Review: Chapter 3 of "The Mandalorian"

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I must struggle to contain my excitement as I review this third chapter in Season 1 of "The Mandalorian." There is a lot to unpack here in what is the most explosive entry in the show yet. The episode is titled "Chapter 3: The Sin."

We resume where we last left off: the Mandalorian is aboard his ship, Razor Crest, with the "asset" alive and well. People have taken to calling this child "Baby Yoda," although this is simply referring to its species, which is as of yet unnamed. It is adorably mingling about and removes a knob from the ship controls to play with it. The Mandalorian takes it back and tells it that the part is not a toy.

Greef Karga, the head of the Bounty Hunters' Guild, calls in and congratulates the Mando on a job well done. He orders him to take the bounty to "The Client" directly, which he does. As he's escorting Baby Yoda through the hallway, he tells one of the stormtroopers to be careful with handling it. The stormtrooper tells off the Mando sharply. He is lucky to have reinforcements; otherwise, the Mandalorian may have punished him for his attitude.

They reach the central room where The Client and Dr. Pershing are waiting. They eagerly check on the baby and note that it is very healthy. The Client then pulls out the famous "ice cream maker" from "The Empire Strikes Back." It is actually called a camtono, a compact security container. He opens it and reveals multiple slabs with Beskar armor, all stamped with the Imperial logo.

As they're leading it away, Baby Yoda cries out for the Mando and I'm sure everyone watching the show was saddened by this. Mando asks what will happen to him. The Client becomes very ruffled and says that it is "uncharacteristic" of someone of his reputation. He also reminds Mando that it is against the Bounty Hunter Guild code to ask such questions, that these events are to be "forgotten" after both commission and payment is taken. The Client also takes a snide shot at the Mandalorian, remarking that finding the Beskar metal is easy, but finding a capable Mandalorian is difficult. This sounded to me like he was taunting the Mandalorian about the Imperial takeover of Mandalore. Reluctantly, the Mandalorian leaves.

We next see Mando back at the underground headquarters of his Mandalorian tribe. He sits to speak with the Armorer. The two are approached by other Mandalorians, one of which has blue heavy infantry armor. According to the credits, this man's name is Paz Vizla, and sounds voiced by Jon Favreau. This would be an interesting cameo because Favreau voiced the Mandalorian Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Note the difference in spelling between Vizla and Vizsla -- these characters may or may not be related, despite sharing a voice actor.

Vizla picks up a slab of Beskar and notes the Imperial stamp. "These are the spoils of the Great Purge," he announces to the others. "The reason we live hidden like sand rats." He calls the Mandalorian a coward for conducting business with Imperial remnants. This leads to an altercation, during which both Vizla and Mando draw their vibroblades on each other. These weapons are exactly as they sound: blades that vibrate slightly in other to further damage an enemy. They first originated in the Expanded Universe and seem to have been brought back to canon here.

Before either can draw blood, the Armorer speaks and they stop, as she notes that their stealth is key to their survival. "This is the way," they all chant. The Armorer asks if Mando has ever removed his helmet, or has had it removed by others. "No... never." This rule has not always been followed by past Mandalorians -- Pre Vizsla, Bo-Katan, and Sabine Wren all removed their helmets multiple times. Perhaps only a strict sect of Mandalorians follows this way of life, or maybe this rule arose after the Great Purge in order to protect their identities.

The Mandalorian and the Armorer discuss making a full load out of Beskar armor for him as there is more than enough to do so. Mando tells her that his armor was destroyed by a Mudhorn, so she offers to make the Mudhorn his signet. However, he admits that it was not a noble kill and that he only triumphed with help from "an enemy," which is the Baby Yoda. She asks why an enemy would help him to which he replies "it ... did not know it was my enemy." Since he declined a signet, he will receive "Whistling Birds" instead. It will become very obvious later this episode what they are. For now, we see them get housed in the wrist rocket section of his gauntlet.

We get to see the Armorer begin smelting the new armor. During this sequence, we get another flashback to the Mandalorian's past, continuing the one we saw briefly in the first episode. A small child -- presumably him -- is being carried away by his parents from attackers. These attackers are very familiar: they are Super Battle Droids, receiving air support from a droid gunship. These are military assets belonging to the Separatists so it seems that what we are witnessing in a flashback of a battle during the Clone Wars. The parents put the child in a basement like shelter and close the doors. Almost immediately, there is some sort of explosion. The doors are then opened and the child is face to face with one of the Supers. It points a wrist rocket down at him, but the flashback abruptly ends. We will likely see the resolution of this flashback in another episode. The Mandalorian will of course be rescued, but we don't yet know by whom. These could be how the Mandalorians found him or perhaps he will be saved by a Jedi.

Some time later, we follow the Mando as he strolls into the cantina to meet Greef Karga. He has a full set of Beskar armor, which draws the attention of every bounty hunter there. They look poorly equipped compared to him. He sits with Karga, who praises him for being the only one to complete the job. All the other hunters has a tracking fob as well, but failed. Mando wants to inquire about another job. He chooses a puck: a Mon Calamari nobleman who jumped bail. Before he leaves, the Mandalorian asks Karga what will be done with the child from the earlier bounty. Karga replies that he didn't ask, because it is against the Guild Code. Mando says they are Imperial, but Karga dismisses them as just warlords and mercenaries. "But if it bothers you, just go back to the core and report them to the New Republic."

