I just took a DNA test turns out I'm 100% confused by this season of The Mandalorian. Although episode 6 returns to its tried-and-tested format of fun, standalone stories — and trust me, this story is definitely fun — it feels like, at this point in the Star Wars series, the stakes should be a little bit higher and focus that little bit more on the titular Mandalorian and Baby Yoda.
The episode starts off by introducing us to Axe Wothes, the new leader of the rogue Mandalorian convert previously ruled by Bo-Katan. In case you forgot (and we don't blame you if you did, her supposed villain arc was really anti-climatic and short-lived), they all abandoned her and went rogue once it transpired that she didn't get the Darksaber.
The mercenaries now spend their time chasing bounties for credit. This time, they're ripping a Mon Calamari prince from his Quarren girlfriend on his mother's orders in what might be the most short-lived and inconsequential Romeo and Juliet storyline I've ever seen.
I guess the purpose of it is to show that Axe Woves and his gang are bad guys who aren’t afraid to step on the toes of true love — but when they aren’t being hired by interfering mother-in-laws, their main job is to guard Outer Rim planet Plazir-15. This planet, in case you were wondering, is ruled by Lizzo, who plays The Dutchess and bloodborne royalty of the country, and Jack Black, who plays her husband, Captain Bombardier. No, I’m not having a breakdown. This is actually the episode’s plot.
For context, Captain Bombardier was previously loyal to the Galactic Empire but was sent here as part of that pesky Amnesty Program which keeps popping up this season. He seems to have changed his ways, but his bad boy rizz was enough to seduce the Dutchess, and together, they turn the planet into a place of opulence and leisure. They love leisure so much, in fact, that nobody on the planet does any work, as they rely entirely on former Empire war droids reprogrammed by Ugnaughts to take on all the leisure required to keep the metropolis running.
The only problem is, as explained to them by Commissioner Helgait, some of the droids have gone rogue and randomly attacked people and citizens. So, in exchange for an audience with Bo-Katan’s old crew, she and Din agree to get to the bottom of this and weed out the problematic droids. And no, you’re not in the midst of a fever dream, that is Christopher Lloyd guest-starring as Commissioner Helgait.
After a quick chat with the Ugnaughts, where Din brings up Kuiil (RIP), he and Bo-Katan track the latest rogue droids. To identify them, Din plays a bit of droid football: kicking all the droids until one of them inevitably freaks out. One benefit of having something of a filler episode is that there’s a little more room for stupid comedy and moments of sass like this, with Din and Bo’s bickering helping the episode move along at a leisurely pace and keeping things from getting too boring.
Anyway, back to the rogue droid — Bo and Din find a spark pad labelled as ‘The Reisistor,’ which they hypothesise might be the reason for the droid’s malfunctioning, which leads them to a bar filled with droids.
Bo and Din once again disagree on their approach, with Bo trying to play good cop with the barkeeper while Din goes straight into bad cop, but it isn’t long until they get to the bottom of it. Like the rest of the droids on the planet, the barkeeper, who is afraid that humans will replace the droids, has been replenishing his customers with Nepenthe oil — a type of oil that tends to patch over a droid’s original programming and keep them to their reprogrammed function.
But alas, it looks like the Nepenthe is a bad batch (pun intended), and they find out that the oil has been corrupted with nanobots to cause the droids to malfunction deliberately (it’s not their fault, blame it on the juice). And who has been corrupting the droids all along? Commissioner Helgat, who outs himself as a Separatist and has the shortest Star Wars villain arc in history. He is quickly taken down by Bo-Katan and exiled.
They’re awarded the key to Plazir-15, and Grogu is subsequently knighted for no reason (Remember him? He’s in the show too). With ten minutes left, we finally get to the actual point of the episode, which is Bo-Katan trying to convince Axe Wothes to rejoin the main Convert.
They have a quick and inconsequential battle for leadership of the rogue Mandos, and Bo-Katan wins. Shocker. Remember when Din obtaining the Darksaber was a massive source of conflict between him and Bo-Katan, and set the scene for an exciting season 3? Well, that ended up being a damp squib, as Din basically argued that she should get the darksaber on a technicality, as she “defeated the enemy that defeated him.” What?
Wothes, who was set up to be an unforgiving couples-splitter at the start of the episode, seemed perfectly happy with that, and the episode ends with Bo-Katan smugly wielding the Darksaber. Compared to the last episode, this one was a bit disappointing. It felt like we were going somewhere, but there’s still no sign of Moff Gideon, and the actual point of this season remains unclear. The overriding plot points we did get, like the darksaber, felt disappointing — just like when Din’s quest for redemption was all wrapped up by episode 2.
With this episode, it feels like they were trying to harken back to the episodic format season 1 did so well — but as enjoyable as the story in this episode is as a whole, there’s a growing elephant in the room. Even a vast array of talented guest stars and a fun B-plot can’t paper over the gaping cracks that continue to emerge this season.
Grogu is meant to be the driving force of the sci-fi series, but he once again was left with nothing to do. I hope the focus shifts back to him and Din in future episodes, whether there’s an overriding plot or not, because to put it bluntly, I’m getting a bit tired of what is starting to turn into the Bo-Katan Show.
For more on The Mandalorian, check out our guide to Mandalore and find out who plays The Armorer. Or, find out more about the Andor season 2 release date and the Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2 release date.
The Mandalorian season 3 episode 6 review
It’s about damn time this season got better stakes.