The bigger picture is finally being revealed in this week’s episode of The Mandalorian. An action-packed episode that tied in plot lines from earlier in the season, including the pirates on Nevarro, the New Republic, the Imperial Remnant and the Mandalrians. Din and Grogu still feel a bit sidelined, but the overall narrative started to click.
Not gonna lie, when I saw that this week’s episode of The Mandalorian was called The Pirate, I got my hopes up for an appearance by one Hondo Ohnaka. While this didn’t happen, we did get a neat cameo in the form of Zeb from Star Wars Rebels, voiced once again by Steven Blum. One has to wonder if he’ll show up at all in the Ahsoka show.
The episode opens with the return of the pirates to Nevarro, which prompts Greef Carga to send an SOS to the New Republic for aid. Greef has been pretty anti-New Republic from the get-go, so you know things are desperate for him when he calls them for aid. Specifically, he reaches out to Captain Carson Teva, with whom he crossed paths with last season. He in turn brings the plea for help up the chain at Coruscant but just like Dr. Pershing in episode three, is met by both bureaucratic red tape and Kane, who butts into the meeting and chastises those who haven’t joined up with the New Republic (while secretly operating as an Imperial) in an attempt to prevent aid form being sent.
A larger theme of this season seems to be just how poorly the New Republic was running things and how they let the First Order grow right under their noses. They stuck their head in the sand and made excuses and rules on top of rules that prevented action from being taken. This brings Teva to the Mandalorian Covert (courtesy of R5, a former Rebel, a nod perhaps to his old E.U. story…minus the Force sensitivity part) and brings news of the assault on Nevarro to the attention of Din and the rest of the Mandalorians.
They, of course, answer the call and we’re treated to a great action set-piece. I’ve been critical of the show, specifically this season for having action for the sake of action but this scene felt important to the plot, both for securing the home of Carga’s people, but also as a way for the Mandalorians to emerge into the metaphorical and literal light. When action feels important to the plot, it makes the action more engaging and impactful.
The ending had two moments to chew on. One saw the Armorer summon Bo Katan to the old forge and orders her to remove her helmet. Reluctantly, she does. The Armorer claims Bo could be the prophesized one to unite all of Mandalore, thus she walks both ways (helmet on and off). But I don’t quite trust this. The Armorer is extremely devout and I sense a plot, perhaps to exploit Bo so the Armorer herself can rule supreme over all the Mandalorians that Bo-Katan will bring to her presence.
The episode ends though with the confirmation that Moff Gideon was liberated from custody and that it’s perhaps a Mandalorian who attacked the Lamda shuttle to free him. Gideon being out probably explains the mass of TIEs we saw in episode three, but the Besker left in the hull could be a red herring to make us think it was a Mandalorian that helped the Empire. That, or there really is a traitor in the ranks. The question now is who could it be. Can’t be Din, but the options are open for others in the Covert such as the Armorer and yes, even Bo Katan. She technically has no beef with Gideon anymore now that he’s not the custodian of the Darksaber, so the attack on her castle could be a way to divert attention from her.
I still find the show doesn’t quite know what to do with Din, let alone Grogu. Grogu popped in for a few seconds, but he’s really just a tag-along at this point. Undoing the epic cliffhanger from season two in The Book of Boba Fett has hurt both of their stories, as it’s the larger narrative and Bo-Katan’s stories that are driving this season. Hopefully, the remaining three episodes gives them a bit more to do beyond Din mentoring the little guy in passing and being the one to motivate others into action. That said, I felt this episode was one of the better ones of this season. It had great action and gave us a sense of direction for the story while amping up further stakes. With three more to go, the show best keep this momentum up.