The Mandalorian recap: Mando prepares for a fight
Things are slowly coming together for The Mandalorian. While much of the first season thus far has felt like a series of standalone episodes, threaded only by its titular character and Baby Yoda, its many loose threads are finally being woven together in the season’s penultimate episode.
In the Razor Crest, while Baby Yoda sleeps and Mando plans his next move, the bounty hunter gets a hologram message from his old frenemy Greef Karga. The Guild leader reveals that in the wake of Mando’s perceived theft, the Client and his Empirical allies have taken over Nevarro. The Guild and Mando now share an enemy. While Greef and the Guild can’t take the Client out, he’s hoping Mando can — for a hefty reward. He proposes Mando returns to Nevarro where they bait the Client with Baby Yoda and kill him, both sides walking away happy.
Mando seems to consider this proposal — but not without his own team providing protection. They find Cara Dune still on Sorgan, fighting in the tavern like a member of the UFC of the outer rim. Mando walks her through Greef’s plan and offers her a job; he needs help protecting his young charge. She accepts, but having been filled in on Mando and Greef’s tense history, she doesn’t understand why he’s accepting the mission at all, considering the likelihood they’ll be double-crossed. Mando admits he feels backed into it, realizing a target will be on Baby Yoda’s back as long as the Client is alive — something, the little greenling just happens to overhear. While Mando shares his devotion to keeping Baby Yoda alive with Cara, the kid takes control of the ship… which, obviously, goes haywire. This little stunt is the jolt they need to realize their team requires another member.
They head for Arvala-7 to recruit Kuiil. The Ugnaught examines the child, noting how little he’s grown since their last meeting. Having worked in gene farms, Kuiil may not know Baby Yoda’s species but he knows the child hasn’t been engineered because he’s too evolved and too… ugly. (What?!) The conversation soon moves to talk of war, in which Cara and Kuiil, an indentured servant to the Empire, fought on opposing sides. However, their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a newly reprogrammed IG-11 offering tea. While Mando becomes very protective of Baby Yoda, Kuiil tells him there’s nothing to worry about. The Ugnaught describes his surveying of Mando’s wreckage, where he found the lifeless IG-11 and worked to repair and rehabilitate the droid.
Mando offers the reluctant Ugnaught a job, who, in turn, offers the droid. Mando refuses to have anything to do with the droid, prompting Kuiil to offer some words of wisdom about droids in how they’re neither inherently good nor bad, rather the neutral imprint on their programmer. Kuiil agrees to help, but only with assistance from the droid — and a trio of blurrgs. Having largely known a life of servitude, the Ugnaught also refuses payment, relishing in his freedom to choose to protect the child.
With the tram in place on the Razor Crest heading to Nevarro, Cara and Mando arm wrestle, a game interrupted when Baby Yoda uses the force to try to choke Cara. Things become testy as Cara is not pleased with the child for trying to kill — or at the very least, harm — her. While none of them are familiar with the Force, Kuiil has heard rumors of the powers, prompting Cara to make a snide comment of his Empirical fighting during the war.
Arriving on Nevarro, the trio meet Greef and his own trio of guild hunters in a remote location, planning to camp out before moving into town at first light. Over a campfire, they discuss the plan once more. Greef makes a comment on their fool-proof plan before being slashed by a pair of massive bat-like creatures. Mando, Greef, and their respective allies fight back, but the creatures are able to subdue two blurrgs and make an attack on Mando before they’re driven away. Greeg is badly injured in the attack, the poison from his wounds spreading more quickly than Cara can stop it. Without the necessary supplies to save Greef, they start thinking of a back-up plan before Baby Yoda intervenes, using the Force to heal the Guild leader.
The next morning, as they head into town, a wary Cara and Mando are on high alert, ready for betrayal. But before the guild hunters can take the pair out, Greef kills them both and admits he had planned to betray Mando and take the child. Naturally, as Baby Yoda just saved his life, Greef had a change of heart. While Cara wants to kill Greef for his deception, Mando cedes that they need him alive to take down the Client.
However, now Mando will be used as bait. Refusing to let him go alone, Cara decides to accompany Greef and Mando as they confront the Client. Per Mando’s plan, Kuiil and Baby Yoda are set to return to the Crest and seal themselves inside, activating any and all security protocols to make the ship impenetrable. Meanwhile, Baby Yoda’s new, protected egg will accompany Mando and company to meet the Client, giving the impression the child is with them.
They arrive in town, now heavily guarded by stormtroopers, and meet the Client at the tavern once frequented by the Guild. The Client laments Mando’s indiscretion making their supposedly easy transaction more difficult — much like the Empire’s occupation (and destruction) of Mandalore — launching into a tangent about how everything the Empire touches becomes better. He then demands to see the child, insisting despite Greef’s hesitation. But before they open the egg, he gets a hologram call from Moff Gideon, who implies the child isn’t with them. Mando, Cara, and Greef take this as their cue and start firing on all cylinders, taking out the Client and the forces in the tavern. But one look outside reveals they’re surrounded by a squad of shadow troopers and legions of stormtroopers ready to attack.
Mando makes a plea to Kuiil to get the kid out of Nevarro as he, Cara, and Greef are outnumbered. Unfortunately, their communications link is intercepted by a pair of stormtroopers on speeders, who overhear the message and take off after the Ugnaught. The troopers are joined by the very menacing Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito, finally), who tells the trapped rebels that they don’t understand what they have in their possession and the lengths he’ll go to retrieve it. While Kuiil attempts to race back to the Crest in time, he and the Blurrg are no match for the speeders. As Mando desperately pleads for the Ugnaught to respond, we discover the stormtroopers have killed the Ugnaught and his ride, kidnapping the child.
The live-action Star Wars series follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.