This week on The Mandalorian, Din and Bo found themselves in need of a hideout, while cloning scientist Dr. Pershing (sort of) adjusted to his new life.
Episode 3 of the third season, “The Convert,” was in great an unexpected, and sometimes patience-testing detour. The season’s longest episode thus far, by far, picked up right where we left off, with Din and Bo-Katan recovering from his near-drowning and her daring rescue. Bo, though, is conspicuously keeping quiet about spying a living Mythosaur within the murky living waters — either still processing what she saw, or pondering how best to move forward with that information.
Bo, Din, Grogu and R5-D4 head back to Kalevala in Bo’s ship, only to find themselves dogged by a squadron of TIE fighters. Din “parachutes” out using his jetpack to land semi-gingerly beside his N-1, and he then joins in the dogfight. Bo expertly navigates the cliffs and narrow passages of Kalevala, forcing a TIE fighter collision or two, as Din used his guns to take out others. But just when it appears the threat had been neutralized, they realize that a bevy of TIE bombers are laying waste to Bo’s castle. With scores of TIE fighters popping up on the radar, Bo and Din hit their hyperdrives and head to the secret location of the Mandalorian culvert….
We then got a nearly 40-minute catch-up on Dr. Pershing, the clone engineer who worked for Werner Herzog’s The Client in Season 1, and later continued his research for Moff Gideon. Pershing now lives on Coruscant, as a new member of the Amnesty Program (which re-integrates Imperial wonks). We first see him giving a speech about his origins, and how his mother’s death led him to explore the life-saving applications of cloning. After, Pershing is introduced a few of his neighbors at Amnesty housing — including “G68” aka Elia Kane, Moff Gideon’s steely comms officer.
The doc is a bit thrown to see his former colleague-of-sorts. Later, Elia coaxes him into indicating that he would like to continue his cloning research, to help the New Republic. But to even start down that path would require acquiring supplies from beyond Amnesty members’ permitted perimeter. As Pershing gets a closer look at how Imperial tech is simply being destroyed instead of learned from, and after obtaining an implied OK to pursue his research from his parole droid, he asks G68 to take him to the scrapyards where he might get some needed supplies. G68 sneaks them onto a commuter train, and after eluding some security droids/ticket agents, they leap off the back and make tracks for a decommissioned Star Destroyer. Pershing finds the basic tech he needs, but just as he and Elia exit the Star Destroyer, they are surrounded by New Republic security forces. Elia then takes his crate of supplies from Pershing, and we realize that she set up the semi-good doctor.
Pershing is next seen strapped down to a “mind flayer” device that, the Mon Calamarian tech insists, at low voltages will simply soothe traumatic memories and help him overcome his indoctrination by the Empire. Pershing tries to explain that G68 set him up, that “It was a trap!,” but the Mon Calamarian signals the Twi’lek tech to proceed with the procedure, as G68 watches. Yet when the Twi’leks steps away, we see Elia turn up the voltage on the device — but to what end? For Pershing to simply forget her role in his capture? To fully wipe his mind? But if so, why? If those still faithful to the Empire have interest in the cloning technology, wouldn’t they want a leading researcher to have his full faculties, to exploit?
And if someone simply wanted him dead, surely there were other, easier ways to make that happen. And you can’t tell me Elia’s endgame was to get her hands on a crate of iPads, test tubes and what not, as if that is what was holding up further cloning research by nefarious parties.
The episode closes with Din and Bo arriving at the secret Mandalorian culvert, where they are met by Paz Vizsla, who is skeptical of their tale of visiting the living waters. But when Din hands the Armorer proof — a flask of that which he bathed in (well, inelegantly plunged into!) — and she confirms its authenticity, she deems Din redeemed. And since Bo-Katan also took a dunk and has not removed her own helmet since, the Armorer says that she, too, is redeemed, and invited to follow The Way.
What did you think of The Mandalorian Season 3, Episode 3?