Summary: Rachel debates who to hire as her next assistant. Joey gets another job opportunity with Days of Our Lives. Ross and Chandler share their secrets to Monica.
The Good: There are some good moments here. Ross and Chandler spilling each others secrets is pretty funny and has some nice moments. Rachel is great as she is given a nice conflict and makes a decision which fits her character. Joey is fun as well as he lets his newfound fame get to his head. The scene when he shows up for the audition is excellent.
The Bad: This episode isn't particularly entertaining. Something is missing and there aren't any memorable laughs. The Ross/Chandler story is disappointing because it doesn't tread any new ground and actually reuses a storyline from a previous episode.
Best Moment: Rachel and Joey trying to outfight each other by proving their story is better was pretty funny.
Character of the Episode: Rachel.
Conclusion: This is a solid episode, but it never threatens to be anything more.
Summary: Mando gives Baby Yoda to The Client and gets a lot of Beskar as a reward. He takes it to the armorer and gets a full suit of armor made, attracting the attention of many local Mandalorians in the process. He takes a new job from Greef, but finds himself unable to abandon Baby Yoda. Mando infiltrates the compound and breaks out by force with Baby Yoda. The bounty hunters are notified of Mando's betrayal so they all corner him and attack him, intent on getting Baby Yoda back. The other Mandalorians arrive and help Mando escape.
The Good: This was really strong stuff. The pacing was fantastic throughout the episode, and I was almost always at the edge of my seat.
The opening scenes of the episode were really well done. This show has been remarkable with the little things so far. The meeting with The Client is built up in an extremely sinister way as the show gives us Baby Yoda's POV when travelling through the town. It's made explicitly clear how alien this all is for him, and it increases our fear that something bad is going to happen. The ensuing scene with The Client is filled with tension because it's so hard to predict what happens next. The story could conceivably go in a number of directions, and the mysterious, threatening nature of The Client only amps up the mystery. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and by the time the scene ended I was exhausted.
But surprisingly Mando had made the decision to abandon Baby Yoda. I really appreciate that Mando didn't immediately refuse to give Baby Yoda to The Client. Instead we get a lovely mini-arc as Mando tries to resume his normal life and pretend that nothing is wrong. But he is unable to resolve his inner conflict. He tries his hardest to leave Baby Yoda, but after being reminded of his time as a foundling and his hate for the Empire, Mando doesn't take it anymore and decides to head back. This story ended up being a joy to watch, and that's surprising when you consider how generic it seems on paper. There's something about the execution and the attention to detail that makes this work so well, and I have to give full credit to the director and the writers for that.
The action sequences in the back half of the episode were also done tremendously well. Extended action scenes can be really difficult to do. It's hard to make the audience believe that the protagonists are in danger the entire time, and it's just as hard to create several of these intense scenarios that still offer a logical escape for the heroes. This episode did an exceptional job of avoiding the trappings of extended action scenes. Every sequence was realistically choreographed and filled with dread. Plus the sequences were filled with satisfying moments which followed up on some previously established plot threads. Mando murdering the annoying gatekeeper droid was hilariously satisfying, Greef being saved by his piece of Beskar actually made sense, and the bounty hunters all being sent to hunt down Mando was a brilliant way to justify the many expositional lines explaining tracker fobs. Each of these moments were tremendously satisfying and added to the drama.
This series feels really unique. The faster pace and shorter length makes this feel more like an anime/cartoon series than a TV drama sometimes. This gives the show an identity and unique style to it, and so far it has been working really well. Somehow this series has combined the strengths of both animated and live-action TV series while avoiding almost all the weaknesses of both. It's made for a show that feels different and fun, and I can't wait to see more.
The Bad: The only part that bothered me a little bit was the Mandalorians all arriving to save Mando. The moment made sense and it was pretty enjoyable, but it felt a little too easy. It's a minor quibble though, and it certainly won't detract from the episode's score.
The Unknown: What was The Client planning to do with Baby Yoda? Who is he anyways? What is his connection to the Empire?
Why do the Mandalorians stay in hiding all the time? What happened when the Empire purged their race? Why were they purged? How many are left? Do they have any remaining communities?
What is Greef's future role in the story? I doubt that he is done with Mando after what happened. Will he be an enemy? An ally? A wild card? I'm very intrigued.
Best Moment: There were many suspenseful moments, but my favourite is probably Mando bringing Baby Yoda to The Client. The Client is an unpredictable mystery at the moment, and when Mando overstepped his bounds by askign The Client what his plans were, I became really nervous that something big might go down. Even though nothing happened, that moment was the most engaged I was in the entire episode.
Character of the Episode: Mando.
