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Unexpected detours, am I right? Despite being titled The Mandalorian, the third episode of the third season decided to break away from Din, Bo and Grogu for most of the episode in a well-done, but equally unfulfilling side quest. Let’s dive in.
The episode opens right where we left off last week, with Din having just been dragged out of the living waters underneath Mandalore by Bo Katan. She seemed very intrigued about her encounter with the Mythosaur in the waters, both in the cave and later on during the closing moments of the episode. I theorized that Din could be the one to ride the beast last week, but now I’m wondering if Bo will be the one to attempt her own quest for the beast. If she can tame the creature, she could maybe make a claim for the throne of Mandalore and bypass the Darksaber altogether, as riding the Mythosaur was a path to leadership before the sword was forged. For further understanding, read up on Mandalore the Great.
The episode then gives us an awesome dogfight sequence, where Bo and eventually Din in his N1 go up against a squadron of TIE Interceptors (my favourite TIE variant, it should be noted). Bo’s castle is destroyed by bombers and a huge contingent of TIEs ambush the duo, who then flee the battle. Who operates such a large fleet? A question for another time. And this is where the episode takes a wild left turn.
We detour and spend a good chunk of the rest of the episode on a wonderfully rendered Coruscant with Doctor Pershing, the cloner from the last two seasons. He’s been rehabilitated and has joined up with the New Republic as a numbered member of Amnesty, a haven for ex-imperials to contribute to the new government. He’s content with doing trivial admin work and operating as a cog in the machine, not unlike Karn in Andor. That is until he seeks the cracks in the system. Pershing stars to feel conflicting emotions, even hesitating during his very Blade Runner 2042 or Skyfall-esque evaluations. He wants to continue his work, but by law, he’s unable to, despite the benefits.
Pershing strikes up a friendship with Kane, who you might remember as being a high-ranking member on Moff Gideon’s cruiser in season two. Contrary to Pershing’s strict philosophy of following the rules, Kane seems a bit more open to bending the rules, especially if it serves the New Republic. I found her demeanor to be overly friendly and flags were raised, with good reason.
Fed up with the bureaucratic red tape, Pershing is easily manipulated by Kane to slip into a different sector (a big no-no for those in the Amnesty program) to infiltrate a decommissioned Star Destroyer to find the material needed for Pershing to continue his research on cloning. But it was all a sting operation, orchestrated by Kane. Not only that, but during Pershing’s rehabilitation using some form of hypnotherapy, Kane cranks up the dial, seemingly turning his brain to mush, leaving no witnesses. I’m going to assume that Kane is not only still loyal to Gideon and he’s very much still an active participant in the Remnant, possibly having escaped his imprisonment after the season two finale of The Mandalorian. Gideon likely wanted the research to continue, but considering Pershing is directly responsible for his arrest at the hands of Din and co, Pershing wasn’t invited into the plan and was left to wither on a table.
But this arc does feel unresolved so I’m left feeling a little conflicted about this episode. At this point, I’m left wondering what the point was. This was the longest Mandalorian episode to date and it didn’t have to much of Din. But it also didn’t resolve the detour plotline either. I’m going to assume that this episode’s plot of the theft of cloning research ties into the Palpatine/Snoke plot from the sequel trilogy, but at this point, does anyone care? And since there’s no closure, this meaty Andor-lite subplot, which questions blind obedience, feels incomplete. I’m sure we’ll get answers later on and we’ll look back on The Convert differently, but for now, I’m left feeling a little indifferent. Which is a shame. Between the dogfight, amazing shots of Coruscant, good acting and writing, and an interesting subplot, this could have been an exceptional episode. But I’m left feeling with a sense of “so what?” for now.
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