo-Western In ‘Chapter 14: The Tragedy’

***WARNING! The following contains major plot spoilers for Season 2, Episode 6 of The Mandalorian!***

Din Djarin has officially reached his lowest point in Season 2 of The Mandalorian.

However, “Chapter 14: The Tragedy” (seeing the title nearly made me faint; I legit thought Grogu was gonna die) opens on a more upbeat note as a laughing Mando plays a little game of father-son catch with his young charge. He tells the kid that he's going to reunite him with the Jedi and that they'll take “real good care” of him. Methinks thou dost protest too much, Din Djarin. His little speech sounds like the once-hardened bounty hunter is trying to convince himself that cutting the cord is what's best for both of them.

Acting on Ahsoka Tano's instructions from last week, the bounty hunter (played by Pedro Pascal) takes Baby Yoda to the Seeing Stone on Tython. Mando places the kid in the middle of the Stonehenge-like structure, but nothing happens…until a strange ship lands on the planet.

Mando wants to book it, but now Grogu (BY's true name, as we now know) is surrounded by a blue energy field, reaching out to other Jedi through the Force.

Unable to penetrate the Forcefield, Mando attempts to buy The Child time, coming face-to-face with…Boba Fett!

We haven't seen the character since he briefly appeared at the end of the Season 2 premiere on Tatooine. Played by Temuera Morrison (who portrayed Boba's father, Jango, in the prequel trilogy), Boba wants his armor back (the same armor Timothy Olyphant's Cobb Vanth was wearing in the premiere). His introductory lines of dialogue about him being “a simple man making his way through the galaxy” is pretty much a verbatim recreation of Jango's introductory lines in Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Fett isn't alone, either. He's got backup from Fennec Shand (Minga-Na Wen), the bounty hunter Mando left for dead in “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger.” Boba found her out in the desert of Tatooine and healed her with cybernetic enhancements. Shand now owes Fett a life debt and has her sniper pointed at Baby Yoda.

The standoff, which forces Mando to remove his jetpack, doesn't last long, though, because a battalion of Stormtroopers lands on Tython, forcing the three characters to band together. What ensues is a real Alamo-type assault that plays right into the neo-Western sensibilities of the episode's director, Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Once Upon a Time in Mexico). It's a nice swing of the pendulum after the overt samurai influences seen in last week's installment.

Fett is the true standout of the battle, especially when he raids Mando's ship for his armor. It still fits like a glove after all these years, and now no one can dispute the fact that he is one of the most badass characters in the Star Wars mythos. If you fall into the category of people who think he didn't really do anything in the original trilogy, then this episode is for you. Boba Fett is beyond cool here.

The day seems won…until a bolt rains down from the sky and destroys the Razor Crest. Mando (currently jetpack-less) and Shand race up the hill, but they're not quick enough — Moff Gideon's Dark Troopers (originally seen in 1995's Star Wars: Dark Forces) fly down and kidnap Grogu. Boba follows them and sees Gideon's Starcruiser, declaring that the Empire is back.

Rummaging through the wreckage of his ship, Mando only finds two things: BY's favorite ship ball/knob and the Beskar spear he got in the last episode.

Speaking with Boba, he learns that Jango was a foundling (just like Mando) who fought in the Mandalorian Civil War. As a result, the Cobb Vanth armor rightfully belongs to Boba. It would seem that his transaction with Djarin is complete, but Fett insists that the deal included the ensured safety of The Child. As such, Boba and Shand are still in the bounty hunter's debt, which means Mando can book passage on Slave I.

Back on Nevarro, Mando asks Cara Dune (Gina Carano) — now a Marshal of the New Republic — to locate Mayfeld (Bill Burr), the ex-Imperial sharpshooter he worked with in “Chapter 6: The Prisoner.” While he helped put Mayfeld behind bars, Mando now needs the man's help in finding Moff Gideon's Imperial Starcruiser. Cara says that due to her standing with the New Republic, there are rules she must abide by; the Outer Rim's lawlessness is slowly coming to an end. Her expression changes, however, when she learns that Grogu has been kidnapped.

Without a ship, the titular bounty hunter is now utilizing his network of friends and adversaries. I wouldn't be surprised if he amasses a small army of fighters from episodes past by the end of the season, which is only two episodes away.

On Gideon's vessel, the Imperial governor heads to Grogu's cell, where The Child is beating the crud out of two Stormtroopers by using the Force. Gideon's own guards attempt to stun the kid, but Gideon knows that Grogu will tire himself out from exertion. Just before The Child falls asleep, Gideon taunts him with the Darksaber and then allows his Troopers to stun Grogu, who is also placed in shackles.

For our coverage of Season 2 thus far, click the links below:

Review/Recap: ‘The Mandalorian’ Gives Arrakis A Run For Its Money In Epic Season 2 Premiere

Review/Recap: ‘The Mandalorian’ Pays Homage To Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ In ‘Chapter 10: The Passenger’

Review/Recap: ‘The Mandalorian’ Hits The High Seas In ‘Chapter 11: The Heiress’

Review/Recap: ‘The Mandalorian’ Sends Baby Yoda To School In ‘Chapter 12: The Siege’

Review/Recap: ‘The Mandalorian’ Reveals Baby Yoda’s Real Name In ‘Chapter 13: The Jedi’

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