Sunday, April 18, 2021

Recap: Din Djarin Makes a Choice in ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2, Episode 7: “The Believer”

Last week on The Mandalorian, Din and Grogu arrived on Tython and climbed up to the ruins of the ancient temple. While waiting for Grogu to tap into the Force, Din found himself with his hands full after the surprise arrival of Boba Fett and Fennec Shand. The three of them managed to survive a shootout with a barrage of stormtroopers, but couldn’t stop Moff Gideon’s dark troopers from kidnapping Grogu. Fett pledged that he and Fennec would assist Din in rescuing the Child, and they headed off to Nevarro for backup. Keep reading to find out what happened in episode 7, “The Believer.”

There’s no heartwarming scene between Din and Grogu to open up this week’s episode, as the Child is still in Moff Gideon’s clutches. Instead, we begin at the scrapyard where inmate 34667 Migs Mayfeld is working. Following up with Din’s request, Marshal Cara Dune shows up to remand him to her custody. Mayfeld is baffled, to say the least. As they approach the Slave I, Fennec and Boba Fett step off and Mayfeld is relieved when he realizes that the figure in the Mandalorian armor is not Din Djarin.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

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Unfortunately for him, Din steps off the ship a moment later, and Mayfeld looks more than a little bit nervous to see him. They explain to him that they’ve grabbed him because of his Imperial history and the clearances and protocols that come with that. Mayfeld balks as they explain that they need the coordinates to Gideon’s cruiser, telling them to just take him back to the scrapyard instead. Cara briskly interrupts and states, “They have his kid,” to which Mayfeld replies, “The little green guy?” Yes, the little green guy indeed.

Mayfeld is disappointed to learn that there’s not actually anything in this deal for him besides a brief vacation from his prison work. He then explains that he won’t be able to get the coordinates without access to an internal Imperial terminal, one of which they can find on Morak because it’s a secret Imperial mining hub.

Once they land on Morak, they begin to work out a plan as to how they’re going to get Mayfeld into the base. Cara suggests that she and him will swap out for the Imperial drivers in the tunnel that’s up ahead, but Mayfeld explains that the Remnant bases are run by ex-Imperial Security Bureau agents. Meaning that if any of them get scanned while they’re inside and have their genetic signature show up on a New Republic database, they’re toast. Fennec is out because she’s wanted by the ISB, and Boba Fett declines because they’ll recognize his face (top tier joke, Fett). At this point, they’re in somewhat of a pickle. Cara absolutely doesn’t trust Mayfeld to go in there alone and not sell them all out. Out of options, Din volunteers to go with him. Mayfeld is quick to remind him that he can’t waltz in there in his Mandalorian armor, he’ll have to take off his helmet, “Or say goodbye to your little green friend.”

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Din easily finds a way to circumvent this issue, as they simply slip on the armor of the tank troopers once they commandeer the tank. The outfit is a far cry from the imposing look of his normal beskar getup, which even Cara admits. Suited up, the two get moving in the tank with Mayfeld at the wheel, who doesn’t miss taking advantage of a chance to nag Din about his helmet.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

They drive on and listen as someone comes over the comm and informs one of the other tanks to watch their cargo heat limits and speed, because the highly volatile and explosive rhydonium that they’re transporting is running hot. Mayfeld looks concerned at this, but Din tells him not to worry about it, to just keep driving steady. They pass through a village and Mayfeld remarks, “Empire, New Republic, it’s all the same to these people. Invaders on their land is all we are.”

Mayfeld goes on to refer to both he and Din as survivors, but Din immediately stiffens at the suggestion that the two of them are anything alike. The other man continues on, pointing out the fact that it seems that Din’s rules change when he gets desperate. He initially said he couldn’t take his helmet off, but now he’s wearing a trooper helmet. “So what’s the rule? Is it that you can’t take off your Mando helmet, or you can’t show your face? ‘Cause there is a difference.”

They begin to hear trouble over the comm, which is followed by a large explosion up ahead. The remaining tanks receive further instruction, “Proceed with caution, re-routing course, please stand by.” and Mayfeld repeats incredulously, “Proceed with caution, is she serious?!” It’s like a GPS from hell, a la Star Wars! Another explosion occurs, and soon the source of the attacks is revealed as a crew of pirates comes up beside them and boards the tank. Din climbs up top and fights them off, though he’s forced to do so as carefully as possible so as not to send the entire tank up in flames due to rogue blaster fire. Though Din is able to hold his own as he picks them off, even in hand-to-hand combat, the pirates just keep on coming. Mayfeld struggles to keep the rhydonium cool, and is eventually forced to slow down as they approach the final bridge that leads to the Imperial base. Din stands back up, tired, as another wave of pirates approaches (this moment is reminiscent of the mudhorn fight) — and this time it looks like it may be more than he can handle.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

Out of nowhere, two TIE Fighters come swooping in, blasters firing on the pirates to clear the way for the Imperial tank so that they can cross the bridge safely. Troopers come pouring out of the base on foot to pick off the rest of the pirates. Mayfeld states, “Never thought you’d be happy to see stormtroopers,” while the others salute and cheer for them as the tank pulls in.

