The Mandalorian Ep. 3 – Papa Bear

Chapter 3 of The Mandalorian on Disney+ brings more action, lore, and insane levels of cuteness all while moving the story forward into interesting territory…

Just like our previous Episode breakdowns, there will be all manner of SPOILERS spread throughout the article as I discuss what happened, and throw down some theories on what certain things mean/imply. So let’s get to it!

Story Basics

Chapter 3’s title is “The Sin” which sounds ominous and could lead to some interesting problems down the road for our character…But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. The episode picks up where we left off from Chapter 2 as the Mandalorian arrives back on the planet where the Bounty Hunter’s guild all congregate.

He’s there to deliver the asset to the mysterious client (Werner Herzog). Battered and bruised, he brings the Yoda-baby directly back to the client and Dr. Pershing. As promised, the Client gives him an camtono of beskar, all of them smelted into the same bars as his initial down payment.

It’s obvious, however, that the Mandalorian has misgivings about this particular drop-off and it’s a theme that’s everpresent throughout the episode which I’ll go into more here in a bit. With an armload of Beskar in hand, the Mandalorian returns to the hidden enclave and presents them to the Armorer in exchange for an all new set of armor.

Fully decked out and ready for more work, the Mandalorian can’t shake the feeling that somethings is wrong. Going against all instincts, and the Bounty Hunter’s guild code, he returns to the Client’s hideout in order to rescue the baby from whatever fate awaits him. The result is some epic action, including a bounty hunter showdown that left my jaw on the floor.

Obviously this is the short version of what goes on in the episode and touches on the major plot points. So now, let’s talk about a few more specific things and what the future might hold!

More Mando-LORE

Coming back to the planet where the Bounty Hunter’s guild take’s residence (sadly we still don’t have a name for this planet quite yet), means we get to go back to the hidden enclave where a bunch of Mandalorians are hanging out, and we get a LOT more interaction this time around.

Once again, the “Great Purge” gets a reference within the Enclave. While it’s still not entirely clear what happened, this episode provides a bit more context clues we can examine. For one, during his meeting/drop-off, the Client mentions that the only thing more difficult than finding Beskar (the precious metal) is finding a Mandalorian.

It immediately makes you wonder what has happened. During The Clone Wars and even Star Wars Rebels, the Mandalorians are still pretty well known to the wider galaxy (even if they aren’t exactly prominent). A little bit later, within the enclave, the rest of the Mandalorians gather around the Armorer to see the impressive haul of Beskar, as none of them have seen so much of it in one place in a while.

A very big, burly Mandalorian (which toy leaks only call “Heavy Infantry Mandalorian” though is named Paz Vizla in the credits) takes umbrage at the haul, saying the Beskar was smelted by the Imperials during the Great Purge and a key reason they are forced to hide. He mentions the various residents in the enclave only come out one at a time, which means they’re doing everything they can to hide their numbers and presence on the planet.

While the Armorer mentions that secrecy is the key to their survival (and strength), it’s not entirely clear why that’s the case right now. It makes me wonder what they’re overall plan is. Surely they don’t intend to stay hidden forever and have bigger plans for the galaxy overall. I also wonder how many other Mandalorian clans there are left now and if they’re in hiding as well?

Once the big confrontation is over, some more interesting tidbits about the current state of Mandalorians, and our main hero come into light. The Armorer once again mentions a signet, claiming that having felled the Mudhorn, the Mandalorian has earned the right to the Mudhorn signet. It’s mention the first episode had me curious, and the individual signets seemed tied to great feats of battle or kills.

Once again, however, the Mandalorian declines any sort of signet. While his given reasoning is that it wasn’t an “honorable kill” since he had help (thank you Force-wielding baby!). Something tells me, however, that even were it not for that, the Mandalorian still wouldn’t accept a signet. Something is holding him back, perhaps a feeling that he still doesn’t quite belong? I have some more ideas on this….

