The Mandalorian Episode 2 Recap: Light On Plot, Big On ~Themes~

This was a big weekend for Star Wars. Along with the launch of the new first-person, story-driven, apparently very good video game Jedi: Fallen Order,  they went ahead and did the damn thing by dropping the second episode of The Mandalorian sooner than we could have hoped for. I mean, it’s on a Friday release schedule, so it makes sense, but it was still exciting.

This episode was a little shorter than the first, and while some people may want as much show as they can get, I really admire Favreau & Friends for cutting to the chase. So many shows suffer from bloat by adhering to the 45-minute format that commercial breaks dictated, and it’s refreshing to see a show that just rolls up its sleeves, so let’s do the same.

This here is Spoiler Warning territory, so if you haven’t already, get that Disney+ in your life and catch up. Be sure to check out The Dad’s recap of the premiere episode before we dig into the second one below.

Chapter Two: The Child

Apparently, the Dragon Frog can’t carry Baby Yoda’s crib, cause the Mandalorian and is newly adopted muppet baby are hoofin’ it back to the ship. They get attacked by some…guys? For a top-secret-under-the-table-bounty, freakin’ everybody is after this kid. Mando gets injured in the attack, and there is an adorable scene where Baby Yoda tries to force heal his new dad. Ah, but the Mandolorian is far too grumpy for such cuteness. 

When they get back to the Razor’s Crest, it’s being raided by Jawas, and the Mandolorian goes a little bit apeshit on them. I get it, they’re stealing his stuff, but now we finally know why Boba Fett got a little miffed at Vader’s “No disintegrations” order in Empire: Mandalorians are way into disintegrating things. The Jawas bail and The Mandalorian gives a good chase, with Baby Yoda hot on their tails. If the crib can move so fast, though, why didn’t they ride the Dragon Frog back to the ship after all?

Unable to chase down the Sandcrawler, Mando and Baby Yoda return to Ugnaught Notle, who I’m now renaming Uncle Ugnaught. He again agrees to help them, and Notle’s Very Serious Voice™  lets you forget that he really has no reason to keep going out of his way like this. Baby Yoda eats a frog because we all do what we must to survive, violence is a cycle and all that.

When Uncle Ugnaught takes our boys to parlay with the Jawas, The Mandalorian refuses to put down his rifle at first because “weapons are a part of [his] religion,” but does relent when he realizes he is out of options. While this episode has less plot compared to the first one, I think we’re getting the first real hints of what the overall story is about, here. There are a lot of Baby Yoda reaction shots, so we constantly see Mando’s relationship to violence through the eyes of an innocent lil’ dude.

The Jawas demand “The Egg” to trade back the equipment they stole, so the title isn’t just a reference to Baby Yoda. This episode isn’t just a fetch quest, though – we’re learning how morality is going to work in this corner of the greater Star Wars saga. Plus we get to see the control bridge of a Sandcrawler, so that’s fun. Because this is a Star Wars show, our hero must descend into a cave to retrieve his prize, but for some reason, he brings Baby Yoda on this mission. Leave Baby Yoda with Uncle Ugnaught, Mandolorian, wtf you doin?!

Anyway, there’s a fight with a giant Rhino Elephant for “The Egg,” and at last Baby Yoda showcases force powers to suspend the monster in mid-air so Mando can kill it. Look, I know it’s Star Wars, and I know it’s a monster, but it feels like we’re focusing a lot on killing here. Will the show be about Baby Yoda learning violence, or The Mandolorian learning peace?

Not for nothing, but “The Egg” turns out to be a disgusting hairy mess. The Mandalorian brings it back in time for the Jawa’s brunch, and he gets all his spaceship parts back. Baby Yoda is knocked out cold from using the force, and Uncle Ugnaught and Mando discuss how they don’t really understand what happened. I know the Jedi have been mostly gone for like 30 years at this point but is the force itself something that’s fallen into obscurity? People throw “May the force be with you” around so much, mothers from the southern planets probably say it as passive-aggressive shade like my mom says “bless your heart.”

Mando offers Uncle Ugnaught a job on the ship, but he turns it down, saying that he’s worked hard to leave a life of service. I really think this show’s gonna be a journey to our boy taking his helmet off and putting the warrior’s life behind him. At the end of the day, Star Wars has always been about how wars are actually, you know…bad.

The episode ends as Baby Yoda wakes from Force Coma while the ship departs, and our boys are off to whatever fate the galaxy holds.

