Monday, August 17, 2020

Emmy Catch-Up: The Mandalorian

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 5 “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger” (B-)

It’s time for another adventure in the desert since the Mandalorian just can’t avoid people who want to kill him and take Baby Yoda. This show is all about the guest stars, bringing in a number of actors each episode for devoted TV viewers to recognize. I couldn’t place him, but Toro, who turned out not to be the friendly ally the Mandalorian initially thought him to be, was played by Jake Cannavale from “Nurse Jackie,” who bears a strong resemblance to his actor father, Bobby. Fennec, who tried to get Toro to reconsider what he was doing and ended up convincing him too well, was played by Ming-Na Wen, who stars on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” And Peli, whose only offense was planning to charge the Mandalorian more for watching Baby Yoda, was a good showcase for comedic actress Amy Sedaris, who I last encountered in an episode of “Divorce.” What did prove more engaging than the somewhat predictable double-crossing antics was the way that the Mandalorian stopped by his hotshot partner from jumping to violence and instead negotiated with the Tusken Raiders via sign language to exchange the brand-new binoculars for safe passage. He’s evidently learned much throughout a life spent traveling, and he knows how to survive when many would instead end up dead because of impatience and a desire to exercise dominance over their foes. That hasn’t helped him find peace and stability anywhere, but that doesn’t seem to be the point of this show and its ever-moving traveler.

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