After last episode’s celebrity cameo-filled affair, “The Mandalorian” needed to both get on track and set up the series finale this episode. Does it deliver? Read on to find out. Very big spoilers ahead — it’s impossible to talk about this episode without spoiling it, so go watch it if you haven’t yet.
This episode reveals that Elia Kane (Katy O’Brien) is indeed still working for Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who is in hiding on … Mandalore!
What a twist!
Turns out that he actually has a whole base there and could have easily wiped out Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) when they visited the planet before, had he known where they were. He’s also been outfitting stormtroopers with beskar armor, but they still suck because they’re stormtroopers (the Mandos take them out by shooting at the gaps in their armor). It goes to show that not everyone can just wear beskar armor and make full use of it, but this does at least provide a challenge for Din and Bo-Katan’s Mandalorian coalition to take back the planet.
We also learn that there is a Shadow Council (what it’s literally called) of former imperials who wish to restore the Empire, of whom Gilad Pallaeon, who is Grand Admiral Thrawn’s right-hand man in the Expanded Universe, is a member of. Pallaeon urges them to wait for Thrawn, but Gideon convinces them that he can fill the role of leading them, if only he can do something about those pesky Mandalorians.
Thrawn is set to return in “Ahsoka” Season 1 and showrunner Dave Filoni will direct a movie that will cap off the “Mando-Verse” shows — likely an adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy books — so it doesn’t look too good for Gideon. There’s also the fact that he’s basically a cartoon supervillain at this point and having him defeat the Mandalorians in this way would be very unsatisfying and also pointless (reclaiming Mandalore has been their ultimate goal this season … why delay it?).
The best part of this episode is Paz Vizsla’s (Tait Fletcher) last stand against Gideon’s beskar stormtroopers. Praetorian guards with beskar have to take him down and it’s just a really cool way to send off that character. There’s a chance that he’s alive (through cybernetics, anything is possible), but I think this is an earned death they should leave alone.
As a whole, this is a decent setup for the series finale. Gideon’s beskar army does seem a little rushed and out of left field, but it’s honestly the only major threat the series could have pulled at this point. This series has needed a villain for a while and Gideon is the best it has.
“Star Wars: The Mandalorian” Season 3: Episode 7 “The Spies” gets an 8/10
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