Blaster Fire:

  • I like that the Jawas cheer when the Sandcrawler goes down a big hill.
  • Star Wars is about balance. It’s in the past, but it’s the future. It’s high-tech, but shit looks old. There are lasers guns, but also wizards. It’s this dichotomy that makes the franchise feel unique and special, and the show is wise to not focus on one element over any other.
  • Loving the concept art over the end credits. It feels both very 70’s Western, and like a love letter to Ralph McQuarrie.
  • Okay, Crazy Theory Time: We’re gonna see a CGI de-aged Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker at his Jedi Temple by the end of this. I know he’s not listed on IMDB, but I’m manifesting it into the universe. Then again, I was DEAD SURE Rey was a Kenobi, so what do I know? But you gotta admit shoving 60-year-old actors into a 30-year-old hologram of themselves is a trend lately.

New episodes of The Mandalorian drop every Friday, and I’ll be recapping them in a much more timely fashion from here on out.

Get Disney+ for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

I have spoken.

Dad Opens Car Wash To Change the Life of His Son and Others With Autism

Being a parent means wanting your kids to have every opportunity they choose to pursue in life. But for parents of kids with disabilities, the world isn’t always so welcoming. Opportunities are limited, and for some, things we take for granted feel completely out of reach. Rather than let society dictate his son’s future, John D’Eri took things into his own hands.

John D’Eri’s son Andrew has autism, but D’Eri refused to accept the limitations autism supposedly gave him. The unemployment rate for those with autism is exceedingly high, often around 90%. But Andrew wouldn’t become part of that 90% – not on D’Eri’s watch.

“I want him to have a life,” D’Eri told NationSwell. “I want him to have a job. I want him to have friends that are like him.”

D’Eri knew his son was capable beyond what society expected, and he knew the same was true for others on the autism spectrum. To help give Andrew a sense of purpose and normalcy, D’Eri and his other son, Thomas, co-founded the Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland Florida – a car wash with a purpose.

“There are a lot of incredibly capable people with autism who rarely get a chance to excel in life because they have been labeled with a disability that society pities instead of a diversity that can be harnessed as a competitive advantage for business,” the Rising Tide website explains. “Now we utilize the strengths many individuals with autism have and leverage those into the highest quality experience on the market.”

The Rising Tide car wash employs around 35 individuals with autism, and each employee is held to the company’s high expectations. D’Eri stresses that individuals with autism are more than capable of doing good work. The success of the Rising Tide car wash proves his point – the high unemployment rate in those with autism is due to opportunity far more than ability.

D’Eri hopes that his family business sets a new standard across the board, opening up even more opportunities to those with autism.

“You might be thinking that we’ve succeeded in spite of our unusual workforce. The truth is that Rising Tide’s success is because of our unique team,” their website states. “Every time a customer leaves happy, every successful year of business we complete, and every new store we open is a testament of the value individuals with autism bring to the workforce.”

Brooklyn 99’s “One Last Ride” Gets a Trailer

Brooklyn 99 has had a strange road. It started as an Andy Samberg vehicle before quickly establishing itself as a classic ensemble workplace comedy. It started on one network before getting canceled and then picked up by a different network, and then saw its final season delayed – like everything else – by the pandemic.

Perhaps most challenging, it’s a comedy about lovable, bumbling cops during a time when being a cop in America carries a lot of baggage and controversy.

But thanks to a great cast and a dedicated fan base, it weathered all those changes and controversies and managed to survive for eight years. It’s finally coming to an end with “One Last Ride,” the final season that NBC ordered in late 2019, and that finally hits the airwaves on August 12.

Despite the delay and the network change, it looks like more of the same from the amiable crew, and the whole cast is back, with Samberg joined by his winning, diverse cast: incredible foil, Andre Braugher, rival turned love interest Melissa Fumero, dopey partner Joe Lo Truglio, big-hearted tough guy Terry Crews, tough girl Stephanie Beatriz, and more, including fan-favorite guest stars back to help send the show off.

Check out the trailer for the final season:

July 2021: Lewis Creed Sr.

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for July 2021: Lewis Creed Sr. Being a dad is so much more than sharing genetics with your kids; it’s about giving your all and setting an example for your family, and Lewis’s step-daughter, Shauna, says he absolutely meets those criteria and then some:

“This is my dad, Lewis Creed Sr. He is the dad of 4 – my stepsister (Jennifer), my stepbrother (Lewis Jr.), my sister (Darla), and myself. My biological father walked out of the lives of my mom, my sister, and me when I was a few years old, so while Lou is my ‘step-dad,’ the saying ‘I’m not the stepdad, I’m the dad who stepped up’ is much more fitting.

Photos courtesy of Shauna Schuman

“In the 23+ years that Lou has been my dad, he has always truly done his best to be a caretaker and a provider for our family, as well as a positive example of what a man should be. From walking me down the aisle to marry my daughter’s dad, to staying by my mom’s side and helping take care of her as she went through chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer, to coaching his brother, his son, and his grandson in wrestling, to moving his children and grandchildren across states or across the country, and even working multiple jobs to help financially support his grown children when they’ve faced struggles…I couldn’t have ever dreamed of a better dad than the one I have.

