‘The Mandalorian’ Ep. 3 Recap & Review- How Much Is A Baby Yoda Truly Worth, Anyway?

Titled “The Sin”, episode three of The Mandalorian fittingly explores Mando’s “betrayal” and his bounty of beskar steel (not unlike Judas’ 30 pieces of silver) received upon delivery of the package. That package is, of course, the cute and cuddly baby Yoda that is driving people nuts with Yoda madness right now.  More information on what the Client (Werner Herzog) has planned for Yoda are hinted at, but also a deeper dive into Mandalorian culture than we’ve seen since in any live-action Star Wars film.

Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni continue to cram a lot of information into each 30-minute episode, but I think Deborah Chow (who will direct the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series) handles it best of all the directors so far. The action moves swift, Yoda gets his share of time to be adorable, and every action leaves you on the edge of your seat with anticipation for what comes next.

Right off the bat, the question that has been dreading all of us gets answered. Will Mando (Pedro Pascal) REALLY hand baby Yoda over to the Client and Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) to have whatever done to him?  “I don’t know if he wants to eat it or hang it on his wall”, is an unfortunate comment from Greef Kara (Carl Weathers), conjuring up all  kinds of nasty images in mind. The answer is “Yes”, yes he will. And it’s awful to watch; the child’s sad, “You’re really gonna do this to me?” looks breaking your heart as Mando accepts payment for the delivery. Be prepared to really want Mando to tumble into his own personal sarlaac pit for a while, folks.

What comes next is, for me, the best part of this episode and the series thus far, as an entire tranche of beskar steel means a trip to the mysterious Armorer. Last episode’s battle with a Mudhorn has left Mando’s armor ruined, but now he’s got the beskar for a shiny new one (That’s going to be a new Funko, just you wait), with enough left over for the Foundlings. She also crafts him some of those cool “Whistling Bird” tracer missiles we’ve seen attached to his wrists. We also get a sense of the conflict within the protagonist as he dismisses a Mudhorn insignia by saying his victory wasn’t “clean” because he received help from an “enemy” who did not know he was an enemy, referring to baby Yoda.  If you’re wondering how he could bear to turn baby Yoda over, this pretty much covers it. He saw the child not as just another bounty to be cashed in, but as an adversary.

Furthermore, we get a look at the rest of the hidden Mandalorian clan hidden underground, the result of a great purge by the Empire. A fleshing out of the flashbacks seen in previous episodes reveal Imperial battle droids slaughtering the Mandalorian people. It’s for this reason that we learn only one Mandalorian is allowed above ground at a time, while the others hide in the shadows. That’s some new information that explains so much. Believe it or not, we’re only about 10 minutes into this episode and already so much has been learned. It’s unclear when this Great Purge happened, perhaps at the same time the Jedi were destroyed during Order 66? The timing would make sense, and Palpatine would seek to destroy all potential threats to his rule.

Decked out in his shiny AF Mandalorian armor, Mando is scorned by everyone, but walks confidently to meet Greef for his next assignment. After some bragging, and an offer to hit up a space brothel for some R&R, Mando takes a job that will send him far away from any thoughts of what he’s done. But he can’t help himself and keeps asking questions about what Yoda’s fate will be, drawing suspicion from Guild members and others.

You can un-cancel those orders for Mandalorian action figures a few minutes later when he decides, literally seconds before takeoff, that he can’t leave his little pal behind. Returning to the Client’s hideout, he overhears a conversation about extracting the “necessary material”, which I think lends credence to any “cloning” theories out there, and decides enough is enough. Busting in and taking out a few lame Stormtroopers, Mando finally finds baby Yoda with Dr. Pershing who, surprise, may not be the bad guy we think he is. He instead acts to protect the child, thinking the Mandalorian is there to kill it. That said, Pershing might’ve been lying so as not to be shot full of holes, or perhaps he has a larger mission in mind that we know nothing about?

The Mandalorian has betrayed his oath as a bounty hunter, which I guess makes for his next sin of the episode, although it’s done to stick with his personal code. Unfortunately for him, his actions have every bounty hunter on the planet after him, and they track him down, led by Greef, just as he reaches the Razor Crest. A fierce firefight breaks out, and just as it appears all hope is lost, the rest of his Mandalorian clan emerge, ready for battle. Outside of the animated shows we’ve never seen this many Mandalorians together before and it’s quite the sight. Their emergence from hiding means they will have to find a new hiding place, but it shows the Mandalorians may be small in number, but their loyalty to one another is stronger than ever.

The episode ends with Mando offering Yoda his favorite toy, the knob from a ship’s lever. Everything is right again, but clearly that won’t last.  Every episode has changed the show’s dynamic in some crucial way, and now with “The Sin” we see the predator become the prey. I won’t be surprised if it becomes something entirely different next week, but whatever it becomes I’m fully aboard to see how it plays out.