The Mandalorian Episode 3 Recap: Look, Don’t Mess With Dad’s Tools

The Mando and Baby Yoda
(Collider)

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.

Star Wars Ice Cream Maker Prop
(comicbook.com)

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.

Blaster Fire:

  • 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.

The Guys From Toto Perform Quarantine “Africa” From Their Homes

Toto Performs Quarantine Africa
(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

If there’s one song from the 80s that withstood the test of time, it’s “Africa” by Toto. Every so often, it reenters the public consciousness, be it by way of Scrubs episode, Weezer cover, or even buzzing Tesla coils. It’s a near-perfect song, and it’s never going anywhere.

In the spirit of this recent slew of virtual pop culture reunions, some of the guys from Toto got together to dust off their 1982 hit.

Returning for lead vocals you is Joseph Williams.

(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

On percussion, we’ve got Mr. DOO-DOO D-DOO D-DOO D-DOO DOO PSHHH himself, Lenny Castro.

(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

And on vertical phone orientation, we’ve got guitarist Steve Lukather.

(YouTube/Joseph Williams)

You know the words. You know the legendary drum fills. Now get ready to hear “Africa” as you’ve never heard it before: through the lens of a quarantine. Enjoy!

“I really hope you guys out there are safe and well,” says Steve on guitar. “God bless. Hang in there.”

Father Figures: Big Bad Dad

“I am the proud father of an 8-year-old daughter named Winnie.

For years, I was lost on a path toward self-destruction. I was involved in violence, drugs, and alcohol, and seemed destined to end up either dead or in jail.

I managed to forge a career and get married, but always had a monkey on my back. My behavior began to hurt everyone in my life as much as it was hurting me.

Then my daughter was born. The first day I held her, everything in my life changed.

For the first time, I had a direction. There was never an option to fail. My overwhelming love for her made me look myself in a mirror and resolve to become a better person for myself and for her. It took hard work, humility, and honesty for me to get to where I started to feel love for myself and face the demons that were in my closet.

Because of my daughter and the strength she gave me, I built an amazing life for us and have such an amazing relationship with her everyday. We even wrote and published a book together: Big Bad Dad.

These days, I am part of a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching men to show humility and emotion, and encouraging them to speak about their feelings and ask for help.

My daughter completely shifted the way I think about life and the way I live as a man and I am so grateful to her every single day.”

– Ryan Bourquin

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

“My Dad, My Hero” Campaign Helps Kids Honor Their Military Dads

“My Dad, My Hero” Campaign Helps Kids Honor Their Military Dads
(YouTube/Lincoln Military Housing)

Being an amazing dad already means that you’re a hero to your kids. When you’re a military dad though, you’re doing hero double-duty and deserve to be recognized as such. Lincoln Military Housing, a partnership between Lincoln Property Company and the Department of Defense, has helped over 36,000 military families find housing across the country. They know firsthand how much military families sacrifice, and they realize just how heroic these military parents are to their country as well as their kids.

Being the child of a military parent (or two) can be challenging, with fairly frequent moves as well as long periods of time where they may not be able to see their parent in person. Lincoln Military Housing decided that kids needed a way to honor their military dads, and they launched the “My Dad, My Hero” campaign to capture the love and admiration these kids have for their dads.

“It is important as a community that we highlight and celebrate our military children and their fathers. Whether their father is deployed or supporting a spouse in the military, they all provide a great service to our country. Our goal was to honor them through a story told by their very own children,” Ashley Gorski Poole, VP of Marketing and Communications for Lincoln Military Housing, explained on PRWeb.

The touching video features pictures of military dads with their children, handwritten notes, and heartfelt tributes to their beloved dads shared by the kids themselves. The campaign collected over 90 videos, letters, and pictures from military families seeking a way to properly honor their heroic dads. To help kids feel like they’re part of a community of kids just like them, and as a way to thank kids for their submissions, Lincoln Military Housing is sending each kid who contributed to the “My Dad, My Hero” campaign a special challenge coin.

