In “The Mandalorian” recap, Mando and Bo-Katan go searching for other Mandalorians and get pulled into playing detective on a planet with some familiar faces…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If “The Book of Boba Fett” ultimately felt like “The Mandalorian” season 2.5, then the latest season of “The Mandalorian” almost feels like the introduction of a future series led by Bo-Katan Kryze.
The popular character from the “Star Wars” animated series, who was a welcome addition to “The Mandalorian” season 2 with the arrival of Katee Sackhoff (who also voiced the character in animation) to join the cast in a guest starring role. While Mando has largely solved his biggest problems to date — he finally got rid of Moff Gideon (for the time being), he officially became a surrogate father to Grogu and he bathed in the Living Waters of Mandalore so he could be accepted again by The Children of the Watch — Bo-Katan is just now starting to figure out all the baggage she’s been carrying around these past few years.
Originally expected to lead Mandalore back to glory, Bo-Katan eventually lost control over her home planet with the Galactic Empire launched an attack meant to eradicate every man, woman and child living there. When the bombardment was done, Mandalore was a shell of what it was once, Bo-Katan was a woman without a planet and the weapon she needed to claim leadership was taken from her during a battle with Moff Gideon.
Fast forward to the latest episode and Bo-Katan is finally starting to find her way again — largely thanks to a religious experience back on Mandalore where she actually saw a living, breathing Mythosaur and took up the oath that brought her into the fold with the Children of the Watch — a group she previously branded as religious zealots.
Now she’s been chosen to walk between two worlds — those with the Children of the Watch and her own Mandalorian people — because she’s meant to unite them all together so they can take back Mandalore once and for all.
Of course, Bo-Katan seems uneasy with this new mission, especially considering how badly she blew it the last time around when she was anointed the leader of the entire planet and then lost it to Imperial forces. That said, Bo-Katan is a natural leader and her redemption through rebuilding Mandalore might just be the legacy she always wanted — and she even has a friend in Mando by her side to help her regain it all.
With that said, let’s get to our full recap for the latest episode of “The Mandalorian”…
Chapter 22: Guns for Hire
The episode starts with a reintroduction of the Mandalorian fleet that Bo-Katan once commanded but now falls under the leadership of Axe Woves — one of her former followers. These days, the Mandalorians are no longer seeking a noble mission to win back their planet but instead they are working as capitalists by hiring themselves out to the highest bidder.
The client on this particular expedition involves retrieving a Mon Calamari prince, who was allegedly taken by a Quarren ship. In reality, the prince fell in love with the ship’s captain but in a Romeo and Juliet storyline, they were forbidden from actually being together.
Sadly, the Mon Calamari prince has been summoned home by his mother and the Mandalorians have arrived to retrieve him no matter how much he wants to stay with the woman he loves. The boy is forced to return home and there’s no reasoning with these Mandalorians because they’re just doing what they’ve been paid to do.
From there, the Mandalorians return to Plazir-15 — a lush planet on the Outer Rim that has hired the group as protection since they have no military of their own.
That also makes the planet the next destination for Bo-Katan, Mando and Grogu, who will attempt to bring the group back to Nevarro to reunite with the other Mandalorians in an effort to continue building a big enough faction to take back their home planet.
When they arrive on Plazir-15, Bo-Katan and Mando are curiously met by a pair of Imperial droids but they are not hostile at all — instead rather welcoming. Well to a certain extent because they are denied an immediate visit with the Mandalorian war ships but instead taken to the main part of the city and the palace where they are to meet with the leaders of Plazir-15.
That’s where they are introduced to Captain Bombardier (Jack Black!) and his lovely wife the Duchess (Lizzo!). It seems Captain Bombardier was a former Imperial officer, who went through the New Republic’s amnesty program before he was given permission to help rebuild Plazir-15 — a planet that had suffered mightily under the Empire.
It’s there Captain Bombardier met the Duchess, who was a member of the royal family that previously ruled over Plazir-15 but given the chance for a fresh start, the unlikely couple opted to turn this place into a democratically elected, utopian society where the citizens no longer have to work because all of the necessary functions are carried out by droids.
Side note — the Duchess is overwhelmed by cuteness when meeting Grogu and there is no way possible that Lizzo didn’t ask for the chance to hold him as part of her agreement to do the show.
Unfortunately, the droids have also become part of the problem and they hope that the newest visitors to Plazir-15 will be the solution.
