In “The Mandalorian” recap, Mando arrives at a familiar space port in need of repairs and he soon meets up with a novice bounty hunter seeking his help…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
One trick that “The Mandalorian” has pulled with nearly every episode that’s debuted thus far on Disney+ is connecting itself to the larger “Star Wars” universe without ruining any of the mythology that came before or after this series takes place.
Last week’s episode featured a Rebel fighter named Cara Dune, who name dropped her last location for work as she cleaned up the Imperial presence on Endor, which was the moon where the Death Star shield generator was set before Han Solo, Princess Leia and their team blew it to bits.
This week’s episode features another moment close to home for the “Star Wars” universe as the Mandalorian takes his ship to Mos Eisley — the famed spaceport filled with scum and villainy on the planet Tattoooine where Luke Skywalker once called home.
The trip involves repairs to his ship while the Mandalorian gets back to the business of bounty hunting to earn some extra money, which brings him in contact with another new character who promises to make more than a single appearance on this show.
With that said, let’s get to our recap of “The Mandalorian” episode titled “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger”…
Dead or Alive, You’re Coming with Me
The episode opens with the Mandalorian on the run from another bounty hunter, who has come to collect the child he rescued from the Client who was willing to pay large sums of money for its capture. The battle badly damages Mando’s ship but he’s finally able to get the drop on his former competitor before blowing him away once and for all.
With his ship sputtering through space with fuel running low, Mando is forced to land at the nearest spaceport for repairs. The closest place he can land is an outer rim planet called Tattooine with the Mos Eisley spaceport.
This was once the hub for criminal activity, primarily run through the Hutt family but Jabba was killed by the rebels before an eventual victory over the Empire so it’s a different place these days.
The Mandalorian lands at a repair port where he puts baby Yoda down for a nap in a closed compartment on the ship while he tells the woman running the shop that he needs to get his ship fixed but she’s not allowed to use droids to do the work. He pays her the Imperial credits he has left and promises to return with more.
As she begins the repairs on his ship, Mando heads into Mos Eisley to find some bounty hunting work that will hopefully afford him enough cash to pay the mechanic so he can get back off this planet.
When he arrives at the cantina — the same one where Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker hired Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon once upon a time — he meets a rookie bounty hunter named Toro Calican, who is willing to hire him to help on a job. It seems Toro has followed an assassin named Fennec Shand to Tattooine in hopes of collecting her for his bounty.
The only problem is Toro is a first time bounty hunter and Shand is an experienced killer, who is now wanted after all of her employers were rounded up following the downfall of the Empiree. If Toro goes after Shand alone, he’s probably coming back dead.
Toro pledges to give the Mandalorian all of the money for the job if he will assist him in capturing Shand. Mando agrees and sends Toro to retrieve a pair of speeder bikes and the supplies they would need before meeting him back at the hangar.
While he’s gone, baby Yoda escapes his nap room and the repair-shop woman ends up caring for him until the Mandalorian returns. It seems Mando has a lot to learn about being a surrogate father. He thanks the woman for caring for the baby and asks her to continue looking after him while he heads out beyond the Dune Sea to look for this wanted assassin.
The Dune Sea is the place where the Great Pit of Carkoon resides, which is where the monster known as the sarlacc lives. That was the final resting place of Boba Fett, who was thrown into the sarlacc during the fight with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker as they fought to escape the clutches of Jabba the Hutt.
Along the way, Mando and Toro run into a group of Tuscan Raiders — another call back to a classic moment from the first “Star Wars” film — except this time the sand people don’t immediately attack. Instead, Mando communicates with them to seek a safe passage across the Dune Sea. A pair of binoculars does the job and Mando and Toro are on their way again.
When they finally track down Fennec Shand’s location, the bounty hunters find a Dewback with a body laying next to it. When Mando goes to investigate, shots ring out from the distance as he discovers the body was another bounty hunter, who obviously tried to capture the dangerous assassin and failed. To ensure they aren’t cut down by the sniper’s bullets, Mando tells Toro they will wait until nightfall to attack.
Once it’s finally time to make a move Mando and Toro use a set of flash grenades that will stop Shand from using her rifle against them because she won’t be able to get a shot off as they advance their position. Unfortunately, Toro fumbles one of the flash bombs and Shand is able to explode Mando’s speeder.
Mando unleashes the last flash grenade, which allows Toro to get by but Shand ends up blasting him with a shot from her rifle. Thankfully the beskar armor stops the bullet from killing him but Shand has a dead-eye shot that will certainly put Mando away — until Toro gets the drop on her.
Toro stops her from killing Mando before the two of them get into a knock down, drag out brawl as he attempts to arrest her. Mando finally makes his way back to his feet before finding Shand on the verge of getting the better of Toro in their fight.
After putting the cuffs on Shand, Mando realizes that he’ll need a new form of transportation to get back to Mos Eisley but thankfully that Dewback was unattached so one of them will have to go back and retrieve it. Mando agrees to go while Toro stays behind to keep an eye on Shand.
While they wait, Shand tells Toro about a Mandalorian bounty hunter who betrayed the Bounty Hunter’s Guild while taking an asset off planet away from the client who paid him to retrieve it. She tells him that the price on Mando’s head is far higher than hers and he will be a bounty hunting legend if he can return with the Mandalorian and the asset he stole.
Shand offers to help him subdue the Mandalorian in order to return him to the bounty hunter’s guild but instead he shoots her in the stomach and leaves her for dead in the dessert. Toro knows if he trusts Shand to help him, he’s as good as dead but perhaps he can subdue the Mandalorian on his own, return the bounty and become a legend all at the same time.
When Mando returns, he finds Shand laying dead on the ground and the speeder with Toro missing. He finally makes it back to Mos Eisley, where he finds Toro holding the repairwoman and baby Yoda hostage as he tells Mando that he’s going back to the guild as a prisoner.
Thankfully, Mando held onto one of his flash grenades and he uses that to distract Toro momentary until he gets the drop on him. Mando blasts and kills Toro while the baby Yoda is safe and sound. He steals the credits that were hanging from Toro’s belt and uses that to pay the repair woman for her help and he boards the ship bound for the next corner of the galaxy where he hopes no one will find them.
As the Razor Crest flies away to parts unknown, we return to the Dune Sea where Fennec Shand is still laying dead in the middle of the dessert. A mysterious stranger wearing a cape approaches and he kneels down beside the body just before the screen fades to black. Is this another bounty hunter on Mando’s trail or was there more to Fennec Shand that want we saw in the brief moment she was still alive?
We’ll certainly find out more when “The Mandalorian” returns next Friday with a brand new episode on Disney+.