The Mandalorian: “Chapter 15: The Believer” Reflection

In the Mandalorian’s seventh episode of season two, the crew is reunited with a familiar face, as the objective is clear: find the ship, find the Child.

Warning: Finding Moff Gideon’s Starcruiser coordinates will reveal spoilers.

One step closer to getting our baby back. This is the way in the Mandalorian. Grogu, we love you and you mean the galaxy to us. Let’s set the scene for “Chapter 15: The Believer.”

We start in a New Republic prison camp, where Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr) is serving his sentence. Cara Dune (Gina Carano), now a New Republic Marshal, comes to the camp and orders a prisoner transfer to get him away. Once away from the roboguard, Mayfeld is abruptly introduced to Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and reunited with his old enemy,  the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal). He is proposed the plan to track Moff Gideon’s ship, which Mayfeld reluctantly complies with (in exchange for a better prison set-up). He tells the Grogu Reconnaissance Squad that he would need to use an internal Imperial terminal and their best bet is to go to a nearby hidden Imperial rhydonium refinery on Morak

On Morak, they have to devise a plan. Because of a facial recognition component to the terminal and security clearance, a lot of the group are not able to go, due to being known (for bad reasons) to Imperial security. It’s difficult to figure out how to go about it. To avoid Mayfeld going in solo, the Mandalorian elects to accompany Mayfeld into the refinery to steal the ship’s coordinates. 

The first part of the plan is to hijack an Imperial transport, carrying highly explosive rhydonium, which they do. Mando and Mayfeld don the soldier uniform to disguise themselves, which is a big deal for the Mandalorian. What I really love about this episode is just how we’ve seen Mando grow as an individual, and a big part of this is due to his love for Grogu. The Mando from Chapter 1 would never take off his mask for anything that wasn’t in private, but now he is switching helmets and taking a risk. The writing, combined with Pascal’s acting chops, really delivers on a subtle level with the Mandalorian character. 

Once they get into the transport and start moving, we start to get a view into Morak and the life of the inhabitants of Morak. The planet provides a beautiful landscape with lushious forests and mountains. The natives are a different story: they leave in small sheds and huts and are clearly poor. Mayfeld gives a monologue on how the poor don’t care who is ruling, whether it’s the Empire or the New Republic. The people are surviving, in spite of the ruling body. It’s a cool insight into Mayfeld’s mind and gives a nice, gray, realistic view of the Star Wars universe.

The one-way discussion is interrupted when other transports are blown up. The reason is made clear when they end up being chased by native pirates. Mando goes to fight off the pirates while Mayfeld steers the ship safely, not to overheat the vehicle. This gives us a great action sequence because Mando doesn’t have his weapons or gadgets. He has to fight off at least a dozen pirates with hand-to-hand combat. It’s a great reinforcement of his proficiency as a fighter. The scene is tense and balances a continuous battle scene with the intensity of a Speed vehicle chance. They are getting close to the bridge leading to the refinery, and it seems like it’s hopeless for Mando to fight off everyone. Suddenly, two TIE fighters come and blow up the pirates, giving Mando and Mayfeld safe passage to the refinery, with the aid of some Stormtrooper suppression fire. They reach the facility and are greeted with adulation and respect for being the only surviving shipment. It’s a really surreal moment, craftly executed by the writers and production team. Getting a sense of relief from TIE fighter aid and seeing an Imperial celebration that we connect to is confusing and uncomfortable. This show really does a spectacular job of towing the line between “good and evil.”

Once inside, the two look for a terminal for Mayfeld to use, and the closest one is in the officer’s mess hall. Mayfeld proceeds to it but recognizes one of the officers eating. It was his former commanding officer, Valin Hess, and this revelation spooks him to the point that he wants to abort the mission. Mando knows they can’t stop now because the Child means everything to him. The solution is clear: he will take the data stick and go in himself. 

Mando goes in with his helmet on, but the terminal requires a facial scan. It starts to countdown to what seems like a security alarm, which is a bit strange to be honest with you. The alarm catches the attention of Hess and the other officers, leaving Mando no choice but to remove his helmet to acquire the codes. This is the first time we see Din without his helmet surrounded by other humans. It’s an impactful moment because it goes against everything he believed, but Grogu is more important to him than his former creed.

The data copy is complete and coordinates are retrieved! But, this isn’t the end. Hess approaches Din to figure out who he is. Din is scrambling to make up a lie and nearly is found out until Mayfeld intervenes. Mayfeld fast talks to cover their asses, which includes saying that Din’s name is Brown Eyes (a nickname given by the other troops). But they can’t leave just yet. Hess finds out they were the troopers that safely delivered the transport and invites them to a drink.

Cara and Fennec set up their positions and wait for the evacuation plan, which is taking longer than expected.

Now, we sit with them for an awkward drink. It’s almost as Quentin Tarantino directed this scene. Mayfeld is seated on one end, Hess on another, and good ol’ Brown Eyes in the middle. A drink in all their hands and a conversation just sitting on a ticking time bomb. I love it.

Hess keeps asking Din questions, while Mayfeld diverts the convo to help their cover. This leads to him bringing up Operation: Cinder: a mission Mayfeld was a part of that saw 5,000 to 10,000 Imperial troops die, in addition to the destruction of the city Burnin Konn and its civilians, due to Hess’ decisions. Hess plays off the military decision as nothing significant and that the dead were happy to support the Empire, which Mayfeld greatly disagrees with, questioning who really benefited from it. The scene is so intense, and Bill Burr does a phenomenal job hitting the emotional levels as a jaded veteran. It was fascinating to watch. This leads up to a moment where Hess states that he believes no one wants freedom, only order. It’s sinister and leads to an angry Mayfeld shooting him. 

Well, that went well. Now it’s time for Mayfeld and Mando (who has his trooper helmet back on) to fight their way out of danger by making their way to the roof. Luckily for them, Fennec and Dune are at attention and sniping down the pursuing troopers and clearing a path on the roof. Mando and Mayfeld make it to the top, where Slave 1 flies in with just enough time for the two to jump off the roof and onto the ship’s opening. As they are flying away, Mayfeld asks for a rifle and snips the remaining rhydonium shipment, destroying the refinery. They aren’t out of the clear just yet, though. The two Tie Fighters from before return, giving Boba a shot to evade with some fancy flying and drop a seismic charge on the enemies. 

Success!! 

The mission is complete. As they all regroup, Mayfeld readies himself to be back in custody, until Dune decides to look the other way and free Mayfeld, saying “he died in the refinery explosion.” Mayfeld goes off to freedom, and the rest of the crew make their next move.

We end on the Starcruiser of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) who gets a message from one of his officers. It’s a transmission from our body, the Mandalorian. Mando calls out Gideon, telling him the boy is his and he will do anything to get him back.

Wow, what a dope episode. Directed and written by Rick Famuyiwa,  the episode delivers on providing tension, action, character growth and progression and the right amount of build up for the finale. 

OOOOOOOH BABBY. The showdown is coming next week, and I am PUMPED!

I Have Spoken.

Bassam Kaado
Bassam Kaado is a NJ writer that dabbles in screenplays, comic books, poetry, and articles covering various aspect of entertainment. In addition, he is an actor, rapper, and director. You can following Bassam @bkaado on Twitter and Instagram.

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