‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Episode 3 Recap/Review: “The Convert”
This is a spoiler review for The Mandalorian Chapter 19: “The Convert”. To read last week’s review, click HERE.
The Mandalorian splits the time in today’s episode between what feels like two separate stories, even though we know they are in fact connected. The stories tackle the aftermath of Chapter 18 for Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal/Brendan Wayne/Lateef Crowder) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackoff), as well as continuing Dr. Pershing’s (Omid Abtahi) story from season 2. In the longest episode of the show, clocking in at 59 minutes, most of it is not spent on Din and Bo-Katan. But it’s acceptable as the show begins to connect itself to the bigger galaxy we all know and love.
For the show, the stories are split up over time, but in this recap, I’m going to tackle each one individually to help better tell the story. First up, Din, Grogu and Bo-Katan. It’s an immediate pickup from Chapter 18 when Din is waking up after almost drowning. Bo-Katan innocently asks if Din saw anything while he was underwater, and Din says he didn’t. Bo-Katan keeps her sighting of the Mythosaur to herself, and they get back to her ship. They’re chased back to Kalevala, and they manage to take out the first wave of T.I.E. Interceptors, only to return to Bo-Katan’s home to find it being destroyed by T.I.E. bombers.
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They have to escape the planet because more Interceptors arrive, and Din takes them to the Covert’s location. He proves with the sample of water he took that they were in the Living Waters, and he, as well as Bo-Katan are welcomed into the Covert for redeeming themselves in the water (and not removing their helmets of course). Paz Visla is not happy, and it makes about one of the last things we haven’t seen in the trailer, Mandalorians, including Paz landing in Nevarro. But Bo-Katan seems to accept being a part of the Covert… for now, so we’ll see where this goes!
The main part of the episode is dedicated to Dr. Pershing, and former Imperial Officer Elia Kane (Katy O’Brian), both of whom are members of the New Republic Amnesty Program. The Amnesty Program seems to be related to the Traitor’s Remorse, mentioned in Alphabet Squadron. It’s a horrifying instance to show the viewer, the New Republic may not be all that better than the Empire. For bringing humanity back to the galaxy as they’ve desired, they’ve dehumanized these former members of the Empire. While not in prison, they may as well be, as they’re called a unique number instead of their names. Pershing and Kane reunite in Amnesty Housing, and begin to talk about his work for the Empire.
Pershing starts to question everything, including the therapy droid. He wants to return to his work on cloning. So everything works out in theory when Kane presents him with an opportunity to find a mobile lab station. It’s on board a decommissioned Star Destroyer, one that Pershing is helping organize equipment on. They get on board after sneaking through Coruscant outside their “parole” zone. Pershing’s wildly uncomfortable, but they make it to the ship. As they leave the ship with the equipment, they’re caught by security! It was all a trap to get Pershing under Kane’s control. The mind flogger is only supposed to associate good things with the New Republic, and bad things with the Empire. At the specific setting, it’s on. Kane turns it up to the brain damage setting, and that’s where we close off.
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) as a first-time television director makes the transition brilliantly. He’s able to articulate a drama-heavy episode and tell it in a way that keeps it interesting. He also captures the opening scene’s dog fight with striking ease, and the choreography looks great. The effects kinda bring me back to A New Hope, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective. The balance in the overall storytelling between Bo-Katan/Grogu/Din, and Kane/Pershing is done perfectly, almost like it was set up to happen in real-time. It’s a good story move by Jon Favreau and co-writer Noah Kloor tackle. In general, this is probably the best script I’ve seen in a long time in The Mandalorian.
The stars for this episode of The Mandalorian are definitely O’Brian and Abtahi. They play really well off of each other, and tell the story of the double agent, and the guy who just wants to survive. The naive guy falling for the girl story is a little harder to believe. In the other cases, though, I love the chemistry between the two. It’s also incredibly awesome seeing Coruscant after Andor so soon. There are a lot of cool parallels, especially when some similar set pieces come back into play. It also goes to show the New Republic isn’t all fine and dandy as is, they’re almost underwater with all the work. So much so, they’d waste actual talents and use them for simple data work a tauntaun could do.
The way Bo-Katan acts after surfacing with Din on Mandalore draws all sorts of questions. Will she actually be the antagonist for the season? With the sighting of the mythosaur, is she falling more into the mythological aspects of the culture of Mandalore. And will those myths draw her into the Covert cult Din is a part of, with the intense religious beliefs? These are the questions I need answers to, and Kloor and Favreau manage to keep the audience on their toes with this episode. After last week, this episode continues to prove The Mandalorian is on the right track to being a bigger part of the Star Wars galaxy. And I love it so much. – Katie Rentschler
The Mandalorian Airs New Episodes Every Wednesday on Disney+.
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