The Mandalorian recap: Mando faces the most famous bounty hunter of them all
After last week's revelation-packed episode of The Mandalorian, we get another one this week as Mando faces off with the most famous bounty hunter of them all and the Force inadvertently leaves Grogu unprotected when he needs it most.
But before the action starts, Mando and the child formerly named Baby Yoda have a quiet moment on the Razor Crest as Grogu plays with his favorite metal ball. Mando tests out his new name, laughing every time Grogu responds to it. Much to Grogu's consternation, Mando takes the ball from him but only to test his Force abilities. When they prove just as strong as Ahsoka sensed, Mando himself seems conflicted. Grogu is obviously special but Mando doesn't have the Jedi skill to train him and that means eventually they will have to separate. Like any parent, the thought brings him anguish even if he knows it might be the best for his child.
In a surprise for a show that likes to get waylaid on the road to its destination, Mando has actually made it to Tython already and spots the ancient temple that Ahsoka mentioned in the last episode. Tython has a long Star Wars history in the old Legends timeline, but in the current canon it's basically rumored to be the location of the Jedi's first temple and it looks even more rustic than what was glimpsed of the Jedi remnants on Ahch-To in The Last Jedi.
Not able to land on the seeing stone, Mando parks the Razor Crest nearby and takes a delighted Grogu the rest of the way via jetpack. After plopping Grogu on the seeing stone and having nothing happen, Mando is not sure what to do next. As a blue butterfly flits by the delighted child (is that a shoutout to Ben Solo?), Mando looks around to see if there is some kind of trigger to make the stone work. As a ship looking very much like Boba Fett's Slave I passes by, Mando realizes they need to go but of course that's the moment when Grogu connects with the Force, becoming encased in a very strong, um, Force field. Mando tries to retrieve the child but the Force won't let him go and Mando decides to buy him some time to commune with it.
Mando takes off and is soon facing off with none other than the very much alive Boba Fett! Boba would very much like his armor back and of course, Mando being a knucklehead about the Mandalorian creed, refuses to give it to him despite hearing that the armor belonged to Boba's father. But it turns out Boba isn't alone and has the also very much alive Fennec Shand (the wonderful Ming-Na Wen returning from the first season) with him and she's got a gun trained on Grogu.
Eventually, they all agree to put down their weapons and Mando finds out that Boba saved Fennec's life and she's now in his service. Boba again demands his armor and tells Mando that the armor was given to his father, Jango, by Mando's forebears and that if it is returned, they will guarantee the safety of him and Grogu. Honestly, it's a good deal since Fennec informs him that the bounty on Grogu's head is now worth 10 suits of beskar.
As they argue, a ship of stormtroopers arrives. While Mando heads back to the seeing stone to retrieve Grogu, Boba and Fennec take up arms against the troopers who frankly have no idea what they are in for. Even without his armor, it's a thrill to see Boba Fett in action again and Temuera Morrison is fearsome as he takes the troopers down without mercy. Ming-Na Wen gets a great set piece that calls back to Raiders of the Lost Ark and it's no surprise to discover that the famed Robert Rodriguez directed this action-packed episode.
Once Boba winds up near the Razor Crest, it's pretty obvious what he's about to do while Mando isn't looking. As another ship of troopers lands, Mando, who got knocked out trying to retrieve Grogu from the seeing stone, finally wakes up. He tries once again to pry Grogu from the Force but it's impossible and he leaves to protect him. Of course, as soon as he takes off, Grogu finally stops communing with the Force and it releases him from its grip.
Mando joins Fennec to fight off the new squad of troopers, but soon they are cornered. Things are looking dire until a fully armored Boba Fett (everyone commence screaming) lands and dispatches the troopers with every weapon at his disposal. Is it fan service to see Boba Fett kicking ass again after so many years? Yes, of course, but it's the best kind since it's still in service to the greater story and it's an action sequence that is so good that it makes me want to apologize for every bad thing I've ever said about Boba Fett for the last four decades.
As the troopers flee and their ships take off, Boba takes out both of them with one of his missiles. Before they can celebrate, a shot from another unseen ship hits the Razor Crest and in a stunning move, totally obliterates it. It turns out Moff Gideon has finally arrived in his Imperial cruiser. As Boba takes off for his own ship, a shocked Mando and Fennec try to make it back to Grogu in time.
A contingent of dark trooper battle droids takes off from Gideon's ship and aims directly for the seeing stone, landing before Mando can get there. Now completely and conveniently unprotected, Grogu wakes up from his Force-induced nap and is immediately taken by one of the troopers. They take off back to Gideon's ship. Boba almost heads them off in the sky but Mando doesn't want him to engage since Grogu might get hurt. Boba decides to follow them to see who they are dealing with and he's stunned to see an Imperial cruiser. When he tells Fennec and Mando that the Empire is back, Fennec says the New Republic has control of the Outer Rim. Denying it's a spice dream, Boba tells them he can see the cruiser with his own eyes.
Before they can do anything to save Grogu, the cruiser takes off into hyperspace. Looking over the wreckage of the Razor Crest, all Mando can find is Grogu's toy and the beskar spear. He takes them both and nothing more. Once Boba shows him the chain code of his armor, Mando realizes that it is rightfully Boba's since his father, Jango, was a foundling that fought in the Mandalorian civil wars.
Though he tells Boba their deal is now complete, Boba disagrees since they agreed to the safety of the child as well. Showing a surprising lack of will or maybe a feeling of total despair, Mando says the child is gone. Boba says that until he is returned safely, they are in Mando's debt and we are happily in for few more episodes in Boba Fett and Fennec Shand's company
Taking off in Boba's frankly rickety-looking ship, they land on Nevarro where Cara Dune has agreed to become a marshal for the New Republic. Cara helps Mando locate Bill Burr's ex-imperial sharpshooter, Migs Mayfeld, who we last saw being arrested in season 1. Though Mayfled is serving 50 years for the crime, Mando needs to spring him. Cara mentions that since she's with the New Republic now, she needs to follow the rules but once she hears Moff Gideon has Grogu and Mando need Mayfeld's help to get him back, she looks more than willing to bend them.
Back on the Imperial cruiser, Moff Gideon discovers Grogu is Force-choking the troopers keeping him in captivity. Displaying even more power and fury than ever before, Grogu throws them around like they are dolls until he exhausts himself in the process. Gideon smiles and showing a greater familiarity with Grogu's powers than we realized he had, he mentions that while the child's gotten good with those abilities, it makes him oh-so-sleepy.
As Grogu tries to recover, Gideon shows him the darksaber and asks if he's ever seen one. Grogu tries to take it but Gideon pulls it away, saying he isn't ready to play with such a thing. Saying he could use a nice, long sleep, he has Grogu stunned and tells one of his officers to send the message to Dr. Pershing that they have their donor. As poor Grogu is shackled, it's obvious he's in more peril than ever before. But an unlikely contingent of help is on the way.
The live-action Star Wars series follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.