The Mandalorian Season 3 Ep. 2 Review: Familiar Action & More Bo-Katan
The Mandalorian S03E03 continues Din Djarin's efforts to purify himself, but "The Mines of Mandalore" hits way too many familiar notes.
The Mandalorian enters the next phase of Din Djarin's (Pedro Pascal) path to redemption in the episode "The Mines of Mandalore." The cold open has him revisit another old friend in his trustworthy Tatooine mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), who offers him an astromech droid to help him on his journey to go to the sacred grounds to purify himself before he sets himself away to his destination. The following contains minor spoilers for the episode.
The Mandalorian: Din & Bo-Katan Adventure
The difference between the season premiere "The Apostate" and "The Mines of Mandalore" is that the latter is far more isolating as Din battles uncertain threats from hostile aliens and equally evil battle droids. There's not a lot to break down here since it's standard action fare with voiceless enemies and flexing the fight choreography. It's nothing we haven't seen before, aside from the few morsels we're fed about Mandalore's mythos. Directed by Rachel Morrison and written by creator Jon Favreau, the episode is largely a rinse-and-repeat of the familiar action we've seen throughout the series that turns into survival as the odds start to overwhelm our hero.
The exposition only picks up with Katee Sackhoff's appearance as Bo-Katan Kryze because video games are more exciting with two players than just one. We see more of the contrasts in Din and Bo-Katan and their take on Mandalorian culture as the latter regards the older ways as archaic and rife with superstition while the earlier is committed to getting back into good graces with his core group that includes the Armorer (Emily Swallow). While I understand the darker settings since the bulk of the episode takes place in the subterranean ground, they could have improved on the lighting rather than potentially make viewers adjust their TVs to improve visibility. It's not Game of Thrones-level annoyance, but noticeable enough that some of the spectacle can be lost along the way. Having voiceless and what feels like soulless enemies also doesn't help.
There's nothing really remarkable about "The Mines of Mandalore," but we get a moment of levity between Pascal and Sackhoff's characters to break from the mostly non-stop action that's worth noting. I'm hoping we get more to build off of that than what we're currently seeing because it's feeling a little underwhelming. It's a series that feels like it's building towards something, but it isn't making the journey to that "something" uniquely interesting. The Mandalorian streams Wednesdays on Paramount+.