Conclusion: This was an action-packed episode with a lot to enjoy. This show has found its identity and ha proved itself to be more than competent enough at telling a compelling story. It seems my fears from the first episode were misplaced as this show has been very well done so far. Let's hope that the rest of the season can continue this.
Summary: The episode details the 48 days the Tailies spent on the island. After the plane crashes, Ana Lucia takes control and tries to calm everyone down. At night, the others attack and take a couple of people, Mr. Eko kills 2 of them and stops talking. The group decides to wait for rescue while Ana Lucia becomes suspicious of Nathan. Another attack from the others result in 9 kidnappings. Ana Lucia kills one of them and finds a list of names. She concludes that there is a traitor in the group. Ana Lucia thinks it's Nathan and starts torturing him. The real culprit is Goodwin who sneakily kills Nathan. Ana Lucia eventually figures out that Goodwin is with the others and she kills him after a short fight. Afterwards, she finally breaks down and Eko comforts her. A montage takes the story to the moment where Ana Lucia shoots Shannon.
The Good: Television is often at its best when it completely blindsides you with something wonderful. This episode completely broke the established formula of the show and gave us something that was different from anything "Lost" has ever done before, and it worked spectacularly. From the first few moments, it was clear that we were watching a special episode. This episode skips over the "previously on" segment, recaptures the chaotic feel of "Pilot Part 1" and even adopts a unique formatting by separating the story into different days. The allure of something new and different immediately struck me, and within seconds I found myself hooked, excited to see what this episode could accomplish.
And this delivered big-time. The Tailies are all mysterious people who we know precious little about. And that stays true after this episode. There are no flashbacks and no backstories explaining why a character behaves the way they do. Instead the episode is shrouded in mystery regarding the history of these characters, and we are allowed to form opinions on them solely based on their actions on the island. It's similar to how we were introduced to the characters back in season 1, and it sets up for each individual character's flashback episode to really surprise us and potentially offer that same shock if our understanding of a character turns out to be completely wrong ("Walkabout", "Confidence Man" and "...In Translation" are wonderful examples of this).
But this episode doesn't only build up for future reveals. The change in character-based storytelling gives us a more linear storyline focused on Ana Lucia, who tries her best to lead her ragtag group of people through desperate times where everyone's lives are on the line. Ana Lucia is positioned similarly to Jack, and what makes her character stand out is the different approach she takes to leadership. Ana Lucia somehow manages to be even more emotionally driven than Jack while maintaining an even greater degree of rational decision-making as she makes decisions for the best of the group while actively working towards ensuring everyone's survival. It's a great story, and condensing 48 days of struggle into just 40 minutes works in the episode's favour as we are subject to the extreme mental strength Ana Lucia must have in order to deal with all of this. This becomes increasingly apparent towards the end of the episode with Ana Lucia's experiences with Goodwin and Nathan which cause her to finally snap and realize what everything has come to. Her line to Bernard where she tells him to get used to his new life hits really hard, and some quality acting makes it easy for us to understand how difficult it is for Ana Lucia to lead the group the way that she does. All of this background on Ana Lucia's leadership makes her murder of Shannon even more powerful. Now it's so easy to see why Ana Lucia would be so quick to pull the trigger when Shannon stumbles out of the woods, and it's much harder to fault her for her actions. I'm even more excited to see the fallout of this scene now.
The Goodwin and Nathan plot was phenomenal. The episode does such a good job of tricking you into thinking that Nathan is an other. From the Goodwin scene in "...And Found", we naturally assume that he was killed by the others, not that he was an other himself. Furthermor, Nathan's shifty behaviour, the dramatic stare-downs between him and Ana Lucia, as well as the connection to Ethan with his home country being Canada all suggest that he is the culprit. So when Goodwin suddenly snaps Nathan's neck, it's a huge surprise that immediately elevates the tension of the episode. The ensuing scene with Ana Lucia and Goodwin is fantastic. It's a fantastic gun-under-the-table scene with the knife being passed back and forth, and Ana Lucia starting to ask Goodwin some suspicious questions. The tension escalates naturally in a brilliant way and the brief fight at the end is exciting, even with the outcome predetermined. I appreciate that the fight was short and explosive. It made me forget for just long enough that Goodwin is destined to die here, making the fight more dramatic than it would have been if it was stretched out.
There were some very good minor moments. Mr. Eko's background story as he seemingly takes a vow of silence was pretty good, and it culminated brilliantly in that scene with Ana Lucia (see: Best Moment). Also, I really liked the reveal that Bernard was the person who Boone contacted back in "Deus Ex Machina". It makes Boone's death feel even more tragic, knowing that it was all for nothing.
The Bad: It is annoying that a big cliffhanger isn't advanced in the following episode for the second time this season. Though I do like the way that this episode made Shannon's death have a little more weight to it, I still don't like having to wait even longer to find out what happens next.