Photos courtesy of Shauna Schuman

“Beyond what he does for us, Lou is one of the first to drop things he has going on to help others whether they are family, friends, or complete strangers. Assisting with farm chores, building additions on houses and doing household repairs, auto troubleshooting and repairs, and building adjustable ramps for aging and disabled pets are just the beginning of what he does for others with any spare time he has, and he is extremely humble about all of it – never looking for any kind of recognition. This guy has a truly amazing heart, and I’m proud and extremely blessed to call him my dad!”

To honor Lewis, his selfless attitude towards life, and his incredible humility, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Lewis is an amazing example of a father who continually “steps up” to care for those he loves. Cheers!

Ryan Reynolds Explains the Genesis of “Feud” With Hugh Jackman

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman have been feuding for a long time. The former costars, each most famous for playing their respective comic book superheroes (Jackman’s Wolverine and Reynolds’ Deadpool), even turned their feud into charity. The two never miss a chance to take a shot at the other. And now, Reynolds has explained the genesis of their feud.

OK, well, first, I should explain that it’s not a feud, it’s a “feud.” If it was a real Hollywood feud, you wouldn’t see them in public together capitalizing on it, it would be confined to passive-aggressive comments in the press and cryptic social media posts. It’s clear to anyone who has a brain that the two do like each other. And just in case it’s not clear, Reynolds has made the effort to explain it.

Reynolds was a guest on Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman, and Will Arnett’s podcast “Smartless” and called Jackman “one of the best guys I know.”

“I mean he really is just the nicest guy you’d ever meet, and it drives me nuts sometimes…he really is the real deal,” Reynolds said. He said the two have fun taking jabs at each other, but that Jackman is like his life Sherpa.

Reynolds mentioned it was Jackman’s relentless optimism that forced him to lash out initially.

“He reciprocates, of course, because he’s nothing if not a sportsman,” Reynolds said. “And that’s kind of it.”

The two are both great actors, but also really good people, who have done a tremendous amount of charity work. That’s the best kind of celebrity you can be, someone who uses your platform for good, but isn’t afraid to have some ball-busting fun along the way.

Now that he’s gone on record, even people who didn’t fully understand the “feud” can enjoy the snipes taking place between the two, knowing they come from a good place of mutual respect.

Do You Want a Pizza This? Brazilian Restaurant Sells World’s Strangest Pizzas

Pizza is a food so beautifully diverse that it can be transformed into things that barely resemble the three-ingredient classic. There’s a fine line between creative pizzas and things that no longer qualify as pizza at all, and restaurants like Pizzaria Batepapo in Brazil are constantly testing the limits. Maybe all it takes to qualify is a single person who believes it’s a pizza, but even so, this Pizzaria’s Frankenstein-like creations are a hard sell, maybe even criminal.

Most foods take on different forms in different countries, and Brazilian pizza is no exception. Some popular pizza toppings in the South American country include tuna and onions, broccoli with bacon and cream cheese, and green peas. If regular Brazilian pizzerias offer such an odd array of toppings, it’s going to take some serious dedication to stand out. Fortunately (or something), Pizzaria Batepapo is up to the challenge.

Founder Dos Santos started creating giant pizzas almost a decade ago, but once he began sharing pictures of some of his more creative pies on social media, he never looked back. Pizzaria Batepapo is an immersive culinary experience, one you won’t soon forget.

Maybe you’re looking for something savory,

Or are dessert pizzas your jam?

 

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Don’t worry if you can’t decide,

 

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You can have both.

 

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Or maybe just some extra cheese?

 

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I honestly couldn’t even tell you if the baby comes with it at this point.

 

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Every day we stray further from God’s light

 

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Pineapple on pizza doesn’t seem so bad now, huh?

 

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I need a shower.

 

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Watch Snoop Dogg Light Up Peacock’s Olympics Coverage

It’s a little bit hard to believe for those of us who first knew him as a gangster rapper on the notorious Death Row label, but Calvin Broadus, aka Snoop Dogg, is one of America’s most beloved celebrities. It seems the culture has finally caught up with the notorious pothead, as marijuana use has grown increasingly mainstream and increasingly legal. Now Snoop can befriend Martha Stewart, appear in national ad campaigns, call boxing matches, and even provide commentary during the Olympics.

Of course, he’s still Snoop, so if you’re gonna hire him to call some Olympic highlights, alongside comedian Kevin Hart, you’d better be prepared for some antics.

Over the weekend, Peacock put Hart and Snoop behind a desk and let them riff on some Olympic footage, and they did not disappoint. Snoop was on one, noting the similarities between the equestrian event and cripwalking, much to his co-host’s delight.

