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The Mandalorian: Chapter 17: The Apostate

What is it ? : A group of Mandalorians are on a beach as one of their young swears the oath and becomes one of their clan, but they are attacked by a massive shelled creature, a vicious turtle like lizard that kills a number of them, before Din Djarin arrives in his Starfighter are takes out the beast.
He speaks with the Armorer afterwards who reminds him he has removed his helmet and is no longer a Mandalorian, but he reminds her that should he bathe in the waters of Mandalore he will be forgiven his breach of the oath, she glimpses at Grogu, and tells Din that he can try, but Mandalore is toxic and impossible to visit. He shows her a piece of stone with Mandalorian marking on it, and tells her that a visitor to their world took it, she examines it showing how much of the stone is turned to glass, and tells him that it shows their world has been bombed to glass. But he points out the person who collected the stone survived, so the world can be visited.
He then returns to Nevarro, which is booming, new buildings, a far cry from the dusty frontier town it once was, it is now civilised. He meets with Greef Karga, now Chief Magistrate of the town, and asks him for help, but they are interrupted by news that Pirates who once frequented the town have returned.
Greef tries to talk them around, offering them hospitality, but they draw on him, and between him and Din they gun down a number of the Pirates allowing their leader to leave with the news that the town is no longer accepting of their type.
Greef offers to make Din the Marshall of the town, where his status as a Mandalorian would be of no importance, and he could live a comfortable life. Din asks after Cara Dune, but is told she has been recruited by the New Republic after her capture of Moff Gideon, who in turn has been jailed by the Republic.
Din refuses the offer, asking instead for the remains of IG-11, he needs a droid to help explore the toxic surface of Mandalore, but only trusts one droid, whose remains are on display in the town.
They salvage the parts, and make some repairs, but IG-11 defaults to his original programming and tries to attack Grogu so they disable him. They then take the parts to some Droid Smiths, who include Babu Frik, but they cannot repair IG-11's missing memory. So Din and Grogu depart in their starfighter.
As they fly through space, Din instructs Grogu on the controls of the fighter, but the sensors detect intercepting fighters, which are the pirates wanting revenge for the deaths of their comrades. Din destroys a number of the pirates, but their leader lures him back to their command ship, and their leader wants revenge. But using their Starfighters speed boost, Din easily escapes.
As they fly through hyperspace, Din sleeps, but Grogu watches outside, and spots some massive whalelike creatures (probably Purrgil) swimming alongside them.
They arrive on another world, and Din tells Grogu they are visiting a Mandalorian Castle, inside alone they meet with Bo-Katan Kryze who is alone, she explains that after she was unsuccessful in getting the Dark Saber her followers abandoned her, and that the mission to regain Mandalore is lost. Din offers to help her, but she is despondent, and tells him where to find the waters of Mandalore, . . .

High Points : This is a great episode, the balance of action, coolness and humour is near perfect, even the appearance of Babu Frik didn't annoy me, as he is smaller than Grogu, and I wasn't ever 100% sure that Grogu wasn't just being affectionate, but was going to try to eat the little guy.
It was great seeing Navarro looking so prosperous, it really made the actions of the heroes in previous episodes seem like they have had an effect, rather than the universe being static, although I will be annoyed if they've only done this so it can be torn down again by the Empire or Pirates to punish the main characters.
And the idea of it becoming somewhere than Din can settle down at the end of the series in relative safety does appeal.

Low Points : At first I thought the opening scene was a flashback to Din becoming a Mandalorian, and afterwards I was left a little confused, as I thought that the Armorer was now living on the ring world in Boba Fett, and the Mandalorian numbers were depleted, where they seemed quite numerous here (although given how many of them died just in a ritual to induct a child into their number, it would be no surprise that there aren't many of them left).

I'm also still niggled by the whole Mandalorian things, so Din is Apostate (title drop) from the Mandalorians because he took his helmet off, so he goes to visit Bo-Katan Kryze who isn't wearing her helmet, and he doesn't just join her faction instead? And she has lost her followers because she won't fight Din (or doesn't think she'll win) for the Dark Saber, and he can't just give it to her for reasons. After she lost it in combat to Moff Gideon (which would be interesting to see), after Sabine Wren just gave it to her! So because she lost it in combat she must regain it in combat? Or can you only be gifted it once, and must earn it the second time? Mandalorian culture is a bit of a mess, so their "This is the way" mantra, seems like it should be more "This might very well be the way, but only if you're part of this group, and it may not be that way later as there are some very complex situational rules." Which I'll admit isn't as catchy.

So what do you really think ? : A really solid start to the series, from the flashbacks at the beginning of the episode it was fairly easy to predict the appearances in the episode (as we were shown IG-11, Greef Karga, Bo-Katan, etc), but the appearance of what appear to be Purrgil makes me wonder if they're going to do what they did with Book of Boba Fett, and make a couple of episodes of this show be an introduction to the Ahsoka show (which seems like it's going to feature Sabine, Thrawn and Ezra)?
Anyway, I really liked this one, and am eagerly awaiting the next episode.

Final Words : So the pirate fighters, were they supposed to be R-41 Starchasers? They kind of looked like them, but not quite.

Score : 9.25/10

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