The Mandalorian returns with an exciting third installment this week. At the end of my review for the second episode, I said that this show has officially become mandatory viewing. Luckily, episode three confirmed that statement.
From the beginning, the series has worn its spaghetti western roots on its sleeve, but episode three takes it to another level with great effect in no small part due to Ludwig Göransson’s rollicking good score. Episode director Debora Chow is also owed praise for being able to match the quality of the preceding episodes, and in some ways perhaps even exceed them.
Warning: There are spoilers past this point.
The no-name protagonist (although it seems Greef Karga has nicknamed him Mando?) officially breaks bad, ironically by breaking the code of the guild. Apparently, no amount of Beskar steel in the galaxy is able to clear his conscious after turning over his sidekick Baby Yoda to the Client.
And once the Mandalorian has made up his mind to rescue the little tot, nothing will stand in his way. The amount of bodies he’s willing to vaporize in his mission is nothing short of shocking. I suppose we saw him wipe out some Jawas last week, but in retrospect that looks like a Mother Goose story when compared to the carnage he wrecks on fellow bounty hunter guild members this week.
It’s kind of funny when you look back on the infamous Star Wars controversy over whether Han Solo or Greedo shot first in the original trilogy. Mando is like a honey badger when you get between him and his baby, he doesn’t give a s***. Future releases of this show are going to have a difficult time retconning the Mandalorian’s rampage here. The number of weapons at his disposal, and the creative ways they’re put to use, is impressive.
In my review of the first episode, I noted the similarities between The Mandalorian and the anime series Goblin Slayer. Those similarities were even more pronounced here. The no-nonsense exchange between Mando and Greef following his biggest bounty yet felt like pure Goblin Slayer. But there were also tinges of another anime, Cowboy Bebop, seeping through in this episode.
I’m not sure if series creator Jon Favreau was influenced by those shows or not, but if he was he chose some fine series to emulate.
It was also exciting to see fellow Mandalorians join forces with our hero at the episode’s climax, jetpacks and all. The additional flashbacks scenes to Mando’s childhood were welcome glimpses into his past, even if they were mostly identical to previous flashbacks we’ve scene.
This episode really feels like the catalyst that sets everything in motion for the series. The table has been set and the stakes have been officially risen to propel us into the rest of what has been an amazing series so far.