Extremes, a New Way of Life, and Deceit Color This Episode of ‘The Mandalorian’
The Mandalorian season 3 has mostly been about Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) redeeming himself in the eyes of the Children of the Watch. Because he was honest with them, the Armorer labeled him as an Apostate and told him the only path to become a Mandalorian once more was to bathe in the living waters of Mandalore. It was a mission that many in Din Djarin’s circle considered fruitless. Still, he went and we watched as he nearly died in order to be accepted once more into the ideals of the Children of the Watch.
In the process of all of this, he brought Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) into the Children of the Watch’s orbit. What we saw throughout episode 2 was Din determined to be accepted once again by those he considers his clan, and tested at every turn. And we saw Bo-Katan realizing that what she thought was a myth might not be so outrageous.
But in episode 3, titled “The Convert,” we get to see Din and Bo-Katan grow together while characters we haven’t seen in a while get time to explore their own past mistakes. What was fascinating about the episode overall was that it really paralleled the feelings that Din Djarin and Bo were having with those of characters who were connected with the Empire and are trying to rebuild. It was less about plot and more about actual character arcs, and it was incredible to see unfold. Breaking down those moments really just highlights how good this episode was.
Spoilers for season 3 of The Mandalorian lie ahead.
This is the way
We know that Din Djarin is determined to be accepted again in the world of the Children of the Watch and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there. And in this episode, we see just how much he relies on them. In the midst of fighters coming for both Din and Bo-Katan, the two use hyperspace to jump to a new place and escape in one piece after Bo-Katan’s home gets destroyed. Where Din takes them is where the Children of the Watch are.
So yes, he is just taking Bo back to his people to show that he redeemed himself, but he is also doing it to keep them safe. It’s reflective of how Din is thinking, though. Rather than taking them anywhere safe where they can hide out for a second, he takes them all to the Children of the Watch, a group that Bo-Katan has shown disdain for.
But the real arc of this episode doesn’t even include Din, Grogu, or Bo-Katan. Instead, after Din and Bo-Katan jump to safety, we cut to Coruscant to see what the Amnesty Program is all about.
Betrayal at its finest
Throughout the episode, we spend most of our time with Dr. Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi) as he is working his way through the Amnesty Program, a new place within the New Republic that grants former employees of the Empire a second chance to do something good with their lives. Pershing is in charge of destroying old files from the Empire, and when he goes to their new home, he meets someone he recognizes from Moff Gideon’s ship.
We now know her name is Elia Kane (Katy O’Brian) and she seems to be befriending Pershing throughout the episode. Which is why her actual betrayal of him hurts even though we started our journey in The Mandalorian with Pershing against our favorite duo.
Elia tells Penn that he should get back to his work as a doctor and his experiments despite the fact that the New Republic has banned his type of science. He is into cloning and they have said that it isn’t allowed, but Elia convinces him to try and get a mobile lab from one of the junkyards that harbors Imperial ships.
All of it seems to be a trap so that Elia can put him in a Mindfrayer and turn it up as high as possible. The betrayal comes at a time when they seemed like friends. But to me, it just feels like Elia is trying to destroy anyone who knows her from her work with Moff Gideon.
A crisis of faith
When we cut back to our favorite Mandalorians, we’re seeing Bo-Katan have a moment of crisis when Din is proving to the Children of the Watch that he’s bathed in the living waters of the mines of Mandalore. The Armorer says that because Bo-Katan was there with Din in the waters (and she hasn’t taken off her helmet), that she is also redeemed for as long as she wants to stay with them.
Instead of continually saying she doesn’t want to be part of their clan, Bo-Katan is quiet and listens as everyone says, “This is the way” with her redemption, and it plays into what was set up at the end of “The Mines of Mandalore.” When Bo-Katan saw the Mythosaur, it was clear that everything she thought was a lie maybe wasn’t. And with her seeming acceptance of the Armorer’s offer, it’s going to be interesting to see how she continues to come to terms with her own ideas of the Mandalorian way.
It’s truly fascinating to see how this season of The Mandalorian explores its characters and I can’t wait to see where the rest of season 3 takes us!
(featured image: Disney+)
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