So far, the Disney+ series The Mandalorian has been an intriguing look at a new corner of the Star Wars galaxy. Despite being the first live-action TV show set in this franchise, it's not filled with Jedi and Sith, and there have been no wide-scale battles in space. Instead, it has primarily been a story focused on a single character--a Mandalorian bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal)--as he searches out his bounty.
There have been a few bumps thus far. As noted in the premiere episode's review, "Chapter 1" of The Mandalorian lacked some of the character introduction that was needed. Meanwhile, the second episode's plot was largely a sidequest, though it ultimately served its purpose of building a bond between Mando and Baby Yoda. Now, in its third installment--"Chapter 3: The Sin"--The Mandalorian has delivered its best episode yet.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for the third episode of The Mandalorian, "Chapter 3: The Sin." If you've yet to watch it, look away now.
"The Sin" manages to take the best things about the first two episodes and blend them together into a compelling installment of television. Firstly, we get further character development for Mando with more flashbacks to his tortured childhood--including the final moment he sees his parents alive--and insight into his relationship with other Mandalorians. We also see the bond he shares with Baby Yoda deepen, as the creature becomes more than a bounty to the hunter.
What's more, this episode ends on a note that finally tells viewers precisely what this series, or at least the first season, will be about. Mando has turned his back on the bounty hunter guild and rescued Baby Yoda from the clutches of The Client (Werner Herzog) and his connection to Imperial remnants. While it's not said outright, we are led to believe the Client was going to use Baby Yoda for nefarious means, with Mando finding the infant weak and being subjected to scientific tests run by Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi).
Given that "Chapter 2: The Child" shows Baby Yoda to be a Force-sensitive being, and the fact the Client sent every bounty hunter available to track the young creature, it's easy to assume Dr. Pershing and the Client were hoping to use the baby's Force powers for the benefit of what's left of the Empire. What remains to be seen is why the Client was comfortable with Baby Yoda being delivered to them dead, if necessary.
That's where the second exciting piece of character development comes into play. Mando's fellow Mandalorians make it clear that they don't respect him for working for someone with Imperial ties.
However, in doing the right thing and rescuing Baby Yoda, he betrays the guild and wins the trust of his fellow Mandalorians. What begins as a battle between Mando and the bounty hunting guild, a sequence that feels like something pulled right out of a John Wick movie, escalates to a full-blown war between the guild and the Mandalorian warriors. It's by far the show's most impressive action sequence yet, and one that's going to be hard to top in future episodes.
Most importantly, this leaves Mando in a much more interesting position than where he began in the show's premiere. Ultimately, Mando escapes after temporarily incapacitating Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) with a blaster shot, and he's now on the run with Baby Yoda at his side. This, in a way, is where the real story begins. With every bounty hunter in the galaxy chasing after Baby Yoda, and Mando not sure who he can trust, the upcoming episodes should be thrilling. Plus, there's still the introduction of Cara Dune (Gina Carano) to come in the next episode.
"The Sin" was directed by Deborah Chow, who is signed on to oversee the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. She brought a tone to this episode that fits the show well. While there was plenty of fun to be had--and some good humor care of Baby Yoda's antics--it never overshadowed the story being told--a story that was core to driving the series forward. Hopefully, The Mandalorian continues this trajectory in future episodes.