Surely Nathan's excuses should have been much better if he was actually innocent. Nobody was ever going to buy his bathroom excuses, so it seems really strange that he was innocent all along. His actions and words don't seem to correlate with what an innocent man would say.
The ending montage was a decent way to speed through the footage that we had already seen. However, it does feel like a waste of time to spend something like 5 minutes on scenes that we were already familiar with without much alteration. I feel like there is a better way to advance to that final scene without it feeling so redundant.
The Unknown: What were Ana Lucia and Mr. Eko's lives back in the real world? They somehow seem like even more of a mystery after this episode.
Why is there a quarantine sign on the door of the other Dharma station? Do all stations have quarantine on them? What was with the glass eye inside the station? How about the bible?
How did the others obtain a US army knife?
Best Moment: As excellent as the Ana Lucia vs Goodwin scene was, I have to go with the scene by the stream between Ana Lucia and Eko. Ana Lucia finally cracks as the guilt of murdering Goodwin and torturing Nathan gets to her. Mr. Eko is there and he decides to speak for the first time in 40 days, comforting Ana Lucia. These two are hardly friends, but Eko still goes over to her and comforts her as she finally lets out all of the pent up emotion inside of her. It's a powerful scene that nicely shows us the trust that the Tailies have built after spending 40 days together.
Character of the Episode: Ana Lucia.
Conclusion: What a ride. This episode set out to do something different and it gave me an experience completely unlike anything "Lost" has ever done before. Somehow, this changed the formula yet still kept the heart of the show, providing us with some of the best 40 minutes of drama you will ever find. This is one of the best episodes of the series for sure.
Summary: Flashbacks show Shannon's rocky relationship with her step-mom Sabrina. When her father dies, Shannon's inheritance is kept by Sabrina since there was no will. As a result, Shannon is unable to pursue a job opportunity and she lashes out at Boone who doesn't seem to believe in her abilities, just like Sabrina. On the island, Shannon sees Walt but Sayid doesn't believe her claims which frustrates her. Charlie and Claire have a smallfight and Claire goes to Locke, letting him know about Charlie's Virgin Mary statue. Mr. Eko, Jin and Michael reunite with the rest of the group and press on to the survivors' beach camp. Sawyer passes out due to his wound so they decide to cut through the jungle. Cindy vanishes and Ana pulls out her gun. Shannon looks for Walt through the jungle with Sayid. They reconcile but Walt suddenly appears. Shannon goes after him but is shot and killed by Ana Lucia.
The Good: This episode was balanced much better than every episode this season since the premier. Every storyline was interesting and there was an appropriate amount of time spent advancing each conflict. It's nice to see the pacing return to normal, and I think that made this episode easier to watch. Furthermore, it was nice to finally get flashbacks for Shannon, giving the flashbacks importance, which was missing in "Everybody Hates Hugo" and "...And Found".
Shannon's backstory is solid. She has always been a bitchy character who has been difficult to like. It's good to see that the writers thought up of a good story to explain why she behaves in such a toxic way. Shannon's relationship with Sabrina is horrible, and the pressure of constantly being deemed a failure seems to have gotten to her repeatedly. She freaks out against Boone who is only trying to help, and she does the same to Sayid on the island. Her inner conflict is easy to understand, and it adds some depth to her when we learn why she is so determined to prove herself once people start doubting her abilities.
Shannon's island story is interesting too because of Walt's mysterious appearances (see: The Unknown). His seemingly random appearances are very creepy, and they add some dramatic weight to the episode. The ending scene is very well done and it delivers a real surprise when Shannon is shot and killed. Shannon's scenes are also inter-cut brilliantly with the Tailies storyline as Cindy is taken by the others right when Shannon and Sayid begin hearing the whispers.
Speaking of the Tailies, their story was solid again. We finally get to the point where they have intersected with the main group of survivors, and the stage has been set for a big conflict. Shannon has died, the Tailies have some horror stories to tell about the others, Sawyer is in critical condition, and the survivors will learn that the raft will not be bringing rescue.
The scenes with Charlie/Claire/Locke were fine. There wasn't anything special here, but it does look like the writers are developing a long-running story centering around Charlie's Virgin Mary statue. I'm interested to see where this goes.
The Bad: Shannon's death does feel a bit lazy. She has done practically nothing in the entire season, and it feels like she was killed because the writers were unsure of what to do with her now that Boone is dead. Her death scene was surprising and it will likely have a big impact on the story, but it doesn't feel like a major game-changing death, likely because Shannon has firmly been a background character for much of the show. It's not as impactful as if somebody like Sawyer had died instead.
