The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 1 Review: A Long Road to Redemption
Disney+'s The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere, "The Apostate," had a back-to-basics feel, with Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin beginning a new path.
After the epic conclusion to season two of The Mandalorian and the mandatory tie-in with the first season of The Book of Boba Fett, we're back at it with the season three premiere, "Chapter 17: The Apostate," which leaves little to the imagination of what it might be about. The major loose end that's not a major one given Din Djarin's (Pedro Pascal) path of self-discovery as a bounty hunter with purpose. The following contains minor spoilers.
Why "The Mandalorian" Shouldn't Assume Everyone's Seen "The Book of Boba Fett"
The first gripe I have, however minor it might be as a Star Wars fan, is that any viewer who had no vested interest in The Book of Boba Fett will probably not understand the development of how Grogu, Din's traveling companion, returned alongside him following the events of the season two finale that saw the young Jedi-in-training return to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who we discover is his master training him in the ways of the Force. Luke saved them both as Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) Dark Troopers were closing in on Din's crew on the bridge of Gideon's lightcruiser.
When we see the two principal characters together again, there isn't any explanation. Audiences naturally assume Grogu completed his training which isn't what happened in The Book of Boba Fett, and the fact they don't address it in the season premiere is a shame. The episode starts with the Armorer (Emily Swallow) forging a beskar helmet for a Mandalorian youth and wearing him in before they confront a mega beast that emerges from the seas as others battle the creature. Din and Grogu come in on their ship at the end of the cold open. We find out that despite forging his path to redemption in life beyond bounty hunting, he wants to belong with the establishment.
To do so, he must cleanse himself on sacred Mandalorian ground. With the path laid out, Din takes off on a reunion tour, seeing some familiar faces he reconnects with, including Greef Carga (Carl Weathers), who's been moving on up as a man of importance, and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in perhaps her most restraint performance yet. There's certainly no shortage of action as Din wages battle with pirates and others he used to associate with. Directed by Rick Famuyiwa and written by creator Jon Favreau, "The Apostate" hits familiar notes because, let's face it, the finale of season two was a hard act to follow, but it felt like a back-to-basics episode sticking with the familiar formula that's worked all this time. That's a fine way to start a season, but expectations will grow considerably from this point forward, so we'll see. The Mandalorian streams Wednesdays on Disney+.