Mayfeld explains that the terminal they’re looking for is likely located in the officers’ mess hall, and he’s about to go in, until he sees someone that he knows. A man that he used to serve under as a field operative, Valin Hess, is sitting at one of the tables. He informs Din that they have to abort, because there’s a chance that he may recognize him. Din, however, is adamant that he’ll lose Grogu forever if they don’t get the coordinates. He asks Mayfeld to give him the data stick so that he can do it instead, but Mayfeld informs him that you can’t access the network unless the terminal scans your face. Din, seemingly unfazed at this point, takes the data stick and enters the mess hall. He stands at the terminal, helmet still on as the facial recognition scan begins. The computer beeps out a warning message that the system will shut down in 10 seconds because it cannot read his face. Driven by his determination to rescue Grogu, Din swiftly removes his helmet.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

After he plugs in the data stick, Hess calls out to him from across the room, but he ignores him. The officer approaches him just as the download finishes, asking him what his designation is. Din, not understanding the question, tells him that he’s a transport copilot. Hess clarifies that he’s asking for his TK number, to which Din does not have any sort of clever answer for. Mayfeld, throwing caution to the wind, approaches just in the nick of time and informs Hess that Din is his commanding officer, TK-593. He, on the other hand, is Imperial Combat Assault Transport Lieutenant TK-111. And, to further get Din off the hook, Mayfeld explains that Hess will need to speak up, “because his vessel lost pressure in Taanab.” Hess proceeds to semi-shout as he asks Din what his name is, and Mayfeld smoothly cuts in that they call him Brown Eyes, before steering him away so they can leave. Hess stops them, confirming that they were the tank troopers that delivered the shipment of rhydonium, and notes that they were the only ones that managed to deliver the shipment that day. The officer claps them both on the shoulders as he suggests that they all get a drink.

Once they sit down, Mayfeld suggests a toast to Operation: Cinder, which was a devastating attack that happened after the Battle of Endor. He was there, and he’s clearly still very upset about the entire ordeal. Hess drones on, unbothered, and Mayfeld continues to poke and prod him as he questions if what happened was good for all of the people that died, for their families, for the guys that he served with. Din, already very uncomfortable because he’s now shown his face to so many people and he still can’t put the helmet back on, looks back and forth between the two of them apprehensively. Hess states that the New Republic is in complete disarray, meanwhile the Empire grows stronger again. His next words ring true with the backwards Imperial logic, “You see, boys, everyone thinks they want freedom. But what they really want is order. And when they realize that, they’re gonna welcome us back with open arms.” Hess raises a toast to the Empire and Mayfeld, pushed to his limit, raises his blaster and shoots him. He and Din pick off the remaining Imperial officers and troopers in the mess hall, and then Mayfeld hands Din his helmet. He reassures him that he did what he had to do, and conspiratorially states that he never saw his face.

Backup arrives and the two make a hasty escape out a window, careful not to fall into the water far below. Fennec and Cara easily pick off any and all troopers and other base soldiers to clear a path for Fett to scoop up Mayfeld and Din in the Slave I. Once they board the ship, Mayfeld asks Din to hand him the cycler rifle. He steadies his aim and shoots one of the tanks containing the rhydonium, setting off a chain reaction of explosions. Then, Two TIE Fighters come swooping toward them and Fett drops a seismic charge from the slip, effectively blasting both of the ships to smithereens.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

Once they all reconvene, Mayfeld holds his wrists out for Cara to place him back under arrest. Cara, having made up her mind after what Mayfeld did to the base, casually states that it looked to her like prisoner 34667 died in the refinery explosion on Morak. Confused, but happy and thankful nonetheless, Mayfeld takes that as his cue to leave.

Meanwhile, on Gideon’s cruiser, an officer informs him that there’s something he should see. A hologram from Din pops up, in which he threateningly uses Gideon’s own chilling words from season 1 against him. Don’t mess with the Dadalorian.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm/Disney.

Unsurprisingly, this was yet another top notch episode of The Mandalorian. We’ve met quite a handful of characters throughout the course of the past two seasons, but I now firmly stand by my opinion that the team up between Din, Fennec, and Boba Fett reigns supreme, without question. Bill Burr was also a very welcome addition to the episode, as his character provided a great deal of comic relief and truly managed to redeem himself after his season 1 antics.

Speaking of Din, Pedro Pascal was finally given a chance to show off his face for only the second time ever in the history of the show thus far. And in a longer and much more interactive scene, to boot. Pascal has received much praise for his expert use of vocal inflection and body language in the absence of facial expressions for Din, and he has managed to flesh out the character’s personality with an impressive amount of depth. The whole bit about Din wearing a helmet has come up multiple times now this season, circling back to his conversations with Bo-Katan. Though it remains to be seen if we’ll ever see a version of Din Djarin that’s comfortable taking off his helmet, this is definitely something that he’ll he ruminating over. In the meantime, we’ll be crying over the fact that Din put aside all of his beliefs and removed his helmet solely for the sake of saving Grogu.

Episodes 1-7 of season 2 of The Mandalorian are now streaming exclusively on Disney+. Check out the rest of our recaps here. The season finale will premiere next Friday, December 18.

Lindsey
Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about something Star Wars related on Twitter @lindyysolo. Contact: directors@nerdsandbeyond.com

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