Snoop also took advantage of the similarity of an Olympic event name to some urban dictionary slang that I would not suggest you explain to your children.

Even after referencing gangs and… bangs (sorry), Snoop emerged unscathed, with most taking delight in his commentary and appreciating the wildcard spirit he brought to the gig. Peacock took it all on stride:

And viewers loved it:

No word yet on whether there was any backlash to Snoop’s hosting, but something tells me he’ll be just fine.

“Scariest Silence of My Life,” Video Shows Emotional Moment Baby Regains Pulse

The birth of your baby is a moment you never forget. Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, each birthing experience is unique and magical. Every parent hopes for a straightforward labor and delivery, a predictably difficult but otherwise uneventful day. Unfortunately, for many parents, the day your baby enters the world can be filled with fear and uncertainty.

When TikTok user Sheri sherinicole455 went into labor, she never realized her daughter’s life could be in danger. In a video that’s been viewed over 4.7 million times, Sheri shares the terrifying moment she and her husband feared they would never get to watch their daughter grow up.

“We lost her heartbeat while I was pushing,” Sheri explains in the on-screen text. “She was blue and completely lifeless.”

@sherinicole455Giving me a run for my money since the day she was born 😅 ##childbirth ##birth ##babiesoftiktok ##fyp ##McDonaldsCCSing ##VideoSnapChallenge ##labor ##cute

♬ Sad Emotional Piano – DS Productions

Though Sheri’s reaction isn’t visible through the rails of the hospital bed, her husband’s panic is tangible. He stares down helplessly at his wife and newborn baby as the nurses work quickly and skillfully, waiting for a sign that his daughter is ok.

For a few heartbreaking seconds, the room is filled with a heavy silence. When a few short moments mean the difference between life and death for your child, however, those seconds feel like an eternity. A sharp cry suddenly tears through the silence, freeing the panicked dad from his petrified trance.

“The most relieving sound in the world,” confirms the on-screen text.

As the heroic nurses congratulate the new parents, Dad drops his head into his hands and cries tears of relief. Sheri reaches out towards her husband, wordlessly sharing a moment of joy and gratitude.

“I saw him crying, and I knew he was worried,” Sheri recalled in the comments. “He told me later that he thought we had already lost her, and hearing her cry was overwhelming.”

New ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Trailer Gives Us the Woody We Deserve

Fans have been waiting for this ever since the post-credits scene!

Remember Venom, Sony’s unlikely Spider-man adjacent blockbuster from a few years back that featured Tom Hardy going gonzo as investigative journalist Eddie Brock AND ravenous alien symbiote Venom? The sequel is coming and based on the new trailer, it’s going to have exactly what we want: more Woody Harrelson!

Harrelson’s role as Carnage in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, was teased at the end of the first movie, and fans have been dying to see Harrelson’s red-headed serial killer, Cletus Kasady, get infected by a symbiote of his own and match Hardy’s scene-chewing antics. The people behind these movies know what we want, and they’re giving it to us. In spades!

Eddie Brock and Venom have settled into an odd-couple relationship, complete with rule (“No eating people”), but once the depraved Cletus gets a taste (literally) of his own symbiote, he has nothing but chaos – and carnage – on his mind.

Check out the crazy new trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, coming this fall:

David Ayer Defends His ‘Suicide Squad:’ “Who Would I Be to My Kids if I Quit?”

The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max this weekend, and early reviews suggest it will be fun, goofy, chaotic, and hilarious; four things the original Suicide Squad movie was not. The first movie is… not good. But DCEU devotees think it could have been, if director David Ayer had been allowed to release his intended version of the movie. And after the success of Zach Snyder’s Justice League do-over, there has been a growing call to #releasetheAyerCut of the original Suicide Squad.

But, because it’s the internet, there has also been a surge of people seeing the new movie as an excuse to dunk on Ayer.

One particular tweet seemed to be a final straw for the writer/director. In a three-page letter he posted on Twitter, Ayer defends work, shed light on the sometimes painful creative process, and offered an inspiring, if somewhat gritty meditation on perseverance.

“I put my life into Suicide Squad. I made something amazing – My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some ‘bad people’ who are shit on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul),” Ayer wrote. The letter touches on his troubled youth, and how these stories is a part of his sense of redemption and self-worth.

Along with standing by his own integrity, Ayer also made sure to heap praise on his team, as well as James Gunn. It’s a fascinating read, and worth considering what could have been, had the studio not done what studios tend to do.  He concludes the letter by saying this is the last time he’ll be speaking publicly about his cut and the controversy surrounding it. Read his response, and try to keep your adrenaline down because the man is fired up!