**Note: This article contains spoilers for Chapter 6 of The Mandalorian, “The Prisoner.”
Hey everyone, Bryan here again and it’s time for Week 6 of the Plotaholics Recap/Review of The Mandalorian.
This week’s episode, “The Prisoner,” sees Mando and Baby Yoda answer a call for work from an old associate of Mando’s: Ran Malk (played by Sons of Anarchy alum Mark Boone Junior). The job is simple enough: Mando is to join with Ran’s crew to rescue an associate of Ran’s from a New Republic prison ship, manned by an all-droid crew on its way to process the criminals. Ran’s crew is an eccentric collection made up of Mayfeld (stand-up comedian Bill Burr), Xi’an (Natalia Tena aka Tonks in the Harry Potter series and Osha from Game of Thrones), Burg (“The Kurgan” himself, Clancy Brown), and droid Zero (played by The IT Crowd actor Richard Ayoade) to rescue an associate of Ran’s from a New Republic prison ship, manned by an all-droid crew on its way to process the criminals.
One thing that the show has established is that Mando does not like droids. He also isn’t a big fan of foolishness, and he’s got both coming at him in spades in this episode. Mayfeld and the rest of the group seem very intent on antagonizing Mando, especially Xi’an, who is another former associate of Mando. They throw jabs at everything about Mando, from his armor to his ship.
Once the crew boards Mando’s ship, it gets worse. Not only is Zero’s job to fly the ship, much to Mando’s annoyance, but Burg seems intent on trying to get Mando’s helmet off, and goes so far as to open up Mando’s gun compartment (Rude!). This leads to a physical confrontation that reveals Baby Yoda from his hiding place. Things get particularly tense between Mando and Mayfeld as Mayfeld picks up Baby Yoda and begins to go through his tough guy routine. The tension is put on the back burner as the crew arrives to the New Republic ship and it’s time to go to work. It should be noted that Zero finds a recording from head of the Bounty Hunters’ Guild, Greef Karga, but isn’t able to get the entire message.
The group boards the ship, and it’s established that stealth is the primary mission. With a ship full of droids, triggering alarms means a bad ending to a frustrating day. After Mando shows his crew mates just how good he is taking out droids that caught onto them, they make their way to the bridge to find where their captive is being held. This is when they find out that there aren’t just droids on the ship; there is just one New Republic crew member on duty. Despite Mando attempting to calm the situation, the crew member is killed by Xi’an, but not before he sets off a tracking beacon that will bring New Republic fighters to their location.
Now with only twenty minutes until the New Republic shows up, it is revealed that the individual the crew is there to save is none other than Xi’an’s brother, Qin (played by Ismael Cruz Cordova), and the entire mission was just a set up, and Mando left to rot in Qin’s cell over an old grudge.
Mando, not to be denied, escapes his cell and begins his revenge against the crew. The crew’s communication is then cut when Baby Yoda discovers that Zero has gotten the rest of Karga’s message.
Elsewhere, Mando deals with the crew members one at a time before capturing Qin who reminds him that his job was to bring him back to Ran alive. Meanwhile on Mando’s ship, Zero has been hunting down Baby Yoda and is preparing to blast him until Papa Mando makes the save (Pew!). Mando returns to Ran’s quarters with his bounty in hand. He’s paid, yet the double cross isn’t over! Ran orders his gunner ship to destroy Mando’s ship! It’s then that Qin and Ran discover that Mando has planted the New Republic tracking beacon on Qin. The X-Wings arrive and blow Ran’s quarters into space dust.
Mando and Baby Yoda make the leap to hyperdrive, and the episode ends with the crew left locked up in Qin’s cell awaiting transport back to New Republic space.
This episode certainly had some heavyweights as supporting characters. It was great to see Clancy Brown, Natalia Tena, Bill Burr, and Mark Boone Junior. I’ve enjoyed each of them in various roles, and it was fun to see them all on screen together, and they did a great job at making themselves as loathsome as possible. “The Prisoner” showcases just how good Mando really is. He’s not as fast as some, or as strong as others, but he’s crafty, he’s skilled, and he is never out of a fight.
Brown’s Burg is the muscle of the group, and it was great to see him have fun being an overpowering brute. It was like The Kurgan in space! It was fun to see he and Mando fight one on one and I was genuinely impressed with how Mando dealt with him. Tena was unrecognizable in her role as the Twilek, Xi’an, but it wasn’t just the make-up. Her mannerisms, her vocal tone, her very presence shows just how amazing of an actress she really.
I have to say that Bill Burr is definitely the Supporting MVP in this episode. Burr isn’t silly or foolish as some stand-up comedians tend to be in their roles outside of their ‘range’. Burr reminds of an evil Han Solo in this episode. You get from Mark Boone Junior what you have come to expect from him over his career; he’s the creepy guy that even when he’s being nice, you’re waiting for him to do something sleazy. Bobby Elvis was an obvious exception (RIP you missing-eyed, no-finger-having bastard).
The action set pieces were amazing. The tension was spot on, and even if I knew that Mando was going to pull it out because he’s the titular character, I still had worries that he had met his match this time around. This series continues to do an amazing job in developing the character of Mando, how badass he really is, how smart he is, and his connection to Baby Yoda.
I just wonder what bad idea Mando and BY are going to run into next week in their rascally, crazy adventures. And I hope that we see the crew return to be a thorn in Mando’s side as they gave him a very difficult time and they now have even more of a reason to hate his guts and want him dead.
Typically, The Mandalorian airs exclusively on Disney+ every Friday, bu this week, we get the episode early (on Wednesday!) because of the release of The Rise of Skywalker.
Tune in next week for my next write up of The Mandalorian!