The writers still have not addressed why Sayid is engaging in a romance with Shannon. Shannon brings up that he's just going to leave her for Nadia, but we don't really get to see how Sayid actually feels about that. We haven't been shown why Sayid would want to be in a relationship with Shannon, and we also don't know how he feels about it. That's a problem, and it's one of the reasons that this romance never quite felt right for me.
It's odd that Locke wouldn't immediately confront Charlie on his drug abuse when he hears about the Virgin Mary statue. Instead Locke just vaguely accuses Charlie of being a druggie and doesn't follow up at all. That's not like the wholesome sage Locke that we had gotten to know in season 1. Once again, "Lost" is sacrificing character communication for the sake of meaningless drama.
The Unknown: Why is Walt appearing randomly. Since Sayid saw him, he's clearly not an illusion. Is he with the others? Were they around when he showed up? Is he trying to escape? Or warn the survivors? What was he trying to say to Shannon?
Did Cindy really get taken like that? How? Why? What motivates the others to do this? Apparently they took a lot of the Tailies, including some kids. Why did they do that? Why haven't they taken anyone from them fuselage survivors' camp?
Ana Lucia refers to a point when Mr. Eko apparently wasn't talking. Why wasn't he talking? When was this?
How will Sayid react to Ana Lucia killing Shannon? How will the camp react to this? Will there be any major conflict?
Best Moment: The ending scene was a good surprise and an effective cliffhanger.
Character of the Episode: Shannon.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode that improved on the season's unbalanced pacing. While not a special episode itself, this does nicely set up for what will hopefully be better stuff in the next few episodes.
Summary: Monica tries to get Phoebe's grandmother's cookie recipe. Chandler has an embarrassing story after going out for racquetball with Monica's dad. Rachel is mean to Joey while trying to teach him how to sail.
The Good: This is a fine episode. The stories are all decent enough and there are some good laughs here. Chandler's story is creative, and Joey and Rachel's story is the kind of relatable comedy that "Friends" used to specialize in.
The Bad: Unfortunately this episode does nothing to stand out. Chandler's story is creative but it doesn't end up being anywhere near as funny as it should have been. The set up was there for a really funny joke, but we just didn't get one. All of the other humour is good for chuckles but nothing more. Furthermore, we get more unrealistic character behaviour with everyone not noticing Chandler's glasses and Ross being needlessly petty about not getting an engagement present.
Best Moment: Joey getting mad at the coast guard was the funniest joke of the episode for me. "Get out of the way jackass" has become one of my regular sayings.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This is an alright episode with some fun moments, but it's also a little silly and not at all memorable.
Summary: Mando and Baby Yoda go back to the ship only to find that it has been stripped by Jawas. Mando attacks them and kills a few of them but they escape in the Sandcrawler. Mando goes back to Kuiil who negotiates a deal with the Jawas. Mando has to collect an egg for them and they will trade him the parts. Mando has to fight a mud horn to get the eggs and he nearly dies. However, baby Yoda saves him by using the force. Mando trades the egg, repairs his ship and says goodbye to Kuiil.
The Good: This was a bold episode to make. There wasn't a whole lot of plot development here, and on paper the plot of the episode seems quite thin. But this actually served an important purpose: to get us acquainted to Mando. Mando wasn't an interesting character in the first episode. He doesn't talk much and we don't get to see his face. That means that we must learn about him directly through his actions. This episode allows us to do that perfectly by giving Mando a number of problems to overcome that allow his character to shine through so we can understand him better. In this episode we see that he is hot-tempered, heroic, reasonable and even a little bit caring through his actions alone. That's very smart writing, and it turns Mando into somebody who I'm starting to grow fond of, which is a big improvement on the first episode.
We also get to see more from Baby Yoda in this episode which is also welcome. Presumably he will be the focal point of the season so it is very important that we understand who he is and also understand the relationship he has with Mando. While note much happens in this episode, it is able to effectively convey the bond that Baby Yoda has developed with Mando in such a short amount of time. Even without any stand-out scenes, simply seeing these two traveling together allows us to grow more attached to them as a unit. If the show wants there to be any good drama between Baby Yoda and Mando, it's essential to do these little things first, and so far the show is succeeding.
The return of the Jawas is very welcome. Jawas are a staple of "Star Wars", and I'm beyond pleased to see them return in a way that isn't simply dumb fanservice. They had a reason to be in this episode, and they presented Mando with a good dilemma. Plus, the action sequence of the Sandcrawler was a ton of fun. There wasn't any tension or suspense, but the scene was directed superbly to overcome this flaw through creativity and levity.
The Bad: The episode felt too short. When Disney promised an hour long live-action series, I wasn't expecting 30 minute episodes. When you realize how little happens in this episode, it's a bit underwhelming and the slower pace becomes more frustrating when we get less time to enjoy the episode.
