What I thought
Well, I wasn’t looking forward to this episode, or the next one, which is basically a part two to this one. I’m not excited about Mandalorian culture or history, aside from that they look cool and have fantastic gadgets. Sabine for me has been the weakest character in the show in terms of personality and development. She seems to be there to make up the numbers most of the time, or to occasionally kick-ass and be a chum for Ezra. Perhaps that’s all about the change now, as we have her reluctantly take up the mantle to train to use the darksabre and liberate her people.
This whole episode is about that training. Sure, she’s initially convinced to do it rather too easily for me, but a show trying to convince someone to do something wouldn’t have been very interesting, so perhaps it’s good they skipped that one on quickly. Kanan and Ezra take Sabine out into the middle of nowhere, or to us who have seen this area before, somewhere very close to where Bendu hides out. In fact, he shows himself in this episode briefly after Sabine was hanging around nearby talking to Ezra. Well, he shows himself to us, but not to them. What’s up with Bendu then? I’ve never trusted him myself. We’ll see how much of an ally he is going forward. Anyhow, a lot of training has Sabine using training sticks, much like those I’ve seen in gladiator training camps in TV Shows. Sabine really isn’t learning all that quickly. Her heart isn’t in it. Even when Fenn Rau brings her some arm gadgets (lasso and force blast propeller sort of thing) she’s more into using them as tricks than taking things seriously. A few heart to hearts later and Kanan introduces her to the darksaber, revealing how it actually bonds with the holder, which is interesting to know. He then leads her on a mental assault which brings out the past in her, leading her to get increasingly angry, but also revealing that she feels guilty for helping enslave her people, which is the main reason she doesn’t want to lead her people or go back there. Naturally this unleash of emotion empowers her. If she decides to lead, Kanan and the gang fully support her.
For a change, this was a totally character driven episode and considerably better than I thought. I even warmed to the Mandalorian cause a little more than ever before. Admittedly, I’m still far from won over about them or Sabine but I did at least start to feel more emotionally attached to them both than ever before thanks to this episode.
Rating 6/10 (Good)
What I liked: Character driven, atmospheric music throughout, development of Sabine, more history about Mandalorian that was actually interesting. Potentially something further interesting about Bendu.
What I didn’t like: Chopper was unusually very caring and non-funny this week towards Sabine. Don’t see that very often. Didn’t mind it, but prefer funny Chopper. Sabine was also rather too quickly convinced to train but alas I understand that was probably for sake of plot. Don’t also understand why Fenn Rau didn’t feel like stealing the darksabre for himself?