Let's talk about the seventh episode of the second season of The Mandalorian, The avenger, in which our heroes must find out where Grogu is being held prisoner, with the help of former imperial Migs Mayfeld.
We are on the penultimate Thursday before the season finale, and we return as always to talk about the second season of The Mandalorian. Today we will talk about the latest episode released, The Avenger, which was originally entitled The Believer. Why they decided to change the meaning of the title so much is beyond my understanding, but that's okay.
Before moving on to the actual article, I remind you that last year we wrote a series of lore insights on the entire first season of The Mandalorian! You can find these articles in the following links: 1 × 01, 1 × 02, 1 × 03, 1 × 04, 1 × 05, 1 × 06, 1 × 07 e 1 × 08. THU instead you can find the review of the first season. At the following links you can find my reflections on the first two episodes of the second season of The Mandalorian: The sheriff, The Passenger, The Heir, The Siege, The Jedi e The tragedy. In this articleInstead, we talked about the recent controversies that have arisen around the figure of Gina Carano. In this other article, then, we talked about the body-shaming suffered by Temuera Morrison.
ATTENTION: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Short synopsis de The avenger
After we wept over the destruction of Razor Crest and the kidnapping of Grogu, The avenger he immediately takes us to see the ex-Imperial Migs Mayfeld, busy dismantling old TIE fighters in a New Republic POW camp. Mayfeld is taken into custody by Cara Dune and questioned by Din Djarin, because our protagonists need imperial authorizations to find Moff Gideon's base and free Grogu.
Grumbling and hesitating, Mayfeld agrees to help Din and his companions. Thus, the new party of adventurers can leave, aboard the Slave I of Boba Fett, towards the planet Morak, where it rises an imperial base dedicated to the extraction of Rhydonium. The plan is simple: two of them will have to disguise themselves as Juggernaut transport pilots, infiltrate the base and make sure they are not being searched by the Empire to access the terminal with the information. Too bad the party is made up of fugitives from the Empire, with the exception of Mayfeld and Din. Thus, our protagonist will have to get rid of armor in beskar to wear an imperial one, always leaving the face hidden under a new helmet.
The infiltration of the imperial base
After dealing with a group of pirates locals intent on blowing up the Rhydonium, Mayfeld and Din are joined and aided by the other imperial soldiers, who welcome them to the base like heroes. The obstacles, however, are not over: Mayfeld acknowledges Valin Hess, an old supervisor, in the cafeteria, right next to the terminal they have to use. Fearing recognition, Mayfeld proposes to abort the mission.
But Din is unwilling to give up information to save Grogu, and so he takes matters into his own hands and enters the officers' mess. taking off his helmet to access the terminal. Deeply shaken by having disobeyed the dogma of his creed, Din fails to have the wit to answer Valin Hess's questions, intrigued by the protagonist's clumsiness.
Operation Cenere and the closure of the mission
The situation is momentarily saved by Mayfeld, who with his gab and his knowledge of imperial protocols manages to twist Hess. The officer, therefore, proposes a toast in honor of the Empire and, after the initial empty chatter, Mayfeld proposes a toast to theOperation Ash, ie the genocide of entire planets after the death of the Emperor. Hess shows no repentance for his past actions and indeed happily greets similar devastation in the future, thanks to the Rhydonium they are mining. At this news, Mayfeld loses his coolness and shoot Hess under Din's incredulous gaze.
Returning the helmet to the Mandalorian and swearing that he would forget his face, Mayfeld follows Din to the roof of the building, where they are recovered by Boba Fett, thanks to the cover fire from Cara and Fennec. From the ship, Mayfeld shoots at the base's Rhydonium, blowing up the structure.
Subsequently, Din and Cara free Mayfeld, convinced of his good will never to join the Empire again. The party is therefore ready to look for Moff Gideon, to whom a message from Din is delivered: since Grogu is more important to him than anything else, Gideon can be sure that the Mandalorian will come to take him back.
Positive elements de The avenger
Ne The avenger it doesn't happen a lot. It is mainly a passing episode, in which the protagonist has to face the consequences of The tragedy and come to terms with what he's willing to do to get Grogu back.
Precisely for this reason, however, The avenger it's an episode that, while full of action, also has some good things intimate colors.
