Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 7 Recap/Review (Spoilers Ahead)

Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 7 Recap/Review (Spoilers Ahead)

Brady Goodman, Staff Writer

Chapter 23: The Spies

*Disclaimer*This episode has a lot of stuff to unpack, so expect this breakdown to be substantially longer than my past reviews.

The episode starts off with a very Blade Runner-esque scene on the streets of Coruscant with Elia Kane, New Republic amnesty program worker and imperial spy, meets up with an imperial probe droid in an alley. The droid scans her to confirm her identity and sends a hologram of Moff Gideon through (this is the first time we see him all season since he has been in hiding after escaping the New Republic prison transport). Kane informs Gideon that the pirates on Nevarro failed in their attempt to retake the city (meaning that Captain Teva was right in his suspicions of the imperial remnants being connected to the pirate attack from episode 5), and that they were foiled by a group of Mandalorians led by Bo Katan and Din Djarin. Gideon is very surprised that Bo and Din are working together, and he would have never suspected that Mandalorians who walk different ways could put aside their differences and work together for a common cause. In typical Gideon fashion, he tells Kane that he will deal with the Mandalorians himself and ends the transmission. We see Gideon inside his secret base as he walks down a large hallway lined with what seems to be a new type of stormtroopers and red laser shields (very reminiscent of the Duel of the Fates on Naboo in the Phantom Menace when Obi Wan watched his master, Qui Gon Jinn, get killed by Darth Maul). At the end of the hallway, Gideon enters a room with several holograms of high-ranking imperial officers. This is the Shadow Council. Captain Pellaeon, who is Grand Admiral Thrawn’s right hand man, speaks of Thrawn’s impending return and how he will bring a ‘new age of victory’ and a massive fleet to take control of the galaxy. Gideon, although late to the meeting, jumps right in and questions Pellaeon. He asks why it has taken so long for Thrawn to show up, to which Pallaeon replies by saying that the secrecy of his return is of utmost importance so that nothing about his plan is ruined. Gideon suggests a new type of leadership without secrecy and waiting around, and everyone in the Shadow Council agrees, except for Pellaeon. Commandant Hux (this is the father of General Hux from the sequels) mentions something about Project Necromancer, which is the grand plan to bring back Emperor Palpatine. He asks Gideon about the research from Dr. Pershing that was promised to the Shadow Council (as it would be crucial to resurrecting the Emperor). Gideon tells them that Pershing was captured by the New Republic and all of his progress was lost, obviously because Elia Kane infiltrated the New Republic’s ranks and used the mind-flayer to wipe his mind, but the Shadow Council doesn’t know this. I think that Gideon had Kane melt Pershing’s mind so that he couldn’t give any information on how to bring back the Emperor, since Gideon, as we find out, wants to be the new supreme power in the galaxy. Commandant Hux throws shade on Gideon for keeping Pershing as essentially a hostage on Nevarro and he just ran crazy experiments for no reason, but Gideon reminds the council that they should be sharing resources. We find out that Gideon has requested various T.I.E. interceptors, T.I.E. bombers, and three praetorian guards. The council questions why he needs these resources, and he reveals that the Mandalorians are planning to overtake Mandalore. The council instantly realizes that it is extremely vital to wipe them out for good, and Gideon leads a ‘Long Live the Empire’ chant as they close out the call.

On Nevarro, Axe Woves’s fleet of Mandalorians arrive and dock at the Children of the Watch’s outpost. Right as the Night Owls descend out of their ships and take off their helmets, we can sense the tension (different Mandalorian tribes hate each other and think that walking other ways is wrong). While in the midst of an intense standoff, the Armorer approaches the middle of the two groups and warmly welcomes the Night Owls, and she invites them to make camp with the Children of the Watch. Greef Karga pulls up to the Mandalorian meet up looking for Din with a gift of fine space wine. He jokingly tells Mando to pop the cork on it when he has a smaller crowd visiting. Karga takes Mando and Grogu to his office to show them the completed refurbishization (work with me here) of IG-11, who is now called IG-12. Since they could not find a new memory circuit to bring IG-11 back to his old state, the Anzellans built a mini-cockpit in his center. An Anzellan, who was controlling IG-12 with joysticks, climbs down out of the droid. Mando realizes what this is for and says ‘absolutely not’ since he doesn’t feel like Grogu is mature enough yet to pilot such a thing. Karga convinces Din to at least let Grogu give it a spin in his office. Once in the droid, Grogu makes quick use of the speech buttons by spamming ‘no’ when Mando is telling him to get out of the droid (so Grogu has  been able to understand what Din says to him this whole time). In a funny scene, Grogu walks around town while in IG-12 alongside Mando. Grogu grabs a meiloorun (the Star Wars fruit made famous from a certain episode of Rebels) from a shopping stall and Mando struggles to control Grogu, all while he spams his speech buttons to say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ The two return back to the Mandalorian camp at night. Bo Katan speaks to the vast crowd and explains her plan to return to Mandalore and how she will retake it, with everyone’s help, and restart the Great Forge. She tells of how she will need help to form a recon group to scout the surface and find the Great Forge, and Din Djarin (and Grogu in IG-12), the Armorer, Paz Vizsla, Axe Woves, Koska Reeves, and several other Mandalorians volunteer to help.

