Super Recaps: The Mandalorian – Chapter 3

THEMANDALORIAN0

The Mandalorian is owned by Disney

Directed by Deborah Chow

The episode begins like most road trips with Papa Mandalorian, who I will call… Hank this time, who is trying to fly the spaceship safely while his little baby Yoda, who should probably get his own name by now so let’s go with… Bobby, is making it that much more difficult by messing with the controls in his own adorably ignorant way.  Then again Bobby IS fifty years old, so maybe this whole “baby” thing is just a ploy to get on Hank’s good side.  Anyway, they manage to land on the planet from the first episode despite Bobby’s interference where Hank is planning to meet up once again with Werner Herzog.  Is he going to turn over Bobby for whatever awful experiments they surely have in store for him!?  Well he didn’t become a bounty hunter to play nice, so he does indeed hand him over to the director of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans as well as Doctor Creepy (Omid Abtahi) for whatever ungodly experiments they have in store for Bobby.  Hesitantly to be sure as he even tries to find out what Herzog plans to do with the baby, but he’s still not going to say no to the bounty which is a whole bunch of that super metal that Mandalorians use to make their armor.  With this, Hank will have the most impressive Mandalorian armor and Mandalorian accessories in the tri-galaxy area, but the decision seems to weigh heavy on him.

It only gets worse when he brings his shiny new metal to the Mandalorian Armorer who was also in the first episode, and his spectacular haul gets the attention of others there; one big dude in particular who seems particularly miffed that the steel in question is marked by The Empire who were apparently responsible for them being driven underground?  I don’t know much about the Star Wars lore or what is even considered canon now, but that seems like a pretty sizable bombshell to drop on us; especially since our only connection to Mandalorian (or Mandalorian adjacent) stuff has been Bobba and Jango; both of whom worked for The Empire directly or its precursor.  In any case, he gets his shiny new Mandalorian armor (as well as another flashback which shows his parents getting killed by those robot dudes from the prequels), and he heads back to the bar from the first episode where he meets up with the guy played by Carl Weathers who let him in on the job in the first place.  Is he going to ask for help breaking Bobby out of the sinister clutches of Warner Herzog!?  No, he just takes another bail jumper job to try and get his mind off of things.  You can’t just swallow your feelings forever, Hank!  YOU’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!!

Sure enough, he’s about to take off to chase his next bounty when he sees the controls that Bobby was messing with and finally decides that enough is enough!  He’s gonna go back there and kick Werner Herzog’s ass!  Well… maybe the direct approach isn’t the best one so he skulks around the outside of Herzog’s building and finds Bobby’s baby carriage in the trash which is certainly not a good sign.  Looking at the state of those stormtroopers’ armor, it’s unlikely they had a BETTER one waiting for him.  Not only that, he uses his all-purpose super weapon thingy that’s a gun, a stun staff, and now a listening device as he hears Werner Herzog say in no uncertain terms that the baby is going to die so they can extract whatever baby juices they can from poor Bobby.  With the ticking clock being abundantly clear for Hank, he has no choice but to give us one heck of a spectacular action scene as he breaks into the place, takes out storm troopers left and right, and use the full extent of his arsenal in his quest to save this baby, and MAN is it great!  The action in the first two episodes were just fine, but they kicked it up to eleven here with a seriously talented stunt team selling the moves, tactics, and certainly the PAIN coming from everyone in those suits.  Stormtrooper armor continues to be an utter joke by the way as the darn things aren’t even fireproof as one particularly crispy space fascist could tell you.  Story wise, it seems that Doctor Creepy is apparently a “good” Imperialist as he wanted to save the baby and so Hank lets him live, and we never see Werner Herzog during this fight so presumably he’s escaped and plotting his revenge.

Now remember in the last episode where it turns out other bounty hunters had gotten the same tracking device that Hank got and so he had to fight off a group of Tusken Raiders who were after the baby too?  Well it turns out that practically EVERYONE on that planet got the same tracking device which kind of calls into question the secrecy of what’s supposed to be a hush-hush under the table deal in the first place, but this means that as soon as Hank escapes the stronghold with Bobby, every last one of those mo-fos starts to light up and so everyone and their space grandmother are on the hunt for Hank.  THIS is absolutely brilliant!  Herzog has come off as something of a minor threat considering he seems to employ just a handful of Stormtroopers with bad aim and worse people skills, but now Hank has a giant target on his back and everyone wants a piece of him!  One such person is Carl Weathers who takes an entire squadron of misfit bounty hunters to cut off Hank’s path to his spaceship, and Hank may not have enough firepower to take them all out.  He makes a valiant effort and takes out quite a few of these losers, but he’s soon pinned down and all hope seems to be lost for him and Bobby.  BUT THEN!  THE REST OF THE MANDALORIANS SHOW UP!!  Every last dude with a bucket head, a jetpack, and a chip on their shoulder shows up to defend one of their own and clear a path to his ship!  Even the big guy who wanted to punch him for taking a job for The Empire is out… at least I THINK it’s him with the giant mini-gun?  It’s kind of hard to tell considering they all wear the same helmets.  In any case, Hank makes a break for it, gets on his ship with Bobby, but Carl Weathers is there waiting for him to shoot him in the back.  Hank is too good to fall so easily however and he knocks Carl Weathers out of the back with a blaster bolt; one that turns out to not kill him, but sends a very clear signal of just who the heck Carl Weathers thinks he’s messing with!  And so the episode ends with Hank and Bobby back together once again; their futures uncertain, but one out of the clutches of the evil Empire!  At least… for now…

You could honestly take the first three episodes of this show, cut it together, and have a really solid movie on its own as this is a fantastic ending that feels satisfying but is still open for more adventures which we are certain to get in the coming weeks.  The show has been an overwhelming success for me so far as the action has been solid, the scenery and mood have been superb, and the acting from Pedro Pascal despite not having the use of his face has been quite engaging.  If there’s one thing that still feels a bit off it’s the alliances, factions, and codes at play here as I’m still a bit confused about what The Mandalorian stands for, what The Guild’s investment is in this one particular bounty (which is SUPPOSED to be off the books anyway!), and what Werner Herzog is planning despite having such meager resources to work with.  I’m sure we’ll get more in the coming weeks though and this minor issue is not enough to detract from everything else that works about this series.  We can only hope that they can keep up the momentum throughout the rest of the season (and explain at least SOME of that stuff along the way) but so far it’s been an excellently crafted ride!

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