*RECAP INCLUDES SPOILERS*
In the show’s season finale we open right after our cliff hanger from the previous episode. Baby Yoda has been kidnapped and we see the two scout troopers, baby in bag, whizzing him back to town while Gideon has Cara, Mando and Greef held up back in The Client’s lair.
The opening scene is probably one of the funnier ones, depending on who you ask. We see the two troopers waiting for the ok to bring the asset in, meanwhile exchanging some small talk and arguing about the asset. It’s really well written and showcases the trooper’s notoriously bad shooting skills. The troopers also take turns making Baby Yoda their punching bag, which I’m sure angered pretty much everyone watching (don’t worry, he’s fine). They are interrupted by the newly minted nurse IG-11, voiced once again by Taika Waititi, who has decided he is now the protector of the child and begins to whip some scout troopers ass and takes off on a speeder with the bag (baby) secured.
Back at the lair, our band of heroes is pinned tight with no clear way of escape. Mando suggests escaping through the sewers but is interrupted by the Moff and his troopers setting up an E-web, a powerful imperial weapon that will surely end the three of them in no time. Mando locates the sewer vent but the group has trouble prying it open. Meanwhile, Moff Gideon waxes on about whatever negotiation he is planning with the group. In doing so, we learn some key information: Cara Dune’s full name is Carasynthia Dune and she is from Alderaan. Mando’s real name is Din Djarin. He asks for their cooperation in exchange for not blowing them to bits. In deciding whether or not to cooperate, we get a new flashback to Mando’s childhood. We see his parents running with him in their arms, being chased down by battle droids and explosions as they try to escape. They place Din in an underground storage unit and they say goodbye, shutting the doors before an explosion careens down. Just when it seems like Din is about to be captured, a Mandalorian swoops in to save the day. He is joined by several other Mandalorians and they fly to safety, taking Din in as a foundling and he adopts the Mandalorian creed.
As IG-11 speeds back into town with Baby Yoda, he swiftly takes out over a dozen stormtroopers with some impressive shooting skills. It’s a pretty awesome scene, as IG-11 takes out a band of troopers with the baby nestled to his chest in a makeshift baby Bjorn. This allows Mando and Greef to temporarily escape to help finish the rest of the troopers. During the firefight Gideon sees that Mando is standing by the E-web and shoots it with his blaster, causing it to explode and send Mando flying. This causes our group to retreat back into the building, Cara dragging an injured Mando in. This buys them more time, but we see Mando is bleeding heavily from his helmet. As IG-11 opens the grate to the sewers, Mando repeatedly asks Cara to leave him behind as he cannot remove his helmet in front of her to be healed. A saucily painted trooper with a flame thrower approaches the lair and starts lighting it up, but not before we’re treated to some adorable force powers emitting from the tiny hands of Baby Yoda. He uses the force to repel the flames and send them shooting back at the trooper allowing them to escape. IG-11 convinces Mando to remove his helmet, as he is “not a living thing.” Touche. Now for the first time, we see Mando’s face aka the sweet, sweet face of Pedro Pascal. He applies a bacta spray and the two get moving to catch up to Cara, Greef and the child.
As they traverse the sewers they search for the rest of the Mandalorians but are gutted to find them all dead. All apparently, except for the armorer who is salvaging what she can of the stricken Mandalorian armor. In learning about Mando’s history with the child and how it helped Mando defeat the Mudhorn with his force powers, the Armorer mentions the Jedi for the first time, and how they too used such powers. She then gives Mando his signet (a mudhorn skull) and declares that he and the Baby are “a clan of two” and that Mando is now his adoptive daddy until the child is old enough to fend for itself, or is reunited with its own kind.