We see the fleet fly above Mandalore into orbit and the scouting party descend through the thunderstorms into the planet’s troposphere. Paz Vizsla states that the planet looks worse than he could’ve imagined, and Axe Woves says that he was here while it happened. The surface of Mandalore is totally crystalized and the original ground level is far beneath, explaining why all of the main cities are so far underground. The recon crew lands and starts exploring until they are approached by Mandalorian pirates who have been roaming and scouting the land since the purge. We see a lot of sick Mandalorians on the land ship while the recon group eats dinner with the pirate group. While at dinner, members of each Mandalorian faction tell their survival stories. The Armorer says how she was stationed on Concordia during the Night of a Thousand Tears, and the pirates ask if she is part of death watch. She says that Death Watch is ‘no more’ (we can tell that she doesn’t want any affiliation with Death Watch since they are viewed so negatively by all others). When the pirates speak, they tell of how they never gave up because their leader, Bo Katan, never did. Bo, now very guilty, tells the truth of what really happened, and we find out how she lost the darksaber. She trusted Gideon after surrendering so that he would cease fire on Mandalore, but he turned on her, took the darksaber, and continued the destruction of Mandalore. After dinner, Din approaches Bo and pledges his loyalty to her, reassuring her that it is not her fault that all this happened and that she is the one who will reunite the Mandalorians, and that her song is not written yet. He also mentions that the darksaber means nothing to him or his people compared to honor. In the morning, the Armorer parts ways with the recon group to take all of the sick Mandalorian pirates back to the fleet so they can eat and survive.

While on the way to the Great Forge, Paz and Axe get into a fight (it was bound to happen at some point) over a game of Star Wars chess and duel off pretty fiercely until Grogu steps in between them and presses the ‘no’ button in IG-12 to tell them not to fight over such a small quarrel. Bo says that Din has taught his ‘apprentice’ well, but Mando says that it wasn’t him who taught that to Grogu (alluding to Luke). As the crew approaches the forge, a massive dinosaur alien thing attacks their ship and forces them underground, and they actually are at the Great Forge. Once relaxed and in the forge, they hear jetpacks approaching in the distance, and realize that these are not Mandalorians. They are imperials with white beskar armor. A massive fight ensues and Axe Woves is able to escape out of a hole in the cavern’s roof to try to get reinforcements. The Mandalorians take out a lot of the beskar stormtroopers and follow the remaining ones deeper into the cave until they realize they were just lured into a trap. They find themselves in the middle of a secret imperial base. Dumbfounded and confused, the group gets separated by a large, bulletproof blast door. Mando finds himself as one of the few outside the door and the only one who survives the beskar stormtroopers. Din gets tied up and disarmed as Grogu watches through the window in the blast door as Moff Gideon, dawning a black, beskar suit with horns on top of his helmet (Mauldalorian?), lands on the platform (this was wild!). Gideon reveals that, on Mandalore, he has been harvesting large amounts of beskar to use as the armor for his new army of dark troopers that are lightsaber resistant (smart of him to do this, especially after watching Luke masterclass his old phase of darksabers with his lightsaber). Gideon knows everything. He sends the bombers up to decimate the rest of the Mandalorian fleet and sends Din back to the questioning chambers. He also demands the darksaber from Bo Katan (how did he know that Din gave this to her?). Bo gives a nod to Paz, who says “this is the way” as he and all the other Mandalorians start firing on the blast door. Bo runs to the back door to cut a hole for the Mandalorians to escape into the caves. Upon opening the blast door, Gideon jetpacks away and orders the beskar troopers to kill the trapped Mandalorians. Paz Vizsla uses his minigun for rear cover fire while the recon team exits back into the caves through the hole that Bo made. Once all the Mandalorians escape, Bo comes back for Paz, but he re-shuts the blast door and tells her to leave since there are too many. In a very emotional and motivating scene, Bo yells ‘no!’ and Paz gives a final ‘this is the way.’ Bo escapes as Paz guns down almost every single remaining beskar trooper until his minigun overheats. He chucks it at one of the final troopers and he finishes off the rest with his hands. Then, the three praetorian guards show up with their beskar-piercing blades. Paz honorably dies the way any Mandalorian should, giving his life to defend his planet and his people. We see Paz take his final breath and the episode ends with him laying face-down on the floor. I’m going to miss Paz in the series. I have really grown to like his character and he has come a long way from the stand-offish brute that we saw in season 1. It will be sad for Paz’s son to learn of his father’s death, but I think he will be inspired by the nature of it and how much he meant to the Mandalorians.

