In “The Mandalorian” recap, Mando and Bo-Katan run into trouble on Mandalore and we are reunited with Dr. Pershing after leaving Moff Gideon’s services…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The third episode of “The Mandalorian” season 3 felt like one of the biggest departures from the standard formula for this series particularly because half of the story didn’t involved Din Djarin.
Now that became a common theme on “The Book of Boba Fett,” which effectively served as “The Mandalorian” season 2.5 for the last couple of episodes including one hour that didn’t involve Boba Fett whatsoever.
The new episode doesn’t go quite that far but while Mando and Bo-Katan still took an interesting step forward in their own storyline, there was also a trip to Coruscant and a camp for former Imperials looking to start fresh under the New Republic. There was also mention of big bad Moff Gideon, who will undoubtedly return to wreak havoc before this season is over.
As for Mando, he woke up on Mandalore feeling transformed but it turns out the Living Waters might have ended up having a deeper effect on Bo-Katan that she ever imagined when she returned to her home planet. This will set up a very interesting story for the remainder of the season as the battle for control over Mandalore might end up taking center stage.
With that said, let’s get to our full recap of the latest episode of “The Mandalorian”…
Chapter 19: The Convert
This episode was largely split into two parts so for the sake of clarity, we’ll just recap each section individually while kicking things off with Mando and Bo-Katan on Mandalore.
Last week saw Mando arrive back at the once great planet that has now been reduced to rubble thanks to fusion bombs being dropped by the Galactic Empire that supposedly made Mandalore a poisoned pill where sustaining life was no longer possible. Mando still wanted to take his chances because washing himself in the Living Waters beneath the mines of Mandalore was the only way he could be redeemed in the eyes of his religious cult, the Children of the Watch.
Mando got more than he bargained for with his trip to Mandalore, however, after he was attacked and nearly eaten before Bo-Katan had to rescue him from almost certain death. After escaping a spider-like cyborg creature, Mando was insistent that he needed to get to the Living Waters so Bo-Katan decided to act as his tour guide since she actually lived there.
Bo-Katan didn’t seem to care much about all the mythology that surrounded the Living Waters, particularly after her faith was pretty much shattered when she lost control over Mandalore and the Empire bombarded the planet into ruins. But after Mando sunk to the bottom of the Living Waters like a stone as he sought to redeem himself, Bo-Katan got the surprise of a lifetime when she swam down to rescue him and she came face-to-face with a Mythosaur — a supposedly extinct creature that serves as a centerpiece of Mandalorian mythology after Mandalore the Great tamed the great beasts and rode on their backs. The skull of the Mythosaur is what serves as the symbol for Mandalorians so it’s a hugely iconic part of history but the creature haven’t been seen in centuries.
After making it back to the surface, Mando is just elated that he bathed in the Living Waters, which means he’s been redeemed for the crime of removing his helmet. Meanwhile, Bo-Katan is quite shaken by her experience, although she never comes clean about what she saw after taking a deep dive to the bottom of the Living Waters.
She explains that the Living Waters never ran that deep but Imperial bombings must have resulted in seismic activity, opening up a chasm in the chamber that led to a huge cavern being created. Bo-Katan even goes as far as asking Mando what he saw on his way down to the bottom and if perhaps he spotting anything that was actually alive.
Mando says he saw nothing so Bo-Katan lets it go but you have to wonder if perhaps she’s keeping the secret because she sees this a sign about her status as Mandalore’s rightful leader or maybe her eyes are just playing tricks on her. Either way, Bo-Katan doesn’t say anything about the Mythosaur while Mando is only concerned with capturing a vial of liquid from the Living Waters as proof that he was there.
On their way out, Bo-Katan returns to her ship to fly back to Kalevala where she can take Mando to his N-1 starfighter. Unfortunately the short trip to the nearby moon is interrupted when a group of TIE interceptors arrive to begin firing on them.
Bo-Katan does her best to evade the attack but her shields get damaged and their only hope is flying back to her palace on Kalevala to retrieve Mando’s ship so he can provide additional support. It’s a harrowing trip and Mando is forced to skydive down to his ship but once he arrives, he quickly mounts up and sets his sights on the TIE interceptors.
