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The Mandalorian: Chapter 23: The Spies



What is it ? : Elie Kane walks through the streets of Coruscant, and meets up with an Imperial Probe droid, which projects a hologram of Moff Gideon. She briefs him on the situation on Nevarro, and that the Mandalorians were involved, and he seems annoyed. He walks away into a meeting with holograms of various dignitaries such as Captain Pellaeon and Brendol Hux, and is displeased with Palleons delays as to when Thrawn will be returning, and Hux's demands for more resources for his project Necromancer, suggesting that the Shadow Council needs new leadership, which others on the council seem to agree with. He also demands more Tie Interceptors, Tie Bombers and some Praetorian Guards, which the council suggests means he is worried about assassination.
Arriving with her new fleet on Nevarro Bo-Katan gives a speech to muster the Mandalorians into reclaiming their home world, and slowly the combined forces support her. Greef Karga visits Din Djarin, bringing him a bottle of wine to celebrate, and saying he has another gift for him. Returning to his office, he presents Grogu with the body of IG-11, which minus its cognition circuits has been built into a robot body for the small child to ride in, Din is hesitant to this, but Grogu communicates through the suit (Yes/No) that he wants it.
And the two return to the camp, with Grogu abusing the suit to steal food from roadside stalls.
The Mandalorian fleet leaves Nevarro, and returns to Mandalore, where Bo-Katan takes the named characters down to the surface in her ship, there they explore looking for the forge. They encounter a large land ship with wheels heading towards them, and they discover it manned by Mandalorians still loyal to Bo-Katan. After the Armourer takes the worst wounded back up to the fleet in Bo-Katans ship, the rest speak about the fall of Mandalore, and Bo-Katan explains what happened, that she surrendered the Dark Saber to Gideon to stop the attack on the world, but he continued anyway.
The survivors offer to lead them to the Forge, but the ship is attacked by a large beast which wrecks it. They flee the wreckage into underground tunnels where they come under attack by Stormtrooper like Mandalorians, and are herded into an airlock, where some are locked inside and some outside and attacked by other Imperial Armoured Commandos.
After a battle, Din Djarin is subdued and disarmed, and Moff Gideon emerges in new Dark Trooper armour, a combination of the Droids that Din once fought, and Mandalorian Armour. He unleashes his fleet at the Mandalorians still in orbit, and demands that Bo-Katan surrender the Dark Saber once again.
She refuses, and begins using it to cut a way out of the airlock, and Pre Vizsla takes up point covering while the others retreat, his heavy blaster glowing as it is fired over and over. It eventually breaks down, and the Praetorian Guards enter, stabbing him repeatedly and killing Vizsla. . . .

High Points : And we get the episode that lays on all the tension before the final episode, which feels like the first part of a Star Trek 2 parter. Where we end up with the question "How are the heroes going to get out of this one?". And it lays out them in a pretty bad situation, with Din captured, the Fleet under attack and the rest of the named Mandalorian characters all trapped on the surface of the planet.

I have to admit I enjoyed the first part of the episode, with comedy Grogu in his mecha suit, and world building through the Shadow Council. But there's a fair amount of action in the second part, and I really liked Pre-Vizsla's gun glowing as it is repeatedly fired.

Low Points : But while this is a solid episode, it niggled at me in countless ways, from stupid things like, is a planet where you can't use communications systems really the best place for your secret base? (Gideon won't know how the attack on the Mandalorians went until someone comes back to tell him), to wondering if the best way for the Mandalorians to explore the planet and find the Forge is really just to walk?
To more major things like it all seeming a bit obvious, for example as soon as they mentioned they couldn't contact the fleet while in the atmosphere I knew that the fleet would get attacked, especially when every named Mandalorian character is on one ship heading to the planet surface.

So what do you really think ? : I enjoyed it, but really felt that they're just laying out a seemingly impossible situation so they heroes can beat it next episode, I'm guessing using the Mythosaur that Bo-Katan witnessed in the waters of Mandalore. Which would basically be exactly the same as The Book of Boba Fett did with the Rancor, which was cool, but really seems obvious. Which means rather than being all psyched up for the season finale, I'm kind of bored with the idea, which is almost exactly the opposite of what they probably wanted.

Final Words : One thing I definitely have to mention is the appearance of Captain Pellaeon. He looks almost perfect, and acted completely in character, but what most surprised me was when I noticed in the end credits that Pellaeon was played by Xander Berkeley!
Xander Berkeley is a well known actor with a long list of brilliant roles behind him, but when I had to describe him to my sons, my go to was he's John Connors stepdad "Todd" in Terminator 2. He's absolutely brilliant and totally unrecognisable in this role, I look forward to hopefully seeing him in the Ahsoka series, as it'll be a real waste if they don't continue to use this incredible actor as much as possible.

And a final prediction, beyond Bo-Katan riding a Mythosaur to the rescue next episode, will be that Gideon will remove Din's helmet (as we haven't seen much of his face this year), and the Mandalorians will retreat to Nevarro to lick their wounds after their failed attempt to liberate Mandalore, as I predicted a few episodes ago.

Score : 8.5/10






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