Following last week’s action-packed chapter, our titular bounty hunter is still on the run from The Guild and searching for a safe place to lay low hence this chapter’s title, “Sanctuary.”
The chapter opens with a small village of nomads living in harmony. Moments later, their village is attacked and pillaged by a group of Klatooinian savages.
We later find out that the planet where these nomads live (and struggle to continue to live) is the same planet The Mandalorian has decided to call his new home. As he settles in at a local saloon, he receives a “friendly” greeting by Cara Dune, played by Gina Carano. She leads him outside and attacks him. The two engage in a brief battle, but not before being interrupted by the Child. She clarifies that she was a Shock Trooper that joined the Rebel Alliance. She believed The Mandalorian was there to try and take her out; that’s why she attacked him. After realizing that they are not threats to one another, The Mandalorian agrees to leave and find another place to lay low as a courtesy to Cara because she arrived to the planet first.
Just as he is about to go on his way though, he is approached by two nomads. They beg him to ward off the Klatooinians, and even offer him credits. The Mandalorian is reluctant at first, but when he finds out just how secluded their village is, he agrees to help. He also enlists the help of Cara, believing that the two of them can both compromise and lay low together there. She agrees, and the two go to the village. Once there, The Mandalorian, Cara, and the Child meet the rest of the nomads. The Child even makes friends with some of the other local children while The Mandalorian becomes particularly fond of a widow.
Later on, when The Mandalorian and Cara begin to track down the Klatooinians, they discover that the Klatooinians own an Imperial machine. Aware of the damage that any Imperial machine can do, the two decide to pull out of the agreement with the nomads and leave. Before they can go though, the nomads beg them to stay. Many of them even agree to help as long as they are trained to fight. With the odds against them, The Mandalorian and Cara stay and agree to teach the nomads to defend themselves.
One montage set to Ludwig Göransson epic soundtrack later, and the nomads are armed and ready to face their foes. After The Mandalorian and Cara lead the Klatooinians to the village, the nomads ambush them. Another brief battle ensues, The Mandalorian and Cara take down the Imperial machine, and eventually order is restored. In the aftermath, The Mandalorian decides that the village is safe enough to leave The Child, and prepares to go back and resume his life as a bounty hunter.
Before he can leave though, Cara catches and kills a bounty hunter who was tracking down the Child and who nearly succeeds in killing it. The Mandalorian immediately reverses his decision, says his goodbyes, and departs once again with the Child in search of another sanctuary.
He may not realize it yet, but as he continues to venture off deeper into the galaxy, he’s changing. The Mandalorian is a much different person from the ruthless bounty hunter we met in Chapter One. It seemed apparent that he had grown a heart in the previous chapter, but here, he’s starting to develop a fondness for others besides the Child.
One of the biggest highlights from this chapter is the moment he finally takes of his helmet. While we may not see his face, we do still see the helmet completely removes, and off to the side as he eats. We also learn that when you take the helmet off in front of someone else, “You can never put it on again.” But despite those stakes, he comes dangerously close to letting the widow take it off in the show’s final moments.
Now, we know he’s always been a risk taker, but in this particular chapter we see him taking all sorts of risks, and they’re all risks he benefits from personally rather than monetarily. He’s growing. In fact, I’d argue that he’s developing the same way a parent does after they meet their child because nothing has been the same since the arrival of the Child in his life.
Bryce Dallas Howard handles his growth, the new character arcs, and even the action exceptionally in the episode, showing the same knack for storytelling her father does. While the audience may have seen this kind of story before, it’s still exhilarating to watch because of how invested we are in these characters. In addition to the Child, it’s hard not to grow a fondness for Carano’s character, as well as some of the villagers we meet in this chapter too.
Honestly, my only real problem with this episode is something that happens at the very end. As mentioned before, The Mandalorian initially plans to leave the Child with the nomads because he thinks its best, but with everything that he’s done so far and especially everything that his people have risked, how could he even think that that’s a possibility? Does he not realize that there is no going back? That seemed to be the only unrealistic aspect of this story. I expected the Child to still go with him, but not for the reason that he ultimately does.
Still, this chapter succeeds in building the series’ momentum, and while I have no idea what’s going to happen next, I’m glad because I cannot wait.