Was that tiny knife really enough to kill the mud horn? It looks like it barely even got through the skin layer.
The Unknown: Does the universe still not know much about the force? Mando and Kuiil both seemed shocked by Baby Yoda's abilities. I guess news of Luke Skywalker wouldn't have spread everywhere across 5 years which would make sense.
How do Baby Yoda's force powers work? Why does he need to sleep after using them? How many abilities does he have? We saw him attempt to heal Mando earlier in the episode. Why does he have the force anyways? Is he somehow related to Yoda in a direct way?
Best Moment: Baby Yoda using the force was a great moment that is very important for the series.
Character of the Episode: Mando.
Conclusion: This was short, but it featured some really good stuff. This show feels like it's taking after "Stranger Things" a little bit. The show is a ton of fun, but it doesn't offer too much emotionally. That's completely fine as long as the quality of the show doesn't dip like "Stranger Things". I'm hoping that the large scope of the "Star Wars" universe will be enough to keep this series fresh for the seasons to come.
Summary: Flashbacks show Sun getting set up with Jae Lee to be married. But Sun is heartbroken when she learns that Jae plans to go to America to marry an American woman. Meanwhile, Jin gets a new job at a hotel but he eventually quits when he is forced to act against his morals. Afterwards, Sun and Jin meet each other for the first time. On the island, Sun decides to bury the bottle from the raft. Sun loses her wedding ring and talks to Jack, Hurley, Locke and Kate trying to find it. She eventually finds that she lost it while burying the bottle. The tailies begin to go across the island to the survivors' camp. Michael goes off in the jungle to find Walt and Jin and Mr. Eko go after him. They have a near miss with the others. Jin finds Michael and convinces him to come back.
The Good: Once again, the tailies storyline saves the episode. The wonderful joy of getting introduced to interesting new characters is showcased in this episode as we learn more about Ana Lucia, Mr. Eko and Libby who are immediately interesting. Ana Lucia comes off as sarcastic and confident, Libby very casual and quirky, and Mr. Eko is intimidating yet wholesome. It's a wonderful mix of characters and the promise of learning more about them makes me more engaged with everything going on in the tailies storyline.
The tailies story does one other thing right, and it does so masterfully. That thing is building up the others as a threat. The episode does a fantastic job of establishing how horrifying the others are. Libby's claims about the others are intriguing, and it's evident that the tailies are terrified of these people. Then we come across Goodwin's corpse, which is a horrific image and it does a wonderful job of letting us become afraid of the others based off of what we are shown rather than what we have seen. Then everything culminates in an outstanding moment as Jin and Mr. Eko hide in the bushes, watching several silent figures moving through the jungle (see: Best Moment). The tension is built up with every moment, and the episode does a wonderful job of building up our fear for that frightening climax.
The flashback story is decent entertainment. It's nice to get a look at what Sun and Jin were doing before they met each other, and there are some good moments that deepen these characters. We get to see Jin's morality more, making his transformation into Mr. Paik's hitman even more horrifying. Plus we get to see more of Sun's desire to break free from her family's constraints. It's all pretty solid stuff. What really makes this story work is probably the accurate depiction of Korea and its cultural style. Everything feels completely different from what we would expect in Western countries, and I think the episode did a really nice job of including details to make the setting feel more realistic.
The Bad: Unfortunately this episode feels almost entirely like filler. Outside of the tailies story, nothing else feels important. I enjoyed the flashbacks but I don't think they were necessary at all. They don't provide anything important to the series at a whole outside of a fun side-story. If you take out the flashbacks, I don't think out perceptions about Sun and Jin would be any different at all.
Even worse is Sun's storyline which is completely meaningless. Sun losing her wedding ring isn't a good story in any way and I had zero interest in it. I found myself groaning whenever the scene shifted back to Sun. The scenes of Sun talking to various other survivors are admittedly written pretty well (Locke is his usual self, Hurley is as funny as ever), but they still feel pointless as the conversations don't serve to advance the plot or characters in any particular way.
This makes two slow episodes in a row. The momentum coming out of the big reveals in "Man of Science, Man of Faith" and "Orientation" is completely gone now, and I'm finding myself less invested in the season than I was before. I feel like the writers should have put in more effort to advance the plot consistently in every episode. Having 2/5 episodes be packed with fast-paced plot development while nothing happens in 3/5 episodes is a very strange balance. The pacing needs to improve because it is all over the place at the moment.
The Unknown: What did the others do to the tailies? Who was Goodwin and what happened to him? Why did the others kill him? Also, there appeared to be a child carrying a teddy bear in the group of others that walked by. Why do they have a child with them? They have Walt too, so do they specifically go after children?