Thanks to the charter voted on by the people of Plazir-15, no soldiers are allowed to roam the streets and the constables hired for protection simply don’t have the tools to deal with this particular issue. It seems that the droids have been malfunctioning with escalating issues that just started with minor disruptions to the point now where the machines are assaulting people on the planet.
The fear is that the Imperial droids that were recommissioned to work on Plazir-15 are somehow reverting back to old programming and it’s becoming a much bigger danger to the people than Captain Bombardier and the Duchess are able to handle. They ask for Bo-Katan and Mando to get to the bottom of this issue, eliminate the droids in question and in exchange, they’ll set up the meeting with the Mandalorian soldiers but more importantly, Captain Bombardier and the Duchess will reach out to the New Republic on behalf of the entire Mandalorian system to seek sovereignty for the planets.
That means Mandalore and the surrounding moons would be recognized as part of the New Republic system, which would allow the planet to potentially thrive again once the natives return to live there again. It sounds like a grand plan — and even though Bo-Katan is still hesitant to lead, she’s willing to take this risk while Mando was sold the minute he heard battle droids were involved.
The investigation begins with a conversation with Commissioner Helgait (Christopher Lloyd!), who oversees the droid program and he reveals the steady escalation in problems that have been happening all over Plazir-15. He also shows the pair a killswitch installed that could shut down all of the droids at once but it’s the last possible measure anyone wants to use because the people and the entire planet depend so much on these machines that losing all of them would be catastrophic.
Commissioner Helgait then reveals to Bo-Katan and Mando that a group of Ugnaughts are responsible for rebuilding and reprogramming the droids so that should be their first stop in this investigation.
Now Ugnaughts are considered by many to be the hardest working species across the entire galaxy and they are quite meticulous. In other words, Ugnaughts are perfectionists, who do not like to be questioned as if their work isn’t complete.
A trip to the droid factory proves difficult for Bo-Katan, who can’t get a single Ugnaught to stop working much less acknowledge her request for an audience. That’s when Mando steps in and provides assistance because he’s known and befriended an Ugnaught previously — RIP Kuiil — and he understands how to approach them.
He announces himself as Mandalorian Din Djarin, friend of Ugnaught Kuiil while demanding that they answer their questions and help with their task. Mando ends by adding “I have spoken,” which is a traditional command to the Ugnaughts.
Like magic, the group suddenly stops working and pays attention to Mando while seeking to help in his mission to discover why the droids have suddenly started to malfunction. He eventually gets them to hand over the location to the malfunctioning droids but the Ugnaughts continue to claim that their work is flawless — if these machines are having problems, it’s not due to the work they’ve done.
Mando thanks them for their help and leaves with Bo-Katan to seek out these problematic droids.
That takes them to the loading dock where they encounter groups of battle droids lifting and carrying containers with the lead droid feigning to offer much help while trying to explain that all of the battle droids have been placed in maintenance mode as a safety measure as a precaution after numerous people on Plazir-15 were harmed.
Mando sees no better way to seek out the malfunctioning droids than to start kicking each one walking in the production line to see which one reacts like this is an act of war. Sure enough, Mando kicks one over and the droid immediately hammers him to the ground before running off, which leads to a chase through the city.
Mando and Bo-Katan eventually catch up to the battle droid and take it down before it can do any further damage. That’s also when they find that the droid has a card for a bar named the Resistor that might offer some new answers.
This particular establishment is a droid bar where Mando and Bo-Katan don’t belong when they finally arrive there to ask some questions. It’s an uneasy situation for Mando, who has grown up hating droids after the destruction of his home planet where his survival was reliant on the Mandalorians who rescued him from certain death.
Surrounded by droids, Mando is on high alert but this time it’s Bo-Katan who defuses the situation along with the bartender, who explains that all the droids on Plazir-15 are thankful for a second chance after previously being armed by the Empire. The droids want to work in peace and prosperity alongside the people on Plazir-15 and these few malfunctioning machines are risking harm to every single droid on the planet.
The bartender then explains that the droids at the Resister aren’t imbibing alcohol like a normal bar but instead the machines all ingest a lubricant called Nepenthé that also contains sub-particles that help to restore and repair systems inside the droids.
Bo-Katan and Mando present the bartender with the card they obtained from the battle droid that just attacked them and they quickly discover that this particular droid along with all of the other malfunctioning machines have imbibed from the same batch of Nepenthé and that’s obviously not a coincidence.
