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Where does the Mando and the green-eared child go after saving some farmers, meeting Cara Dune, and taking down an AT-ST walker in Chapter 4 of the first live-action Star Wars series? They go right into Chapter 5, of course. The next installment of The Mandalorian dropped on Disney+ this morning ... something that we have come to expect and rely on.
The episode was directed and written by Dave Filoni, marking the first time someone other than series creator Jon Favreau has scripted the show. What fresh Mando mayhem did the cast and crew of this fun-fest have to offer this time around? Spit out that frog and get ready to shoot that walker in the eye, because we're about to fall right into the trap of breaking down everything that occurred during Chapter 5. Come to momma!
**SPOILER WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Chapter 5 (as well as Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4) of The Mandalorian. If you are not caught up and do not wish to be spoiled, consider the spoiler klaxon sounded, and dash away from this article faster than Yoda Baby would dash away from a Loth-cat.**
To catch up with the previous four episodes of the series (and hear a new bonus interview with Blake Collins of Skywalker Sound), be sure to check out SYFY's podcast about everything Star Wars, Jabba the Pod. It is conveniently embedded at the end of this article for your listening pleasure.
RAZOR CRESTED SPACE RACE
After the recap reminds us that practically every bounty hunter around is now after Mando and the Child, we go right into the show's first one-on-one starship battle. An unnamed bounty hunter is chasing Mando's Razor Crest in a Kom’rk-class fighter, also known as a Gauntlet fighter — we've seen Mandos fly in them in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and in Star Wars Rebels, but this is the ship's live-action debut. The hunter says, “Hand over the child, Mando ... I might let you live.”
After hitting one of Mando's engines, he adds, “I can bring you in hot, or I can bring you in cold.” We get classic imagery of the Razor Crest in some digital sights, before the ship gets shut down completely. This idiot overshoots Mando and Mando blasts his ship into dust right after saying, “That’s my line." Don't steal Mando's catchphrase! We cut to credits, and get our title — Chapter 5: The Gunslinger.
We see Mando approaching a familiar-looking desert planet, and over the comm, a voice says, “This is Mos Eisley tower..." That's right! Mando and Yoda Baby are going to Tatooine, and we're all going with them.
WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLAINY
Mando lands in docking bay 35, and we immediately see a gaggle of Pit Droids looking to fix his ship. Mando secures the Child onboard and deplanes. He reminds us that he doesn't like droids when he takes a shot at them, and they all clam up tight, just as they did when Jar Jar Binks once poked one in the nose. A mechanic, Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) emerges, telling him that if he damages one of her droids, he'll pay for it. She checks out the Razor Crest, and points out a lot of carbon scoring. He pays her what few imperial credits he has (we guess he's alright using those now), and she doesn't seem happy. He promised more her money and leaves, and she says, "Jeez... womp rat." We don't know who the "Jeez" is that she is referring to.
Mando struts out on the streets of Mos Eisley and it feels so good. The fact that there are stormtrooper helmets (and possibly heads) on spikes everywhere makes it even better. While he's away, Motto plays Sabacc with her pit droids while the Child...Yoda Baby, forget it, we tried...comes teetering out of the ship. Motto sends one of the droids to get something for him to eat, "something with bones in it." Bone-related foods may be a child-rearing tool in the GFFA, we're not sure.
Meanwhile, Mando walks right into Chalmun's Cantina, and aside from the fact that it's mostly deserted, it looks just like it did in Star Wars: A New Hope. Behind the bar, in the same place where Wuher once said, "we don't serve their kind here" and kicked out Artoo and Threepio, are now two EV supervisor droids. There's a giant bug sitting at the bar, and an astromech is also present, a red one who looks a lot like R5-D4. Maybe he got his motivator fixed? The EV droid tells Mando that the Bounty Guild no longer works out of Tatooine.
That's when we meet Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale), a wannabe bounty hunter who has a bounty puck on him for the assassin Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). He gives the New Republic its second namedrop on the show, takes out a tracking fob for Fennec, and says she's headed out beyond the Dune Sea. Mando knows her reputation, and says she made it by working for the top crime syndicates, "including the Hutts." Toro is a moron, he needs Mando to do the job, and Mando needs money. He tells Toro to get two speeder bikes and to meet him at his platform. Toro isn't completely stupid — instead of handing over the tracking fob, he destroys it and says that he has all of the info in his head.
