WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
Last week, The Mandalorian‘s penultimate episode ended with Kuiil dead, Baby Yoda captured, and the rest of our protagonists pinned down by Moff Gideon and a battalion of Imperial forces.
Now that we’ve all had time to grieve/panic, let’s see how the first season of this exceptional show finishes up, shall we?
The episode opens with the speeder bike scouts who killed Kuiil racing back toward town, their adorable green hostage in tow. We’re treated to some genuinely hilarious banter between the two, including a great moment where they decide to take some target practice and perfectly live up to the “stormtrooper aim” stereotype.
You know what wasn’t cool, though? How they both kept hitting Baby Yoda. It made me (and probably a large percentage of the viewing audience) want to jump through the screen and strangle both of them. Thankfully, IG-11 shows up and politely asks them to stop before thoroughly kicking their asses. He then picks up Baby Yoda, ensures that the little guy is okay, and takes off toward town on one of the speeder bikes.
Sundown You Better Take Care
Back inside the bar, the Mandalorian, Cara Dune, and Greef Karga try to come up with an escape plan. Their time table gets pushed up significantly when Moff Gideon has his troops bring out an E-Web heavy repeating blaster, which could raze the entire building in minutes.
The Mandalorian suggests that they use one of the sewer ducts to escape into the tunnels where his people had been hiding. Unfortunately, he’s out of charges and the opening is protected by what must be the toughest sewer grate in the galaxy. After Dune tries to blast it open, Moff Gideon begins to taunt the trio, revealing that he knows far more about them than they expected…including the Mandalorian’s actual name, which is Din Djarin (please don’t quote me on the spelling).
Gideon says that he would like to negotiate with them, but also acknowledges that he cannot be trusted. All they have to go on is that he is acting in his own interest–and they are his best chance (he assumes) of obtaining Baby Yoda. He gives them until nightfall before the E-web turns their hiding place to rubble.
Lost & Foundling
Din Djarin reveals to the others that he knows their adversary, which leads to him revealing that he hadn’t heard his own name spoken since he was a child on another planet. When Greef Karga assumes the planet was Mandalore, Djarin and Dune educate him on the fact that Mandalorian isn’t a race; it’s a creed.
We’re then treated to a more fleshed out version of the flashbacks from Djarin’s childhood that we saw in the first two episodes. This time, when the B2 battle droid is about to kill him, he’s saved by a squad of blue armored Mandalorians that drop in and beat back the Separatist droids.
Once the history lesson is over, Djarin tries to hail Kuiil again. He reaches IG-11 instead, who reports the sad news that Kuiil is dead. The droid then rides into town and begins kicking all sorts of ass in what might be the best action sequence of the entire series thus far.
The others take the opportunity to fight back as well, with Dune laying down heavy fire from inside and Djarin and Karga heading outside to do some up close and personal damage.
Djarin manages to get his hands on the E-web and begins wreaking all types of havoc on the Imperial forces. It appears he has the upper hand until Gideon calmly strolls up and shoots the E-web power supply, causing it to explode and sending Djarin flying backward.
Man Behind the Mask
Dune manages to drag Djarin back inside, but he’s badly injured. As the remaining stormtroopers surround the building, he urges her to leave with Karga, IG-11, and Baby Yoda. Dune tries to refuse, but he insists, asking her to let him provide cover while giving him a warrior’s death.
IG-11 easily cuts open the grate, giving them an escape path right as an inferno/flame trooper begins torching the place. Just when all hope seems lost, Baby Yoda steps up and force pushes the flames right back at him.
Dune finally agrees to go with Karga and hold onto Baby Yoda. IG-11 stays with Djarin, who initially believes the droid plans to kill him. Instead, the former assassin asks that he remove his helmet so that it can spray his severe head wound with a bacta cocktail. Djarin initially refuses, but relents when IG-11 points out that he is technically not a living thing, which would not require the Mandalorian to break his vow of never removing his helmet in front of anyone.
IG-11 manages to get Djarin into the sewer tunnels, where they link up with the rest of their group. Whatever strain of bacta the droid used must have been especially potent, because the Djarin is soon able to move and lead them down the tunnels…until he finds a mound of discarded Mandalorian armor.