Challenge coins are an important tradition in the military. Challenge coins are given to show membership in a certain group or to recognize a special achievement. Not only did these kids get to honor their dads in a beautiful way, but they also got to take part in a tradition that is undoubtedly meaningful to their dads as well.

Thank you military dads (and all other members of the military, of course), you’re our heroes too.

The 10 Best Comments of the Month: June 2020

Best Comments of the Month

Every month we pan for comedy gold in the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s last month’s roundup of the 10 Best Comments:

1. Doesn’t Mince Words

2. Cursed!

3. Plot Thickens

4. Alright

5. Driving Miss Daisy

6. GOAT

7. DJ Wingman

8. Be the Dad

9. Mind the Gap

10. Dad Level 100

Check out the previous edition of the best comments of the month here.

Sega Is Releasing a Mini Console Loaded With 32 Classic Games

Sega Mini Console
(Sega/Hardcore Gaming 101)

Sega is slowly becoming a titan in the gaming world of portable emulators. Last year, the Japanese video game developer announced the Genesis Mini, a plug-and-play consoled packed with 40 classic games, from Altered Beasts to Ecco The Dolphin.

(Target)

More recently, they revealed the Game Gear Micro, which is exactly what it sounds like.

(Sega)

Well now, in what could very well be the shrunken console industry’s first hat trick, Sega has unveiled the Astro City Mini. This mini replica is shaped to look just like Sega’s 1993 Astro City arcade cabinet, which is super iconic in Japan and sought after to this day by collectors.

You can check out the official Japanese promo video here:

The portable console will come pre-loaded with 36 classic games, of which the following have been confirmed:

  • Alien Syndrome
  • Alien Storm
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder
  • Columns II
  • Dark Edge
  • Puzzle & Action: Tant-R
  • Virtua Fighter
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Altered Beast

If you’re not hip to Altered Beasts, educate yourself.

Also, exciting fact: this is the very first time Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder

and Dark Edge…

(Sega)

will be available to play on a home system. Until now, they’ve only existed in arcade form. Pretty cool!

There will also be handheld controllers, sold separately, which will come in handy once you HDMI this bad boy to the TV and bash some side-scroller aliens on the big screen.

(Sega)

The Sega Astro City Mini will soon be available in Japan for ¥12,800 (approximately $114), but no word on an international launch just yet. This looks dope though, so fingers crossed!

“Just Resting My Eyes,” Says Dad Waking up From 8-Year Coma

"Just Resting My Eyes"
(Getty/ER Productions Limited)

In a development that’s baffling medical professionals worldwide, 56-year-old dad Gary Hudson awoke from an eight-year coma this week, only to matter-of-factly assure his family he’d simply been resting his eyes.

“Just lettin’ the lids get take a load off,” Gary said, having just spent the better part of a decade with no observable cognition or awareness of external stimuli. “Can’t be just dozing off mid-Monday now can we.”

Gary, whose cerebrum had recently forgone communication with his brain stem for almost 3,000 consecutive days, guaranteed his loved ones he’d merely shuttered the blinds for a “short rest.”

Sources claim Gary emerged from his comatose state after an orderly changed the hospital room TV channel, which he was watching.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Dad Grades: Walter White From Breaking Bad

(Sony Pictures)

It’s been 7 years now since Breaking Bad drew to a close, and we heard Heisenberg utter those unforgettable final words: “Goodbye, Lydia.” No really, that was the last thing anyone on the show said, if you don’t count Jesse’s getaway scream. Seriously. Go check. We don’t talk about this enough. Insane.

Nevertheless, Breaking Bad was a pretty incredible show. Prestige TV at its prestigest. For 5-but-actually-6 seasons, we witnessed the trajectory of Walter White, a terminally ill chemistry professor turned maniacal drug kingpin. Through first-rate performances, masterful storytelling, and cinematography like this

(Sony Pictures Television)

fans were enthralled by Walt’s slow transformation into Heisenberg. But was he a good dad? No. What. Are you insane? Of course not. But we’re gonna give him a Dad Grades anyway.

