‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3, Episodes 4-5 Recap/Review
This is a spoiler review for The Mandalorian Chapter 20: “The Foundling”, and Chapter 21: “The Pirate”. To read the review for Chapter 19, click HERE.
Chapter 20 and 21 of The Mandalorian continue to build the mythology of Star Wars as a whole. These episodes tackle previously told stories, but also expand on the future of Star Wars. There’s touches of Order 66, but also building the plans out for the First Order in the Sequel Trilogy. These episodes are quite frankly some of the best scripts the show has had to offer so far, and have some interesting cameos, one, more substantial than the other, but no less significant for the stories to come later this year.
The Mandalorian Chapter 20, “The Foundling” clocks in at under 30 minutes without credits, and seems like it’s going off track, until we get to the basis for the episode, an Order 66 flashback where we get to know for certain, who helped Grogu escape Order 66 at the temple. It’s surrounded by a training session, and then a mission within the Covert, a rescue mission of one of the trainees, Ragnar (Wesley Kimmel), who was taken by a flying animal. Bo-Katan (Katee Sackoff) is able to track the animal back to its nest with its ship, and leads a mission to rescue Ragnar.
Bo-Katan learns a lot about the Way, both from Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal/Brendan Wayne/Lateef Crowder), and Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher). It’s a lonely path, but one she manages successfully. They end up rescuing Ragnar after a fight with the animal. Bo-Katan ended up loosing a pauldron, and the Armorer (Emily Swallow) offers to replace it. In the forging process, the Armorer asks if Bo-Katan wishes the Nite Owl signet on the pauldron, and Bo-Katan asks for the Mythosaur instead. She tries to question the Armorer on what someone seeing the Mythosaur would mean. She even goes as far as to say she saw one in the Living Waters beneath Mandalore herself. The Armorer does humor her with a response, but doesn’t seem to truly believe her story.
For the second act, it’s primarily a flashback surrounding Grogu. The Order 66 flashbacks start off like we’ve seen them previously. Jedi with their lightsabers batting back blaster fire from clones (Temuera Morrison). In this case though, we begin to get more details. Wildly different from the Obi-Wan Kenobi flashbacks, the Jedi in this area of the temple are only protecting Grogu, and trying to ferry him to Kelleran Beq (Ahmed Best). After a chase through the airways of Coruscant, Beq and Grogu end up on a Naboo ship, and are defended by the soldiers of Naboo as they make their escape into hyperspace.
Jedi Master Kelleran Beq was introduced in a children’s game show on YouTube, entitles Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. Best has previously starred in The Phantom Menace as the one and only Jar-Jar Binks and dealt with hatred due to the role from fans and critics alike on the role. Returning to Star Wars as a Jedi Master for the game show, and now as the Jedi who saved Grogu from the clones cements Best’s legacy as a legend in the story of Star Wars. There’s no redeeming of Best in this role, because he was point blank perfect as Binks in The Phantom Menace. Rather this is a role he quite frankly deserves so he can feel the love he should have felt all along from Star Wars fans.
The Mandalorian Chapter 21, “The Pirate” leads the Covert to find a new home, this time, and old one back on Nevarro. High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) has to call in for reinforcements when the dread pirate king Gorian Shard (Nonso Anozie/Carey Jones) comes knocking for revenge. Karga first sends a call to the New Republic, specifically for Captain Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) of the Adelphi Rangers. Teva reviews the call, and after conversing with Zeb (Steve Blum), heads to Coruscant to ask for permission to support Nevarro. After being denied thanks to some help from Elia Kane (Katy O’Brian), he heads to find the Covert, thanks to some help from R5-D4. He brings Djarin the message from Karga, and asks him to go support his friend. Djarin brings his case to the Covert, and ends up supported by Vizsla. They head to Nevarro, Bo-Katan in charge
Bo-Katan and Djarin offer air support since they’re the only ones with ships, and they’re able to take out Shard’s Corsair with Shard on it. With most of the pirates vanquished, Karga offers the Mandalorians a tract of land, and they accept. To end the episode we have another Bo-Katan and the Armorer conversation. Only this time, the Armorer believes Bo-Katan. The Armorer takes the Mythosaur sighting as a sign, to reunite all Mandalorians. She asks Bo-Katan to take her helmet off, and walk in both worlds (progress?), to recruit for them. To end the episode, Teva out on patrol comes to a ship that’s been severely damaged. An old Imperial transport now being used for the Republic had the hull broken into. It looks like Moff Gideon was being transported on the ship, and ended up being rescued – by Mandalorians.
Both of these episodes take steps to expand already existing stories. One is also used to honor an actor who has given a lot to Star Wars, but also had a lot taken from him because of it. Seeing Best get to come into his own, as a stylish, honorable Jedi master was quite frankly awesome, and seeing the action sequences built out by Carl Weathers was awesome. There’s a couple of times I felt like some fight sequences with the flying animal were too long, and the episode, which was written by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni could have used ten minutes to give Viszla some time to shine with Djarin, especially when it boils down to protecting their kids. There’s a lot of that emotion built in to the opening training scene between Ragnar and Grogu, and it would have been wise to continue to build on that.
Bo-Katan is truly boiling down to what feels like the new star of The Mandalorian, potentially as Pedro Pascal becomes more popular. It’s a wise move if it’s that, because Sackoff has a lot of charisma, and you get to see how much being apart of the Covert is truly affecting Bo-Katan. Weathers captures it perfectly in the dinner scene by the fire in Chapter 20. With her being a recruiting tool for the Covert, it’s a good move by the Armorer. Especially because with Bo-Katan getting to show off her leadership so well in these two episodes, it gets Bo-Katan out of the way if the Armorer feels like she’s losing some control.
It can also lead to some reappearances for some Mandalorians from Bo-Katan’s past. Fenn Rau from the Clone Wars has already been rumored to be appearing with Kevin McKidd to return, and it could be another good opportunity to introduce Natasha Liu Bordizzo in as Sabine before Ahsoka premieres. But it does beg the question, with 3 episodes left in the season, what’s the end goal? We’ve now seen everything from the trailers, so the ending for this season is anyone’s guess. I just hope we get a good showdown between Gideon and Bo-Katan. She needs it to be whole again.
Peter Ramsey, who’s directorial work has mainly been in animation, does a decent job with Chapter 21. The work on the episode is good, there’s nothing major to point out really. If I were to be nitpicky, some of the explosions look a little weird, but that’s about it. The action is awesome, and his focus on the Armorer in the episode makes for good character development for her. I just hope we begin to learn more about her soon.
Chapters 20 and 21 for The Mandalorian continue to do the good work of this season, reigniting my faith that Favreau knows exactly what he’s doing. Season 2 had made me doubt him, but this season has been really great, and has picked cameo moments for good points to shine, and actually matter. Ramsey and Weathers know how to work with their actors to get the emotional moments to hit. They’re also using Grogu’s ability to showcase emotions more, and I love getting to see him shine. And more and more, this season has made me believe the title, The Mandalorian is actually about Grogu’s rise to power as Mand’alor, wielder of the Darksaber, and rider of the Mythosaur. I’m here for the ride. – Katie Rentschler
Chapter 20 Rating: 8/10
Chapter 21 Rating: 9/10
The Mandalorian season 3 is airing new episodes on Disney+ every Wednesday.