Specifically, the space pirates led by the mossman Gorian Shard, last seen trying to shoot down Mando & Grogu as they left Nevarro in Episode 1. He’s back, and rather pissed at High Magistrate Greef Karga for shooting a lot of his crew and booting them out. Shard’s corsair drops in over the city and starts blasting everything. Since they have no defenses, Karga and the townspeople are forced to flee into the lava flats.
Now, it seems slightly incredulous to me that Karga would have no weapons to deal with something like this. (You couldn’t have picked up an used ion cannon from a garage sale on Hoth or something?) Since he keeps making such a big deal about how Nevarro is independent now, it kind of behooves him to take care of things like planetary defense if you can’t rely on the New Republic or the Empire to help you out. And it’s not like the pirates were a surprise or anything! They swore revenge! This just seems like a shockingly bad oversight on his part. Did he think the pirates would hear he was putting in a new rail spur and stay away? “Oh, they’re a legitimate business hub now! Best leave them alone!”
Desperate, Karga sends a message to Captain Appa, sorry, Captain Teva of the New Republic Rangers. (I’m a fan of Kim’s Convenience. Can we somehow get Simu Liu over to the Star Wars universe, too?) He’s chilling at the bar on his base of operations, when he gets the holo-message Karga sent him. His drinking buddy tells him tough break about Nevarro, it looked like they were going to make it. But the Republic is swamped with requests for assistance from Republic worlds. There’s no way that they’ll send out help to an independent world.
Fans of the Rebels animated series will recognize that Teva’s drinking buddy is Zeb. This continues Dave Filoni’s quest to get me to watch all 200 episodes of Clone Wars and Rebels and, sorry, I just don’t like the animation style in those shows. But, cool fan service for all you Rebel-heads!
Undaunted, Teva heads to Coruscant to make his case in person. He heads to his supervisor, Colonel Tuttle, to plead his case in person. In our second fun cameo of the week, Tuttle is played by Tim Meadows who is the perfect choice to play a harried bureaucrat. His desk is covered with data files, and his helpful droid keeps bringing him more.
Tuttle seems open to help Nevarro, until his assistant helpfully reminds him that Nevarro isn’t a Republic planet. His assistant is R68, aka Elia Kane, the faithful Amnesty Program member who flayed Dr. Pershing’s mind. She sweetly suggests that maybe planets need to learn the benefits of Republic membership the hard way. Teva seems to know something’s off with her, and Tuttle either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care.
As a last ditch effort, Teva pays a visit to the Mandalorian Covert. How does he find them? Well, he fought with R5-D4 back in the Rebellion and was able to track him. He tells Din that his buddy Greef Karga is in trouble. Just thought you’d want to know! Wink-wink. Since the Mandalorians will have to move anyway (since the Covert was discovered), Din proposes that they go help his friend. Greef Karga promised him a parcel of land. Perhaps the Clan could take up residence there, and live in the light again. Surprisingly, Paz Vizsla, the big Mandalorian with the rail gun who is usually quite antagonistic to Din, agrees. Din and Bo-Katan helped save his son, no questions asked, because that is the way. Now it’s time for the Mandalorians to fight and perhaps find a new home. Bo-Katan draws up a plan of attack and it’s off to Nevarro.
The Mandalorians make embarrassingly short work of the pirates. The drunken pirates are just utterly pantsed by our helmeted friends. (The Armorer gets to literally go hammer and tongs on some of them.) Shard is a terrible tactician, sending all his stubfighters after Mando’s N-1 starcraft, leaving the ship vulnerable to Bo-Katan’s attack after she drops the Mandalorians into the city. After losing engines, Shard calls the fighters back, but Vane—the one Karga let go back in episode one—is smart enough to recognize a losing hand and ditches Shard for, ahem, greener pastures. Shard refuses to retreat and gets blown out of the sky. Too bad, he looked cool even if he was pretty dumb for a pirate.
After the battle, Greef Karga thanks the Mandalorians and grants them the land west of the Lava Flats for their new home. As they celebrate, Bo-Katan is summoned to the Armorer, who commands her to remove her helmet.
Bo-Katan is obviously surprised by that. I mean, we’ve had multiple reminders about how taking the helmet off is bad and requires a dunk in the mines and all. But, The Armorer has her reasons. She wants Bo-Katan to walk in both worlds. The Mandalorians have been scattered for far too long, it’s time for them to reunite and return home. And Bo-Katan is the one to gather them all.
This gets to my problem with this season of the Mandalorian thus far: I just don’t care that much about Bo-Katan’s arc or the reclamation of Mandalore. The main thrust of the first two seasons was about Din Djarin becoming a reluctant guardian to Grogu while searching for Jedi who could train him. It was a clean, concise plot that allowed for different adventures each week. This season, I’m repeatedly told that Bo-Katan is supposed to reclaim her homeworld. I’m not sure why I should care all that much about it. Even if it wasn’t poisoned, Mandalore is still a bombed out rock, full of evil droid monsters and cavemen. Surely you can find somewhere better?
Personally. I think the Manadalorians are more interesting the less you know about them. Din was super cool when he was just wandering about with a helmet and saying “This is the way” as he found his bounties. I really don’t give a fig about the royal lineages of Mandalore or the lore behind the creed. Your mileage may vary, of course.
The episode ends with a return to Teva on patrol. He comes across the wreck of a Lambda class shuttle, with a breeched hull and a dead crew. The transponder coordinates confirm that this was the shuttle being used to transport Moff Gideon to trial, only his body is nowhere to be found. He was extracted and judging from the scraps of Beskar steel embedded in the wall, it looks like he was taken by a Mandalorian.
Just from the few mentions this season, I am already about ten times more invested in the return of Moff Gideon than I am in Mandalorian politics. (Doesn’t hurt that we might get a reappearance of the marvelous Giancarlo Esposito!) Was a Mandalorian hired to free him? Was a different clan working on their own? I’m invested again!
Only three episodes remain! I hope that the return of Gideon can help the show stick the landing to an up and down season.
Unlike Gorian Shard…
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Grogu Cuteness Meter: Tim Meadows had more screen time than Grogu!!! THIS WILL NOT STAND!