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‘Mandalorian’ Season 3, Episode 5 recap: Guns for Hire

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The latest episode of The Mandalorian has sealed the series’ tone as one that harkens to child-like Star Wars, as opposed to the grounded and mature Andor. Looking back, the clues have always been there, starting with a child as the protagonist. New whimsical characters were introduced and old wounds healed with a nice tidy bow. I’m not particularly mad about it. Let’s jump in.

Spoilers ahead.

The episode begins with Bo-Katan Kryze’s previous comrades, Mandalorians now led by Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) who have been hired to defend a free planet called Plazir-15. When Bo-Katan and Din show up looking for them, they first must deal with the leadership: The Duchess (played by Lizzo, and honestly I loved her and her Blade Runner-esque hologram fashion accessories) and her partner Captain Bombardier (Jack Black).

Amongst the opulence, we learn that Plazir-15 maintains its luxurious lifestyle thanks to the work of reprogrammed Imperial droids — unfortunately, some of them have been going rogue, including violent outbursts, which should be forbidden in their coding.

Din and Bo-Katan visit the droid specialists — Ugnaughts, whom Din is able to connect with thanks to his season one friendship with Kuiil (“I have spoken”). They send him to where the next malfunction will most likely occur, and indeed it does. A rogue battle droid responds violently to Din’s provocations and flees, endangering a whole hologramed Plazir-15 city scene. Bo-Katan and Din take out the droid and find their next clue, which leads them to a droid bar.

The droids sincerely want to help and offer information that reveals that a batch of droid nepenthé, a lubricant for their systems that protects against mechanical wear while delivering program-refreshing subparticles, contains nano-bots that interfere with their reprogramming.

The culprit turned out to be Commissioner Helgait (Christopher Lloyd), a Count Dooku-supporting separatist. After bringing him to the Duchess and Captain Bombardier for justice, Bo-Katan and Din receive the key to Plazir-15 and young Grogu is knighted. Sure! Why not!

Finally, they are given permission to seek out the Mandalorians. In a surprisingly fast turn of events, Bo-Katan challenges Axe Woves and defeats him, but fails to secure the loyalty and trust of the Mandalorians (among them, Koska Reeves played by Mercedes Varnado from season two). Din Djarin still wields the Darksaber — he is who Bo-Katan should be challenging for leadership. Bo-Katan insists that enough Mandalorian blood has been spilled.

Din offers the Darksaber, but of course Bo-Katan again refuses it, for the Darksaber must be won in combat. At this, Din announces that he had been captured on Mandalore and the Darksaber was taken from him. Bo-Katan came to his rescue and defeated his captor, using the Darksaber against him. By rights, she did win the Darksaber and is now the rightful owner.

Everyone agreed and just like that, problem solved.

For quite a few episodes now, The Mandalorian has exhibited the tidy conclusions to storylines that we might expect from the animated Star Wars series. This is the way, and I’m okay with it.