This part didn’t make much sense to me. I thought all the Mandalorians who were hiding down there had peaced out after they shot up the town–something that should have been fairly easy to do when everyone has a jetpack.
Whatever the case, they are soon greeted by the last remaining member of the tribe: The Armorer. She tells them that some may have survived/escaped, but that she will not be leaving.
This Is the Way
The group follows The Armorer into her forge, where she asks to see the thing that caused so much devastation to her people. When Djarin tells her about Baby Yoda lifting the mudhorn, she quickly identifies The Child as force sensitive while also explaining the history of animosity between the Mandalorians and the Jedi. She also says that Baby Yoda is now his responsibility and must be returned to its people. Unfortunately, none of them know what race Baby Yoda is from, meaning that he will have to take more galaxy hopping journeys to find them.
It’s clear Djarin isn’t thrilled with her decree, but she quickly silences his protests by reminding him that
Season 2 needs to happen “this is the way.” She then gives gifts him with some fresh munitions, a mudhorn signet, and a sweet new jetpack– which she warns him not to use until he’s done some training with it (HA!)–before sending them on their way.
After they leave, a battalion of stormtroopers arrive and promptly get their asses handed to them in yet another incredible action sequence. It appears that the Armorer will still be around next season, as well.
Red River Gambit
The group finds a lava gondola operated by the most bizarre looking R2 unit I’ve ever seen. They take it toward the tunnel that is supposed to lead them to freedom. Unfortunately, exit is surrounded by stormtroopers.
After explaining that it is the only way they can survive–and making sure that Baby Yoda will be cared for–IG-11 activates his self-destruct sequence and blows away the battalion. Unfortunately, Moff Gideon has taken to the skies in his tie fighter, which begins strafing them from above.
Totally ignoring The Amorer’s warning, Djarin attaches his jetpack and takes off, latching onto the tie fighter and hanging on for dear life. After a thrilling midair sequence, he manages to plant a detonator on one of the wings, blowing off one of Gideon’s wings and sending his tie crashing back down to earth.
After a surprisingly graceful landing, Karga asks the Mandalorian to come work for him as a bounty hunter again now that all the Imperials have been taken care of…which means he completely forgot their encounter with The Armorer or just didn’t care. Either way, Djarin declines, explaining that he must find Baby Yoda’s people.
Dune, on the other hand, appears intrigued at Karga’s offer to be his enforcer, especially if it means she can get her record cleared.
Elsewhere, Jawas have surrounded the wreckage of Moff Gideon’s tie fighter. Just as they are getting to the copper wiring, Giden cuts through the ships hull and emerges wielding the fabled Darksaber of Mandalore.
As good as all the action sequences have been in this series, the ones we got in ‘Redemption’ were by far the best. IG-11’s attack, The Armorer’s last stand, and the midair scuffle between Gideon and Djarin were all as good as any Star Wars fan could hope for. It was also really cool seeing so much original trilogy era tech and support get seamlessly integrated into the story.
Speaking of that story, I love where it’s going…but I’m also not too crazy about how we got here. Maybe I can by that the Mandalorians didn’t make it out in time from a bunch of aim-challenged Imperials, but I honestly don’t see why The Armorer is so insistent on Baby Yoda being returned to its people beyond the Mandalorian version of “Because I said so.” Now would seem like a time that they should be closing ranks rather than sending one of their best warriors off on a mission without a clear path.
That being said, these contrivances are a small price to pay for what seems like a great set up for Season 2–especially since The Armorer is still alive and her motivations can (and hopefully will) be explored more. Also, the dialogue in this episode was superb. From the scout troopers griping with each other about their jobs to Moff Gideon’s chillingly calm delivery, there was a ton of stuff to enjoy. Gideon in particular looks to be a great villain with ties to Star Wars lore far beyond what any of us were expecting.
The wait for next season will be agonizing, but that’s because this first season was so good. The Mandalorian not only stuck the landing, but provided a near perfect springboard to continue telling us great stories from unexplored and exciting corners in our favorite galaxy far, far away.
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