The Mandalorian season 1 finale review: A clan of two

IG-11 (Taika Waititi) in THE MANDALORIAN, exclusively on Disney+
IG-11 (Taika Waititi) in THE MANDALORIAN, exclusively on Disney+ /

This week’s episode of The Mandalorian brought the series’ first season to a close, leaving us to wonder what’s next for Mando and Baby Yoda.

Finales can make or break a season of television, and when it comes to The Mandalorianthis week’s episode definitely left fans wanting more of Mando and Baby Yoda. (I mean, we always want more of Baby Yoda, but that’s not the point.)

The penultimate episode of season 1 left our heroes in grave danger, with Moff Gideon and his army of Stormtroopers surrounding Mando and his friends and successfully capturing Baby Yoda. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long for IG-11 to take care of the two Stormtroopers hanging onto the child — proving that he is, in fact, a changed droid. The others fare less well, however, with Giancarlo Esposito’s intimidating character trapping them.

We learn more about Gideon during this episode from the Stormtroopers’ banter at the beginning. Much like Esposito’s Breaking Bad character, it seems his villain in The Mandalorian is not one to be crossed. We still don’t know why he wants Baby Yoda, but we know he kills his own men for small inconveniences and offenses — and we know he does his research and doesn’t show mercy.

Speaking of doing research, Gideon even knows Mando’s true name: Din Jarren. From that information, Mando deduces that the man is one of the Imperial Security Bureau officers who was present on Mandalore during the Empire’s attack. We get the full flashback of how Mando survived The Purge, and he also reveals that he isn’t a true Mandalorian, but that he adopted the Creed after they took him in as a Foundling.

Things are looking bad for the group when IG-11 races in to help, but even after the droid storms into the town and takes out a decent portion of Gideon’s men, Mando’s group of companions are in quite a predicament. Now trapped in the same building with the droid and Baby Yoda, they decide they need to escape through the sewers. In the midst of all the fighting, though, Mando was badly injured, so he tells the others to take the child and escape.

While they’re arguing about whether or not they should leave Mando behind, Gideon tells his men to “burn them out,” and the Stormtroopers start shooting fire at the building. In one of the more impressive moments from this week’s episode, Baby Yoda stands up and uses The Force to blow the flames back at the enemy. We knew the little alien was useful for something.

Cara, Greef Karga, and Baby Yoda make their way into the sewers, while IG-11 stays behind with Mando. With a little prompting from the nursing droid — who insists he’s not a living thing and so it isn’t against the Creed — fans finally get to see Mando without his helmet. And thanks to IG-11’s help, he gets to live. (We’re very happy about that part.)

Unfortunately, IG-11 doesn’t fare so well. After they meet up with the others and attempt to make their way to safety, the find themselves trapped by a platoon of Stormtroopers once more. IG-11 decides to initiate the self-destruct order he attempted back during the season premiere, sacrificing himself so that the child and his other protectors can live.

With two of Mando’s companions down for the count (including Kuiil, of course), the remaining members of the group return to the Mandalorian base where the Armorer usually resides. More tragedy awaits them there, as Mando discovers that the Empire killed off more of his people after they helped him escape Greef Karga and the Guild.

After some back and forth with the Armorer, Mando officially becomes a dad — at least until Baby Yoda comes of age or he can find someone to return the child to. The Armorer tells Mando that the Foundling is his responsibility, officially declaring them a “clan of two” and giving Mando his sigil. She tells him he must find the child’s people — a group of “enemy sorcerers,” better known as the Jedi — and sends the group on their way.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Jedi play into this series, and if so, how. Baby Yoda’s connection to them could tie The Mandalorian into the Star Wars movies, though how that would happen remains to be seen.

Once the group emerges from the sewers, Gideon finds them in a TIE Fighter, but they use Mando’s new jetpack to attach a detonator to the TIE Figther and take him down. Once they’re relatively safe, Greef Karga and Cara Dune decide to remain on Navarro. And although Mando’s crimes against the Guild are forgiven, he takes off with Baby Yoda — he has to find those sorcerers, after all, and hopefully before the Imperial forces catch up to him. The two bury Kuill and then ride off in Mando’s ship — where to next, we don’t know.

The episode ends on Gideon stepping out of his TIE Fighter and drawing a weapon that looks suspiciously like a lightsaber (apparently it’s called a Darksaber). We don’t know what this means for the future of our favorite charactesr, but it’s probably nothing good. Gideon is pissed about how this operation went down, and he won’t rest until he finds those responsible.

The Mandalorian leaves off like that, and while it’s not a major cliffhanger, it does raise questions about where the series will go from here. Not only does Mando have an overwhelming new objective, but it’s clear that his new enemy is a much bigger threat than anyone anticipated. With the Jedi and Imperial forces now involved, future seasons of The Mandalorian could also show how the galaxy wound up with the Final Order.

There are many questions to answer, but for now, fans can at least rest easy knowing Baby Yoda is safe. Let’s just hope it stays that way.

dark. Next. The Mandalorian season 1 episode 7 review: A proposition

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Mandalorian? Are you looking forward to season 2?