The Foundling’s Heart

The Mandalorian isn’t the heartless bounty hunter we were initially led to believe. I touched on this in the previous recap, but his interactions with Kuiil make it clear he has a great sense of empathy along with his own moral code. A moral code which comes into conflict with his normal Bounty Hunting rules.

From the outset, we can see that he’s not entirely comfortable with handing over the Yoda-baby to the Imperial Remnant. Just a slightly too hard pull on the egg/basket thing from the Stormtrooper is enough to cause him to say something. It goes further as he begins to question both the Client AND Greef Carga about their intentions for the baby; something that is very much against the Bounty Hunter’s Guild code.

The first episode’s introduction to the character made it clear he’s not normally one for sentimentality. As such his change of heart seems to go deeper than the Yoda-baby being adorable. Instead, his decision to rescue the baby seems rooted in his own past and history as a “foundling.” Again the Mandalorian offers up a sizable chunk of his reward to support the foundlings in the enclave, something he seems to do quite often.

We get more flashbacks in this episode (once again tied into the forging process), that more clearly show the Mandalorian as a child being whisked away in the midst of a Clone Wars battle. Clearly it’s a traumatic experience and something that continues to impact his way of thinking.

The point is, his attachment to the child is somehow tied to his past in some deep ways. It was enough to send him back to the Client’s compound for a rescue and forsake his standing within the Bounty Hunter’s Guild.

Who’s in Charge and What Do They Want?

This episode adds more questions, while solving some others. While I’ve spent the last couple episodes thinking more than one person put a bounty out on the child, the Client (and Greef) confirm that he hired just about EVERYONE to go after the kid. What I’m not sure about, however, is why so many of them were clearly given a different set of instructions. IG-11 explicitly stated his orders were to terminate the child, and the Trandoshans seemed to want the same thing.

So what game is the Client playing at? The mystery deepens a bit in the latter half of the episode as the Mandalorian eavesdrops on a conversation between the Client and Dr. Pershing. Herzog’s character tells the Doctor to extract the material and be “done with it,” making it clear what he intends to do with the child. Pershing pushes back, however, saying HE “ordered [them] to bring it in alive.”

Conveniently the sound was distorted and we’re unable to hear who they’re talking, but this brings into question who’s really calling the shots. While the Client seems to have some measure of power, this line of dialog makes it clear he’s still answering to someone else. More than likely some Imperial warlord, but if the Client is disobeying orders to have the child killed, he has some machinations of his own.

Meanwhile, Pershing’s role in all of this becomes a bit more muddy. While he seems to be working with part of the Imperial Remnant, I’m not entirely sold he’s WITH them. He seems genuinely concerned for the baby’s welfare, even briefly using his own body to shield it when he first thinks the Mandalorian has arrived to cause it harm. He mentions how he’s been protecting the child and that he’d already be dead if it weren’t for him. I’m not sure of his motives at the moment, but I’m not longer convinced he’s wholly on the “bad guy” side of things.

What Comes Next

What I loved about this episode is that it really feels like it put an endcap on the little arc the first episode started, while setting the stage for the larger, overall story. The “sin” the title of the episode references is clearly the actions of the Mandalorian himself. By breaking the code he’s upended his way of living (at least in this part of the galaxy) and he’s not the only one who will have to pay for it.

His Mandalorian brethren come to his aid at the end because, “It is the Way” but the action means they’re no longer secret. They’ll have to move the entire enclave to a new safe location. Not only will the Bounty Hunter’s Guild be after them, but this will undoubtedly incur the wrath of the Imperial Remnant as well. They won’t take the loss of the child lying down (especially after going to all the trouble of finding it), and from what we’ve seen in previous trailers, it seems they do end up finding the Enclave.

So where does the show go from here? I’m guessing he’ll go out to find a safe refuge for the child before gathering allies and returning to the planet in order to help “save” his enclave from suffering after his decision. There’s some really fun potential in the story to be told here, not to mention we still don’t know how the baby will factor into everything else.

