The Mandalorian: Season 1, “Chapter 3: The Sin”

Original Air Date: November 22, 2019
Writer: Jon Favreau
Director: Deborah Chow

“This is the way.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In Chapter 3, the Mandalorian and the Child exit hyperdrive as the Razor Crest returns to Nevarro. A hologram of Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) congratulates “Mando” on securing the asset and he orders Mando to deliver the Child directly to The Client (at this same moment, the Child is playing with a ball which is part of Mando’s control panel). After landing in a spaceport on Nevarro, they walk through the streets while a grungy band of onlookers gawk at them. Mando reluctantly delivers the Child to The Client (Werner Herzog) in exchange for a pile of Imperial beskar. However, Mando begins having second thoughts while watching the Child carried away into a sinister backroom. Mando breaks the Guild code by questioning what The Client intends to do with the “Kid,” but The Client refuses to answer. Mando reluctantly collects his beskar reward and carries it to his clan/covert of Mandalorians where he is outfitted with new armor (despite earning the ire of those around him who resent the fact that he has been working with post-Imperial forces, in particular a Mandalorian named Paz Vizsla, well-known in the celebrated animated Clone Wars show, is played by none other than Jon Favreau himself and he despises our hero). Mando then refuses a signet on his armor for defeating the mudhorn because, per the code of honor, he did not complete the task on his own (he was assisted by the force-wielding Child), however he is nevertheless outfitted with new “whistling birds” weaponry on his gauntlet.

Next, the Mandalorian pays a visit to Greef Karga in the town cantina. He learns about all the other bounty hunters in the cantina who have been given a fob for the Child, as well, but now they all resent him for completing the task. Instead of taking a vacation after completing his task, the Mandalorian immediately requests his next mission. He randomly chooses a puck –recovering a nobleman’s son who has skipped bail somewhere on the ocean dunes of Karnac. But before he leaves, Mando asks Karga what The Client intends to do with the Child, but Karga says he does not know. He beckons Mando not to worry about the Empire –all that is left are feuding warlords. Mando scoffs at the idea of reporting the Imperial presence on Nevarro to the New Republic, which he chides as a “joke.”

Unlike in other morally grey shows wherein the anti-hero protagonist chooses a questionably noble path, The Mandalorian series takes place in an ambiguous world but in this case the hero decides to discover the right path. It is a welcome reversal of current trends in my view. At any rate, the Mandalorian makes a last-minute decision to rescue the Child before departing in his ship (he spots the ball the Child was playing with earlier). This leads to an incredibly gratifying fight scene in which he invades the Imperial outpost and decimates the stormtrooper contingent by making full use of his personal weaponry: a grappling hook, torch, electrocution, whistling birds, and a blaster.

Mando quietly exits the outpost and attempts to flee in his ship with the Child but he is stopped after all the fobs in town are activated and the bounty hunters block his way. A stand-off ensues with Mando killing many of the Bounty Hunter Guild members, but just when all hope seems lost Mando is saved by his fellow Mandalorians (led by Paz Vizsla) as they don jetpacks and shoot all the remaining bounty hunters (despite the fact that they will now need to relocate their clan/covert since they are, in effect, betraying the Bounty Hunters’ Guild). Mando escapes to his ship but he faces one last fight with Greef Karga –Mando distracts him with his carbonite smoke/tibanna gas and shoots Karga (however, at the end of the episode we learn that Karga has not died, but rather the beskar steel in his pocket deflected the blaster fire).

In the end, Mando allows the Child to play with the ball on his ship’s dashboard and we see Jon Favreau’s Mandalorian soaring with his jet pack alongside the Razor Crest saluting his fellow Mandalorian.

Chapter 3 is one of the best episodes in Season 1 in my view –it represents the moment that Mando turns against the hazy, value-neutral world of the bounty hunters and instead pursues a hero’s journey. Joseph Campbell, an intellectual forbearer of the original Star Wars movies, would have been proud.

The Mandalorian Trivia:

  • This episode was filmed concurrently with Chapter 1.
  • Canadian Director Deborah Chow was the first woman to direct a live-action Star Wars program. Producer Kathleen Kennedy was keen to push for a more diverse set of creatives involved in The Mandalorian, but Deborah Chow was quick to attribute the show’s success to Jon Favreau’s excellent writing and character development rather than superficial identity politics.
  • The title “The Sin” is a reference to the Mandalorian committing a personal injustice by initially abandoning “Baby Yoda.” It is also a reference to the Mandalorian “sinning” against the Guild Code.
  • The device Werner Herzog’s character employs to hand over the beskar steel is actually a replica of the original ice cream maker as seen in the background on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. It has long since been the subject of humor and speculation among fans but now the device serves a canonical purpose in the series.
  • In this episode we learn why the Mandalorian hates droids –his parents were murdered by droids during the Clone Wars.

Return to my survey of The Mandalorian series

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