The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 2 Can't Fix the Show’s Biggest Problem
“The Mines of Mandalore” shouldn’t be a one-off.
In its second installment, The Mandalorian Season 3 bounces back from its lackluster premiere. Its latest episode, “The Mines of Mandalore,” manages to avoid practically every mistake its predecessor makes. Not only do all of the episode’s action sequences have legitimate stakes, but “The Mines of Mandalore” also brings the future of The Mandalorian into focus.
Directed by Rachel Morrison, Episode 2 is an efficient and engaging installment that both entertains and pushes the plot forward. But “The Mines of Mandalore” also makes one of the show’s biggest ongoing problems all the more glaring.
The Mandalorian’s Pacing Problems
The Mandalorian has never been praised for its plotting. Despite the limited 8-episode length of its seasons, the series has always tended to spend much of its time exploring inconsequential detours and side quests. For every dramatically important episode like “The Mines of Mandalore” or Season 2’s “The Heiress,” there’s been a “Sanctuary” or “The Passenger.”
One-offs are fun in moderation, but three seasons into the show’s run, it’s ridiculous for The Mandalorian to return with a directionless, uneventful episode like “The Apostate,” only to follow it up with the far more substantial “Mines of Mandalore.” Watching the series on a week-to-week basis has become an unpredictable experience, and not in a good way. Every week, it’s impossible to know whether The Mandalorian will deliver another unforgettable space adventure or a disappointing fetch quest.
The Mandalorian’s pacing has always been a problem. However, coming off a show like Andor, which delivered tightly plotted story arcs, the inconsistency is now downright frustrating and detrimental to the viewing experience. The sporadic, inconsistent pace has made it difficult to have any faith that the show will maintain any momentum week-to-week. That doesn’t take away from the quality of episodes like “The Mines of Mandalore,” which is a legitimately great and rewarding Star Wars adventure. But it does make it impossible to get excited about The Mandalorian’s next episode without feeling at least a little skeptical.
The Inverse Analysis — The Mandalorian Season 3 has had an uneven start, already following up one of its worst episodes to date with one of its best. Fans will have to wait to learn which is more representative of the whole season, but either way, it seems safe to say that The Mandalorian still hasn’t shaken itself free of its biggest weakness.
New episodes of The Mandalorian premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.