The Mandalorian leads a jailbreak with a motley crew of mercenaries. "The Prisoner" has Mando (Pedro Pascal) trying to earn some credits on the run with Baby Yoda. He rendezvous with an old partner at a space station, who has the gang waiting for the job. They include a deadly, knife-throwing Twi'lek ex-girlfriend, a hulking Devaronian, a smart mouth with three guns, and a bug-eyed droid. The usual double crosses ensue as New Republic X-Wings crash the party. Baby Yoda continues the cute offensive while getting in a dangerous game of hide and seek.

"The Prisoner" opens with the Razor Crest landing at a small space station. The crusty and bearded Ran (Mark Boone Jr.) has a job. One of his "associates ran afoul of competitors" and got himself caught. It's a five person job, he's got four lined up, but he "needs the ride." The Razor Crest was the "only reason" he let Mando back in.

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Ran introduces Mando to the bald, guns strapped to his chest, Mayfeld (Bill Burr). He brings over a hulking, horned red Devaronian, Burg (Clancy Brown), "the muscle" who immediately sizes up Mando. Next is the fly faced droid, Q9-0, nicknamed Zero (Richard Ayoade). Rounding out the team, much to Mando's surprise, is an old flame, a blue Twi'lek named Xi'an (Natalia Tena). She puts a dagger at his throat, "I missed you." Then laughs devilishly admiring his "shiny" new armor.

Zero gets into the Razor Crest cockpit and interfaces with the ship. He pulls up a garbled holo message from Greef Karga. Mayfeld breaks down the job with a holo of "the modified cargo ship." Mando interrupts, that's a New Republic prison ship. Their target wasn't taken, he was arrested. Mando doesn't want that kind of "heat", but Xi'an informs him the ship is run by droids. Zero returns to the deck. The ship is a wreck, but the Razor Crest is unknown to the Imperials and New Republic. It can get close enough to "scramble" their signal. Zero will handle the flying.

The Razor Crest lifts off with the gang on board. Zero jumps to hyperspace. Burg rummages through the ship. Mando gets into his horned face, but Mayfeld defuses the situation. They argue if Mando is "as good as they say he is." And mock him about never removing the helmet, "This is the way." Burg tries to "see his face" and they fight. The melee opens Baby Yoda's supply closet.

Mayfeld picks up the child. He rudely inquires if Mando and Xi'an "made that." He pretends to drop the child, which elicits a lurch from Mando. Baby Yoda is actually dropped when Zero plunges out of hyperspace. Everyone falls down as the Razor Crest couples with the prison ship. Zero scrambles their signature, then Mando uses a device to unlock the hatch.

Mayfeld goes first. He radios Zero over his comlink, "Guide us to the control room." Zero stays in the cockpit while directing the others. Burg foolishly smashes a mouse droid. The ruckus alerts four security droids, who open fire. Everyone takes cover, except Mando, who circles behind them. Mayfeld draws two guns, then a robotic arm on his bag wields a third. They watch in amazement as Mando easily dispatches the security droids.

Zero redirects the other security droids. They reach the cockpit and are shocked to find a human, New Republic controller. He holds an emergency distress beacon. Mando doesn't want to kill him, buy Mayfeld disagrees. They draw their guns at each other. While they argue, Xi'an throws a dagger into the controller's heart. He presses the beacon before dying.

Zero radios that a distress signal has been sent. They have twenty-minutes before reinforcements arrive. They race to find the prisoner. Burg smashes two floating droids. Zero directs them to the right cell, then opens the door. Mando mutters, "Qin." Another Twi'lek, Xi'an's brother, is the prisoner. They embrace excitedly. Qin laughs, "The man who betrayed me is my savior." Suddenly Burg throws Mando into the cell. The others run out quickly, then lock him in. "You deserve this," cackles Xi'an, as they escape.

Mando harpoons a security droid. He tears its arm off to activate the door. Mando returns to the control room. He locks down the ship, closing blast doors, and splitting up the gang. Zero radios Mayfeld that Mando's escaped and the New Republic is fifteen minutes away. The lights in the hallways turn red and start to strobe. Mando turns off the comlink. Zero realizes they can no longer hear him. He hears a gurgling sound. Baby Yoda is standing behind him in the cockpit.

Qin orders Mayfeld, "Get me off the ship! Whatever Ran promised. I'll give you triple!" He doesn't care about his sister or Burg. The gang searches separate corridors. Meanwhile on the Razor Crest, Zero searches the cargo hold for the infant. Baby Yoda hides behind a crate.

Burg reaches the control room. Mando is in the grates above. He lowers his harpoon rope and starts to choke Burg. The Devaronian pulls him down. Mando tries his flamethrower, but it has no effect. Burg smashes Mando's helmet into the controls. Mando flips Burg into the doorway. Burg laughs as he holds the door open, but Mando activates the secondary door. On the ship, Baby Yoda eludes Zero.

Mayfeld guns down three more security droids. Mando appears behind Xi'an. She throws her knives, but they are deflected by the armor. Mando appears to stab her. Mayfeld doesn't see Mando approaching in the eerie, red strobe lights. Qin reaches the escape hatch. Mando is right behind him. He begs for his life. Mando took the job to bring him in alive.

On the Razor Crest, Zero opens the supply closet. Baby Yoda raises a little green arm, like he's going to use the force. He doesn't need to. Mado blasts a hole through Zero's head from behind. The Razor Crest uncouples from the prison ship and jumps into hyperspace, with Mando at the helm.

Ran watches as the Razor Crest lands. The side door opens. Mando pushes Qin out. "Where are the others?" inquires Ran. "No questions asked. That's the policy right?" replies Mando. Ran gives him a pouch filled with credits. The Mandalorian leaves in the Razor Crest. "Kill him," orders Ran. A fighter rises up from the deck. Qin and Ran hear a beeping noise. Mando put the distress beacon in Qin's pocket.

As the Razor Crest flies away, three X-wings come out of hyperspace at the station. They see the fighter launching and open fire. Ran runs away. Qin watches laser fire blow up the fighter behind him. The X-wings pummel the station. Mando jumps to hyperspace with Baby Yoda strapped in behind him. He unscrews the thruster knob, then gives it to the child to play with. "The Prisoner" ends with a last shot on the prison transport ship. Mayfeld, Xi'an, and Burg, with his horns cut in half, are locked together in a cell.

"The Prisoner" was entertaining with a lot of style points. We got more backstory on Mando with the new characters introduced, but no progress on the Baby Yoda arc. They're still on the run. The Twi'lek, dagger throwing ex was a hoot. Xi'an, Burg, and Mayfeld are alive. We'll definitely see them again. The X-wing pilots in the end were series directors Rick Famuyiwa, Dave Filoni, and Deborah Chow. Getting a little front of the camera time. There's still a lot to uncover with two episodes remaining this season. Looking forward to seeing what Mof Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) has in store for our heroes. The Mandalorian returns next Wednesday on Disney+ apps and DisneyPlus.com.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman