The Mandalorian season three is nearing its conclusion, with only a few episodes to go. Episode six is a traditional side quest episode, which means some of the important parts set up in last week’s episode will have to wait. Din and Bo spend the majority of the run time solving a droid problem for a local planet, and building up their forces.
But the episode opens with a surprising return of Axe Wolves and the Mandalorians that joined him. Seeing him was unexpected, as when the fleet Bo spent a season building got hand waved away in episode one, it wasn’t thought they’d be seen again. They’re taking contracts, making money. The bulk of the episode is about getting them to rejoin Bo.
They travel to the new planet Plazir-15, a rich, independent, democratic world that lives in luxury. Wolves and his crew are hired for protection, since the New Republic won’t. But Bo’s ship is hijacked from this plotline, and so is the majority of the episode. Instead audiences meet the rules of the planet, Jack Black as a former Imperial Captain Bombardier, and Lizzo as The Duchess.
Captain Bombardier pulls Din, Bo, and the audience into a quest that involves tracking down rogue droids who have reverted back to their violent programming, something seen in episode one of the season with IG-11. This causes Din to revert back to anti-droid sentiment, seemingly vindicated in his beliefs.
Regression is the big theme of the episode, with it demonstrating the damage that can be done because of it. But Plazir–15 as a whole is a great example of moving forward, from the damaged Imperial society to the near utopian one now.
There are fun cameos of B1 and B2 battle droids from the Clone Wars, and a terrifying sequence with a torture droid. Din and Bo find out that the droids haven’t been reverting back to old programming at all, but it turns out Christopher Lloyd’s Commissioner Helgait has been making them evil.
And Lloyd gets some real Star Wars dialogue to chew on, name dropping Count Dooku the Separatists, even the “Jedi enforcers”. It’s great he’s used in a meaningful role, not just a cameo. Audiences knew Llyod would be showing up in the show for some time, though it’s still amazing to be able to recognise him, and see his face.
After this is wrapped up, Din and Bo get to Wolves. Wolves predictably explains he won’t join Bo because she doesn’t have the Darksaber, and won’t recognise Din because they don’t think he’s truly Mandalorian. This is where the audience expects Bo to challenge Din for the saber, but she doesn’t, she fights Wolves instead. It’s a baffling choice.
The fight is much more enjoyable that the prior action in the episode, feeling like it has weight to it and the Mandalorians utilising their full arsenal, bouncing off ships and more. Bo of course wins, which wraps up that. But here’s where things get thrown for a loop. Din gives Bo the saber, reasoning that because he was captured, and Bo beat the creature that captured him, she is now the rightful ruler.
This explanation feels like Din (and the writers) made it up on the spot, as it doesn’t address why Din didn’t have the saber to Bo sooner. It cheats the audience out of a Din and Bo fight, something that by the show’s own admission can end non-lethally.
But once Bo gets the saber back, the episode ends. It’s an episode very much based on side-quest, and at a time the season can’t afford one. The twist of Moff Gideon needs answering (his continued absence is disappointing) Mandalore needs retaking and Elia Kane needs stopping. There’s a lot to do in two episodes. Hopefully the show is up to the task