The Mandalorian (1×03 and 1×04)- “The Sin/Sanctuary”
Written by: Jon Favreau (1×03 and 1×04)
Directed by: Deborah Chow (1×03) Bryce Dallas Howard (1×04)
Oh! You came back! Let’s not waste time, then.
Episode three picks up as Mando is coming out of hyperspace. He receives a message from Greef containing instructions to head directly to the Client with the Child (who’s spending his time being cute and stealing a knob off one of the control levers.) Mando heads to the Client and after some grief from his Stormtrooper bodyguards he makes the delivery and as promised he receives a whole lot more beskar steel.
Just before he leaves he pauses to ask what they plan to do to the kid, which is unsurprisingly a big no-no for Guild Bounty Hunters. (Probably better for both parties that way I reckon.) He gets some not to thinly veiled threats so he takes the hint and leaves to take the beskar back to his covert.
The Armorer is impressed with his score and offers a completely new set of armor as a reward. I get the feeling his current armor was essentially hand me downs and this is him moving up the ranks of the covert as well judging by the way several of the others get noticeably pissed. One goes as far as to call Mando a coward and we get a short knife fight before the Armorer puts everyone back in line. She reminds them that the Empire is gone while the steel was returned to them and that you cannot be a coward and follow “The Way of the Mandalore,” she asks Mando if he’s ever removed or allowed his helmet to be removed and he says no.
This diffuses the anger in the group and she asks him how his armor was damaged so he tells her of the Mudhorn but when she offers to make it his sigil he declines. She asks why and he explains how The Child helped him kill and considering the scene with the Client and his tone it seems what he’s done might be eating at him.
We get another montage of her forging armor accompanied by a more detailed flashback of the day his family was killed. Mando’s droid problem is explained here as we see it was Separatist Battle Droids that attacked his village. (It also puts his age at somewhere in his thirties since he’s about six or eight and it’s been at least twenty years since the end of the Clone Wars.) She also explains the use of the new weapons she is giving him, whistling birds.
Mando goes back to Greef in his shiny new armor and gets the stink eye from all the other bounty hunters. To be fair, every hunter except for Greef who’s pleased as punch with his top hunter. Hell, he even got some beskar steel from the deal! He asks how many of them were hired by the Client and Greef explains that everyone was given a tracking device and now they’re all pissed at him. Mando asks for his next job and despite Greef trying to get him to take some time off he takes a new job. Before he leaves he asks his friend what they plan to do with the kid and Greef reminds him that it’s none of their business.
Mando returns to his ship, very clearly conflicted and when he finds the lever knob and screws it back on it’s too much for him. He powers down his ship and heads back to the Client’s safehouse. He makes his entrance as stealthily as one can expect from a chrome-plated mandalorian bounty hunter, meaning he blows a hole in the wall and shoots his way to the kid then shoots his way out with the kid.
Well, that was ridiculously easy, Mando! I don’t see what could possible go wrong- Oh yeah, every bounty hunter in town has a tracking device for the kid and the Client activates them all.
Mando’s within sight of his ship when the bounty hunters and Greef cut him off. It’s the kind of stand-off you’d expect in this situation, Mando says he’s going to leave even if he has to kill everyone including Greef and Greef says that their plan is pretty much the flip side of that.
Considering it’s one on about twenty, Mando puts up a hell of a fight but all too quickly he’s pinned down. Cue the rest of his covert and now it’s a rout in the other direction. The big mandalorian that our boy got into the knife fight with earlier tells Mando to go but when Mando replies that he’s pretty much screwed the tribe’s covert status and they’ll have to leave the planet the big Mandalorian replies with “This is the Way” between bursts of his heavy repeating blaster.
Mando boards his ship but Greef is already on board. Neither guy wants to kill each other but Mando’s broken the code of the guild. Mando uses a little subterfuge with his carbon freezing unit and then shoots Greef in the chest and he falls out of the hatch before taking off.
Luckily for Greef (and us ‘cause more Carl Weathers in the future) that Mando had shot him right in the beskar steel ingot he’d received from the Client.
After a send-off from one of the jetpack mandalorians, Mando leaves the system, after giving The Child back the knob he’d taken a liking to earlier in the episode.
This episode changes up the formula with a quaint village of blue shrimp farmers everything’s going perfectly so maybe I’m watching the wrong show- Nope, it’s The Mandalorian because ugly space orcs are raiding the village with blasters blazing.
Well since there’s no Viggo Mortensens in space Mando and his trusty sidekick will have to deal with this. If the kid won’t stop messing with Mando’s ship and generally messing with him for thirty seconds, that is. Are we sure this is a baby Yoda and not a baby troll?
They come upon the planet Sorgan and since it’s such a middle of nowhere place they don’t even have a spaceport Mando figures they can hide out there until every bounty hunter in the universe doesn’t want their hides.
