This Is The Way: The Mandalorian - S02 E01 - The Marshal - Reviewed


In times of great stress, it's the little things that often save the day. And that's the case with the delivery of season two of The Mandalorian on Disney+. After months of awaiting some little shrivel of hope, it's the episodic return of the Jon Favreau led series that brings us some comfort and escapism from the cold hard reality we're living in. Damn the politics. And screw the virus for 51 minutes this week. Mando is back with an effects laden adventure of the week that advances the known SW mythology with small nods and fan service that feel like home. 

Picking up directly after the events of season one, The Mandalorian and The Child are still traipsing the galaxy as a pair of wayward voyagers. Returning back to familiar territory, The Marshal rounds the bend bringing the show's viewership another strong dose of nostalgia and a core George Lucas type adventure that we've truly been needing in our lives. Going right back to the serial '50s style Western that's heavily influenced this entire franchise, Favreau sticks the landing with a kick off that tells long running fans that he's still with us and will continue to offer televised Star Wars that doesn't necessarily look to reinvent the wheel but will celebrate the classics and their core ideals. As the head of the series, he knows exactly what we want and looks to bring some semblance of balance back to the galaxy far, far away. 

When a small village is being attacked, The Mandalorian pairs with a new character played by the always excellent Timothy Olyphant and a band of Tusken Raiders to vanquish the threat. Coming back to a monster of the week format, the show definitely calls back to an earlier time when unlikely heroes saved the day with the use of teamwork and quick witted problem solving. Where the show will always feel like a modern take on Lone Wolf and Cub, the first episode this year seriously seems like a tribute to Gunsmoke or any number of Western TV shows where the hero would use his fast thinking skill set to help the people in trade for their lives...and of course a much needed bounty.  

Despite Baby Yoda being a central character or focus of the show, this week really did a great job of not resting too hard on the small green child. Instead of jumping right back in to creating more cute memes out of The Mandalorian's sidekick, the writing seems to make some forward momentum. And the title character once again becomes the central focus. We're introduced to new creatures, have some visits from old friends, and are treated to some effects savvy scenery that makes us forget some of the terrible CGI that infects a lot of televised fantasy and science fiction. 

With an amazing first season behind them, the crew is back with the first chapter in the second year of what will hopefully continue to be one of the greatest continuations of the Star Wars lineage.