THEaction initial was a lot of fun and very well built. She manages to entertain and tell a lot on her own: what the life of the Imperials is like on Morak, what the local pirates are like and how much Din finds himself in trouble with different armor and weapons. The combo between the necessarily reduced running speed (under penalty of explosions) and the danger of pirates is also an excellent inspiration for a tense confrontation in an RPG.
The excellent performances of Pedro Pascal and Bill Burr
Surely, The avenger he takes his time to explore the character of Din and the different way he approaches dogma of never taking off the helmet. In this sense, we finally see the seeds of change in Din's belief blossom, planted first by Bo-Katan and then by Boba Fett. As expected, therefore, little by little the protagonist will begin to take off his helmet more often, also to take advantage of the great expressiveness of Pedro Pascal.
The actor, in fact, is already very good at transmitting Din's emotions from under the armor, and once he takes off the helmet he The avenger we were able to enjoy a whole series of subtle changes of expression, which say a lot about the character of the character. Pascal manages to convey what the protagonist is on the one hand not used to using facial expressions to communicate, and on the other practically unable to hide what he thinks, not checking the micro-expressions of his face.
In this sense, Pascal's acting is completely opposite to that of Bill Burr, who plays Mayfeld, who uses his facial expressions throughout the episode to convey a sense of sympathy and tranquility to the other Imperials. The only time we see this voluntary facial expression fail, to be replaced by involuntary micro-expressions, is when Mayfeld discovers what Rhydonium will be used for. It is when memories of the past resurface that we see crumbling Mayfeld facade.
In short, there is little to say: in this episode Pascal and Burr proved their skill. Adding to the excellent and disturbing performance of Richard Brake as Valin Hess, The Avenger is an episode full of excellent acting.
The cycle of identification with the Imperials
Then I can't help but say a few words about the expansion of the Star Wars setting that takes place in this episode.
I really appreciate that there has been talk of Operation Ash and how it has created a rift between the imperials themselves. See this kind of facets and diversity within the otherwise anonymous imperial machine it's refreshing. In this sense, The avenger it allows us to enter seriously into the everyday life of the Empire, seeing how much some Imperials have a distorted vision of events, and how much others are extremely aware of the evil they are doing, without however taking an examination of conscience.
We have in fact seen several times the protagonists of Star Wars infiltrate the Imperials, but never have to fight alongside the Imperials. In this situation, being on the same side of the fence allows Din and Mayfeld (and us viewers) to see the less antagonistic side of the Imperials, and to understand how much this situation makes them feel not like the invaders they actually are, but rather. as heroes who resist adversity to advance a higher cause. And for a few minutes we are even willing to sympathize with them.
Until we meet Valin Hess and we find ourselves feeling like Mayfeld, that is, with a great desire to shoot him. (Hess's surname is not accidental, as it is the same as one of Hitler's deputies, Rudolph Hess!) And this in turn leads us to identify with yet another Imperial, Mayfeld, who however, this time, understands the lies of the Empire and wants to redeem himself.
This cycle of identification with the antagonists is extremely well done, in my opinion.
Negative elements de The avenger
I have nothing really bad to say about it The avenger.
I wish it was longer and that it would show us more how shocked Din was by taking off his helmet, perhaps with a confrontation with the other Mandalorian of the party, Boba Fett, or with the person in the group he knows best, namely Cara Dune. It would have been nice to see more dialogue between characters in general, in my opinion. But I'm a lover of dialogue and characters that express themselves chatting, so I don't text!
There is little to say: The avenger it's not the fullest and most interesting episode of The Mandalorian, but I loved it. I think he brings several tasty reflections to the table and develops his main characters well, although the others are left a bit in the background.
The discussion of which lines we are willing to cross when things go wrong is well handled and well used throughout the episode. The Imperials cycle of humanization and deconstruction works very well. Pedro Pascal's face and mustache have cheered me up for days.
I'm afraid that all the serotonin this episode has passed on to me will be wiped out by a sad ending in the next episode. But I have to admit that part of me would be happy not to have a happy ending for this season, because it would really be on the phone. And, meanwhile, another part of me just wants to see these four adventurers doing cool things around the galaxy, with their little green baby in their sling and no problem on the horizon. We'll see if we have to laugh or cry tomorrow.