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The Mandalorian: The Spies

"Your song is not yet written. I will serve you until it is."

Chapter Twenty-Three

The Covert and Bo-Katan’s Mandalorian forces return to Mandalore to search for the great forge and reclaim their world. Along the way they find survivors, desperate and hurt; they are Night Owls who never expected their leader to return for them. Despite division between the Mandalorian tribes, there is a sense of hope for an unknown future...

The episode wastes no time in showing us that Moff Gideon is back, Elia has been working with him this entire time, and the Imperials are planning a return with Grand Admiral Thrawn as their leader. Gideon, of course, has his own plans using clones and newly forged Beskar armor. The scene is kind of amazing with a couple of unexpected faces showing up tied to greater Star Wars lore.

Shifting to the Mandalorian's side of the story, we see the Covert and Bo-Katan’s reclaimed forces tentatively and uncomfortably unite. There is a large feast and campfire declarations of intent, with Mando, Bo-Katan and the Armorer pushing for this combined force to return to Mandalore and reclaim their world. There is a Spartacus moment with several Mandalorians supporting Bo-Katan in this venture, starting with Mando. It is a nice moment, even though I’m not sure if it was entirely earned.

What has been earned is Mando’s loyalty and respect for Bo-Katan which has been built up all season. His declaration to her was moving, and was honestly the heart of the episode for me. Their relationship, whatever it is or will be in the future, feels real and important. The fact that she reacted to him like she did says it all. That look of almost affection and surprise on her face made it all worthwhile, at least in my humble opinion, and will likely redefine who they are to each other moving forward.

The bulk of the episode takes place on Mandalore, as they land and begin to explore. Very quickly they encounter survivors on the coolest boat I’ve seen in a while that floats over land. Many are former Night Owls, who served under Bo-Katan in the Clone Wars, and pledge themselves to her again. This felt a bit convenient, but also kind of logical given how tenacious and resourceful the Mandalorians have proven themselves to be over the course of the series.

Unfortunately many of these refugees are in rough shape, and the Armorer volunteers to take them back up to the ships for medical help. The rest push forward towards the Great Forge. You can almost feel the trap coming, and after one long tense action scene the entire group is trapped save for Din Djarin who ends up stuck behind a door with Moff Gideon and his forces.

When that door slammed down, you could feel Bo’s anger and desperation as Mando was trapped on the other side. He does what he can to survive, but he was seriously outnumbered. I love that she immediately springs into action and opens a path for the rest of the Mandalorians using the Darksaber. More importantly you can hear in her voice and body language that when Din is taken she is resolved to find him no matter what. It’s a good setup for the next episode, which will hopefully end the Gideon arc once and for all.

Which brings us to the last moments of the episode, as Paz Visla sacrifices himself to keep the imperials at bay while everyone escapes. I honestly didn’t expect for his death to affect me, but I honestly got choked up. Heck, even writing this paragraph is getting me a bit misty. I have to give the writers a lot of credit, we have never seen his face and for most of his appearances he has been a mild antagonist. Yet in just a few episodes he has proven to be a good ally, and his actions here are a rather lovely statement that perhaps the Mandalorians can become heroes to the galaxy instead of just mercenaries. If that is the point of this series, the title may refer to all Mandalorians.


In the meeting at the beginning of the episode showing the Imperial warlords, there were two of note. The first was Brendol Hux who is the father of General Hux of the First Order in the sequel trilogy. The other is Pellaeon, who is notable because in the original Heir to the Empire trilogy of books, he was Grand Admiral Thrawn’s right hand man.

Gideon all but admitted out loud that Dr. Pershing’s research was a dead end, implying he had a reason for putting him to death. I wonder if that means they succeeded in cloning whoever they wanted cloned, and no longer needed him.

The new Dark Troopers are now in white armor, with Gideon as the only one in black. His armor is like a nightmare version of Mandalorian armor. He even goes as far as to declare himself a Mandalorian.

With the Imperial remnants as well armed and as well organized as pictured in this episode, it feels like we are headed for a grand conflict worthy of its own movie. Funny that, because Dave Faloni was just announced as directing a feature film that will wrap up the Mandalorian universe, which will include The Mandalorian season four and the upcoming Ahsoka series.


Bo-Katan: "Our people have suffered time and again from division and squabbling factions. Mandalore has always been too powerful for any enemy to defeat. It has always been our own division that destroys us."

Bo-Katan: "I don't know if I can keep everyone together. There's too much animosity. And this blade is all I have to unify our people."
Mando: "I only know of this weapon what you taught me. To be honest, it means nothing to me or my people. Nor does station or bloodline. What means more to me is honor. And loyalty. And character. These are the reasons I serve you, Lady Kryze."

Gideon: "You see, every society has something to offer. The Cloners, the Jedi, and even the Mandalorians."

Mando: "We'll rebuild it. Isn't that our history? For thousands of years, we have been on the verge of extinction, and for thousands of years, we have survived."

This was another strong episode that felt weighty and important, as all penultimate epsiodes should be.

3 1/2 out of 4 Imperial Warlords planning to rule the galaxy as father and... um, just rule, I guess

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.

1 comment:

  1. Another nice review. Thanks for the knowledge, research and insight, Samantha. Just one more to go!

    I agree on the interaction between Din and Bo. It’s impressive how nuanced their relationship can be, portrayed through body language, with or without helmets. I wonder where their close relationship will take them.

    I loved Grogu’s larger role this episode. IG 12’s, “No, no, no, no….” was hilarious. And so cool how he stopped the Mandalorians’ fighting. Go Grogu.

    This brought another favorite line:
    Bo Katan: You taught your apprentice well.
    Din Djarin: He didn’t learn that from me.

    Oh! And Thrawn AND Pellaeon! Mara Jade, please???


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