Before I give my opinion on the episode, there is something else that is very worth discussing. The title of this episode is ‘The Spies.’ We already know that Elia Kane was the first spy and we have suspected that for some time, now it is confirmed. That leaves at least one more spy that we do not know the identity of yet, if the episode’s title really is hinting at there being another one of Gideon’s spies. This spy most likely informed Moff Gideon of the impending Mandalorian exploration on Mandalore, and how they are going to try to retake their home planet. This is why the imperial remnants were ready for them. I see a lot of people online speculating that the Armorer is the spy. I don’t think that this is true, despite there being a good amount of evidence behind it. The Armorer is the cover picture of the episode. The Armorer is also the only other person with beskar armor other than Moff Gideon with horns on her helmet. There was speculation earlier in the season that the true identity of the Armorer was Rook Kast, a noted Darth Maul loyalist from the Clone Wars. Perhaps Gideon was also a Mauldalorian since we don’t actually know his origin story. But if the Armorer is the spy, then wouldn’t Gideon have already known about the pirate attack on Nevarro and who foiled it instead of finding out from Elia Kane? I think that the Armorer has simply put too much time into leading her covert of Children of the Watch to turn on them now. This is what leads me to believe that one of the Mandalorians in Axe Woves’s squad was hired by Gideon to leak information. Now for who this could be, I think it would be too obvious if Woves himself was the spy. I feel like Koska Reeves could be the one we are looking for. Throughout her time in the Mandalorian, she has always been a pretty ambiguous character. She seems to be motivated by credits (as she says herself in episode 6), and I’m not sure how loyal she is to her fellow Mandalorians. We did see her turn her back on Bo Katan after the end of season 2, so who says she wouldn’t do that to Axe Woves as well. Anyways, I hope that the spy is someone that none of us expect it to be, so that the reveal is even crazier than if it were to be one of our suspects. I just hope that the spy is actually revealed to us and that we haven’t been led on all this time for nothing to happen in the finale. A lot of loose ends throughout this season have been tied in episode 7, except for one thing – I think that we will see the mythosaur in the finale, since it was kind of randomly put in at the end of episode 2. It had to be there for a reason, just like every other confusing string that was connected in this episode. I am very excited for episode 8, but one thing that I would really hate to see and that would probably leave a bad taste in my mouth is Din Djarin dying or getting mind-wiped (I could see an emotional scenario happening where Din gets hooked up to the mind-flayer and he doesn’t remember Grogu anymore, or vice versa. Maybe Grogu had a hard time remembering Order 66 all this time because he was put in a mind-flayer, and who says that this couldn’t happen again). I really thought that Gideon was going to execute Din when he was tied up, and I think I speak for all Star Wars fans to say that we aren’t ready to see him go yet. This season has really been the book of Bo Katan, not focusing on Din Djarin, and I think that there are still adventures to be had with the classic Din and Baby Yoda duo that we all fell in love with in season 1. I think that a poetic end to Bo Katan would be her sacrificing herself to kill Gideon and save Mandalore. This would make a lot of sense, since she has spent all of this season writing her songs, just to be the leader that Mandalore needed in the end. All in all, this episode is definitely my favorite this season. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and was absolutely blown away by the ending reveal. I hope that episode 8 carries this hype and blows us away even more than episode 7 did.

I would give this episode a 9.8/10.