The full picture is finally revealed in this week’s episode of The Mandalorian. An action-packed episode that tied together storylines from the start of the season, including the Pirates of Nevarro, the New Republic, Imperial Remnant and the Mandalrians. Din and Grogu still feel a bit left out, but the overall narrative has started to click.
I’m not going to lie, when I saw this week’s episode of The Mandalorian has been called The pirate, I hoped for an appearance by a certain Hondo Ohnaka. Although that didn’t happen, we did get a nice cameo in the form of Zeb from star wars rebels, voiced once again by Steven Blum. One has to wonder if he will show up at all in the Ahsoka to show.
The episode opens with the pirates returning to Nevarro, prompting Greef Carga to send an SOS to the New Republic for help. Greef has been pretty anti-New Republic from the start, so you know things are desperate for him when he calls them out for help. Specifically, he reaches out to captain Carson Teva, who he crossed paths with last season. He, in turn, brings the call for help down the chain to Coruscant, but much like Dr. Pershing in episode three, he’s faced with both bureaucratic paperwork and Kane, who interferes in the meeting. and chastises those who have not joined the New Republic (while secretly operating as an Imperial) in an attempt to prevent an aid form from being sent.
A larger theme this season seems to be how badly the New Republic ran things and how they let the First Order grow right under their noses. They put their heads in the sand and invented excuses and rules on top of the rules that prevented action. This brings Teva to the Mandalorian Covert (courtesy of R5, a former Rebel, a nod perhaps to his old EU history… minus the Force sensitivity part) and carries the new of the assault on Nevarro to the attention of Din and the rest of the Mandalorians. .
Of course, they answer the call and we are treated to an excellent action set. I criticized the show, especially this season for doing action for action’s sake, but this scene was important to the plot, both to secure the home of the people of Carga, but also as a way to the Mandalorians to emerge into metaphorical and literal light. When the action feels important to the plot, it makes the action more engaging and impactful.
The ending had two moments to chew on. One of them saw the armorer summoning Bo Katan to the old forge and ordered him to remove his helmet. Reluctantly, she does. The Armorer claims that Bo might be the one prophesied to unite all of Mandalore, so she walks both ways (helmet on and off). But I don’t really trust that. The Armorer is extremely devout and I sense a plot, perhaps to exploit Bo so that the Armorer herself can reign supreme over any Mandalorians Bo-Katan brings into her presence.
The episode ends, however, with confirmation that Moff Gideon has been released from police custody and that it may have been a Mandalorian who attacked the shuttle Lamda to free him. Gideon being out probably explains the mass of TIE we saw in episode three, but the Besker left in the hull could be a red herring to trick us into thinking it was a Mandalorian who helped the Empire. Either that or there really is a traitor in the ranks. The question now is who it could be. It can’t be Din, but the options are open for others in the Covert like the Armorer and yes, even Bo Katan. Technically, she’s out of beef with Gideon now that he’s no longer the Darksaber’s keeper, so attacking her castle might be a way to draw attention away from her.
I still find that the show doesn’t quite know what to do with Din, let alone Grogu. Grogu chimed in for a few seconds, but he’s really just an attendant at this point. Undoing Season Two’s Epic Cliffhanger In Boba Fett’s Book hurt both of their storylines, as it’s the larger narrative and Bo-Katan stories that are central to this season. Hopefully the remaining three episodes give them a bit more to do beyond Din mentoring the little guy in passing and being the one who motivates others into action. That said, I felt this episode was one of the best this season. It had great action and gave us a sense of the direction of the story while raising the stakes. With three more to go, the show best maintains that momentum.