The battle doesn’t last long with Mando’s ship far to fast and evasive for the TIE fighters as he helps Bo-Katan thwart her attackers. She explains that she’s managed to piss off just about every Imperial warlord in the sector so it’s no surprise someone would come gunning for her.
But even she doesn’t expect what happens next after a group of bombers arrive and completely destroy her familial palace. The only throne left to Clan Kryze has been destroyed and Bo-Katan is understandably devastating.
To make matters worse, Mando and Bo-Katan end up flying directly into a swarm of TIE fighters, which means that this wasn’t just some random attack by a leftover Imperial warlord. Remember, Mandalore was declared an uninhabitable planet after the bombardment so is it possible that the Galactic Empire has actually planted a flag there to begin rebuilding for a future war against the New Republic?
Would that explain why Bo-Katan and Mando were attacked so ruthlessly but also by such a large garrison of ships? Perhaps Mando and Bo-Katan returning to Mandalore and learning that the planet is still livable is exactly what the rogue remnants of the Empire never wanted them to discover.
That’s an investigation for another day — for now, Mando feeds coordinates to Bo-Katan so they can jump into hyperspace and avoid the TIE fighters coming after them.
When they finally arrive at their destination, Mando reveals that he’s reuniting with the Children of the Watch so he can prove that he’s been redeemed. When he arrives, Paz Vizsla seems none too happy to see him, especially since he was ex-communicated from the order.
Mando then reveals that he’s been to the Living Waters on Mandalore while telling the assembled Mandalorians that they’ve all been misled. The planet isn’t poisonous and they can most certainly return home to reclaim Mandalore for the Mandalorians.
For now, Mando returns to the cavern to meet with the Armorer where he gives her the vial with the Living Waters that he collected on Mandalore. She tests the sample to prove that Mando is telling the truth and with that she informs him that he’s been redeemed — Mando is back in the club!
A more interesting twist is that Bo-Katan — an apostate who the Children of the Watch had previously blaimed for Mandalore’s downfall because she lost her faith and stopped following the Creed — has also been redeemed since she bathed in the Living Waters and hasn’t removed her helmet since.
The Armorer welcomes Bo-Katan to join their ranks — and even she seems happy to find more of her people and feel a sense of community again between Mandalorians. It’s hard to tell if this conversion will stick but Bo-Katan might just be finding some faith, especially after her experience on Mandalore with the Mythosaur and now being redeemed by the very religious cult she’s been mocking this whole time.
This all seems to be hinting at a return to Mandalore and perhaps a new leader being chosen to help reunite all of the Mandalorians on their home planet — but who is going to lead? Time will only tell.
The Convert Part 2
The title of this episode holds duality because Bo-Katan may have been converted to the Children of the Watch while the other half deals with the remnants of the Galactic Empire and a group of former Imperials who have been offered amnesty under the New Republic.
Among those under the new amnesty program is Dr. Penn Pershing (yes, we learn his first name) — the cloning doctor under Moff Gideon’s thumb, who was supposed to draw blood from Grogu and perhaps harness his midi-chlorians to recreate the power of the Force. Obviously, Dr. Pershing never succeeded and he eventually betrayed Moff Gideon to help overthrow him before he was arrested by the New Republic.
Now months later, Dr. Pershing is better known as Amnesty Scientist L52 — he’s giving speeches before dignitaries and the ultra-elite on Coruscant talking about his previous work and how the Empire corrupted it. He says that his cloning technology could have saved his mother’s life if it had been developed properly but instead the Empire only wanted to use his advancements for nefarious means like what Moff Gideon had him doing.
It’s clear that Dr. Pershing is still trying to settle into his surroundings, especially when he returns to Amnesty housing where he’s reunited with some other Imperials who have also been welcomed into the program. There he’s reunited with Lieutenant Elia Kane — a former communications officer working on Moff Gideon’s ship — who is now known as Amnesty Officer G68.
Dr. Pershing is uneasy as he attempts to start a new life but he’s also communing with his fellow former Imperial officers, who are also now joining the New Republic through the Amnesty program. While chatting they talk about Moff Gideon and how he supposedly escaped while being transported to a New Republic war tribunal with other rumors that he was subjected to a mind flayer — a shock treatment device that can wipe someone’s memory clean.