Back at the hangar, Mando finds that Yoda Baby is missing! He freaks out, but soon Motto comes out with him, saying she just got him to sleep. Toro meets him outside with two speeder bikes that don't impress Mando, to which Toro replies, “What do you expect? This ain’t Corellia.” Yoda Baby laughs.
OUT BEYOND THE DUNE SEA
After some gorgeous imagery (and classic sounds) of two speeder bikes crossing the Tatooine desert, Mando stops because he hears a Bantha. We're out past the Dune Sea now, so we know what that means — Tusken Raiders, aka Sand People. It's not long before a couple of them are right behind Mando and Toro. Mando negotiates with them using a kind of sign language and gets permission to cross their land by giving them Toro's "binocs."
They're off again, but stop when a Dewback crosses their path, dragging a dead bounty hunter. The hunter's tracking fob is still active, and blaster shots soon come at them from a distance. They are being sniped, and Mando takes one shot right in the beskar. “Only an MK-modifed rifle could make that shot,” he says, noting that he's okay because the shot hit him "...in the beskar, and at that range, beskar held up." Toro points out that he doesn't have any beskar, and nobody cares. This is obviously Fennec shooting at them, and Mando says they'll go after her at night, because she "has the high ground." It's over, Anakin!
After some scenes of Toro being a moron in front of a supposedly sleeping Mando, they're off, with Mando giving Toro a flash charge that can temporarily disable a scope. They manage to get Fennec's sights down once, but she soon blasts Mando's bike and then Mando himself right in the chest. She's about to finish him off, but Toro stops her... until she takes a little dart out of her rifle, knocks a blaster out of Toro's hand, and proceeds to kick the crap out of him. Mando's soon on the scene, though, and has the drop on her. He tosses a pair of binders at her feet.
“A Mandalorian. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of your kind," Fennec says, adding, "Ever been to Nevarro? I hear things didn’t go so well there, but it looks like you got off easy.” Nevarro, it turns out, is the name of the planet from Chapters 1 and 3, the location of Greef Carga as well as the Mando Enclave. Since they are down one speeder, Mando goes to get the Dewback and leaves Toro watching over Fennec. He says, “She’s no good to us dead.” Bring her in hot! Also, nice Boba Fett reference, Mando! Talk about stealing a line, jeez.
SHE'LL MAKE A CORPSE OUT OF YOU
The suns come up on Fennec and Toro, and Fennec starts to manipulate this idiot. “There’s still time to make my rendezvous in Mos Espa," she says. She offers him money, and also tells him that the Mando and his armor are worth far more than she is. She tells him what went down on Nevarro, and says if Toro brings Mando back to the guild, his name will be legendary. Her advice: “You want to be a bounty hunter? Make the best deal for yourself and survive.”
Toro shoots her in the chest, and we hate him even more because Fennec is great, she's Ming-Na Wen, and he is not. Later on, Mando rides the Dewback up to the scene and sees Fennec's body. He sighs and turns around. He heads back to Mos Eisley (it's dark by the time he gets there) and goes right to his platform, where Toro has Motto held at gunpoint and is holding Yoda Baby. You don't get to do that, Toro!
He orders Motto to put binders on Mando, and she sees that he still has one flash charge in his hand. Mando uses it to distract Toro before blasting him dead, and then both Mando and Motto freak out for a moment over Yoda Baby, who is nowhere to be seen. The little scamp sneaks out from behind a basket, almost saying, "Who, me?" Mando gives Motto all of Toro's money and she tells the pit droids to drag the body to Beggar's Canyon. Mando and Child are off once again... but before the episode cuts to credits, we see a mysterious pair of boots walk up to the body of Fennec Shand.
SO ... WHAT NOW, MANDO?
Honestly we have no idea where we go from here, we just hope that Fennec Shand was playing dead is not really dead. We want more than one episode with Ming-Na Wen, and anyone who can give the Mando a run for his credits is a great character to have in the pack. As for Toro Calican, well, thanks for the memories? You're dead and you're definitely not a legend.
Big questions remain for the final three episodes of this season. Who is the Client and Dr. Pershing working for? Will we get more information on the species of Yoda Baby? Will we see our favorite clan of Mandos again? When the kriff is Giancarlo Esposito going to show up? We'll have to wait another week, and maybe we'll find out some of these things. Or not. They have the high ground.
The Mandalorian will return next week. For more on everything Mando, Baby Yoda (Yoda Baby), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and everything else related to the galaxy far, far away, be sure to listen and subscribe to Jabba the Pod. We have spoken!