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‘Star Wars: The Mandalorian’ review: Narratives come together ahead of season finale

Everything has led to this

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Carl Weathers is Greef Carga, Nick Nolte is Juiil, Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian in “The Mandalorian.”

Carl Weathers is Greef Carga, Nick Nolte is Juiil, Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian in “The Mandalorian.”

DTCI Media, Disney

One of the criticisms so far for “Star Wars: The Mandalorian” is that the show did not feature a storyline that expanded throughout all the episodes. The show’s episodes were just that — episodic. They were mini-adventures for the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, who travel across the galaxy in search of a hiding place.

Now, all the people they’ve met along the way have slowly come together. The narratives explained throughout the show’s first season have reached a nexus point, putting all the stakes on the table as we near the show’s season finale.

The setup: The latest episode — called “The Sanctuary” — shows Mando and Baby Yoda receiving a hologram message from Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who wants Mando to come back with Baby Yoda so they can work a deal with imperials. In exchange, Mando would receive freedom and he and Baby Yoda could travel the galaxy without a bounty hunter seeking them out.

What happens: Mando accepts the deal and puts everything into action. He finds Cara Dune (Gina Carano) still battling people on a backwater planet. He finds Kuiil (Nick Nolte), who has rebuilt IG-11, the evil robot from the first episode, to be his pal instead of a bounty hunter.

  • The group visits Greef together. And from there, everything goes wild. There is a shootout with stormtroopers. There’s a battle of wits with the Client (Werner Herzog). And there’s a heartbreaking death at the end of the episode just as Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) makes his arrival into the storyline.

What it means: We will see the final episode of the opening season of “The Mandalorian” next week. And for the first time, we’re seeing semblances of a deeper plot. All of the little moments here and there throughout the first six episodes culminated with this seventh episode. We’re getting more of a plot than we’ve seen before.

  • “The Sanctuary” also concludes on a cliffhanger — the first of its kind (other than arguably the first episode). It directly connects to the forthcoming eighth episode, too, which we’ll see next week after “The Rise of Skywalker” is out.
  • It’s no question we’re sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what happens to Mando, Baby Yoda and the rest of the bounty hunter crew as we near the finale. But that’s a welcomed moment. “The Mandalorian” has thrived using mini, episodic adventures to tell its story. Now, we’re seeing those episodes come together for an epic season finale — one that feels earned and worthwhile.
  • If this is the way of the future for the show, the possibilities are endless. You could tune in anytime and you could still catch the final episode or two and understand what’s going on. In age of streaming, that’s a welcomed change.