In “The Prisoner,” Mando meets up with a former associate and decides to join forces with him to bust someone out of jail. One of his crew is revealed to be a former lover of Mando’s, a Twi’Lek named Xi’An. Once aboard the ship, the team all toy with Mando, challenging him to remove his helmet and threatening to take the child. However, they arrive at the destination before things can escalate. Once there, the team comes across a tiny droid. They kill it to avoid detection, but this only causes more droids to attack. The Mandalorian is forced to destroy these as well. They enter the prison’s control room and are surprised to find a man in there rather than droids. Xi’An kills him instead of allowing Mando to show mercy, but in doing so, the guard activates a homing beacon, attracting New Republic reinforcements. They find the prisoner, Xi’An’s brother, who states that Mando was the one who put him there. As he escapes, the team shuts Mando in the cell. Sure enough, he escapes and locks the entire prison down. Xi’An and her brother are separated, and everyone decides to split up to find and kill Mando. Xi’An’s brother tells Mayfield to get him off the ship, indicating that he’s not one bit worried about his sister. Mando fights the other crew members one by one, leading to Quinn, Xi’An’s brother. He reminds Mando that he’s there for the explicit purpose of bringing him back, extending his wrists. Back onboard the ship, Mando destroys the Droid pilot, saving the child from him. Mando delivers Quinn and collects his payout, but as he leaves, his former associate orders him to be killed. However, the tables are turned as Mando left the New Republic tracking beacon on them, and they’re blown up.
Virginia: “The Prisoner” continues The Mandalorian’s formula of introducing new friends and foes for Mando and “Baby Yoda” each week, and this may just be the series’ most action-packed episode yet. “The Prisoner” brings forward some more figures from Mando’s past, namely the crew he ran with before joining the Guild. I really enjoyed this episode, particularly for the action sequences and quirky characters introduced. What did you think, Munir?
Munir: I certainly agree that this episode was action-packed. While I liked how Mando owned every single member of the treacherous gang, in terms of characters, I found this episode to be the weakest yet. I loathed every single one of the characters introduced in “The Prisoner,” which is a shame. This series has excelled in introducing intriguing and exciting allies and foes to Mando in previous chapters. I found the characters here obnoxious, over the top, and cartoonish. They struck me as silly, and I never thought that they were a serious threat to Mando, which stripped the drama from the whole thing. I was glad their base was blown up, and if we don’t see them anymore, I’ll be happy. I want to learn more about Mando’s past, but not if it’s populated with characters like these ones.
V: He did ultimately kick butt, but I thought the thugs posed enough of a threat, especially Clancy Brown as Burg and Natalia Tena as Xi’an. I agree that they weren’t likable, but that doesn’t really bother me, as I figured they were intentionally annoying. Mayfield is played by the comedian Bill Burr, whose whole schtick is being a jerk. I enjoyed the interactions they had with Mando, such as Xi’An mocking his moral code and refusing to say whether she had seen him sans helmet. I admit, I think he should have probably killed them because leaving them alive risks attempts at revenge, but I didn’t mind them.
M: Maybe that was the intention, but their interactions were annoying. Mayfield was a complete idiot, and I just couldn’t believe he was the leader. It was clear he wasn’t a leader, and I thought it was unrealistic that this was supposedly a dangerous gang when they were just idiots. It was obvious that Mando was above them. Even though I liked the prison break thing and how it played like a horror movie with Mando picking them off one by one, I thought it lacked suspense since I knew he was going to win. There was also an element of predictability to the episode because it was fairly obvious that they were going to betray Mando. I also felt “The Prisoner” was a little filler-y since it didn’t really move the overall story forward, and it didn’t have a lasting impact on the character.
V: I have a feeling that “The Prisoner’s” overall impact will be in the form of this gang. As he let them all live (except the guys at their headquarters), I have a feeling we’ll be seeing them again, and they’ll want revenge. I also like the sequence you mentioned; that was really well done. I thought Burg was a particularly intimidating force, and he was the one who had the best chance against Mando, in my opinion. Mayfield is getting a lot of hate for when he dropped “Baby Yoda,” and I couldn’t agree more. I didn’t think anything bad would really happen to the child, but I wanted Mayfield to die for endangering him. Another thing I loved about “The Prisoner” was all the cameos. As mentioned, Natalia Tena, Bill Burr, and Clancy Brown are the main crew running with Mando. But you also had series directors as the New Republic pilots at the end, most notably franchise veteran Dave Filoni. Richard Ayoade voices the crew’s droid pilot, and Anakin Skywalker’s voice actor from The Clone Wars and Rebels, Matt Lanter, appears as Davan, the guard who Xi’An kills.
M: Those cameos were really cool. I like it when past Star Wars actors or members of the crew can join in the new projects, even if it’s a little part. However, I do wish it was in a better episode.
V: On another note, it seemed to me that the musical score by Ludwig Göransson was even better in “The Prisoner” than usual. The instrumentation was a little bit different, and it really stood out to me. I’m also glad to see creatures continuing to be created with props and makeup.
M: Technically and aesthetically, this series continues to innovate with each episode, and I love the level of care and detail they give it. Goransson’s score is one of the highlights, and I agree that in this episode, the music was amazing.
V: Overall, I think “Sanctuary” is still my favorite episode thus far, but I enjoyed “The Prisoner” quite a bit. The action sequences, visuals, and music were terrific this week.
M: I wish I could be more enthusiastic about it, but aside from some cool action scenes and visuals, I didn’t quite like this episode, mainly because of the supporting characters. I hope we can get back on track next week.
What did you think of “The Prisoner”? Let us know in the comments and come back for more reviews of The Mandalorian!