SYNOPSIS: The battered Mandalorian returns to his client for reward.
REVIEW (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THIS EPISODE): The second episode of The Mandalorian finally ratcheted up the action from the slower-paced premiere episode and this third chapter does it again. Returning his cargo to The Client (Werner Herzog), The Mandalorian changes the dynamic of where this series is going in the best way possible. With rumors that series creator Jon Favreau may be in position to help shepherd the STAR WARS brand, this episode cements why his story-telling approach is exactly what Lucasfilm needs. Fun, action-packed, and with just the right balance of easter eggs and humor, this episode cements that The Mandalorian is hitting it’s stride.
“The Sin” picks up right after the last episode with The Mandalorian returning with The Child in tow. For a brief moment, the toddler takes the knob off of a lever before The Mandalorian returns him to his floating stroller. Saying only that it isn’t a toy, Pedro Pascal is becoming more adept in each subsequent episode of showing us depth of character without ever showing his face. The Mandalorian quickly turns over The Child to The Client and briefly asks what they intend to do with the baby Yoda before claiming his bounty of Beskar steel and leaving the kid behind. At this point in the episode, I had no doubt what was coming next, but Jon Favreau still manages to make it entertaining.
First, The Mandalorian heads to The Armorer (Emily Swallow) where he refuses to accept the Mudhorn as his symbol (that was the beast he fought in the prior episode). She instead makes him a new set of armor and some Whistling Birds, tiny homing missiles that are surely going to come in handy soon. The Mandalorian also flashes back to his youth where we see his parents hide him as they are attacked by Super Battle Droids, the same weapons used by the Trade Federation during the Prequels. This clearly shows the time period of The Mandalorian’s childhood and will likely be further explained in subsequent episodes. The Mandalorian is then confronted by his fellow warriors who call him a coward for working with the Remnant of The Empire before The Armorer reminds them of “The Way”, the code by which these persecuted warriors live by.
The Mandalorian then revisits Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) who tells the bounty hunter to take some time off, but The Mandalorian instead accepts a bounty for what looks like Admiral Ackbar’s son. As he heads out to leave, he notices the knobless lever and decides to rescue The Child. Listening in, The Mandalorian hears Dr. Pershing being ordered by The Client to “extract what is needed” from The Child and then kill it. Knowing the Yoda baby is Force-sensitive, could they be referring to Midi-chlorians in an effort to clone new Force-powered beings? That would be quite the twist if they were. The Mandalorian then easily breaks into The Client’s building, killing many stormtroopers before rescuing The Child. Dr. Pershing cowers and claims he couldn’t kill the child, but who knows if that is true. As he escapes towards his ship, every tracking fob in The Guild bar goes off, signalling that The Mandalorian is no longer a hunter but rather the bounty.
What follows is every bounty huner in the city confronting The Mandalorian, including Greef Carga. The Mandalorian shows that his allegiance his shifted to protect The Child at all costs, but it still remains to be seen why he has done this. Is there something from his past that is driving him to take a personal stake in Baby Yoda? Does he know what this species is or is truly capable of? Or is it just because the kid is so damn cute? It doesn’t matter because what follows is a badass firefight where The Mandalorian struggles to defend himself against the onslaught before his fellow Mandalorians come to his aid. In a final showdown with Greef, The Mandalorian shoots his employer before escaping into space. We see Greef’s Beskar steel protected him and can only mean everyone in the galaxy is going to be hunting The Mandalorian down.
STAR WARS UNIVERSE REFERENCES: When getting his Beskar forged into new armor, another Mandalorian confronts the title character. Despite not seeing his face, you can tell that this is series creator Jon Favreau making a cameo. An IT-O Interrogator droid makes an appearance for the first time since A NEW HOPE. Greef Carga saying he is the Mandalorian’s “only hope” is a nice call back to the iconic line from the first movie. The Mandalorian coveting another one of his people with a jetpack and says he needs to get one of those, a nice reference to Boba Fett’s jetpack.
COOLEST SCENE: The final battle with the bounty hunters as a whole is a phenomenal action scene, but when the entire group of Mandalorians comes to the rescue, the sequence takes on a whole new level of cool. Plus I love seeing the Mandalorian use his flamethrower.
FINAL VERDICT: This episode finally shows us what this series is really going to be about and I love that it flips the bounty hunter dynamic on it’s head and makes The Mandalorian the hunted one. While I was at first a bit disappointed at the short run times for each episode, once the entire season is complete, The Mandalorian will run almost like a four hour movie. More than the previous two episodes, this chapter finally feels less like a TV series and more of a segment of a very cinematic tale. A lot of development here with some nice background on the Mandalorian code, the Guild code, and some very nice action. I am glad we got to see more of Werner Herzog and I am dying to find out what the Remnant of the Empire wants with the baby. It was a smart part on Disney to reveal these episodes weekly as it gives us as an audience something to discuss and look forward to on a weekly basis. (9/10)
NEXT ON THE MANDALORIAN: “Chapter 4” premieres November 29th on Disney+: