After publishing my review of THE MANDALORIAN, which I found enjoyable if a bit silly, some said the second season takes off, and they were right. The season season definitely ups the game in terms of world building, characterization, action, and even drama.
First, I’ll say the show continues to suffer from taking shortcuts for time as a way to get past characters easily being able to solve their problems. Characters are overpowered until they’re easily smacked around, a jet pack is discarded right before it’s direly needed, and the like. The Empire continues to show why they lost the war, as they’re utterly incompetent. And the show again leaned heavily on the action movie convention of having bad guys with guns in combat stumble drunkenly toward a hero so he or she can stomp them hand to hand, instead of you know, shooting them. There are a lot of silly, “you’ve seen this trope many times so here you go, that was easy” moments.
That being said, Mando finally demonstrates a genuine (not forced) connection with “Baby Yoda,” who is once again admittedly cute as hell. Their relationship started to finally invest me in the show. The world building is more lavish, and there are again those little wow visual set pieces such as prisoners cleaning up the wreckage of an ancient space battle. The fan service is perfect. The secondary characters are all great, with some solid actors such as Rosario Dawson and Katee Sackhoff making appearances. The battle droids as usual are super cool. And it was utterly satisfying to see Jedi kick ass and show why they are so feared. Episode 5 (“The Jedi”) really shined on its own as an almost perfect episode, delivering real drama and using Western tropes perfectly.
Overall, enjoyed it a lot, and it definitely earned its upcoming third season, which I’ll be sure to watch.