The Mandalorian: Season 2 Episode 7 Review - The Believer Spoiler Review

The Mandalorian Chapter 18 titled The Believer was a much better episode than I expected even though it did little to move the overall story forward.  In my review/recap of chapter 14 (The Mandalorian: Season 2 Episode 6 Review - The Tragedy Spoiler Review) I enjoyed the fast pace of the episode, but chapter 15 was a slower pace, but if left me enjoying the episode more.  Now you may be wondering who the guy in the picture is (it is comedian and actor Bill Burr) or why I chose that picture.  I chose the picture because I am a Bill Burr fan and I enjoyed his appearance from last season in episode six and he appeared in today's episode reprising his character, Mayfeld.  This might not be as long of a review as usual since the episode did not contain any big reveals, but it was a damn good episode.  Bill Burr most likely will be known for his comedy and that was on display today, but in the last few years Burr has been taking on roles that have more dramatic weight to them.  Mayfeld in his first appearance in season one felt like a role to bring to Burr onto the show, today's episode felt like they added more depth to Mayfeld.  It was not only Mayfeld that got some character development in this episode but Mando also showed some great growth as a character.  The episode though light on big developments had some great character moments and some cool action.


The episode starts on a prison planet where we see Mayfeld working on deconstructing a tie fighter, Mayfeld is then approached by a robot guard who tells Mayfeld he needs to go with Marshall Dune.  Mayfeld is wary of following Cara Dune until the robot guard threatens to shock him if he does not comply.  Mayfeld follows Cara Dune to Slave 1 where he sees Boba Fett and Mayfeld cracks a joke saying he knew another Mandalorian, Mayfeld then is dismayed to see Mando exit the ship.  Mayfeld is told what they need him for, and he agrees, but he needs access to a terminal located on an empire base.  Mando and Mayfeld need to pose as imperial troopers bring a transport back to the base, to do this Mando needs to remove his armor and helmet and don the uniform and helmet of a trooper.  From what we have seen over the two seasons is Mando does not take off his helmet, he does this because he needs to get Grogu back.  Mando in the trooper armor obviously looks stiff and uncomfortable, Mayfeld starts challenging some of Mando's beliefs.  As they travel to the base, they realize the cargo they are transporting is highly explosive and very volatile.  It is on this journey to the base that Mayfeld makes a good point in comparing how the natives of the planet feel about the Empire and the New Republic, they think of them the same invaders.  Mayfeld challenges Mando on his rules regarding the taking off the helmet and how people will always cross lines as things get messy and there is not anything wrong with that.  Mando and Mayfeld see the transports in front of them blow up and then pirates attack their transport.  This action scene lasts only a few minutes, but it is very exciting, Mando is forced to use his skills since he does not have his armor and usual weaponry.  Mando is very much a badass during this sequence and it was refreshing to be reminded how much of a badass he can be.  The pirates keep coming as they are trying to blow up the transport and Mando must keep fighting off wave after wave of them.  They are finally approaching the base, but there are now even more pirates about to board the transport until a couple of tie fighters show up and eliminate the pirates.  I think this is the first time I can remember seeing a tie fighter save the day, it was a great idea to have the imperials save our hero here.  

Mando and Mayfeld have reached the base and greeted by many enthusiastic imperials, a scene like Luke returning to the base after blowing up the first death star in episode IV.  Mayfeld goes to use the terminal, but he sees a former commander he served under and does not believe he can succeed.  Mando goes instead but to use the terminal he needs to remove his helmet and show his face, something we have only seen once before.  The commander approaches Mando and starts questioning him, Mando struggles until Mayfeld joins and says that Mando is his trainee.  The commander applauds their efforts in successfully bringing the shipment back to the base, he wants to share a drink with them.  During this drink, Mando looks obviously out of place and Mayfeld needs to take charge, Mayfeld though reminds the commander of the time they served together.  Mayfeld calls out the commander for all the losses they incurred during operation cinder (a Battlefront II reference) and how the commander killed everyone.  It is here where we see Mayfeld is not a bad guy and that he holds a lot of resentment towards the empire.  The commander defends his decisions as being what the galaxy needs and toasts the empire, Mayfeld having heard enough shoots the commander.  Mayfeld gives Mando back the helmet and says he never saw his face (not true) and they escape the base with the help of Cara Dune and Fennec who are shooting the empire soldiers.  Boba Fett pilots Slave 1 to the base and picks up Mayfeld and Mando, Mayfeld then shoots a generator blowing up the base.  As Slave 1 is making its getaway two tie fighters attack and Boba Fett uses the sonic torpedoes (from episode II) to destroy them.  Cara Dune and Mando agree that they will report Mayfeld as dead so he can go free, with mission accomplished Mando, Dune, Fennec and Boba head out after Moff Gideon.  


This was a very deep episode, and I came out of it cheering for Mayfeld and hoping we see more of him.  There was a Disney investor call and a lot of new Star Wars shows were announced (Disney Investors Call Sheds Light on the Future of Disney Plus), there were two Mandalorian spinoff announced.  Out of the two new spinoffs announced (Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic), I think the Rangers of the New Republic show has the potential to give us some more Mayfeld.  I have a feeling the Rangers show will focus in on Cara Dune and Mayfeld may join the case, he seemed to hate the Empire.  Mayfeld was shown to be a former Imperial soldier who is suffering from some PTSD and has a grudge against the empire.  Mayfeld also challenged Mando on his beliefs not in a way to make fun of Mando, but to help Mando understand that there are more important things (like saving Grogu).   Mayfeld went through a journey where he made the comment that the New Republic and the Empire are essentially the same thing.  After hearing the casual way, the commander discusses the slaughter of a planet including his own men, I think Mayfeld realized the Empire and New Republic are not the same. I really enjoyed Mayfeld, especially the performance given by Bill Burr, but Pedro Pascal as Mando was also great.  Once he removed his helmet Mando looked uncomfortable and Pedro Pascal sold that he was feeling out of his element without his helmet on.  This was an episode where we got to see great character growth from Mando as he prioritized his mission over his beliefs.  The title The Believer I think is a reference to Mayfeld, Mando and the commander.  Mayfeld believed in the Empire and was let down by their actions, Mando believed in the Mandalorian creed and he was forced to put it aside to save Grogu.  The Empire commander believed in the Empire and he did terrible things because of that belief and Mayfeld killed him because of that.  The conviction with which the commander spoke of the Empire and the things he did for the Empire confirms that he was a true believer.  This season has seen Mando challenged on his beliefs and I think we are seeing him begin to grow as a person.  With the finale due next week, I have no idea what is going to happen, one episode does not seem enough to wrap up everything.  I hope Grogu will be rescued and reunited with Mando in the finale and that we get answers as to what happened when Grogu was on the pedestal.  I assume the beskar spear will be useful in the fight with Moff Gideon, we saw it was effective against Ahsoka Tano.  I must assume that because Mando knows that Bo-Katan wants Moff Gideon and now that Mando knows Gideon's location he will share it with Bo-Katan.  Come back next week where I will discuss the season two finale.   

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