We rejoin Mando (Pedro Pascal) on his ship Razor Crest, as he travels to deliver Baby Yoda to the mysterious Client. After updating Bounty Hunter Guild boss Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), Mando spots his adorable green pal pulling a knob off his dashboard handle.
"It's not a toy," he says in his best tough Dad voice, but Baby Yoda somehow gets even cuter.
When they land, his widdle ears billow as other ships touch down in the busy port. A real sense of menace descends as they move through the streets and arrive at the Imperial Remnant base. When one of the filthy stormtroopers grabs the baby's pod roughly, Mando urges him to take it easy.
"You take it easy," the trooper snaps back. So it's pretty obvious that Mando will be killing him later.
The Client (Werner Herzog) is pleased with their prize, which Dr. Persing (Omid Abtahi) declares is healthy after a quick scan. The Mando asks why he encountered a bunch of other bounty hunters who were after the baby, but the ruthless Client says he was just ensuring that he got what he wanted. Because the Client is clearly a jerk, despite his Herzogian charm.
He presents the Mando with a container of precious beskar alloy, which will clearly make some sweet armor. As Baby Yoda's pod follows Persing out the room, we're all shouting "What are you doing Mando?! Go after your beautiful Yoda son!"
Or was that just me?
Anyway, the Client shuts down any further questions and the stormtroopers enter, signaling that it's time to leave in a super threatening manner.
Returning to the Mandalorian enclave, our hero's fellow Mandos eye up his glorious container of beskar as he brings it to the Armorer (Emily Swallow). She tells him there's enough to make a full cuirass (the bit covering his torso), but warns that all that sweet bling will draw a lot of attention.
Right on cue, a beefy Mandalorian (who sound a lot like executive producer Jon Favreau) strolls up and sneers at the Imperial-branded beskar, noting that it was the result of the Great Purge. We still don't know exactly what that was -- likely an Imperial crackdown after the Mandalorian uprising seen in the final season of Rebels. But it's the reason they live in hiding.
Apparently they also only go to the surface one at a time because of the Empire, and the big guy decides that our main Mando is a "coward" for working for them. They get into a quick tussle with blades (or game of knifey-knifey, if you will), but the Armorer interrupts their macho posturing.
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"When one chooses to walk the way of the Mandalore, you are both hunter and prey. How can one be a coward if one chooses this way of life?" she says.
She asks Mando if he's ever removed his helmet, or if it's ever been removed by others. He confirms that he hasn't -- his facial hair must be outta control under there.
"This is the way," all the Mandalorians chant, which apparently calms everyone down.
The Armorer declares that the Mudhorn who damaged Mando's armor will be his signet, but he says it can't because he was aided by "an enemy." Apparently he considers Baby Yoda his enemy. Mando cray.
Perplexed, the Armorer decides she'll use the extra beskar to make some "Whistling Birds" -- a weapon to take on multiple enemies. She'll also keep some for the Foundlings because they are the future, prompting another "This is the way."
As she works, the Mando has another flashback. We see Battle Droids — used by the Separatists during the Clone Wars —slaughtering his people. A boy, who's presumably our hero when he was a young 'un, is hidden in a bunker by his parents. Then they get blown up and a chonky Super Battle Droid aims its blaster at the boy... but the flashback ends as his cuirass is completed.
Hmm, this guy clearly sympathizes with kids in trouble. Where could this be going?!
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Looking like an absolute badass in his complete set of shiny beskar armor (guess I'll be needing another action figure!), the Mando steps into Greef Carga's cantina. Apparently all the other bounty hunters had tracking fobs and were after Baby Yoda, but they were too lame to beat Mando to the prize.
"They all hate you Mando, because you're a legend!" says an exuberant Carga, who shows off a slab of beskar he got as payment for Mando's successful job. He also keeps the tough metal over his heart, which is foreshadowing if ever I saw it.
