With only seven episodes in total, we’ve now passed the halfway point of The Book of Boba Fett. And things finally feel like they’re on track. It’s been no secret I’ve been feeling a little lukewarm on the show thus far, but Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm proved to be a much more focused, entertaining and criminal show than we’ve seen thus far.
Most of this episode’s runtime was spent in the flashback portion of the story and revolved around Boba rescuing Fennec during the events of The Mandalorian Chapter 5: The Gunslinger. We get a musical cue from that show and the flares that went off during the assault on Fennec in the desert, which tipped off Boba to finding a mortally wounded Fennec. He brings her to some of the cyberpunk kids and pays to have her modded in order to save her life. There must be no doctors in the area, as Boba said it was the best he could do under the circumstances. Regardless, Fennec is indebted to Fett and agrees to recover his ship, now referred to as simply Firespray (instead of Slave I) from Jabba’s Palace.
Fennec hasn’t gotten much to do thus far this season and it was nice to see her working with Fett, rather than being seemingly at odds with him. Likewise, Fett felt much more like he was in Mandalorian, a bit colder despite his new philosophies. When Shand tells him his time with the Sand People made him soft, he disagrees, saying the concept of a tribe has made him stronger, something he hopes to apply to his own crime family, or Gotra as he calls it in this episode. His motivations for starting his own family stem from frustration and sadness at seeing fellow bounty hunters taking jobs from idiots and ending up dead as a result. Fett wants to make a haven for the downtrodden by the looks of it, to run bounty hunting in a fair and lucrative way.
Shand also informs Boba that no way the Nikto biker gang could have taken out the Tusken Raiders. With last week’s meeting with the Pykes, it’s likely that the syndicate (or someone above them) had a hand in their demise. Bib Fortuna also seemingly had a hand with the downfall of the Sand People, thus giving Boba motivation for taking him out of the picture.
The rest of the flashback deals with Boba wrapping up some loose ends, from killing the Nitko gang members by means of annihilating them from his ship to investigating the Sarlacc in an attempt to find his beskar armour. In the present day, Fett meets with the heads of other crime families, asking if they won’t ally themselves to Fett against the Pyke invasion of Tatooine, that they stay neutral in the conflict, something they all agree to. Fett has also hired Black Krrsantan, something he really should’ve done last week. In terms of what didn’t jive with me, the only thing this week was Boba chasing the little droid around the kitchen. Seeing as the droid deactivated itself upon capture, the whole scene did feel like a waste of time, as Fett gained nothing from the chase and the alarm would be triggered minutes later as well. Felt a little silly, in an otherwise serious episode.
The episode confirms that we likely won’t see any more flashbacks, as Fett’s droid assistant states the healing process is done. He seeks to prepare for the war to come by hiring some extra muscle, something that prompts Mando’s theme to kick in, implying Din will be joining the show as of next week. Perhaps Fett will also seek the help of other bounty hunters he once worked with, such as Bossk and Dengar. Perhaps even his one-time mentor Cad Bane will show up in live-action after his return in The Bad Batch. Time will tell if we’ll get a live-action war of the bounty hunters. As it stands, this episode felt more confident and finally gave us some motivations for Boba and Shand while setting up big conflict for the remaining episodes. I believe we’ve passed all the shown footage from the trailer now, so from this point on, it’s uncharted territory. Let’s see what kind of muscle credits can buy.