Still needing to find other Mandalorians, who can then help him find others like The Child (AKA meme god Baby Yoda), our hero Mando ventures back to a Mos Eisley cantina where Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) is playing a game of Sabacc with a giant ant named Dr. Mandible. By Mando’s good timing, Dr. Mandible just happens to know a contact who can then help Djarin find more Mandalorians. This proves to not entirely be the case, as negotiator Peli leaves out the idea that this “contact” actually needs a ride from Mando, and at the non-ideal slow speed of sublight. That “contact” is known as Frog Lady, and she’s carrying a batch of eggs that will die if Mando were to travel at hyper-speed. On top of that, Frog Lady doesn’t know about the Mandalorians, but her husband does. And on top of that, Peli doesn’t know Frog Lady, despite saying that she vouched for this random passenger on Mando’s ship, the Razor Crest. “What can I say?” says Sedaris’ dismissive mechanic, whose Tattooine-grade trickiness makes her this episode’s MVP. “I’m an excellent judge of character.”
There’s just not a whole bunch of plot that comes after in “The Passenger,” but it has a strong dynamic by working with sharp contrasts. It starts with Mando speeding through a desert atmosphere, and then it forces him to take the scenic route that later puts him and his passengers on ice. And while traveling earlier at sublight speed, Mando thinks that he’ll be the target of “pirates or war lords.” Instead he faces something arguably more daunting, a couple of X-Wing pilots acting as space cops for the New Republic, who wonder why Mandalorian doesn’t have a beacon regarding the new guidelines. Given his record, Mando tries to get away, and it leads to a chase that’s gorgeous and crisply edited, alternating dashboard points-of-view with wide shots of clouds. One thing that’s missing, but not missed? Laser fire from the pilots, allowing X-Wings and the Razor Crest to swoop around, while the brightest, most eye-catching element is the bright sun on the horizon.
The chase leads to Mando crash-landing the Razor Crest in an icy cavern, which seems like a big deal for Mando’s now-damaged ship and its passengers, but the series doesn’t dig in that sense of danger, so much as give The Child a little more screen-time than “The Marshal.” Like in his previous baby-like moments, he continues to put more things in his mouth to the horror of those around him. And that’s not to say that Mandalorian is getting any sharper as a parent, letting Baby Yoda wander around like this. It’s almost like this series is one development away from a “Baby Yoda’s Day Out” moment, one that I assumed “The Passenger” would go for in a couple of instances.