The Mandalorian recap: Mando finds there's no line he won’t cross
Desperate to get Grogu back, Mando crosses some unthinkable lines in order to find Moff Gideon.
As we’ve seen over the past two seasons, Mando has some hard and fast rules that he lives by as part of his Mandalorian creed. But as we see in this episode once Moff Gideon kidnapped Grogu, all bets are off on what he is willing to do to save his kid. He’s even willing to break Mando Rule No. 1. Yes, people, he does the unthinkable – but more on that later.
And Mando’s not the only one willing to bend the rules as New Republic Marshal Cara Dune shows when she springs ex-Imperial sharpshooter Migs Mayfield (comedian Bill Burr returning from season 1 and getting a lot more to do this time) from his prison sentence in the Karthon chop fields. Migs is a little confused by what's happening, especially when he sees Boba Fett (whose armor has been cleaned up) and takes him for Mando at first. Mando does appear and things are a little awkward since they didn’t part on the best of terms.
Migs finds out they need his Imperial clearances to locate Moff Gideon’s cruiser and at first, he’s reluctant until he finds out that Gideon took Mando’s little green guy. Soft feelings for Grogu aside, he stills wants to know what’s in it for him and Cara, who’s very law and order now that she’s a marshal, says he’s only getting a better view, not freedom. Since he’s got no other choice, Migs tells them he needs access to an Imperial terminal and there is one on Morak, where there is a secret Imperial mining hub. Boba notes that they are mining rhydonium there which is highly volatile and explosive and that the mining hub is well-protected so they start figuring out their plan of attack.
While many of the characters we’ve seen have been agnostic on the greater galactic conflict going on around them, both Migs and Cara still hold on to their Imperial and Rebel leanings and naturally, this creates a certain amount of distrust. After they land on Morak, they argue who will go with Migs into the mining hub since he’s an ex-Imperial and she doesn't trust him to go alone. He points out that she’ll be recognized as a Rebel and both Fennec and Boba say they are also out for their various issues with the Empire.
That leaves Mando as the last option and since he can’t go in with his very recognizable armor, both he and Migs have to change into something less recognizable. With Cara’s help, they take out the operators for Juggernaut Five’s mining transport and change into their armor. Mando gives Cara his beskar to protect and he and Migs take off in the transport while Cara joins Fennec to take out the gunners guarding the hub and Boba plans to rescue them once the job is done.
Having a comedian like Bill Burr playing Migs, writer and director Rick Famuyiwa, gives him ample opportunity to rib Mando while they ride to the mining hub. As Mando stays stoically unresponsive, Migs takes his own helmet off and questions Mando’s rules for the armor change. Noticing the destroyed transport vehicles littering their drive, Migs is a little concerned about the safety of rhydonium but once he notices the local children of the planet, he gets on a riff about how to them, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s the Empire or the New Republic in charge. It’s all the same. Just ruling or being ruled. Whether your beliefs are from Mandalore or Alderaan, it doesn’t matter since neither one exists anymore. He questions Mando’s rule about his helmet, whether it was just his helmet he couldn’t take off or just that he couldn’t show his face. When he says he’s a survivor just like Mando, the latter bristles that they are nothing alike. Migs notes that your rules change when you get desperate and we’ll soon see just how desperate Mando is.
Soon the riffing ends as Juggernaut Three and Four explode up ahead of them and they come under attack by pirates who want to blow up the very volatile rhydonium. As Migs continues to drive, Mando gets on top of the transport to fight the pirates off. Not used to both the terrible weapon and the crappy armor, he soon has to rely on hand to hand combat and it’s a great sequence by Famuyiwa. As soon as Mando dispatches both groups of pirates by turning their detonators against them, three more are on the vehicle. It looks bad for Mando until the TIE fighters destroy the pirate from above, making it the first time we’re actually happy to see those ships. Stormtroopers flood out of the approaching mining hub and kill the rest of the pirates. Shouting about the glory of the Empire, the troopers salute Migs and Mando as heroes. So much for an inconspicuous arrival.
As they make their way through the crowd, Migs mentions that the terminal would be in the officer’s mess but once he goes in, he recognizes his former commanding officer Valin Hess (Richard Brake of Batman Begins). He says they have to abort the mission but Mando says he can’t or he’ll lose the kid forever. He takes the data stick from Migs and goes to the terminal, gives Valin a reluctant salute as he passes. Even though he knows the terminal has to scan his face, Mando tries it with the helmet first but when it doesn’t work, he takes the helmet off. You read that right. Mando takes his helmet off and we see recent EW cover star Pedro Pascal’s beautiful face!
The newly unhelmeted Mando gets the information he needs but before he can put his helmet on and go back to Migs, Valin Hess calls to him and tells him to pay attention when a superior addresses him. He asks what Mando’s officer number is and, not so slick without his helmet, he stumbles over his response. Migs eventually comes in to rescue him, smoothly giving their numbers and saying Mando’s a trifle deaf after an accident. Valin asks for Mando’s name at a louder volume, but Migs says they call him Brown Eyes and makes an Office Space joke about filing TPS reports while trying to pull Brown Eyes away so they can escape. Valin says they aren’t dismissed and asks them to get a celebratory drink since they are the only transport to deliver their shipment that day.
Stuck having a drink with this man, Migs toasts to Operation Cinder and Valin is impressed he knows his history. Migs mentions he was in Burnin Konn, which was a battle that happened three months after the Battle of Endor as the last Imperial remnants wreaked havoc across the galaxy. Valin notes it was a hard day and that he had to make many unpleasant decisions but it’s obvious that those unpleasant decisions fell much harder on Migs than they did him. The former Imperial sharpshooter notes that thousands died that day. When Valin says they were all heroes of the Empire and that the sacrifice was for the greater good, Migs asks if it was really good for the people that died or their families.
Valin notes with pleasure that the New Republic is in complete disarray and that these Imperial remnants will use the rhydonium to create havoc and that the people will one again turn to them for order. When they realize it’s that and not freedom they want, they will welcome the Empire back with open arms. Showing an unexpected core of morality, Migs shoots Valin as he toasts to the Empire.
Since that obviously wasn’t in the plan, he and Mando start shooting everyone else in the mess (who probably had families if we’re bringing it up). Migs gives Mando his helmet back and tells him he never saw his face. They kick out the window and escape as Cara and Fennec cover them from their vantage point. A shootout ensues as Boba starts his run in the Slave I and rescues Mando and Migs from the roof. As they fly away, Migs takes aim at the volatile rhydonium transports and blows up the mining station. When Mando looks at him questioningly, Migs, recalling his earlier discussion with Mando, says they all need to sleep at night.
TIE fighters are soon after them and we get to see what kind of firepower the Slave I has, which dispatches them in spectacular fashion. After landing to pick up Fennec and Cara, Migs guesses it’s back to the scrap heap with him. Mando thanks him for helping and Cara compliments his shooting. After Migs says he was just getting some stuff off his chest, Cara mentions to Mando that it’s too bad Migs didn’t make it out alive. Confused as to whether this means she’s going to shoot him or set him free, Migs asks if he can go and Cara confirms he’s free and he takes off. She asks Mando if they got Moff Gideon’s coordinates and what their next move is.
On Gideon’s ship, Mando sends him a holo. Warning him in his best mad dad fashion, Mando tells Gideon that he may think that he has some idea what he is in possession of with Grogu, but he doesn’t really. He vows that his child will be back with him and that he means more to Mando than Gideon will ever know. And as we’ve seen in this episode, when Mando is truly desperate, there is no line he won’t cross.
The live-action Star Wars series follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.