They are interrupted by imperial fire and head out, but not before the Armorer hands Mando his own shiny jetpack. The group leaves and the Armorer is left to kick the ass of the incoming troopers in a stunning display, using her tongs and hammer to smash helmets left and right. The group sets off on a ferry across a lava river but they soon realize that their only way out is crawling with Imps. Realizing that both it and the child cannot survive, IG-11 takes it upon itself to trigger its self destruct mechanism to help them escape. Sensing he cannot convince IG-11 otherwise, Mando, who throughout the whole series was so anti-droid, suddenly feels a sadness as the droid who he once killed and then, in turn, saved him, was now sacrificing itself for them. Mando tries to put on a brave face and deny his sadness, but IG-11 picks up on this as he says, “Yes you are, I’m a nurse droid, I’ve analyzed your voice.” A sweet moment between human and droid before IG-11 wades through the lava to his demise. “There’s nothing to be sad about, I’ve never been alive.” Star Wars really knows how to write a droid.
IG-11 is successful, and the group makes it out only to be chased down by Gideon in his TIE fighter. Mando decides to say screw it and throws on his jetpack. He yeets himself onto the TIE fighter and hangs on for dear life. As it spins out, Mando lays down a charge and jets away leaving the TIE fighter to explode and crash land nearby.
Cara and Greef decide that now that the Imps are gone, they’ll stay on Nevarro and Mando will be welcomed back to the Guild he was exiled from. Mando and his foundling jet off into the sunset, much like the flashback we see of Din being taken into Mandalorian protection. Back on the Razorcrest, Daddy and Baby set off on another galactic adventure and the camera pans down to the TIE fighter wreckage, now being scavenged by Jawas. We hear a familiar sound as the side of the TIE is cut open by what appears to be a DarkSaber, and Gideon climbs out.
This episode had quite a bit of Star Wars lore, culminating in the DarkSaber reveal. It was directed by IG himself, Taika Waititi and boy did he stick the landing. Every bit of this episode had me on the edge of my seat and it was classic Star Wars but also completely fresh and new. I’m hoping they give Taika more Star Wars projects in the future because he really adds a fresh perspective to match Jon Favreau’s writing.
Carasynthia of Alderaan – We find out that Cara’s full name is Carasynthia and she is from Alderaan, Princess Leia Organa’s home planet, which is blown up in Episode IV: A New Hope. This adds new meaning to the braids that Cara wears, as Aldaraanian braids were significant to their culture.
Din Djarin – We find out Mando’s real name and get some more insight into how he was taken in as a foundling. Although he has a name now, I’m going to have some trouble not calling him Mando.
Signet – Mando finally gets his signet, a Mudhorn skull, after the one we see him and Baby Yoda defeat in Chapter 2.
Mindfalyer – No, this isn’t from Stranger Things or D&D. We hear Cara mention that she’ll be uploaded to a Mindflayer if she is captured. You might remember Bor Gullet, a Mairan who is used to torturing and extracting information from Bodhi Rook in Rogue One. This Mindfalyer Cara talks about could be a similar being.
Night of a Thousand Tears – it’s pretty much as horrible as it sounds. Moff Gideon mentions the Night of a Thousand Tears and this appears to be a part of the siege of Mandalore in which gunships were outfitted with weapons similar to the E-web they use to draw Mando and the crew out. These weapons were used to attack Mandalorian occupied fields.
Darksaber – Finally yes, what everyone has been talking about. Even though it looks like a blade, yes it is a saber. It was designed and built by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian that was admitted into the Jedi order and has been passed down from owner to owner, most notably Sabine Wren and Darth Maul. These events took place in the Rebel series, with the last known owner of the saber to be Bo-Katan Kryze, so there’s a good chunk of about 9 years between what we know about the last whereabouts of the Darksaber and Gideon having it now. The seventh season of Clone Wars is debuting in February, and the second season of THE MANDALORIAN comes in Fall so there may be a connection or crossover with the two shows. Whatever the connection is, be prepared to see more of the Darksaber in the next season of THE MANDALORIAN. For more on the show, which is available to stream in its entirety on Disney+, or if you need a recap of previous episodes, click here for Angie’s review of each episode.