Oh, thank Sidious, The Mandalorian corrected itself after an unfortunate misstep.
The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode, "The Gunslinger," trod on a brittle surface of silliness and sketch comedy. So, yes, we are relieved to report a hyperspace jump back in the right direction with The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 6: "The Prisoner."
Where "The Gunslinger" verged on cartoonish buffoonery, "The Prisoner" returned wild adventure, more realized guest roles, and some top notch battles.
Straight off the bat, we are introduced to Ran Malk, a mercenary and old associate of the Mandalorian's from the old days when they ran mercenarial-type gigs together.
Ran is a space-placed Grizzly Adams type played by Sons of Anarchy alum Mark Boone Junior.
Once we meet him, it's clear this episode is not going to rely on schtick to entertain.
Ran is a more realistic character than we saw on The Mandelorian Season 1 Episode 5, with a speck of mystery emerging from his cryptic energy.
Ran: Well, Mayfeld -- he's one of the best triggermen I've ever seen. Former Imperial sharpshooter
Mando: That's not saying much.
Mayfeld: I wasn't a stormtrooper, wise-ass!
Meeting the rest of the crew is no less gratifying: A Devaronian named Burg, a droid named Zero, and a Twi'lek by the name of Shianne.
Shianne -- Natalia Tena of Game of Thrones fame -- seems to have some weird love/hate thing going on with Mando.
It's impressive that this gunship has survived the Empire without being impounded.Zero
Oh, they definitely have a past. And it makes one wonder if that past may have been at all romantic.
Which begs the question: has this Mandalorian ever had sex?
And since he can't take off his helmet in front of anyone, the armor-clad warrior would surely cater to some fetishist's desires.
Come to think of it, sex isn't something we see a whole lot of in the Star Wars Universe.
We can only imagine the noises a Twi'lek makes in the sack, and what use might be made of those damned phallic horn things?! Ah, the blessed fruits of digression. Where were we?
"The Prisoner" has some of the better, more quippy dialogue than we've heard in previous episodes.
The weird flirtation between Xi-an and Mando is by no means on par with Shakespeare, but the lusty angst-filled repartee of Beatrice and Benedick distantly echoes through these aliens' conversations.
Hmm. I wonder what you look like under there. Maybe he's a Gungan. Is that why yousa don't wanna show your face?Mayfeld
Zero's speech pattern is serviced by monochromatic droidian delivery believably drawn from the Star Wars Universe (of course, 3P0 he is not).
And Mayfeld's rude dismissiveness turns funny, a reaction expected when having cast comic Bill Burr in the role.
But the coolest guest star in this episode -- and possibly thus far in the series -- is Clancy Brown as Burg.
We know how effective the character actor is in Highlander, Pet Semetary 2, Thor: Ragnarok, and even grampa Ed on the current television hit, Emergence.
And Burg is no exception. The big brut of a character gets the majority of the laughs. And while he's not someone we'd necessarily want to down whiskeys with in real life, we cannot get enough of him onscreen.
Burg: Someone tell me why we even need a Mandalorian.
Mayfeld: Apparently they're the greatest warriors in the galaxy ... so they say.
Burg: Then why are they all dead?
Somehow, even when covered in prosthetics, Brown manages to emote outwardly in the most amusing way.
Ran's behavior in the opening scene is ambiguous enough to foreshadow the twisty-turn during the mission on the New Republic prison ship.
We knew something was up when we learned that Ran lied about the job he was allowing Mando to assist with.
Well, he lied about three times in the first five minutes alone. We learn this later on, but Mando knows the guy pretty well. So why wasn't he more skeptical from the get-go?
Funny. The man who left me behind is now my savior. Mando.Qin
Did he expect the crew to turn against him and throw him in cell 221 from whence they released the prisoner, Xi'an's brother Qin?
It sure looked like he was caught off guard.
We'd think he'd be smarter than that, but while Mando is a great warrior, I don't think he's proven himself the smartest beskar-covered dude in the universe.
But the guy is fierce, and anyone should be scared to run into him.
Of course, he finds a way to destroy a droid officer and use his severed arm to assume control of the cell door.
He continues to take command of the other security functions on the prison ship.
Rebel Officer: Stop right there. You put down your blasters right now!
Mayfeld: Nice shoes.
Rebel Officer: Put down your blasters
Mayfeld: Matches his belt.
Speaking of scary, we've got to discuss the coolest, scariest scene.
After Mayfeld busts up some droids while searching for the escaped Mando, the armored warrior is seen slowly encroaching upon him while the dark red alarm lights flicker in and out.
With each strobe-like flash, the Mandolorian advances jarringly upon Mayfeld from behind.
Director Rick Famuyiwa owns this short but most frightening scene.
The fights are electric. And a violent scene between Burg and Mando ends hilariously, indeed.
That one requires repeat viewing, as do several others.
Why Zero decides his best option is to shoot the Jedi baby when opting to leave the crew behind is beyond me.
It's unknown to him what powers the child manifests, so one would think he'd at least attempt to take him alive --- at first, anyway.
But that sequence was pretty frickin' cute.
Jedi baby throwing the weight of The Force at his attacker appears to work, and Zero's gunfire seems to turn back on him, forcing his own demise.
Until we see Mando's figure behind the fallen droid and realize it wasn't The Force at all that was responsible.
It seems coms are no longer functioning. Therefore, you cannot hear me. You are on your ownZero
We've seen the Jedi baby use the power of The Force in prior episodes, against creatures much bigger than Zero.
Why wouldn't it work this time?
Hard to say if it's an unevenness in the show's consistency or if there's a reason Jedi baby couldn't harvest its strength in this instance.
Still, "The Prisoner" -- though not the best episode of the season thus far -- is a much stronger outing than "The Gunslinger."
We are back to crazy space trips and eccentric weirdos that we may hate to love.
Did you all like this one better, too? Share your thoughts in the comments. Where do you think Mando is headed next?
You can watch The Mandalorian online right here.
Kerr Lordygan is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.