Best Moment: The creepy moment of the others shuffling by was fantastic and filled with dread. It was set up perfectly too with Mr. Eko immediately shutting Jin up and searching for a hiding place the moment he heard a sound.
Character of the Episode: I'll have to give it to Mr. Eko. He's been a blast to learn about.
Conclusion: This episode has one really strong storyline but I couldn't shake the feeling that most of this episode was unnecessary. This is a fine if unspectacular watch.
Summary: Flashbacks take us to right after Hurley learns he won the lottery. Hurley quits his job and has a really fun day with his friend Johnny. Hurley is happy and doesn't want everything to change, but it inevitably does after Johnny learns that Hurley won the lottery. On the island, Hurley is put in charge of the food and begins to cave under the pressure of everyone hating him because he doesn't give them food. He tries to get out of the job but is unable to. Pushed to the limit after an argument with Charlie, Hurley tries to blow up the food with dynamite but Rose talks him out of it. Hurley then decides to give away all of the food to everybody. On the other side of the island, Sawyer, Michael and Jin are freed by Ana Lucia's group who are also survivors of flight 815 from the tail section of the plane. The tailies have also found a Dharma station and the 5 of them who survived are living there. One of them is Bernard, Rose's husband.
The Good: The tailies storyline is the redeeming quality of this episode. These characters are all so mysterious so it's fascinating to learn about them and what they've been through. The scenes with the tailies were all excellent and there were numerous good moments that effectively utilized comedy, tension, suspense and mystery to create good television.
There were a few other little things I liked. Sayid investigating the magnetic wall makes perfect sense and it enriches the mystery of The Swan. Seeing Rose again is always nice, and it was a welcome surprise to run into Bernard in the tailies group. There was a funny transition from Charlie yelling at Hurley on the island to Hurley mocking Drive Shaft in the flashbacks. Lastly, I liked the return of Locke's boss Randy who is Hurley's boss in the flashbacks. It's a nice little easter egg.
The Bad: Unfortunately this was an atrocious episode that did almost everything wrong. The Hurley storyline was a complete bust and it felt like a waste of time. Following up on recent events, you would expect Hurley to get an episode focused on the numbers and his fear about what their appearance on the island might mean. Instead we get an episode showcasing Hurley's fear of people not liking him. This comes right out of nowhere and it never feels like an important story. Furthermore, there is no fascinating character development that occurs in this episode, stripping "Lost" of one of its best qualities.
Hurley's character arc is written so poorly. I can understand that Hurley wants people to like him and is afraid of being hated, but that is never the focal point of the episode. Instead the episode chooses to make Hurley believe that all change is bad because it makes people hate him. That's such a nonsensical belief. Judging by the stories both on and off the island, surely Hurley should believe that secrets are the problem, not change. Hurley kept a secret from Johnny and lost a friend, while on the island people are getting angry with Hurley because he is keeping secrets. Instead, the writers don't even address this, and that really hurts the episode.
The resolution of this story is somehow even worse. A logical conclusion would be for Hurley to accept that change needs to happen and move forwards as a more mature person. Instead the show takes a perplexing route and seemingly enforces that Hurley was right all along. Giving away all of the food means that Hurley still rejects change and never learns anything from his experience. That's awful writing. Why create this story is Hurley doesn't grow or change from his experiences? It's all so pointless from a character perspective.
The flashbacks are also quite bad. The tone is all over the place and there never seems to be a consistent story being told. Rather than focusing on a specific character arc for Hurley, the show gives us a bunch of random scenes with a loose thematic attachment, and then the show hopes that everything would just gel together and make something worthwhile. It didn't work.
And then we get to Hurley's decision to blow up the food with dynamite. Oh dear. First of all, it's impossible to believe that Hurley would get to the point where he would decide that blowing up the food would solve all of his problems. The episode never makes me buy into his mindset. Even more ridiculous though is the thought that Hurley would even get dynamite in the first place. This is the same Hurley who was too horrified to even touch the dynamite in "Exodus", the same Hurley that was horrified after he witnessed Arzt explode handling dynamite. Hurley is the last person I would ever expect to grab the dynamite, so you can imagine how livid I was when I realized what Hurley was about to do. I can't believe that the writers decided that Hurley would logically try to blow up the food.
Sadly I'm only just beginning to scratch the surface as to how nonsensical the writing was in this episode. I thought the decision to keep everything in The Swan a secret was baffling. Everyone in the camp knows there was a hatch, so how do they plan to keep everything secret? People will want answers! They will want to see what was in the hatch, they will want to know why Locke and Jack go out in the jungle and rarely come back, they will want to know everything because that's how humans behave. The idea that Locke and Jack wouldn't want to tell anybody is just absurd and I can't understand why they would make that decision. It gets worse when later in the episode, Locke casually tells Charlie about everything inside The Swan. What the hell!? This contradicts everything we had just learned about keeping The Swan a secret. What makes this all the more egregious is the fact that the whole episode is centered around Hurley's frustrations at keeping The Swan secret. Just tell everybody about it! It's not hard. Let them know that there is food but that they are organizing it and handing it out very soon. People will understand, and it seems like a far better idea than just telling everyone nothing.
