This Friday on The Mandalorian, the titular gunslinger got wind of what his well-financed client has planned for the found “child.” Was his hefty Beskan steel payday enough to make Mando look the other way?
Greef Carga, for one, was delighted to hear that Mando has secured his quarry — and in turn instructed him to deliver it immediately to the Client (Werner Herzog’s unnamed character) upon his return. Mando had to ask, as we totally would have, what the Client plans to do with that which he sought. Greef says he has no idea if the guy plans to “eat it or hang it on a wall,” but he sure is antsy for it.
Arriving back in town, Mando leads the child carrier to the Client’s hideaway, as the wee being takes in all the sights and sound and spectacle. The Mandalorian is demonstrably protective of the Child (“Easy with that,” he warns a trooper-clad bodyguard who grabs at the carrier), and he keeps a close eye as Dr. Pershing examines and declares it “very healthy” upon delivery. As the Client commends the Mandalorian for living up to his reputation, Mando can’t help but ask why seemingly every bounty hunter also had a tracking fob. That, says the client, speaks to the bounty’s value, and “to the winner go the spoils!” — in the promised form of a buncha Beskan steel. Mando regards his payday, before inquiring what the Client has planned for the child. Such a question is considered very bad form among hunters in the guild, so the Client instead reminds his hire that these “events are now forgotten.”
Mando retreats to his kind’s underground lair, where he presents a duly impressed Armorer with his stash of steel. Throughout their exchange, you sense that Mando has reverence for the Armorer and what she does, and why. For example, she decides that she has enough steel to form for him a full cuirass (chest plate), and he says that would be a “great honor.” No sooner does the Armorer note that such spiffy armor will “draw many eyes” than some of Mando’s fellow Mandalorians take notice of what is going on — namely, how his steel carries the marking of the Empire, which was behind the Great Purge that led their people to live hidden, “like sand rats.” When Mando is labeled a “coward,” the gents come to blows, until the Armorer’s words ease tensions. “You are both hunter and prey,” she reminds them. She also prompts Mando to acknowledge that he has never removed his helmet, nor let it be removed. Because, “This is the way,” she says, after which the others echo her back. Mando declines the Armorer’s offer of a mudhorn signet, so she instead will use some leftover steel to arm him with “whistling birds.” As she actually forms the cuirass, Mando again flashes back to the purge, and how his parents stowed him away safely in a root cellar (or the galactic equivalent).
Showing up at the cantina in his shiny new duds, Mando this time asks Greef just how many hunters were given fobs for this HVT — and the answer is no less than “all of them.” Greef tries to celebrate Mando’s success (as well as his own cut of the deal), but Mando simply wants to forge ahead with a new gig, one that will send him chasing a nobleman’s bail-skipping son to the Ocean Dunes of Carnac. First, Mando picks Greef’s brain about the client’s plan for the Child (and his apparently affiliation with the Empire). Greef, though, shrugs it off and advises Mando to put it all behind him. Yet once back in the Razor Crest, where he notices the lever knob that the Child had twisted off to play with, Mando shuts the ship down and heads back to town. At first, he stakes out the Client’s place, using tech to eavesdrop as Pershing insists they are to “bring it back alive,” whereas the Client huffs, “…extract the necessary material and be done with it!” Mando then stealthy infiltrates the place, felling one trooper after another until he finds Pershing, who has the child sedated and strapped to some sort of scanner. “Please don’t hurt him! It’s just a child!” pleads the scientist, who states that he was in fact keeping it protected.
Mando, with the Child cradled like a football, makes his way out of the hideaway, zapping and torching another wave of trooper types, until at one juncture he finds himself surrounded. This is where Chekhov’s whistling birds come into play, as his new toy releases a swarm of tiny missiles that take out the threats. Just then, alllll of the fobs go off back at the cantina, and a John Wick-ian scenario plays out, where Mando attempts to saunter out of town as every passerby draws a pistol on him. Greef appears at the far end of the street, and urges Mando to “put the package down.” Mando instead somersaults into the cargo area of a nearby speeder, and lays low there, with the Child tucked safely into a corner, as a massive shootout commences.
Mando does the best he can, vaporizing hunter after hunter, and even depleting his flamethrower. But just when it looks as if he has been bested… all of his Mandalorian pals swoop in via jet packs and lay waste to the rival shooters! “This is the way,” the one he got into a scuffle with earlier says, after telling Mando to make a run for this ship. Greef shows up aboard the Razor Crest to confront Mando once more, explaining that he “broke the code.” But Mando creates a diversion, zaps Greef so that he tumbles out the door, and then zooms off into the sky, as his jet-packed Mandalorian pal provides escort. Mando then screws off the lever knob, hands it to the Child to fidget with, before jumping into hyperdrive.
What did you think of the 31-minute Episode 3, “The Sin”?