The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Andor Meets Black Mirror

One arc ends as another (curiously) begins in the latest episode of Disney+'s The Mandalorian, spotlighting Omid Abtahi & Katy O’Brian.

The Mandalorian appeared to have wrapped one arc but opened an intriguing new one in the process in the episode "Chapter 19: The Convert." Bookending the episode are Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) & Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), as both go on the next leg of Din's purification journey. The episode picks up right after the events of "The Mines of Mandalore," which saw Bo saving Din deep within the waters as he tried to "purify" himself. The following contains minor spoilers.

(L-R): Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The Mandalorian: Two Unrelated Arcs of Soul Searching

It's established Din has never participated in the purification ritual, and Bo scoffs at the hardliner Mandalore's traditions; we get a moment where the series akin to 1992's Army of Darkness where Ash (Bruce Campbell) is tasked to recite words with proper pronunciation before taking the Necronomicon, but flubbed the words. He's warned saying the words wrong could lead to some catastrophe, yet for the remainder of the scene, we never get a complete picture of what happens if something is done improperly. So we have to trust Din performs the ritual properly without any prior experience. As this is fiction, we blur the lines of payoff since Mandalore culture relies on some honor system, but the mysticism is largely regulated to superstition since the only faith rewarded in the Star Wars universe is The Force.

There's literally no special effect or some cue that any ritual took place. So as additional proof, Din takes a vial from the purification pool. As this bookends the episode, it feels like director Lee Isaac Chung and writers Noah Kloor and creator Jon Favreau pinned themselves into a wall and said, "Screw it, let's just see this to the end," no matter how much it might not make any sense. It's just peculiar in a franchise like Star Wars to just cherry-pick what is spiritually relevant. At least we get an exciting aerial dogfight, right?

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Andor Meets Black Mirror
Image: Lucasfilm

The B-story focuses on Dr. Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi), a geneticist who finds himself lost within the New Republic since much of his work and research is considered illegal following his time in the Empire with a new designation "Amnesty Officer L52." Remorseful, he's trying to tread carefully to continue his work some way without worry. He runs into another former Imperial, Elia Kane (Katy M. O'Brian), who's taken an interest. She's been re-educated due to the New Republic's amnesty program and answers to a designation, "Amnesty Officer G68," given her past service with Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).

Shifting the narrative to the two offers a dramatic spin that parallels the themes of the Star Wars espionage thriller Andor and, given the narrative twists, felt like an episode of Netflix's Black Mirror if that gives you any idea of the dark fate that awaits. Given the franchise's history of providing Easter Eggs and exposition to future canon, the arc teases its ties to the sequel trilogy. "The Convert" offers a decent change of pace, even if it felt a little out of place. The Mandalorian streams Wednesdays on Disney+.

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3 "The Convert"

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Andor Meets Black Mirror
Review by Tom Chang

Omid Abtahi's Pershing and Katy M O'Brian's Elia offer a change of pace from the usual adventure led by Pedro Pascal's Din in Disney+'s The Mandalorian. While we get the usual action affair from Pascal and Katee Sackhoff, Abtahi and O'Brian plant the seeds of a potentially interesting arc as we get to the seedier side of the New Republic

Lee Isaac Chung

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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