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

STRENGTHS

The premise of this show is rooted in Walt’s responsibilities as a husband and father. After being diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, Walt decides he needs to make a shitload of money, and fast, to provide financial security for his family. This sounds noble, and something a good dad might even do! More later on how he chooses to acquire this money.

(Sony Pictures Television)

On the surface, Walt’s a great dad. A provider, a teacher, a protector. In season one, we see Walt start to break bad when his son, Walt Jr, who had cerebral palsy, is mocked while trying on jeans. Not on Walt’s watch.

With a second child on the way, Walt continually asserts that every decision he makes, he makes for his family. Occasionally, he’ll try to prove it, like in the season 5 episode “Fifty-One”, in which he concludes a driving lesson with Walt Jr. by purchasing him a brand new Dodge Challenger.

Best of all, he never once tries to rope his into the meth business. Nepotism runs rampant in this society, so it’s refreshing to see Jr. merely running a register and wishing folks an “A1 day” at the car wash. It is a money-laundering scheme, but whatever. He’s good at it.

(Sony Pictures Television)

Again, it’s clear that at first Walt operated with the most selfless of intentions, driven to leave his family peace of mind in the face of mounting medical bills. If you don’t think about it too much, Walt’s a good father.

WEAKNESSES

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really — I was alive.”

That’s Walt, to Skyler, in the series finale. Regardless of what we thought of Walt in season one, it’s suggested his motives, in the beginning, were ulterior.

Remember The Bucket List, that movie where Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson live their lives to the fullest when confronted with terminal lung cancer? This is sorta like that, except instead of visiting the Taj Mahal and skydiving it’s becoming a treacherous drug lord.

Walt is a truly morally reprehensible guy. He wins us over through sympathy in the first season. We were sorta with when he choked out Krazy-8 and dissolved his body in a barrel of acid. We were sorta with him when he brought down Tuco. But dude…

He watched and did nothing as Jane, the love of Jesse’s life, choked to death in her sleep.

(Sony Pictures Television)

He convinced Jesse to murder the mild-mannered, relatively harmless Gale.

(Sony Pictures Television)

And need we remind you, in a later season, he straight-up poisons a child.

Walt was ostensibly the closest thing Jesse had to a father figure, and he was controlling, selfish, and manipulative the entire time. As Walt descended into unmitigated corruption, he never hesitated to throw Jesse under the bus. Once, while Jesse was literally under a car.

After Uncle Jack executes Hank in the desert, in what’s widely regarded as the series’ best scene, Walt spots Jesse hiding under a car and turns him over to Jack’s Aryan Nation buddies. But not before saying what’s quite possibly the shittiest thing anyone has ever said to another human:


Just a really bad man, man. Redemption was never an option.

Oh, and do we even need to bring up what a dick he was to his wife? People write Skyler White off as a nagging shrew for not being a sufficiently enthusiastic cheerleader while her megalomaniacal meth kingpin husband gives ricin to a six-year-old. Skyler wasn’t the bad guy, you were for thinking that.

Also, we’re gonna have to deduct points here for his poor execution of the classic dad move, Bringing Home A Pizza For Dinner.

VERDICT

Walter White is a despicable person. He lies habitually. He routinely puts his family in harm’s way. He’s the sole reason little Holly will never know her Uncle Hank. Also, did we mention the Jane dying thing? That. Walter White is Heisenberg, and Heisenberg is a monster, and no birthday bacon is gonna change that.

FINAL GRADE: F

Check out our previous edition where we graded John McClane from Die Hard.

