Monday, August 24, 2020

Emmy Catch-Up: The Mandalorian (Season Finale)

Every year, I watch the six submitted episodes of every series I don’t regularly watch that’s up for one of the Emmy series prizes. This year, I’m watching the entire season of every series nominated in the top category.

The Mandalorian: Season 1, Episode 8 “Chapter 8: The Redemption” (B)

The entire time that I’ve been watching this show, both when I screened the pilot on the day it premiered and during the six episodes since that I’ve watched over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what this show is supposed to be. What I’ve concluded is that it’s meant to capture what people love about watching “Star Wars” most and replicate it as often as possible. The character of Moff Gideon, showing up to try to gun them down on his own in a TIE fighter after all the stormtroopers got taken out, was reminiscent of what we’ve seen before with Darth Vader, and of course he’d survive an explosive crash so that he can return with a vengeance to track down the bounty hunter who was bold enough to tether to his ship and ride up into the sky with him so that he could take him down. That and IG-11 self-destructing because not being captured was at the core of its programming were decently unexpected and enthralling moments in this finale that ended about where I thought it would. We also got to see the Mandalorian’s face for the first time in a predictable set-up involving the droid pointing out that he wasn’t human and therefore wouldn’t violate the Mandalorian’s code. We finally got the Mandalorian’s name, which is Din Djarin, though I’m not convinced that’s all that much easier to type. This episode features Giancarlo Esposito’s Emmy-nominated turn as Moff Gideon, and while he was good, as usual, it wasn’t quite as substantive as I had expected it to be. This show has not exceeded my expectations, and I still think it’s an unnecessary contender for Best Drama Series. I know I’m probably in the minority on that, but at least now I’ve seen it, and will probably watch season two when it begins so that I’m in the loop.

Season grade: B-
Season MVP: Pedro Pascal as the Mandalorian

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