Navarro Strikes Back
Finally some plot progression! The Mandalorian has been a bit of a mixed bag this season and although this week’s episode does tie everything together nicely, making those side-quest episodes relevant, the lack of foreshadowing or acknowledgment that this was the plan all along does hurt the integrity of the show. Still, The Mandalorian is at its strongest when the plot advances and here we see the potential of a good Star Wars story finally ending with a decent pay-off.
The episode begins with Mando receiving a transmission to head back to Navarro with a simple trade offered. Wasting little time, he heads off to recruit some firing power, in the form of Kuiil and Cara, before flying into the lion’s den. It also turns out the bounty hunting droid, IG-11, has been reprogrammed and working on their side now
Reluctantly, Mando agrees to allow it on his ship and they prepare to fly to Navarro. En-route, baby Yoda interjects an arm wrestle and chokes out Cara until Mando interferes and stops him. As we see from this interaction, baby Yoda is still a child and still not able to deduce the full extent of its powers just yet.
Things have gotten complicated on Navarro since Mando was last there and as they touch down, this much is plain to see. With Cara and Kuiil together, they cross the perilous lava chasms and camp midway. Unfortunately winged beasts swoop down and attack the group in the dead of night but Yoda uses his powers to heal Greef after the attack.
Together, they put their plan into action and Mando is taken into the heart of the city while baby Yoda stays back with Kuiil. As they ride back to the ship, Mando cautiously walks toward The Client and admires his armour. Slipping out of his cuffs, Mando ambushes him and fires, leading to an all-out gunfight in the canteen. Unfortunately reinforcements arrive, leading Mando to send a radio signal to Kuiil to get baby Yoda out of harm’s way.
Things inevitably go awry though, as troopers intercept the message and head off in hot pursuit. As they do, Moff Gideon, the one in charge of the entire operation, arrives and addresses Cara and Mando, camped out in the house. Sadly Kuiil is killed, along with his mount, and baby Yoda is in the grip of the two troopers where we leave things hanging in the balance.
Next week’s finale certainly looks set to be a dramatic one and although I haven’t been completely sold on this one, it does feel authentically Star Wars, unlike the cinematic trilogy. I won’t go into details on my thoughts with that here but suffice to say, The Mandalorian is a return to form for the Star Wars lore. Of course, with this being a primarily family-friendly show, it is a little disappointing we haven’t seen a grittier, more brutal depiction of bounty hunting but there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.