The Mandalorian: Chapter 8: Redemption
What is it ? : The Mandalorian, Cara Dune and Greef Karga are trapped inside the Cantina by hordes of Stormtroopers, while Kuiil has been killed and The Child taken by Scout Troopers. The Scouts stop awaiting permission to enter the town and pass on their cargo, and hear of how Moff Gideon has put to death the squad inside the Cantina, and killed an officer who interrupted him.
As they wait, one of them keeps wanting to see The Child, as everytime it makes a noise, the other punches the bag it is in, and as they check on it, IG-11 arrives, describing himself as a guardian and nursemaid, which they mock before the droid kills them both and takes the Child and a Speeder bike.
Outside the Cantina the Stormtroopers set up a E-Web Heavy Repeating Blaster, and Moff Gideon addresses each of the occupants of the Cantina revealing their full names and history, Carasynthia Dune ex-rebel shock trooper, Greef Karga former barrister, and Din Djarin Mandalorian Warrior. And from this information, The Mandalorian confirms this is Moff Gideon, the man responsible for the conquest of Mandalore and "The Night of a Thousand Tears".
They locate an entrance into the sewers, where the Mandalorian says they can meet up with the other Mandalorians and get help, but they cannot open it, but IG-11 rides into town on the Speeder Bike firing with both hands at the Stormtroopers, allowing the heroes to exit and begin a battle. However the Mandalorian is wounded by Moff Gideon himself, and they are forced to retreat back into the Cantina.
A Stormtrooper flame trooper blasts jets of flame into the Cantina, but Baby Yoda pushes the flames back, roasting the trooper.
IG-11 cuts through the grill into the sewers, and the Mandalorian, thinking he is mortally wounded, and unable to be treated due to the restriction on being seen without his armour, stays behind. But IG-11 points out that he is a machine and therefore doesn't count, so remains behind and treats the Mandalorian with Bacta infusions.
They travel through the sewers and reach the Mandalorian base where they discover a pile of Mandalorian armour where they have been slaughtered for helping the hero earlier in the series. But the Mandalorian Armourer enters, collecting the armour and melting it down for the Beskar, she presents the Mandalorian with a clan symbol, telling him he is a clan of two, and the code requires him to be a father to The Child until he can return him to his own people. She also presents him with a Jetpack, telling him he must begin practicing with it each day, as required by the code, and tells him that she must remain behind.
The group heads through the sewers towards a lava river which will allow them to exit near to the Mandalorians ship, and shortly afterwards Stormtroopers enter the Mandalorian forge, and are killed by her using her tools.
The heroes discover a barge which they can use on the Lava river, and the droid that drives it appears to be an R series Astromech, but unfolds into a more humanoid body.
As they are about to exit the tunnel, The Mandalorian's armour sensors detect a Stormtrooper ambush outside, and IG-11 asks him to take over it's responsibilities for the Child, which will allow it's primary programming of stopping it's design falling into other hands, and it can activate it's self destruct to destroy the Stormtroopers, and it reveals that it's nursemaid sensors detect that he now feels emotion for the droid that saved his life.
Being given it's assurances, IG-11 wades through the Lava to the exit and detonates killing the Stormtroopers, and the heroes exit, however Moff Gideon in his Tie Fighter flies overhead and begins strafing them, and the Mandalorian uses his new Jetpack to fly up to the Tie and plant explosives on it's wing causing the fighter to explode.
Having wiped out all the Stormtroopers in the Town, Cara and Greef are going to remain here, with Greef attempting to hire Cara as his enforcer, while the Mandalorian buries Kuiil and he and the Child fly off in the Razor Crest in search of the Childs' people.
However, back on Nevarro, Jawas are plundering the crashed Tie Fighter when the hull sizzles as someone cuts their way out using an energy blade, and Moff Gideon emerges wounded but still alive wielding the Dark Saber. . . .
High Points : Well yet another absolutely storming episode, Moff Gideon is as menacing and effective a villain as you could hope for (especially one played by Gus Fring from Breaking Bad actor Giancarlo Esposito).
IG-11 comes across as most valuable player in this episode, not only saving the Mandalorian by pointing out he's not a person, but also providing some much needed humour during the tension, and sacrificing himself at the end.
The reveal of the deaths of the Mandalorians is really quite shocking, as personally I thought they would just be gone, as last time we saw them they'd mentioned relocating. The Armourer reveals some very convenient parts of the Code which the Mandalorian must follow and protect the child, but we got to see an amazing flashback to the Mandalorians rescuing and taking in the young Din Djarin.
And of course we get loads of The Child being extremely cute, and showing force powers which he probably shouldn't have.
Low Points : Again I struggle to find anything about this episode I didn't like. Perhaps IG-11 is a little too powerful, as he carves his way through dozens of prepared Stormtroopers, all while protecting the Child from harm. Which makes you question why everyone doesn't use droid soldiers, and why weren't the Battle Droids of the Confederacy this powerful?
And while I was amazed by the appearance of the Dark Saber during the final moments of the episode, it just makes me ask what happened to Bo-Katan Kryse, and the other members of the Mandalorians we saw triumphant over the Empire in the final season of Rebels?
So what do you really think ? : An excellent ending to this Season of The Mandalorian, and one that makes the next 10 months until season 2 look very long indeed.
But I do think along with revelations in The Rise of Skywalker, we now have the deaths of various characters from Rebels confirmed and hinted at, so I want them to make a couple of Rebels spin off's so we can see what happened to the characters from that series rather than just having them killed off screen.
Final Words : I have loved this season of The Mandalorian, it's been one of the most refreshing things to have happened to Star Wars in a few years, being far more in tone with Rogue One, a movie which I also loved. During a time when the movies have been controversial, and the Animated series disappointing, this has been exactly what the Star Wars franchise needed, although my only concern is that it might be getting a little lore heavy (anyone who has only seen the movies will have no idea what the Dark Saber is and what it's presence meant).
But wow, this has been a great ride while it lasted, and makes me excited for what we've got to come.
Score : 9.5/10
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