The Mandalorian 1.03 Chapter 3: The Sin
The previous episode of The Mandalorian was a fun diversion. Although there was arguably no real plot advancement or character development, except for learning that Baby Yoda can use the force, it was still very entertaining. Now The Sin returns to the main storyline, ramps up the action and by the end of the episode our bounty hunting hero will have been changed forever.
After putting his ship back together after the pesky jawa incident Mando returns to the enigmatic Client to drop off his little green bounty. After receiving his payment in ingots of beskar, the metal that all Mandalorian armour is made of, Mando visits his clan for repairs to own suit. After that it's off to see Greef Karga to pick up a new target and then he's on his way to complete another job. Well that would be the case except that when Mando is sitting in the cockpit of the Razorcrest, all ready to be on his way, he has a change of heart. Could it be that this fearsome warrior has developed a conscience? As a whole bunch of stormtroopers are about to find out, you really don't want to be between an angry Mandalorian and his new little friend.
There are a lot of great sequences in this episode and plenty of action scenes. We learn some of Mando's backstory and get some insights into how Mandalorian culture works. After receiving his payment Mando takes the beskar to the Armorer, a fearsome female Mandalorian who's responsible for building and repairing the distinctive armour of the various clan members. We get to see some of these other warriors including Paz Vizla who is voiced by Jon Favreau and is a character that first appeared in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. It's always good to see it when previous stories are referenced and linked into each other. We learn that Mandalorian's never take off their helmets and through a flashback scene we Mando as a child with his parents. They are under attack from what looks like super battle droids from the prequel films. The child Mando is hidden away just as an explosion presumably kills his parents. The flashback ends as a droid discovers him and raises its blaster. I imagine more of this backstory will unfold in the episodes to come. With the Armorer making good use of the beskar reward Mando now makes for an even more impressive sight in his new shiny suit of armour which also includes upgraded weaponry.
It is easy to see why Baby Yoda has become the pop culture sensation he has. The scenes early of this episode in the Razorcrest's cockpit are adorable. Clambering out of his floating pram like a determined toddler and surreptitiously unscrewing a knob off the dashboard, Baby Yoda is a joy to watch. All credit must go to the puppeteers, at least sixty percent of his shots are achieved live on set. CGI takes over usually when he's walking or has to hit very specific beats but for the majority of the time it's just a very sophisticated animatronic. The real proof of how convincingly he has been created is in the emotions you feel when he is handed over to the creepy ex-Imperial and his assistant, Dr. Pershing. Played by Werner Herzog and Omid Abtahi respectively, your heart sinks as you imagine the horrors the pair have in store for poor Baby Yoda. The look of misery and terror on his face is captured perfectly which only compounds the issue. Luckily upon returning to his ship Mando sees the little metal knob that the child was playing with and realises the error he has made.
Mando's return to rescue Baby Yoda is a tour de force of action and excitement. Infiltrating the Client's base of operations we get to see a Mandalorian in full on combat mode for the first time. Any Stormtroopers unfortunate enough to get in his way are soon despatched in a variety of manners. The new little homing missiles that have been installed are soon put to use on a room full of troopers in an impressive display of firepower. Once Baby Yoda is retrieved Mando now has to contend with protecting his charge as he fights his way out. This doesn't stop him roasting one poor trooper with his wrist mounted flamethrower in a scene that is probably as violent as Star Wars gets, only Anakin's cremation on Mustafar tops it. Things look bleak for Mando and his tiny ward as they battle to get back to the Razorcrest. Word is out that the bounty hunt is back on and everyone is determined to get their hands on the prize, including Greef Karga who shows that when it comes to friendships he's all business. I don't think I'll ever tire of watching Mando disintegrate people with his rifle. Seeing bad guys just explode into nothingness is incredibly satisfying.
Just as things look like they're all over for our heroes the cavalry arrive in the shape of the Mandalorian clan. On jetpacks. That's right, a whole bunch of Mandalorians come swooping in guns a'blazing! This is exactly what Star Wars is all about and it plays brilliantly, especially as one of them has a massive gatling gun-like laser cannon that he lets rip with. The Sin shows exactly what an episode of a Star Wars TV show can be like, thrilling and exciting with cinema quality visual effects. Director Deborah Chow and write/producer Jon Favreau have given us the best episode yet.