They come upon a little backwater planet diner and decide to get some soup but Mando’s get the eye from some angry looking lady with a tattoo on her face. That could be a problem but on the bright side she’s played by Gina Carano so it could be okay for Mando and the kid.
(I wish could walk into a diner and get the eye from someone that looked like Gina Carano, I only ever get worried glances from the chef.)
Apparently she’s not Mando’s type because he assumes the worst and ends up in a fist fight with her. Turns out to be a case of double mistaken identity as both of them are on the run from people. Meet Cara Dune.
She’s a retired shock trooper from the rebellion and did I say retired? Because I meant she was AWOL. The pair resolve their issues but Mando’s going to have to find another planet because “I was here first” is just as important in the GFFA as it is here on Earth. That night, as Mando’s about to take off for parts unknown two of the villagers from the cold open offer him all the money they have to help them. It’s not really enough for Mando but he figures if their village is as secluded as they make it seem maybe that will be enough. So he takes their money and goes to Cara figuring he’d let her in on some of that sweet, sweet remote hideaway action.
It’s essentially The Seven Samurai plot with Mando and Cara Dune playing the part of the Seven and the bandits have blasters and an AT-ST instead of horses and swords. Things go pretty much how you’d expect from here, the villagers are nice and the children love The Child (duh!) and there’s even a hot single mom there to flirt with Mando. Even if, for all she knows, he could look like this under the helmet:
She even asks him when he first put on the helmet and he explains that he was child when the tribe adopted him and he’s worn it ever since. Later, when Cara asks about his helmet he explains that he’s bound by creed to wear it and if he were to ever take off the helmet he would no longer be a mandalorian and he could never put it on again.
They train the villagers to help them fight and turn their shrimp ponds into a booby trap to take care of the AT-ST but the attack is primarily a showcase for Cara and they do a good job of showing her to be a badass on par with Mando. Before you know it, the bandits have been taken care of and the village is safe to harvest blew shrimp and brew moonshine again.
A few weeks pass and Cara and the kid have both settled into the community so Mando figures that’s his cue to leave but wouldn’t you know it just when he’s about to leave The Child in the care of Cara and the hot single mom a bounty hunter shows up tracking the kid. Cara takes care of him but it’s clear that Mando and the kid can’t stay so they leave Cara to her nice quiet life where I’m certain she’ll never have any problems and will in no way have to leave it behind to help out Mando. No sir! We’ll miss you, Gina!
While last week made for a very good two part pilot, these two episodes make for a good pair for different reason. Namely, The Sin was the best episode of the series yet while I hope that Sanctuary is probably more of what the show’s average will be. It didn’t reinvent the wheel or blown you mind but it was a fun half hour adventure. Basically, it’s the typical travelling adventurer show in the Star Wars universe. That can be enough most of the time, as long as there’s big important episodes that raise the stacks I can live with the occasional episode that makes me think of episodes of Hercules or Xena more than anyway else.
Gina Carano is a good addition to the cast. She has good, chemistry with Pedro Pascal and her character has more than enough hooks to build upon and Gina has a charm that if rumors pan out will help her carry a spin off series.
The mystery of The Child is clearly going to be the thread-line to move the overall story and while it’s clear the Empire wants him to do something evil I am very interested to find out where he came from, what, if any, connections he has to the Jedi and how he’s survived in the wild both during and following Order 66 and the Jedi Purge. That on its own would be enough to bring me back for more but Filoni and Favreau have graciously given me something I didn’t expect to want.
The mystery of what happened to the Mandalorians and how they will rebuild is just as intriguing to me. There’s clearly a religious theme to “The Way of the Mandalore” that might actually be more important to Mando and his tribe that their home world and their people. I’m sure at some point we’ll see what happened to Mandalore in detail and I imagine Mando will play a big role in what’s going to happen to the mandalorian people for good or for bad. You don’t set things up this way if that’s not where you intend to go.
But that pretty much wraps things up, so let’s get to the scores.
Things We Learned:
- Mando and the other members of his tribe must never remove their helmets or allow them to be taken by force.
- Mando has betrayed the bounty hunters guild and is now on the run with The Child.
- Mando’s parents were killed by the Separatist droid army and he was rescued and taken in by mandalorians.
- Mando’s made friends with Cara Dune, giving him a potential contact with the New Republic.
- The war between the New Republic and the Empire has seemingly settled into a colder conflict.
- Is Cara actually AWOL or did she perhaps run into a problem with the Empire that would require her going underground?
- Where will Mando’s tribe go and how will he find them?
- Are there other mandalorians he can go to or is he on his own until his situation is resolved?
- Does Mando not know what’s going on with The Child (re: The Force) because of his upbringing or did the Empire completely wipe the Jedi from the public’s memory?