“Chapter 15: The Believer” gives us a moment we’ve all been waiting for in an episode all about principles and knowing when to violate or maintain them.
This recap of The Mandalorian season 2, episode 7, “Chapter 15: The Believer”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Since The Mandalorian began, many viewers have been waiting for Mando to take his helmet off. It’s a natural thing, just a basic human impulse — we want to see what’s hidden. But the helmet is essential to the Mandalorian creed. This is the way. Until, of course, the life of a cute little frogman hangs in the balance, in which case the way becomes a lot more flexible. “Chapter 15: The Believer” is about that flexibility of morality and principles, knowing when to violate your beliefs for the greater good and when to stay true to them so you can sleep at night. Mando and his helmet are one way in which this point is proved. Migs Mayfeld, former Imperial sharpshooter, current resident of a prison scrapyard, and unashamed Masshole, is the other.
Mando needs Mayfeld, or Inmate 34667, to determine the location of Moff Gideon’s cruiser. That means Cara Dune has to remand him into her custody so that they can make use of his Imperial clearance to swipe the coordinates from an internal terminal in a secret mining hub on the planet Morak. Naturally, Mayfeld isn’t pleased to see Mando, or indeed Cara, Fennec, or Boba Fett, all of whom take part in the mission. (For what it’s worth, I could watch a series with no overarching plot at all in which this gang just roams the galaxy getting into trouble.)
The Morak refinery mines highly volatile rhydonium, and is operated by the ISB (Imperial Security Bureau), so is protected by genetic scanners that’ll expose Cara, Fennec, and Boba. That means Mayfeld will be going in alone, which is unacceptable to Mando, who agrees to come along despite the fact his armour makes him rather distinctive. This is the first in a couple of serious personal compromises that Mando makes in “Chapter 15: The Believer”, swapping his Mandalorian helmet for a Stormtrooper’s, which doesn’t go unremarked upon by Mayfeld.
Naturally, the episode gets a ton of mileage out of Bill Burr’s relentless ranting and quipping. The big extended action set-piece of “Chapter 15: The Believer” is another blatantly game-inspired sequence in which Mayfeld has to drive a hijacked juggernaut vehicle full of unstable rhydonium while Mando fights off waves of pirates on the roof. It looks sensational, obviously, and the appropriated design fits really well. It also amounts to a payoff in which the audience is weirdly happy to see Imperial TIE fighters swoop down and save the day. This also doesn’t go unremarked upon by Mayfeld.
Inside the refinery, the plan is thwarted somewhat by the presence of Mayfeld’s old CO Valin Hess, which means that Mando has to access the terminal in his stead so Mayfeld isn’t recognised. But the terminal has to scan the user’s face, which means Mando has to remove his helmet. And he does! Totally without ceremony, too. Pedro Pascal’s face is always a welcome sight, and with Mando willing to violate his most deeply-held principles to rescue Grogu, the relationship between them is only strengthening, despite Grogu not being seen for the entire episode.
Things don’t go smoothly on the way out, since Valin insists that Mayfeld and Mando have a drink with him, and Mayfeld can’t help but antagonize him about a previous Imperial campaign that cost the lives of many troopers and civilians alike — many Mayfeld’s friends. When Valin gets altogether too smug about the Empire’s role in the galaxy, Mayfeld shoots him dead, kicking off a firefight. As he says, he has to sleep at night. Cara and Fennec provide sniper cover as Mando and Meyfeld escape to the roof, and Boba picks them up in Slave-I. On the way out, Mayfeld uses a cycler rifle to detonate the entire facility. He was, as he puts it shortly afterward, getting some things off his chest.
After letting Mayfeld lose — I’d say he earned it — Mando sends Moff Gideon a threatening holovid, warning him that he’s coming for Grogu. And now we know how much he means it. Another stellar episode of the most consistent show airing right now.
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