Dad Builds DIY Cardboard Tetris Game For His Daughter

Dad Builds DIY Cardboard Tetris Game For His Daughter
(YouTube/Scooby Dooby Tube)

What’s your favorite way to play video games? Are you a PC gamer, or do you use a console like Xbox? If you’re anything like this dad from China’s Henan province, your favorite way to play classic games uses a different kind of box – cardboard, specifically. A video posted on Twitter in early July shows a dad playing a very unconventional game of Tetris, one where zero screens are involved. The board and game pieces are made entirely of cardboard, and the whole thing is hand-made by this talented dad. In the video, we see this smiling dad drop a game piece into a slot behind the game board. The piece then appears in a small opening at the bottom of the board, at which point the surprisingly focused little girl retrieves it and fits it in among the pieces she’s already placed.

This real-life Tetris game is slightly different from the original version, you know, aside from the fact that it’s 3D and extremely energy efficient. The lines on the board don’t disappear once completed, but instead, the goal of the game is to fill up the entire board without any spaces. As if this amazingly simple yet fascinating Tetris game isn’t enough, this creative dad has also built tons of other games for his daughter to play. He built a maze game, a marble obstacle course, a toy bank, and countless others.

In a YouTube video from the South China Morning Post that showcases many of this innovative DIY dad’s inventions, he explains that he did it in part so that kids would be less reliant on technology. The games are inexpensive to make but extremely time-consuming. Some of the more complex pieces can take half a month to complete. He explains that his crafty games have helped his daughter with concentration, and she has even started coming up with her own ideas for games the adorable pair could create.

“My goal is to turn this into a career, to improve it,” the gaming dad said in his Youtube video. “More parents, those who love DIY, or those who don’t have time to be with their kids can be influenced by the toys in some ways, to spend more time with their children.”

See more of this crafty dad’s inventions in the video below, and think about what potential games you may have laying around the house, just waiting to be built.

Batman Universe Expands Again, With New HBO Max Gotham City Police Series

Gotham Police car
(Getty/ullstein bild)

Wonder Woman 1984 is on the way, and after Aquaman’s success, there will definitely be a sequel to that too. But based on last year’s Joker and now all the news coming around about the many different Batman projects – including both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s potential return as different versions of the Dark Knight, it seems almost like DC is pivoting away from any attempt to mimic Marvel’s extended cinematic universe and putting all their money on the caped crusader.

The latest project is no different.

Matt Reeves is currently helming the next Batman adventure to hit the big screen, titled The Batman and starring Robert Pattinson, but it was gonna be a while even before the pandemic delayed production. But HBO Max, fresh off announcing Zack Snyder’s Justice League, is staying in the Batman business with a new TV show from Reeves, and based in The Batman’s universe.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Reeves is developing a police drama centered around the Gotham City that will appear in The Batman. Terrence Winter, who wrote on The Sopranos and brought Steve Buscemi’s Boardwalk Empire to HBO, will write and produce the new series. So at the very least, the pedigree is strong, and it will be exciting to see superheroes get the prestige TV treatment, especially after the success of Damon Lindelof’s (decidedly different) Watchmen.

“This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a long-form format can afford,” said Reeves in a statement. “And getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream.”

The show will be “set in the world Reeves is creating for The Batman feature film and will build upon the motion picture’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, ultimately launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms. The series provides an unprecedented opportunity to extend the world established in the movie and further explore the myriad of compelling and complex characters of Gotham.”

This has already been done, on Fox, but that was a standalone show centered around Commissioner Gordon’s early days policing the city, with some appearances from young Bruce Wayne and a variety of origin stories for some familiar villains. This new venture will be directly tied to the movie universe, much like Marvel’s forthcoming collection of shows for Disney+. No word yet on whether Pattinson, Reeves’ Batman, or Jeffrey Wright, who plays Gordon in the movie, will appear, but that may depend on the success of the project, which is yet to be seen.

But one thing’s for sure: people can’t get enough of Batman and his universe, so building content around the popular superhero and his associated lore isn’t a terrible idea.