Wild Theories

Even though we’re only three episodes in, I have some crazy theories about what might be going on. So indulge me for now and we’ll see how it plays out as the season continues:

Yoda Clone – Remember how fans discovered that Dr. Pershing had some sort of Kamino connections? The implication here is that they want to use the Yoda-baby in some sort of cloning scheme. While the obvious idea here would be to give whoever’s calling the shots the ability to clone a powerful Force-user, what if they’ve already done it?

I’m not 100% sold on this one, but hear me out. What if the Yoda baby REALLY IS a baby Yoda. Not just a member of the same species, but an actual clone of Yoda himself. The Kaminoans were already well-known “cloners” by the time of the Prequels. Surely a clone of the galaxy’s most powerful Jedi would be valuable (especially to a secretive Sith who’s already set in motion plans within plans).

Perhaps this baby went missing at some point, and a faction of the Imperial Remnant (someone in a position to actually know about its existence) is now trying to retrieve it for his/her own purposes. The cloning of a Force User has other implications for the future of Star Wars, maybe even The Rise of Skywalker, but obviously there are some things muddying up the theory. Namely, how would they get a sample of Yoda in order to clone him?

See the source image

Who Saved the Mando? – During the big flashback sequence, we see the Mando’s parents place him in some sort of container, presumably to keep him hidden/safe from the attacking Separatist Droid Army. It doesn’t work, however, as a Super Battle Droid comes around and opens the lid, taking aim at the child. Sadly, the flashback ends there and we don’t get to see who/what ends up saving the child from certain death.

Remember last week when I mentioned that perhaps it was a Jedi who saved him before the Mandalorians ended up adopting him into their culture? I say this because, again, I don’t think he was surprised about the use of the Force, merely about it coming from a CHILD. It would also add another reason for him wanting to save the child, as he would feel honor-bound to help a Force-user in the same way they helped him.

Anyway….There’s rumor going around about a specific cameo for who saved the Mando. I won’t say who as we’re so close and I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone, BUT I can say that I’ve heard the same rumor from my own sources. The intriguing thing about this is that specific character already has WELL KNOWN ties to the Mandalorians and their culture (thanks to a cartoon show). So it would make sense that he rescues the younger Mando and delivers him to the Mandalorians as a refugee of the Clone Wars.

Again, it’s just a theory and we may not get to see much beyond the rescue itself, but it’s something that has the potential to connect a bunch of dots, even into the future of the franchise.

Easter Eggs

Getting back to the Bounty Hunter’s Guild means there were a few more Easter eggs this time around to enjoy.

  • The droid being used by Dr. Pershing sure looks like an IT-O Imperial Interrogator droid, which we first saw used against Princess Leia in A New Hope.
  • The Camtono that holds the Beskar is a fun reference to the “ice cream maker” we see Willrow Hood running with in the background on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • This isn’t a Star Wars Easter egg, but it sure seems like Deborah Chow (the episode’s director) is a John Wick fan. The sequence where all the Bounty Hunters’ tracking fobs activate is very reminiscent of the scene in John Wick when they all turn against him.
  • The New Republic gets a name drop as Greef Carga jokingly tells Mando to report the Imperials to them.
  • We get to see another member of the Mon Calamari race as the Mandalorian considers picking up another job. All we know is he’s a “nobleman’s son who skipped bail” so it could be anyone!
  • I’m sure that other eagle-eyed fans will be able to spot a few cool Easter eggs among all the different Bounty Hunters. I tried to pick out some recognizable ones but nothing stood out. Be sure to let me know if you notice one!
  • Along those same lines, there are a LOT of Mandalorians in this episode. While they could be anyone, there were a couple that looked awfully familiar. I mean, there’s one specifically that looks like Jodo Kast, a bounty hunter from the old Expanded Universe. Who knows if it’s really him, but it was my first thought upon seeing his armor.

Overall, The Sin was a great episode and Deborah Chow knocked it out of the park. I’m not more excited than ever to see her tackle the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. Between the action, the emotional impact, and story potential, Chapter 3 delivered on just about all fronts.