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This week, the folks over at Disney+ blessed us with not only the longest episode of this season so far, but the longest episode of the entire series, rounding out at about 58 minutes in length (including credits). The length isn’t just there to drag out the plot either, as this might just be one of the best episodes of the show ever, and funnily enough, it doesn’t show a ton of the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) or Grogu. Instead, the focus of this episode is some returning characters that we have not seen for quite some time, along with taking us back to one of the coolest planets in the Star Wars universe: Coruscant.
The Empire (sorta) Strikes Back
As I previously mentioned, even though this is the longest episode of The Mandalorian that we have gotten so far, Din Djarin, along with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), only bookend the episode.
We open right where the last episode left off, Bo-Katan just pulled Mando out of the living waters of Mandalore, meaning that Mando is finally redeemed in the eyes of the Armorer (Emily Swallow) and he can return to the Children of the Watch. Before he leaves however, Mando takes a vial full of the water as proof that he is redeemed.
While they are going back to Bo-Katan’s castle, they are attacked by a group of TIE Interceptors, and Bo must get Mando back to his N1 starfighter if they stand a chance at defeating them. After a badass scene of Mando jumping out of Bo’s ship, Mando gets into the N1, and the two easily defeat all of the interceptors, but what they didn’t see was the TIE Bombers heading straight for Bo’s castle. The Bombers end up completely incinerating Bo’s castle. In a fit of anger, she follows them and almost gets attacked by an even bigger group of TIEs. Mando and Bo decide that it is a good time to go, and Mando sends her some jump coordinates to “someplace they won’t find us.”
Psychiatric help 5¢
After the title card spreads across the screen, a beautiful night shot of Coruscant is shown, and we follow a person as they walk into a senate meeting. The person speaking is a familiar face that fans of the series should recognize, that being Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), who was the doctor from the empire who wanted to work on Grogu and clone him in the first and second seasons. Along with the returning doctor, we get the return of Elia Kane (Katy M. O’Brian), who was last seen aboard Moff Gideon’s ship in season two.
In the senate meeting, we hear that Dr. Pershing desperately wants to continue to work on cloning technology with his new employer, the New Republic, but instead of cloning cute Jedi babies as his original job had him doing, this time he wants to clone organs in order to help those in dire medical emergencies. The character seems to have turned around since we last saw him, and he wants to make a difference for the better of the New Republic.
The meeting overall seems to be a bust as the New Republic has a strict ban on all cloning, but after Pershing returns to his new apartment, he meets some of his new coworkers, including Elia Kane. At first, it appears that they talk about nothing except some of the things they miss from their old jobs, but later that night a mysterious package is dropped off at the doctor’s door that is filled with travel biscuits, which was the exact thing Pershing was talking about with his coworkers.
Pershing is seen the next day taking a test about his new life as a member of the New Republic. Nothing weird seems to happen here, but you can tell that Pershing is just going through the motions of life now. Pershing and Elia are next seen together getting flirty at what seems to be a festival in downtown Coruscant. He ends up getting on the topic of his research and appears saddened that he can no longer continue under the New Republic’s laws. Elia wants to help Pershing, but Pershing is scared that he will get in trouble or worse, lose his job.
Next, we see Pershing taking another test with the droid, which seems to be taken right out of one of my favorite sci-fi movies of all time, Blade Runner 2049. Pershing asks the droid a question, which leads to him making the decision to continue his research with the help of Elia.
Elia has an idea as to how Pershing will get the materials necessary to continue his research, and that idea includes a little bit of undercover work. In another nod to the Blade Runner, Pershing puts on a big trench coat, complete with a super tall collar, and meets up with Elia.
The two sneak onto a train, but their plan quickly takes a turn as some droids start asking the train passengers for their tickets. Elia and Pershing pull a fast one and start running through all the train cars as the droids slowly follow them from behind. Pershing and Elia reach the end of the train, but thankfully, they are just by their stop. This leaves one thing that they can do: jump.
After jumping from a moving train, they land on a cushioned surface and make their way to their target, an old Imperial Star Destroyer. The two get inside of the giant ship and make their way towards the lab so Pershing can get everything he needs. Right when they walk into the lab, a loud noise is heard, which startles Pershing. Elia says everything is alright and that she’ll go check it out while Pershing continues to pack up.
The moment Pershing gets everything he needs, the two are spotted by some New Republic police officers and they are forced to make a run for it. The two make it outside of the Star Destroyer, but before they finish their escape, they are caught by the cops. The only one they demand to get on the ground is Pershing, and he realizes that even though Elia and him were starting to make a connection, the entire plan was nothing but a setup.
Once Pershing is arrested, he is taken to a lab where he is told that he will be experimented on using a device that Pershing refers to as a “mind flayer.” Through a window, Elia watches as the other doctors put the device on Pershing’s head and turn it onto a low-voltage setting. The other doctors leave and ask Elia if they would like to come with, instead she chooses to stay and watch, but the moment everyone else leaves, she turns the machine up, essentially frying Pershing’s brain from the inside.
A quick redemption
After that emotional rollercoaster, we are thrown back into the cockpit with Mando where we see that he has taken Bo-Katan to the hideout of the Children of the Watch. As they exit their ships, we see Paz Vizla (Tait Fletcher) blocking the entrance to their hideout. After a short conversation with Mando about how he is an apostate, Mando shows him the water vial and he decides to let them pass.
The moment we see the Armorer again, Mando hands her the vial of water and she concludes that he has in fact been to the living waters. She tells him that he has been redeemed and he is now a Mandalorian once again. Some surprising news is also heard as technically Bo-Katan has also been redeemed since she saved Mando from drowning. You can tell that she doesn’t know how to handle this information, and the episode ends as Bo stares directly into the Mythosaur skull that is hanging on the wall. It is almost as if she is reflecting on the beast that she saw under the living waters.
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