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The Mandalorian season 3 episode 4 recap (2023) – mercifully shorter

After season 3 episode 3 dragged on with a sub-plot no one cared about, The Mandalorian season 3 episode 4 recalibrated the series' direction.

the mandalorian season 3 episode 4 recap: din djarin bo-katan and grogu

Our Verdict

Still scattershot, but Jedis are cool.

If there’s one thing Jon Favreau knows, it’s that we’re all ravenous for even a glimpse of the Jedi. So, needless to say, The Mandalorian season 3 episode 4 was much more entertaining than the preceding episode. But I knew that when I found Baby Yoda playing with rocks for two minutes more interesting than the entire train sequence with Doctor Pershing.

The latest chapter of the sci-fi series opens with Din Djarin and Bo-Katan adapting to life on the Mandalore covert, with various Mandalorian foundlings sparring with each other as part of their training to become full apprentices. Djarin knows Grogu is strong with the Force, so Father of the Year decides that he’s ready to begin his training even though he’s literally unable to talk.

The foundling Baby Yoda spars with, whose later revealed to be named Ragnar, mocks the Mandalorian character for his lack of a helmet. Din and the Armorer agree that if Grogu is too young to speak the Creed, he’s too young to wear the helmet — but given that they have no issue with a pre-teen shooting the toddler with wrist darts, I think it’s more likely that the Armorer hasn’t figured out how to fit his ears in a helmet. Still, it’s good that the child-solider-making cult draws some boundaries somewhere.

Predictably, after a slow start, Grogu easily beats Ragnar with the use of the Force, but their celebrations are short-lived after the latter is snatched away by a flying, bat-like creature. Based on how several members of the covert talk about it, it sounds like this creature snatching mini-Mandos is a reasonably common occurrence, but it only seemed relevant to mention at this point, apparently.

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Bo-Katan uses the Gauntlet to pinpoint the creature’s location. The Armourer instructs her, Paz Vizla, Din, and several other Mandalorians to go to the creature’s lair to rescue the foundling. This leaves Grogu in the care of The Armorer, who shows him how the Forge is made.

Grogu might be unable to talk, but throughout all of this, he is giving some serious side-eye, which makes me think that his discomfort with “the way” (pun intended) might end up being a more substantial plot point later on in the series, especially since Din himself has had doubts in the past.

This then paves the way to a lengthy flashback sequence which, at long last, sheds light on how exactly Grogu escaped Order 66. It’s a question we’ve wanted an answer to for four years, and we’re all suckers for a lengthy lightsaber sequence of Jedi battling Stormtroopers, and as usual, the Star Wars series more than delivers in that department.

the mandalorian season 3 episode 4 recap: din djarin and grogu

We’re introduced to Kelleran Beq, a Jedi who takes it upon himself to help Grogu escape. After being chased by Stormtroopers, Kelleran and Grogu (who is visually younger to the point where he can be described as Baby Baby Yoda) use a Naboo ship to fly to safety, with Kelleran promising the infant that he has “friends” who can help them.

That’s about where the flashback ends, and if you ask me, the “friends” line feels like an incentive for viewers to continue to watch The Mandalorian in the hopes of catching a glimpse of likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, or Ahsoka. It’s very clearly bait. But is it effective bait? Will I continue to tune in for that exact reason? Obviously.

Anyway, returning to the present, the Armorer gives Grogu his first piece of armour for his chest while Bo-Katan and the others land their ship nearby the beast’s lair and make camp for the night, deciding to strike in the morning. Here, Bo-Katan continues to re-adapt to bizarre Mandalorian customs, like everyone in the covert eating alone so nobody can see them removing their helmet.

the mandalorian season 3 episode 4 recap: din djarin and mandalorians

The next morning, it looks like Bo-Katan and the crew get there in the nick of time as the creature looks set to serve Ragnar for breakfast. We then find out why Paz Visla is so anxious to save the youngling — Ragnar is his son — but his impulsivity leads to the creature taking him and Ragnar away. Fortunately, Bo-Katan, Din, and the others follow on jetpacks and are able to rescue them. A couple of “this is the ways” are exchanged, everyone is in one piece, and the crew return home.

But they don’t just have Ragnar in tow — they also brought the creature’s babies along for the ride, with Bo-Katan suggesting they could be trained. Okay, trying to fit a helmet around Grogu’s head seems tough enough — but putting them on these baby bat/dragon/monster things? That’s a step too far, even for me.

the mandalorian season 3 episode 4 recap: din djarin bo-katan and grogu

Because saving a foundling is the highest honour a Mandalorian can do, Bo-Katan is definitely back in the covert’s good books, whether she likes it or not. The episode ends in the forge, with the Armorer repairing Bo-Katans armour and, at her request, provides her with a new badge that combines both the Nite Owl and mythosaur.

At this point, Katan (finally) reveals that she saw the mythosaur in the Living Waters of Mandalore, but The Armorer just doesn’t want to hear it. Not only does she dismiss Bo-Katans claims, but she also tries to gaslight her into thinking that what she saw was a vision. Definitely not something that’s gonna come back to bite them later.

the mandalorian season 3 episode 4 recap: bo-katan

Ultimately, while this episode was a lot shorter, it felt like it had a much stronger narrative flow, with the episode’s title ‘The Foundling,’ seamlessly tying together Ragnar’s plight and the flashback sequence of Grogu’s rescue.

It also feels like the TV series has a bit more direction after Din’s primary goal — being redeemed — was done and dusted by episode 2. The looming threat of the mythosaur, Bo-Katan’s unsure path to redemption, the mystery of Kelleran, and Grogu’s past and present journey help to give the season more direction and purpose.

However, the stakes still feel slightly lower than they should be at this point in the season, with the Darksaber, Moff Gideon, and the events of episode 3 all feeling like they’ve been forgotten. But as long as I continue to see pretty lightsaber colours and Jedi content, I’ll continue to trust the process.

As a Disney Plus show, The Mandalorian is available to watch on the streaming service. If you like The Mandalorian, you will need to dive into our guides on the Andor season 2 release date.