This is the moment. After episode two of The Mandalorian slowed down the time bomb that was the identity of his bounty, episode three finally brought that bounty face to face with the person who paid to get it. It is a moment of truth for the character and a moment of truth for the show.
Episode three of The Mandalorian season one is called “The Sin” and as the episode proceeds, and the Mandalorian does some heinous stuff, the meaning of the title seems to change. That shift is probably going to be the defining moment for this character. His choices at the beginning and end of this episode are everything.
As the episode started I felt anxious. Was the Mando really going to bring Baby Yoda back to the Client? After all that they’d been through, didn’t you hope he would fly away and raise him on his own? Was the story really going to be so mean to this hugely significant character? It didn’t help the episode began with the maddeningly adorable, and important, moment where the baby removed the chrome top from the lever.
Soon after landing, we see the first “Sin” which was the Mandalorian doing exactly what we hoped he wouldn’t. He brings the baby right back to The Client and gives him up. And guess what? You hate him for it. The shots of the baby looking back at him as he leaves the room are gut-wrenching. You kind of get it, though. He’s a bounty hunter, he needs money, and he’s about to get a lot of it. Still, as he walked out of that room without the baby, I was ready to truly hate this character.
From the Mandalorian’s point of view though, it seems like the safe play. He has no idea what that baby means or how important it is. Plus, he just got a “camtono” full of beskar steel, just as The Client promised. (A camtono is the ice cream maker from The Empire Strikes Back. We wrote all about it a few months ago.)
New beskar means a trip to the secret, underground Mandalorian hangout and a trip to The Armorer. In episode one, he just had a single piece of armor made. Now, since his armor got destroyed by the Mudhorn and he’s flush with the precious metal, he decides to craft a whole new suit.
There’s a ton to unpack in the sequence, like the moment where Mando tells the Armorer about Baby Yoda, but describes it as an “enemy” who saved him in battle. An enemy who didn’t know he was his enemy. That’s how the Mandalorian justified giving up the baby, by thinking of him as an enemy, and you can really sense the conflict in him during the exchange.
Next, there’s how all the beskar attracts the rest of his fellow Mandalorians and the scene evolves from an armor making montage into a short history lesson about Mandalorian culture. It seems like in addition to the purge of Jedi started by Order 66, there was also a “Great Purge” where the Empire wiped out most of the Mandalorians. It’s not clear if these Purges are the same but it’s definitely why seeing a Mandalorian out and about is such a big deal and why the majority of them are in hiding. Plus, it seems, this beskar with the Imperial insignia is just a reminder that the Empire stole from a whole race of people and why tensions are high when it returns.
Finally (yes, still talking about this one scene), I hope you didn’t spend too much money on Mandalorian toys on Triple Force Friday. Because it’s episode three of the show and he’s already got a full new set of armor. From the greens and browns of his first suit, now the Mandalorian is chromed out Phasma-style. Covered in beskar, he’s basically inviting people to hate him because of the flashy show of wealth.
New suit of armor and Mandalorian history lesson acquired, Mando heads back to Greef to get a new job. Greef can’t believe Mando wants to go back out. Instead, he suggests a trip to the “Twi’lek healing baths,” which sounds less “bath” and more brothel. Mando doesn’t care, though. He wants more work and picks out a bounty on a royal Mon Calamari male that’ll take him far, far away.
Arriving back to the Razor Crest, that’s when it happens. The Mandalorian is about to head off and he notices the knob missing on the lever. He misses Baby Yoda. He’s unsure what’s going to happen to him. And at that moment, he makes the choice to go against everything he believes. To break all the rules of bounty hunting. He’s going to make the second and true “Sin” referenced in the episode’s title—a violation of his code as a bounty hunter. He’s going back and rescuing Baby Yoda.
Before going in, Mando hears the Client asking to extract the “necessary material” from the baby. He’s gotta be talking about midichlorians, right? Could they be trying to duplicate midichlorians to make more Force-sensitive beings? Unfortunately, we don’t find out. What we get is Mandalorian sneaking his way into the complex fairly easily, especially since Stormtroopers after the fall of the Empire are still as useless as Stormtroopers at the height of the Empire. Once the Mando finds Dr. Pershing and Baby Yoda, Pershing is worried the Mando is there to kill the baby, not rescue it. Why would that be? So many questions.
Still, Mando gets Baby Yoda and escapes fairly easily, thanks to the “Whistling Birds” the Armorer crafted for him. Then the beeping begins. It’s the sound of every bounty hunter in town being alerted that there’s a new bounty that needs to be brought in: The Mandalorian himself.
Chaos ensues. Every bounty hunter is blasting their way through town trying to capture the Mandalorian, even good ol’ Greef Carga. Trapped in the back seat of a speeder, it seems all is lost. But then, something happens. The other Mandalorians come out of hiding and fight by the Mandalorian’s side. He knows that means they will have to relocate to another planet but it doesn’t matter. “This is the way,” they say as they cover him and he narrowly escapes, after nearing killing Greef Carga in the process.
And so episode three ends, with The Mandalorian now a wanted man, carrying the most valuable bounty of his career with him, wearing a brand new suit of armor, probably completely clueless of how to get out of this.
Deborah Chow directed “The Sin” and, if you don’t know who that is, she’s the person directing the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series. After watching “The Sin”, it’s obvious that the show is in great hands. Chow has an excellent eye for action, suspense, and peppering in just the right amount of exposition. She directs the hell out of this episode.
So now, the hunter has become the hunted. And with Baby Yoda now under his full protection at the expense of his livelihood, we have a true emotional connection to this character and his cargo.
- Though we have yet to meet Gina Carano’s Cara Dune after three episodes (she should be in next week’s episode), it was cool to see Greef Carga get into the mix a bit. Carl Weathers rules. The way he says “Mando” with an emphasis on the “O” is incredible and it’s fantastic that he’s now being set up as an adversary.
- There was lots of talk in “The Sin” about the bounty hunter guild. How asking about the baby was against the guild and how going back was against the guild. Where is this guild, who is in charge, and will we learn more about it?
- I appreciate that in all three episodes, the Mandalorian has used his flame thrower a lot. I always loved that Boba Fett had a flame thrower on his arm but he didn’t get to use it much. Here, Mando is flame thrower obsessed. He literally runs out of gas he uses it so much.
- Why do none of these planets have names? Even the original Star Wars organically worked the name of the planet into the dialogue. However, I think, so far, we haven’t heard a peep. (Though know Kuiil’s planet is Arvala-7 via the Star Wars website). Is there a reason?
- While getting his armor made, Mando had another flashback to his youth. In it, we see several Super Battle Droids, which were used by the Trade Federation during the Clone War era. That basically tells us when he grew up and what he’s lived through.
- Where are these Mandalorian foundlings who keep getting beskar saved for them? That must play a role coming up at some point, right?
- Great emphasis is put on the importance that Mandalorians never take off their helmets. It’s part of their deepest beliefs. Which, of course, means Mando is totally going to do just that at some point, right? Maybe at the very end of the season?
- “I’ve got to get one of those,” Mando says when he sees a fellow Mandalorian with a jetpack. We hope he gets one too.
- Finally, one of the most important moments in the episode is in the bar when Greef suggests to Mando he can take his issues up with the New Republic and Mando says that’s a joke. You have to wonder if that’s the popular opinion of the time or not. Do people not care about the new government being formed? And if not, maybe it’s a tiny piece of retcon to explain why there’s no real fallout from its destruction a few years later in The Force Awakens.
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