The Mandalorian dismisses this as a joke. It seems that the New Republic has little to no authority in the Outer Rim, as has usually been the case. Karga encourages him to buy "spice" in order to forget about it.

Back aboard the Razor Crest, the Mandalorian prepares for takeoff. But as he does, he notices the same knob that Baby Yoda was playing with is missing. An internal conflict stirs within Mando, and he changes his mind and decides to go back and rescue the child. He returns to where he met the remnant Imperials, and finds the Baby Yoda's carrying pod in the trash. This is not a good sign. He sets himself up on a rooftop and pulls out his Amban Pulse Rifle. He somehow links it with him helmet and is able to eavesdrop on the Client and Dr. Pershing. They are arguing because the Client wants the Doctor to extract "the necessary material." Pershing protests that their benefactor wants the baby alive.

The Mandalorian destroys the front door droid to cause a distraction and is able to blow his way into the compound with an explosive in his arsenal. He begins eliminating stormtroopers in a pretty awesome sequence. When he reaches Dr. Pershing and Baby Yoda, he is unconscious on a table. A quick thing to note: Pershing has a patch on his sleeve very similar or identical to the symbol that Jango Fett clones had on Kamino during Attack of the Clones, on their tunic uniforms. I briefly wondered if either Pershing or Baby Yoda were connected to Kamino, but we will have to find out another time.

Dr. Pershing begs Mando not to kill the baby. "Please don't hurt him, he's just a child." So now we know that the baby is a male. "What did you do to it?" Mando demands. Pershing tells him that he protected Baby Yoda, and that he would be dead already if not for him. I have to hand it to the Doctor if that is indeed the case; otherwise the Mandalorian's rescue would be too late and thus, in vain.

The Mandalorian fights his way out, notably cooking one of the stormies with his flamethrower. Just as he's about to escape, he is surrounded. He talks his way into putting Baby Yoda on the ground, and this is where we see the "Whistling Birds." This weapon is a game changer. Basically, these tiny flechettes pop out and each target an enemy. They explode in a spark and presumably kill the enemy, like a hybrid of Yondu's arrow from "Guardians of the Galaxy" and Boba Fett's Rocket Barrage from "Star Wars: Battlefront II." And as far as I recall, we have not seen this weapon in canon before, but I cannot say for certain about the Expanded Universe.

As the Mandalorian exits, I was starting to think he was in the clear. And then I remembered: the blasted tracking fobs! It's re-activated by someone and every single one in the area starts going off as the Mandalorian passes. Every bounty hunter draws their weapon and begins following. They quickly surround him, and Greef Karga steps forward.

"Welcome back, Mando! Now, put the package down." They pretend to negotiate, but are really planning their next move. Mando puts Baby Yoda in a nearby speeder, and uses that opportunity to suddenly begin firing as he jumps into it.

What ensues is my favorite part of the show so far and will likely become a historic moment in Star Wars. A gunfight erupts as the Mandalorian and the bounty hunters begin firing. Mando forces the speeder droid to drive, and they move while he exchanges fire. He is mowing down the hunters pretty well, but Karga disables the speeder droid. As everyone closes in, Mando uses his Pulse rifle and begins disintegrating hunters one by one. He is landing excellent shots but there are simply too many hostiles. He does not have a jetpack, so he is a grounded target. The hunters tighten their perimeter around him and he desperately uses everything in his arsenal to keep them at bay. As he is spraying them with his flamethrower, the fuel appears to run out. The hunters start blasting away at his only cover, the speeder. Mando looks down at Baby Yoda. I found this to be a powerful moment because I'm sure Mando considered that perhaps neither he nor the baby were going to survive this encounter.

But he needn't have worried. A missile goes off and hits enemies on the roof. The Mandalorian has successfully held the line long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Multiple Mandalorians fly in and begin gunning down the bounty hunters. This is the first time we see multiple Mandalorians throwing down in live-action. The hunters attempt to fight back but are no match for the armored warriors. Paz Vizla tells Mando to "get out of here."

Mando reaches the Razor Crest, but is stopped by Greef Karga. He uses his whipcord to press something in his ship cause steam, and uses the concealment to blast Karga. As The Razor Crest takes off, we see the carnage continue in the town. Unfortunately, Karga had a slab of Beskar in his jacket and was able to survive the fight.

As the Razor Crest takes off, we see the carnage continue. The Mandalorians will have to move their settlement now that they have revealed themselves.

In the final scene, we see Vizla fly with his jetpack alongside the Razor Crest and salute Mando. "I gotta get one of those," he remarks, as possible foreshadowing that the Mandalorian will get a jetpack himself. We then see Baby Yoda reach for the knob again, and Mando hands it to him.

In conclusion, this was my favorite episode thus far. We got to see the Mandalorian fight for an honorable endeavor to save Baby Yoda. But furthermore, the conflict in the show will now expand and escalate. What started out as simply a hunter collecting bounties is now a war for the child's survival, as well as the Mandalorians. The Client is still alive and won't take kindly to these events as the Imperials will fight to reclaim the child. In addition, he still has a price on his head and other bounty hunters will come to pursue both Mando and Baby Yoda. We will have to wait until next Friday to see what transpires. But I'm sure the Mandalorian and his people will be ready for it. This is the way.


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