Eventually the conversation moves to more mundane subjects like what they miss about their former lives and Dr. Pershing admits he still craves the travel biscuits they were given as part of a survival pack. Later that night, Dr. Pershing finds a box of those delectable treats sitting on his doorstep as a present from another former Imperial officer.
At work, Dr. Pershing is now filing and destroying decommissioned items from the Galactic Empire — a far cry from the research and development he was doing for Moff Gideon. When he suggests perhaps putting his skills to better use, he’s shot down by his supervisor because the New Republic isn’t interested in cloning technology — considering how that backfired the last time during The Clone Wars, that’s understandable — and he would have to endure a whole lot of bureaucracy to get clear to do anything outside of the parameters of the job he’s already been given.
Still, Dr. Pershing is convinced he could do more but no one seems to listen to him — definitely not the droid assigned to assess his feelings and treatment since joining the Amnesty program. But G68 sympathizes with Dr. Pershing and even suggests that perhaps he could be doing far more good if he would just operate outside the lines a little more.
She wonders if perhaps he couldn’t develop his cloning technology in secret before eventually presenting it to the New Republic to show them just how useful he could really be in a more important role. After all, he’d only be doing it for the good of the New Republic.
G68 then convinces Dr. Pershing that she could help him retrieve the basic lab kit he needs to begin conducting his research again but it would require them to travel outside of the border of the Amnesty program. If they get caught, both could get booted and sent back to re-education camps, which sounds about as bad as you’d imagine, but she tells Dr. Pershing that the risk is minimal and the good he could do would be so much more than the New Republic could ever imagine.
They run into trouble almost right away after boarding a train bound for a shipyard where G68 promises she can get him the lab kit but they eventually escape before making it to their destination. There the pair finds a decommissioned Imperial Star Destroyer that’s being picked apart piece by piece.
After surviving an already harrowing adventure together, G68 finally introduces herself as Elia Kane while Dr. Pershing tells her his first name is Penn as they travel into the bowels of the Star Destroyer to find what he needs.
Inside, Dr. Pershing is overwhelmed to find even more than he could possibly imagine as he loads up his laboratory kit that will finally allow him to continue his research into cloning. As they head back out to leave the Star Destroyer and return to the Amnesty camp, Dr. Pershing and Elia are surrounded by New Republic soldiers — almost like they were alerted to the break in.
Sure enough with blasters drawn, Elia Kane steps out of the line of fire and turns to face Dr. Pershing because she’s been setting him up this entire time. Dr. Pershing is arrested and taken to a medical facility where he will receive treatment that will hopefully prevent him from betraying the New Republic again.
He’s hooked up to a machine that’s supposed to be a gentler mind flayer — it stimulates the mind and supposedly leaves the patient with a calm, almost serene feeling but it doesn’t wipe your memory or do any permanent damage. Regardless of whether or not he wants the treatment, Dr. Pershing is subjected to the device while Elia Kane watches from a nearby room while her superiors thank her for all the hard work she’s doing.
Elia Kane then asks to stay behind to watch Dr. Pershing undergo his treatment because she’s come to think of him as a friend and wants to be sure he’s OK. After the other New Republic officers leave, Elia Kane watches Dr. Pershing from the observation window but then looks down at the machine treating him.
She cranks the dial up to 11 as the power intensifies and what was supposed to be a subtle jolt to kickstart Dr. Pershing’s happy center instead turns into the mind wiping device he always feared. It appears Elia Kane willingly transformed Dr. Pershing’s brain into a bowl of oatmeal and she maintained a smirk on her face the entire time.
Now this likely means one of two things — Elia Kane is taking pleasure in torturing former Imperials who she’s able to convince to betray the New Republic or more likely the second scenario. She’s still loyal to Moff Gideon and she used this opportunity to eradicate a scientist who betrayed her boss and helped lead to his downfall.
Considering Moff Gideon is expected to appear in “The Mandalorian” season 3, it seems almost certain that Elia Kane is still under his employ but what exactly is their end game now that Dr. Pershing has been eliminated? We’ll have to wait for future episodes to find out!
“The Mandalorian” returns with a new episode next Wednesday on Disney+