That takes Bo-Katan and Mando to the droid morgue where a lab tech pulls out the battle droid they just stopped so they can extract the Nepenthé to investigate what may be causing the problem. A quick look at the Nepenthé shows the sub-particles and Bo-Katan wonders if they’re still active — and a probe droid attacking them seconds later answers that question.
With Bo-Katan and the lab tech pinned down from the probe droid drowning the room in laser fire, Mando is able to save them after wielding the Darksaber to cut the malfunctioning droid in two.
As the investigation continues, the lab tech discovers a curiosity that the sub-particles in this particular batch of Nepenthé contains nano-droids — and each one is inscribed with a chain code that allows them to trace their origin.
It seems these nano-droids were manufactured by the Techno Union before being decommissioned, which is where they’ve remained in cold storage for years. It wasn’t until an acquisition order was made by the security office, which is strictly forbidden on Plazir-15 — and the individual responsible was none other than Commissioner Helgait.
When Bo-Katan and Mando confront him, Helgait threatens to press his killswitch, which doesn’t actually shut down the droids but instead reverts them all to prior programming — and that means they’ll all turn on the people and destroy Plazir-15.
It turns out Helgait is a devout Separatist and longtime follower of Count Dooku — the former Jedi Master, who became an apprentice of Darth Sidious aka Emperor Palpatine and helped lead the galaxy into The Clone War via orders from his Master. Of course, Darth Sidious eventually abandoned Count Dooku and took on a new apprentice after Anakin Skywalker defeated him in battle and the beheaded the Sith Lord.
As Helgait continues to spout on about Count Dooku’s genius, Bo-Katan finally hears enough and takes him down with a taser that also prevents him from triggering the killswitch.
He’s then taken before Captain Bombardier and the Duchess, who order him to be exiled on a neighboring planet for his treachery while Bo-Katan and Mando are offered the key to Plazir-15 as a thanks for their service. They’ve also found new friends in the galaxy, which is always good to have in a pinch.
Even Grogu is awarded after he’s knighted by the Duchess as thanks for all the help the group has given them. Finally, Bo-Katan and Mando are granted access to the Mandalorians so they can have a conversation.
There, Bo-Katan is reunited with her former teammates in the Nite Owls, who have now taken over her fleet and become mercenaries in the galaxy. Axe Woves leads them and he scoffs at her return, which leads to a challenge by Bo-Katan to a one-on-one battle between them.
It’s a back-and-forth fight for a few moments but ultimately Bo-Katan gets the upperhand before placing a knife to Axe Woves’ throat while demanding that he yield. Instead, he insults Bo-Katan by telling her that she’ll never be the true leader of the Mandalorians because she refuses to take the Darksaber from her friend Din Djarin, who won the legendary weapon in battle with Moff Gideon.
Bo-Katan tries to make a plea to her people that enough Mandalorians have spilled blood by killing each other — she has no desire to battle her friend and ally Din Djarin. Axe Woves attempts to goad her further by reminding Bo-Katan that Mando isn’t actually Mandalorian — remember he was born on a foreign planet called Concordia and rescued/adopted by the Children of the Watch — but she reminds him that he took the Creed and walks the way, which makes him just as much a Mandalorian as any of them.
Still, Mando possesses the Darksaber, which means these people will not follow her.
That’s when Mando speaks up to hand over the Darksaber to its rightful owner but he then explains that it’s not a gift — that’s what backfired on Bo-Katan the last time around when her friend Sabine Wren offered her the weapon after she was chosen as the rightful leader over Mandalore.
Mando explains that when he was attacked by that spider-like droid creature on Mandalore, he was defeated and the Darksaber was lost. It was Bo-Katan who rescued him and slayed the creature that defeated him — so by that logic, it means the Darksaber actually belongs to her.
The rest of the Mandalorians agree and so Mando hands over the weapon that has served as a symbol of leadership on Mandalore for centuries. Bo-Katan accepts the Darksaber before igniting it in her hand.
Bo-Katan is now the declared leader to the Mandalorian people and she’s seeking to unite them all together again to take back their planet. It seems The Armorer was right to call on Bo-Katan as the person meant to lead Mandalore back to glory.
“The Mandalorian” will return with a new episode next Wednesday on Disney+.