In last week’s episode, “The Child,” the Mandalorian had to go fetch a golden egg to give the Jawas in exchange for all his stuff. Once he handed over the prize, the little shits smashed the treasure open and sucked down the yolk like little greedy pigs. It was violent and gross; an innocent devoured by greed.
In this week’s “The Sin,” Mando is taking an egg-shaped crib with a little Baby Yoda nougat center back to noted bad guys, The Empire to exchange for -again- some stuff. What, oh, what could be rattling around in our boy’s head during the hyperspace jump, do you think? Perhaps some sYmBoLiSm?!!!!
Warning: Here there be spoilers.
At the beginning of the episode, there’s a little moment where Baby Yoda wants to play with ManDADlorian’s spaceship tools, but Mando puts him back to bed. For a “dark/gritty/new take” or whatever on Star Wars, this show is wonderfully playful and charming as heck. I originally expected it to scratch the itch for people who wanted more mature content than the movies typically offer, and am so glad I was wrong because Star Wars should always be weird and kid-appropriate. If you want a Star War that you can’t share with your kid, you’re a greedy egg-sucking Jawa.
Still, a Mandalorian’s gotta pay the bills so despite showing obvious concern for the kid, he turns Baby Yoda over to the Imperials to collect his
40 pieces of silver Super Special Metal™. What can ya do? Bye-bye, Baby Yoda!
Fun Fan Service Alert: Check out the thing Werner Herzog carries his Super Special Metal™ around in. Star Wars has a history of repurposing common items as futuristic props, and Werner’s little piggie bank is actually an ice cream maker, which is a nod to the Cloud City dude that people have been scratching their heads about for years.
Personally, I enjoyed the idea that when the Empire invaded Cloud City, that guy genuinely only cared about getting out with his favorite Cuisinart appliance, but you win some you lose some.
Mando takes his blood money back to Mandalorville, and we’re treated to a feast of backstory and lore. We learn that since a “Great Purge” Mandalorians must stay in hiding, and only one member of their ranks can venture out into the world at a time. We also learn that some of the clan think bounty hunting is beneath them (sorry Boba) and they are pretty pissed our guy even does business the Empire. There’s even a little brawl between our Mandalorian and a bigger, grumpier Mandalorian who tries to yank off our Mando’s helmet, which is a very not chill thing to do to someone.
The Armorer makes everyone calm down and forges a whole new set of armor for our hero. She talks about the “choice” to follow the Mandalore path. *thoughtful chin scratch emoji*
Per standard procedure when getting custom armor forged, Mando stares into the fire thinking deep pensive thoughts about the trauma that *ahem* forged him into the man he is today. In a previous recap, I said that I didn’t want more info on Mando’s backstory; while that seems unlikely now, they are presenting the information with some nourishing dramatic metaphors. It’s not about learning a secret history, it’s about what drives Mando’s current state of mind, and his relationship to Baby Yoda. It’s clear he wasn’t born into a Mandalorian clan since nobody in these flashbacks wears Mandalorian armor, and they JUST made a big deal about that. So it seems likely that Lil’ Mando was, oh, I dunno, rescued as a child by a compassionate warrior, and, like, um, does that remind you of anyone?
With his shiny new suite, The Mandalorian heads to the cantina for any job Carl Wethers can find that will get him out of the system and away from his demons. Carl doesn’t understand why he doesn’t want to stick around and go to the “Twi’lek Baths,” which are clearly actually some sort of space sex palace. But as I said earlier, this is Star Wars, we’ve got kids here, and besides, what good is a brothel if you won’t ever take off your armor? Come to think of it, I now have questions about how there are ever any baby Mandalorians…
Back at the ship, our ice-cold bounty hunter loner badass is ready for takeoff but stops short when he sees the little doodad Baby Yoda was playing with at the beginning of the episode. I assume Harry Chapin’s Cat’s In The Cradle starts playing in Mando’s helmet stereo system, cause my dude just cannot shake his guilt, and flips all the switches back off. People flicking switches to turn on their spaceship is one of the purest tactile pleasures of the Star Wars universe, and director Deborah Chow plays the mirror of that beat perfectly here. Seeing The Mandalorian flip all his little switches to “off” is so satisfying. Go get your boy, Mando!
Star Wars has always had a lot of Japanese story influence, and this show is wearing its Spaghetti Western on its sleeve, but the rest of this episode introduces a Hong Kong action flick vibe. The Mandalorian fighting his way out with the kid tucked under his arm is pulled right from John Woo’s Hard Boiled. The success of the show isn’t that it’s doing something wholly unique, but rather playing with existing tropes so deftly.
Werner Herzog escapes, the Mad Scientist reveals he was trying to secretly protect Baby Yoda, and The Mandalorian uses his fancy new weapon on all the Stormtroopers. Remember in the first episode they were all like “It’s four to one!” Ah, payoff. But the Empire isn’t the only problem. Apparently this is like the bounty hunter home planet, cause Carl Wethers shows up with all of the bounty hunters. Was the titular “sin” of this episode when Mando left Baby Yoda in the hands of the ravenous Empire or was it when he went against his bounty hunter code to save him? Or was it both and having titles with a double meaning is this show’s, like, thing?
The next moment felt like a scene right out of Clone Wars and Rebels made into live-action. All of the other Mandalorians jetpack in to save the day. It’s visually stunning, but as always with this show, the moment works because of the story being told but not spoken: by breaking with the Empire, and doing the right thing, the Mandalorian has finally become a true Mandalorian.
Together again, the Mandolorian and Baby Yoda hit the road. He’s earned the respect of his clan, but now the hunter will become the hunted…which you know, is pretty standard stuff but wow they’re really killing it. This time Mando lets the kid play with the little spaceship thingamajig because he’s a good dad and because bookending is a delightful storytelling device.
- Mando calling Baby Yoda “the kid” is subtly great. Sometimes Star Wars has trouble with using common vernacular or slang, even though that’s it’s an important ingredient in the franchise’s recipe. For example, when Owen calls Beru his “girlfriend” in Episode III, it’s like…wildly distracting and weird. But here it fits and harkens back to when Han would call Luke that. It tells you all you need to know about the relationship going on there.
- Super Battle Droid spotted!
- Big Mean Mandalorian Guy is named Paz Vizsla, making him a relative of Prie Vizsla, the character voiced by (The Mandalorian creator) John Favreau in Clone Wars. And I’m sorry, but the salute he gives at the end was kinda dumb. But I mean what kind of Star Wars fan would I be if I bitched about any little thing just because it didn’t match my specific taste? *cough*
- We overhear Werner and the scientist talking about how Werner wants to kill Baby Yoda to extract something from him. My guess: Medichlorians, the Star Wars concept that just won’t go away.
- Interesting how this show parallels the Mandalorians with the Jedi as a fallen order forced into hiding. The director of this episode, Deborah Chow will be heading up Ewan McGregor’s return as Obi-Wan Kenobi, so now all signs point to that being mm-MMMM Good.
This is the way.