The communication between everybody in this episode is just horrible. We have no idea what the group discussed to do about The Swan, which is made worse when the writing contradicts itself. Without any context surrounding the decision to tell people about The Swan, there is no drama and it's hard to understand the characters when we skip over important conversations that they must have regarding The Swan. One key aspect that made me groan in disbelief is the idea that Hurley is in charge of the food. Why on Earth would only one person be in charge of food? Surely Jack and Locke and Sayid would want to have extensive discussions about what to do with the food. I mean, it's food and they need it to survive! Why would they pawn it off to Hurley and instead focus on some button which can be easily taken care off? This gets even more frustrating when Hurley goes to Locke in an attempt to give somebody else the job. But Locke tells him he's not allowed to quit. Um, why? There are 40+ other people on the island, just get one of them to do the job! Why make poor Hurley suffer needlessly? At least get the man some help! But apparently Locke is too busy organizing shifts for the button, a job that should be considered far less important than organizing the food. Locke is a total asshole here for no reason whatsoever. Then we get to the end of the episode where Hurley simply gives away all of the food in a single day. Why would everyone allow this? Boar, fruit and fish will surely run out so shouldn't there be a back-up supply of food just in case? Why is nobody mentioning this? Even Jack just accepts Hurley's decision because "well Hurley's in charge of the food". Well he really shouldn't be in charge of the food if he makes idiotic decisions like this! It's unbelievable that nobody had any interest in the food and helping Hurley figure out what to do with it. Also, what happened to keeping everything secret? You can't just give everyone packaged food without explaining where it came from. The fact that nobody else in the survivors' group has gone to check out the hatch is completely unrealistic. Showing Charlie following Locke to get answers isn't enough. Everyone should be following Locke to get answers.
Charlie is a prick in this episode. He says mean things to Hurley over and over again, and he gets angry for virtually no reason. He's impossible to like in this episode. Of course it's all made worse when you realize that Hurley could have simply told him he's organizing the food and that he will give him the peanut butter once he's done. They're friends so Charlie would understand. But then there would be no drama, so of course we need to include another frustrating case where characters are inept at communicating with each other.
The scene of Jack walking in on Kate in the bathroom was so awkward. I have no idea what the point of that scene was. It was just weird and the character interactions were incredibly awkward. Maybe that was the point of the scene, but I can't imagine why. It didn't further Jack and Kate's relationship and it wasn't funny. It just made Jack look extremely creepy.
Lastly, that dream sequence was random and in no way relevant to anything. It felt like a poor attempt to start off the episode in an interesting way. Instead, the dream only adds to the tonal inconsistencies present throughout the episode.
The Unknown: What is under all of that concrete? Why did the Dharma Initiative need to put so much concrete there?
What happened to the tailies? There were 23 of them but now there are 5. Did the others attack them? What's in their Dharma station? Which station is it? What's its purpose?
Best Moment: I'll go with the reveal that Bernard is alive.
Character of the Episode: Rose.
Conclusion: What a frustrating episode. There isn't much to enjoy here, and when you start digging through the details, nothing makes sense. This was a horrible way to follow up on one of the biggest episodes of the show yet. This season has been really inconsistent so far. Hopefully it can hit a more consistent stride soon because I don't want any more episodes like this pile of trash.
Summary: The Mandalorian collects a target and leaves with him, freezing him in carbonite. He returns to Greef Carga who pays him and gives him a new, much more secretive target. The Mandalorian meets with The Client who reveals that the target is a 50 year old and gives him the target's last known location. The Mandalorian receives some Beskar which he turns into armour. The Mandalorian flies to the planet and meets Kuiil who teaches him to ride Blurrgs. Kuiil leads The Mandalorian to where the target is located before he leaves. A bounty hunter droid also arrives and the two fight together and defeat the opponents. They discover the target is a baby of the same species as Yoda. The bounty hunter droid wants to kill it so The Mandalorian kills the bounty hunter droid.
The Good: There was plenty to like about this. It's extremely refreshing to see "Star Wars" as a live action TV shows. The animated shows like "The Clone Wars" never successfully sucked me in because the world felt too alien from the realistic and lively world that was developed in the original trilogy. There was a notable disconnect and that hurt my ability to get immersed into that show. Thankfully, immersion isn't a problem here. The sets are magnificent, the effects look good, and the world feels lived in, which is important for a franchise like "Star Wars" that relies so heavily on the fantastical elements of its world. It really is a joy to see this series depicted successfully as a TV show, and there is quite a bit of potential for us to get something great out of this show.
