After a long week of waiting, The Mandalorian’s newest chapter is finally here, and I think it might be the best one yet. Don’t believe me? Let’s recap.
This chapter starts off not too long after The Mandalorian’s previous adventure. The Mandalorian arrives at a ship stationed in the middle of space, and is greeted by an old friend of his, named Ran (Sons of Anarchy‘s Mark Boone Junior). In a brief conversation, it’s revealed that The Mandalorian is there to help with a job. But it’s not the kind of job we’re used to seeing The Mandalorian do. It’s a heist. A friend of Ran’s has been taken hostage and he wants to release him. Ran tells him that the job requires a team of five to pull off, as well as a good ship. After hiring The Mandalorian as the fifth person, he implies that the crew will need to use his ship for the job because it’s not on the Empire’s radar. The Mandalorian reluctantly agrees.
A little while later, The Mandalorian meets the rest of his crew, led by a man named Mayfeld, played by comedian Bill Burr, who goes totally against type. The team also consists of this red, Hellboy-lookalike named Burg (portrayed by veteran actor Clancy Brown), a droid named Zero (voiced by Richard Ayoade), and a female Twi’lek named Xi’an (played by Game of Thrones‘ Natalia Tena).
As the team prepares to leave, Zero, who’s been designated the pilot for the job, comes across an encrypted hologram from Carl Weathers’ Greef Karga on the ship. Because he is unable to decode the full message though, he disregards it. And right before takeoff as Mayfeld goes over the plan, it’s revealed that Ran’s friend is not a hostage, but a prisoner being held on-board a maximum security ship owned and operated by the New Republic. The Mandalorian becomes even more hesitant due to his status as an outlaw with the Child, but after being assured that the ship is only manned by droids, he commits to completing the job.
The crew finally begins their journey, but along the way they all taunt The Mandalorian. Burg, in particular, starts touching his weapons and even attempts to take off his helmet. A brief struggle eventually ensues between the two, and as a result, a secret compartment where The Child has been stowed away this entire time, is revealed. The Mandalorian is initially worried that the rest of crew might identify the Child, but to his surprise they all think that he’s some sort of pet. Relieved, The Mandalorian plays along, and the crew gets back to business as the near their target.
When they arrive, all but Zero board. As they make their way through the corridors, they come across a few droids, but The Mandalorian takes care of them effortlessly. Once they reach the control room, they have a surprise encounter with a human New Republic officer at the helm. Mayfeld immediately draws his blaster with the intent to kill him, but the officer pulls out a tracking beacon, threatening to alert authorities of their whereabouts if he’s harmed. Convinced that there must be another way, The Mandalorian then draws his blaster on Mayfeld in an effort to protect the man, but Mayfeld insists that the officer must die. Burg then draws his blaster and aims it at The Mandalorian, creating an old-fashioned “Mexican standoff” that comes to a quick conclusion when Xi’an decides to kill the officer herself.
When the officer drops to the floor, the tracker starts beeping, and Zero immediately informs the crew that the Republic is now honing in on their location. The crew then puts their differences aside and scramble to finish the job. Minutes later, they locate Ran’s friend, who turns out to be Xi’an’s brother, another Twi’lek named Qin (played by Ismael Cruz Cordova). Just as he’s sprung from his cell though, it’s revealed that The Mandalorian is the very reason he’s in there. The crew then throws The Mandalorian into the cell, revealing that whole goal of the operation was for him to trade places with Qin.
Leaving The Mandalorian behind, the crew rushes back to the ship. In the meantime, Zero comes across Greef’s hologram again, but this time he is finally able to understand that it’s a message referencing the Child.
Almost immediately, The Mandalorian escapes from the prison cell, and heads straight to control room to prevent the others from leaving. First, he splits them up and then he disables communication between them and Zero. After Zero loses contact though, he begins to search for the Child aboard the ship.
Back aboard the prisoner transport, The Mandalorian picks off the crew members one by one, starting with Burg. Next, he goes after Xi’an, and then Mayfeld. When he catches up to Qin though, Qin manages to convince him to bring him back to Ran so that he can collect his payment. After a moment of hesitation, he agrees, and manages to get back aboard his ship in time to kill Zero before he harms the Child.
The Mandalorian then heads back to Ran, delivers Qin, and collects his payment, though Ran doesn’t seem too pleased. The moment The Mandalorian leaves, Ran reveals that he wants him dead and tells Qin to kill him. Before Qin can even leave, he finds the tracking beacon from the Republic’s ship in his pocket. Moments later, several X-Wing pilots from the New Republic (who are also played by the episode’s director and the other directors from the series: Rick Famuyiwa, Dave Filoni, and Deborah Chow respectively) pull up and blast Qin, Ran, and the rest of his ship to bits.
As The Mandalorian rides off into the sunset, he tells the Child that he knew the job would be a bad idea, but the Child pays him no mind.
Before the credits roll, we are taken back to the prisoner ship, and it’s revealed that The Mandalorian chose not to kill his former crew mates after all. Instead, we see Mayfeld, Burg, and Xi’an stuffed into one cell, with no hope of being released in the near future.
Personally, this is my favorite chapter to date. While I do lament the fact that we still don’t know what’s going on in the background of the show, I appreciate just how interesting each of the adventures continue to get. Whether it’s a bounty he’s after or a village he’s protecting or even a heist he’s trying to pull off, The Mandalorian’s overarching journey with the Child has slowly become his road to redemption. And his choice to keep the crew members alive in this latest chapter, despite their betrayal is a prime example. Before the Child, I’m not so sure he would have made the same decision. And while we may not know where he’s going next, one thing’s certain: he’s still growing.