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The Mandalorian: The Gunslinger

"I can bring you in warm or I can bring you in cold." "That's my line."

This was an extremely well-done episode. We’ve returned to form. Fennec Shand is a worthy opponent, and Peli Motto, a desirable ally. It was extremely satisfying to watch Mando, the seasoned vet, show a novice bounty hunter how it’s done. Mando is perhaps the most dangerous person in the Outer Rim. Fennec is deadly; Mando is deadlier- thus the colossal gap in bounties on their heads.

That opening dogfight had some impressive visuals. I do think it was wise to continue the Mando vs. the Guild storyline. He’s not slowing down on his kill list. If I were a member of the Guild, I’d be hesitating at this point. Mando's brakes maneuver and the hunter going up like a firework before the opening credits was well executed and set the tone for the rest of the episode.

Mando had to land in bay 3-5 of Mos Eisley, the place Obi-Wan called a “wretched hive of scum and villainy” in A New Hope. Peli Motto, the pit mechanic, was scrappy enough to survive in such a place, but enough of a good person that she hadn’t been corrupted.

It’s nice when Mando finds people he can trust since he has so many enemies. I just loved Peli right from the get-go; she was largely unruffled by the appearance of a Mandalorian and the Child. She took him on faith and didn’t pry into his business but wasn’t afraid to give it back to him. She didn’t panic when they were all in danger. And she got to pick up the role of pseudo mom while Mando was away, showing her good heart. Her scenes with the Child were heartwarming and lots of fun, as we got to see someone mother the Child for the first time. Hopefully we get to see more of her.

Toro Calican was a bit of a curve ball. That was some terrific casting there. The dialogue in this episode was whip smart, with Mando calling Toro on his bluff in the cantina with stoic disinterest. But then Mando caved. Out of the goodness of his heart, or because he wanted to get paid? Probably the latter, but he had to know the chances of that weren’t all too high. Interesting that he was going to help Toro into the Guild when the Guild is hell-bent on killing him. Mando obviously didn’t see Toro as a threat.

I loved the scene where Mando looked down at the speeder bikes skeptically with Peli and the Child looking on. The scenes of Mando guiding Toro literally step by step through the whole mission were just incredible; and they were obviously more about Mando than Toro, because even if Toro hadn’t flipped at the end, there’s no way he would have made it far in the Guild. My favorite scene hands down definitely had to be Mando communicating with the Tusken Raiders; mutual respect between warriors.

But can that beskar take a hit or what? We’re starting to see why it’s worth more than bounties on elite assassins. Fennec shot Mando twice; once from long range and once from close range, and not only was he totally fine, the armor retained its integrity. There was something about Fennec I really liked. Sure, she’s an assassin, but this show operates under the umbrella of morally grey. She was very good at what she did- and very good at surviving. Plus, everything she told Toro wasn’t exactly untrue. I was actually disappointed when Toro shot her- talk about lack of honor. Someone like Fennec getting shot while cuffed, by someone like Toro? Toro’s a coward. But that end scene gave me hope. Who came and got her?

While we’re on that subject, I was a bit surprised that Mando left Fennec and Toro alone. Fennec brought up Nevarro, so he had to have known there was a good chance she’d talk to save her own skin, if she already brought it up to Mando. Probably just a sign that Mando wasn’t all too worried about his chances of taking them both if Fennec got Toro to turn. He didn’t have much invested- he didn’t even take Fennec because he couldn’t cash her bounty.

Toro should have just taken the Dewback when he had the chance. I mean, he clearly is not the sharpest tool in the shed- he just spent a day watching Mando in form and Fennec told him outright that Mando was much more desirable than she was. Greed can overcome logic pretty quickly. Mando had no problem whatsoever defeating Toro and didn’t hesitate to kill him when he threatened Peli and the Child. How much of the Guild is going to be left when they finally realize they can’t control Mando?

And Peli got a “thank you” from Mando, and the entire contents of his purse. Coming from Mando, that is high praise.

Interesting details and tidbits:

The Razor Crest is pretty unwieldy in a dogfight, but Mando is skilled enough to make the most of it.

Fennec was on the run since the New Republic imprisoned the majority of her employers. She made her name killing for crime bosses like the Hutts.

The Guild no longer operates from Tattooine. We did get a name for the planet that housed their home base: Nevarro. It’s a volcanic planet. Apt.

Mos Eisley had storm troopers’ helmets on spikes.

Mid Rim was mentioned. So was Corellia, which was featured in Solo, as Han Solo’s home planet in the Core Worlds. It’s known for building impressive spaceships.

Fennec had a MK-modified sniper and an awesome sniper’s helmet. She was on her way to Mos Espa. And flash charges blind scopes temporarily.

Mando doesn’t even want droids working on his ship.

A dead bounty hunter was dragging behind the Dewback, courtesy of Fennec. Mando seemed unperturbed.

Beggar’s Canyon sounds like an awful place, if that’s where Mos Eisley dumps all its dead bodies.

That was some great hand to hand when Fennec and Toro were fighting. She took him out easily, unsurprisingly.

Mando’s helmet has a variety of uses, both in defense and offense. It would give him quite the edge, like it did here, in a dune sea.

Peli somehow knew the Child was a carnivore. “Something with bones in it.” That still surprises me. The Child, for how powerful it is, is still acting very much like a baby. It stretched out its arms to be picked up by Peli, which was so incredibly adorable. It can’t even talk yet.

Memorable quotes and moments (there were a lot of good ones):

Peli Motto: “Did that bounty hunter leave you all alone in that big nasty ship?”

Peli Motto: “Womp rat.”

Mando: “How long you been with the Guild?”
Toro Calican: “Long enough.”
Mando: “Clearly not. Fennec Shand is an elite mercenary. She made her name killing for all the top crime syndicates, including the Hutts. You go after her, you won’t make it past sunrise.”

Mando: “Tuskens think they’re the locals. Everyone else is just trespassing.”

Mando: “Why don’t you tell them yourself?”
Toro Calican: “...What are you doing?”
Mando: “Negotiating.”
This was a very cool scene. I love how calm Mando is in these situations.

Mando: “Hit me in the beskar and at that range, the beskar held up.”
Toro Calican: “Wait... I don’t have beskar!”
Mando: “Nope.”

Mando: “You done?”

Peli Motto: “Do you have any idea how long it took me to get it to sleep?”

Toro Calican: “Those were brand new!”
Mando: “Yeah. They were.”

Toro Calican: “You’re my ticket into the Guild.”
Fennec Shand: “You’re welcome.”

Fennec Shand: “You already have something the Guild values far more than me. His armor alone is worth more than my bounty.”

Fennec Shand: “A Mandalorian shot up the Guild on Nevarro, took some high value target and went rogue.”
Toro Calican: “That Mandalorian?”
Fennec Shand: “Like I said, you don’t see many.”
And then Toro went after him. What an idiot.

Peli Motto: “That was really loud for your big old ears huh?”

Peli Motto: “I take it you didn’t get paid.”

Genius.

Four out of four brand new binocs,
Valkyrie

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