This entire show feels like a gift to the "Star Wars" fanbase. The world-building is top-notch, there are countless references, and the fast-paced action feels like it's straight out of a "Star Wars" movie. If you're not a fan of "Star Wars", this likely won't mean much to you, but it means everything to the faithful fans of the franchise. The people behind the scenes showed a terrific understanding of their target audience and they crafted something for them to truly enjoy.
I liked the western elements of the show. Several moments felt like they were taken straight out of a spaghetti western and I think that added a lot of style to the show. It's a unique take on "Star Wars" and I think it did a pretty good job of making the show stand out. I just hope that the western theme will remain in the series now that it's introduced.
The ending of the episode was really well done. The action scene was a lot of fun, and the twist of there being a baby Yoda (I'm just calling Yoda's species "Yodas" until we get an official name) was quite clever, and it serves as an interesting hook. The Yoda will likely have a big impact on the plot of the show, while simultaneously serving as a way for us to get to know The Mandalorian a little better, which I'm all for.
The Bad: This show's greatest strengths are also its greatest weaknesses. "Star Wars" is a fun license, but I don't think it's capable of making truly special television. The franchise has already been explored quite thoroughly and I'm not sure that there are very many interesting places for the series to go. Outside of the cliffhanger, this episode does not inspire confidence in that regard, as a lot of the content feels quite familiar. Furthermore, I do worry about the appeal of this show. I highly doubt that non-Star Wars fans will enjoy this, and that is a problem. TV shows should be enjoyed by everyone, not just a set audience. I hope this show works on having a more widespread appeal in the long run.
Characterization seems like it's going to be an issue. We spent the entire episode with the main character, yet I feel like I hardly know him. That's not good because characters are what keep us returning to a TV show. Without a strong lead, it becomes much harder to be invested in a TV show. There is nothing interesting about The Mandalorian, and so far he comes across as a generic silent hero without very much depth at all. The design of the character also doesn't help. He's always wearing a mask which alienates him from the audience. Pedro Pascal is a good actor, but he isn't able to act in the role because we never get to see his face. The disconnect between the audience and the main character is a worrying sign for the show. The side characters don't seem very interesting either. Hopefully I'm wrong about this, but the characters seem pretty unremarkable so far.
Being a Disney TV show, there are plenty of silly jokes that attempt to lighten the mood. And just like in the Marvel movies, the jokes are very hit or miss.
The Unknown: What is The Mandalorian's backstory? The brief flashbacks suggest there is more to him than what meets the eye. Why is he a bounty hunter? What are his goals? Why does he hate droids? Could it be that the battle droids killed his family or something like that back in the Clone Wars?
What's the deal with the side characters introduced in this episode? What are their stories? What will they contribute to the series?
Why was there a target on the baby Yoda? Is it dangerous? Why?
Best Moment: I'll go with the cliffhanger. That was a brilliant hook.
Character of the Episode: The Mandalorian.
Conclusion: This was a solid pilot episode. There were certainly a lot of flaws, but I still got a lot of joy out of seeing "Star Wars" adapted into a live-action TV show.
Summary: Joey discovers Rachel's secret erotic novel. Phoebe moves into Ross' apartment and starts massaging her clients there. Monica and Chandler go over plans for their wedding.
The Good: The 3 stories are fine enough and they all lead to some fine jokes. Monica and Chandler are the highlight as they behave like a real couple would. The scene with the Gellers was really good, and I really liked the sweet moment they had at the end of the episode. Joey making fun of Rachel over her book is pretty funny and the writers find clever ways to keep the joke fresh throughout the episode. Ross is pretty good too and he has a number of funny embarrassing moments. Phoebe gets the occasional good line too.
The Bad: This episode isn't really memorable. The jokes are fine but completely unspectacular. There are a lot of chuckles through the episode but only a few good laughs. Some of the characters behave questionably too. Ross deciding to give out a massage is a very irresponsible decision that could have backfired tremendously, and it's hard to buy into the character making such a rash decision. Phoebe falls into some of her usual trappings as she is surprisingly rude and selfish in a few scenes. Joey is a bit much as he makes fun of Rachel for "having porn". Joey's cartoonish nature has been accentuated as the series has gone on, but sometimes it just doesn't feel right. Some parts of this episode were an example of this.
Best Moment: Ross making a fool of himself by shouting at Rachel only for Phoebe to come in and say something even more embarrassing was pretty funny.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode with some really good moments. Some of the characters weren't written that well, but as a whole I enjoyed this.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.