Mando demands his next job, wanting to get as far away as possible because he's clearly wracked with guilt over leaving his pal with those Imperial jerks. He picks a bail-skipping Mon Calamari, but wonders aloud about Baby Yoda's fate. Carga suggests he get high to forget about the kid. Seems legit.
The guilt, it's too much
Back at his ship, Mando prepares for takeoff... until he notices the knob missing from the dashboard handle. After a glorious moment of indecision, he marches back to the Imperial base.
And finds Baby Yoda's pod in a dumpster out back. Well, now they all have to die.
He goes to a rooftop and uses his Amban phase-pulse blaster like a directional microphone. (Is there anything that thing can't do?!) He listens in on the Client, who's saying stuff about "harvesting the necessary materials" and "can't guarantee your safety" to Persing.
Talk of "harvesting" anything from his little buddy is apparently too much for Mando, and he blows up a wall to get in. After killing several troops, he reaches Persing and saves Baby Yoda, who seems to be in some kind of scanning device. The doctor claims to have protected the kid from the ruthless Imperials, who just wanted to dispose of him because they're monsters. Mando lets him live, and leaves with his tiny green bundle of joy.
Reunited and it feels so good
In an incredible action sequence, Mando kills his way through the base. He horrifically burns one stormtrooper alive with his flamethrower gauntlet, and uses his Whistling Birds -- actually a bunch of homing darts -- to end four guys at once. No sign of the creepy Client though.
Outside, things get extra hairy after every bounty hunter's tracking fob activates at once -- the Imperials put a price on Mando's head. Eep.
Just before reaching his ship, he's surrounded by a group in a gloriously Western-style moment. Carga tries to talk Mando into surrendering (he's clearly fond of our hero), but shooting soon breaks out.
This is the way
Mando manages to disintegrate a few suckers, but things are looking bad... until a bunch of his fellow Mandalorians show up with flipping JETPACKS and open fire on the bounty hunters.
The heavy -- who's armed with a Gatling gun-style blaster -- tells Mando to escape, while they distract the bounty hunters. Apparently they're buds now.
"You're going to have to relocate the coven," says Mando.
After one final "This is the way" exchange, Mando scoops up Baby Yoda and reaches his ship. Unfortunately for him, Carga is there too, blaster in hand.
Mando sneakily activates the ship's carbonite freezing mechanism and shoots Carga in the heart through the steam, leaving him behind while he takes off. Fortunately for Carga, he survives because of the beskar slab over his heart -- it's likely Mando didn't want to kill the bounty hunter boss, or he would've shot him in his handsome Carl Weathers face.
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In a slightly cheesy moment, the heavy jetpacks up to our hero's ship, saluting before he flies away.
In a final heart-melting moment, Baby Yoda reaches up for the knob on the dashboard handle... which Mando drops into his widdle green hand, before they fly off for parts unknown.
Some thoughts and Easter eggs
Persing refers to Baby Yoda as a "he," so we finally know our adorable friend's gender. The doctor also has the symbol of the Kaminoan cloners (who made the army in Attack of the Clones) on his uniform, hinting that the Imperial Remnant wanted to harvest the baby's genetic material and create its own Force-sensitive warriors. This might have implications for The Rise of Skywalker.
It's likely that the Mandalorians rescued our hero from that Super Battle Droid when he was a kid, and took him in. The Foundlings are presumably all orphans taken in by the tribe, and earn their signets (family crests) through badass deeds.
When Carga suggests Mando report the Imperials to the New Republic, our hero says "that's a joke" -- implying that the new galactic government isn't functioning too well seven years after Return of the Jedi as far as the people on the Outer Rim are concerned.
The name "Paz Vizla" appears in the credits; this is the heavy Mandalorian. It's likely this is a misspelling of the name Vizsla -- Pre Vizsla was the villainous leader of the Mandalorian Death Watch seen in The Clone Wars, and voiced by Jon Favreau. Favreau also voiced Paz in this episode, so it's likely that Paz is a relative of Pre.
Hasbro's Black Series action figure of Paz was recently revealed, and this episode made him essential.