RANDY V. DANIELS

RANDY V. DANIELS

Review – “The Mandalorian, Season 3”

TV Reviews

Hello from Simi Valley,

I’m back with my long overdue, promised review of Season 3 of the Mandalorian. But first, there are a few things I must get out of the way.

SPOILER ALERT – Before I begin, I must insert my usual SPOILER warning. This review will be full of them (SPOILERS, that is), so if you have not seen “The Mandalorian, Season 3” yet and don’t want any part of the plot ruined for you, stop reading now. Otherwise, read on. You’ve been warned.

Also, a required disclosure: As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

That being said, let’s get to it.

As always with the Mandalorian, the beginning of the season started out slowly but with enough action that I was compelled to return the following week. As the season progressed, I felt an episode or two fell into the ‘filler’ category, at least at the onset of a few of the episodes.  Also, though I do understand the importance of character building, especially in reference to Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kyrze, this season felt as if the focus of the show was somehow shifting unevenly from Din Djarin and Grogu, to Bo-Katan.

The season opens with Din Djarin on a quest to redeem himself in the eyes of the Armorer and reclaim his status as a Mandalorian. At the end of season 2, Din lost his Mandalorian status after admitting that he had removed his helmet (and thereby, revealing his face) in the presence of others. Since the importance of being a Mandalorian and following ‘the way’ was clearly important to the character, it was absolutely understandable why this was such a crucial mission for Djarin to undertake. Spoiler alert, Djarin accomplishes this feat within the first two episodes of the season, which left me wondering what was next for our hero. This is where the focus of each episode seemed to drift in the direction of Bo-Katan.

Episode 3 took complete focus away from the Mandalorian story for a great majority of the episode. And although this storyline that involved Dr. Pershing and Elia Kane did come full circle, I still thought these characters, Elia Kane especially, were still too under-developed and unimportant to have almost an entire episode dedicated to their story. This was much like Episode 5 of Boba Fett, where the Mandalorian was featured in the episode and Boba Fett was not. Strangely enough, I found that Episode 5 of Boba Fett was the best episode of the season (followed closely by episode 7). Unfortunately, I did not have the same feeling about the deviation to “The Convert”, or S3 E3 of the Mandalorian. I’m assuming this episode that featured Elia Kane was meant to flesh the character out and give us, the viewers, a reason to care for her. Well, it didn’t work (not for me, at least). Nice try, though.

(I do not own this image)

As the season progressed, we watched as the Mandalorian’s travels became intermingled with that of Bo-Katan who, despite her resistance to the old Mandalorian way during her first appearance last season, accepted the offer the join the group after each of them had bathed in the sacred waters under the city of Mandalore. Soon, Din Djarin joined Bo-Katan’s quest to reclaim her fleet and  retake their home world, thus reestablishing the Mandalorian home base. While this scenario played out over several episodes, Din Djarin and Grogu seemed to be relegated to secondary characters. Not a good look.

The temperature of the season was turned up a notch with the reintroduction of Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon in Episode 7.  Elia Kane (here’s that full circle I mentioned earlier) reports the reemergence of the Mandalorian clan and their plans to retake Mandalore to Gideon. Gideon leads a squadron of troopers to Mandalore in an effort to eradicate this new clan of Mandalorians once and for all.

The end of Episode 7, titled The Spies, gives us the setting for the final battle. The set-up is done very well in ‘the-gang’s-all-here’ fashion. The newly united clan of Mandalorians comprised of Bo-Katan’s team as well as the Armorer’s crew, were all present to face Moff Gideon’s new band of Imperial troopers, all of whom were outfitted in beskar-plated suits. After a quick skirmish, the Mandalorians find themselves a few men short, including Din Djarin, who gets captured.

Episode 8, The Return, offers a climactic battle between the Mandalorian squadron and Gideon’s Imperial forces.  There is plenty of action by way of blaster shoot-outs, mid-air battles, and hand to hand combat. Eventually, Djarin, aided by Grogu and Bo-Katan, face off against Moff Gideon in a literal fight to the death. If you’re a fan of seeing Grogu use the force during fight scenes, then this episode will not disappoint, and I would be remiss if I did not mention that we get to see Bo-Katan wield the coveted Dark Saber. Without going into details, Gideon is defeated by the episode’s end and the new clan of united Mandalorians reignite the forge and reclaim Mandalore.

One minor gripe that I will mention is that we never get to see Din Djarin remove his helmet. Apparently, Pedro Pascal, the actor who portrays Din Djarin, wasn’t actually in the suit for most, if not for any, of Season 3. At the time, Pascal was filming “The Last of Us” for HBO Max, where Pascal’s character was off saving and protecting some other kid (just like he does with Grogu. Hmm).

Overall, episode 8 brought an exciting end to a season that most definitely featured a snoozer episode or two. However, I still give the season as a whole a well-deserved thumbs up. If you missed either Season 1 or 2 of the Mandalorian, you can grab the Season 1 blu-ray here [affiliate link], or Season 1 and 2 Collectors Edition on 4k Ultra HD + blu-ray here [affiliate link].

If you’re a fan of all things Star Wars, be sure to check out my review of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” here.

That’s it for now. Thank you all for your continued support. Until next time…

-Daniels

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