‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Episode 6 Review: A Bounty of Cameos

Apr 6, 2023

On the heels of last week’s revelation that Mandalorians were responsible for breaking Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) out of prison, the sixth episode of The Mandalorian Season 3 leads audiences to the conclusion that a familiar group of Mandos may just be responsible for that heist. Set out among the Mid-Rim, a vessel full of Quarren, led by one Captain Shuggoth (Christine Adams), finds themselves in the path of an Imperial vessel, only its occupants aren’t Imperials—they’re Mandalorians. Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) and the Nite Owls reveal they have been hired by the Mon Calamari to retrieve a Viceroy’s son (Harry Holland) who has been allegedly taken by the Quarren. While the contentious history between the Qaurren and Mon Calamari may lead some to suspect that this is an act of war, it is swiftly revealed that the Captain and the young nobleman are actually in love, though the Mandalorian privateers care very little about any of this.

From there, “Guns for Hire” swiftly reunites audiences with Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Din (Pedro Pascal/Brendan Wayne/Lateef Crowder) who are conveniently looking for the Nite Owls, in hopes that Bo-Katan may be able to regain their favor and unite the two groups of Mandalorians. This journey takes them to the independent planet of Plazir-15, where the Nite Owls have been hired as privateers. Their attempt to go straight to their camp is thwarted by the planet’s automated systems, prompting them to instead head into the ostentatious facilities to meet with Plazir-15’s leadership.

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It’s there that they meet Captain Bombardier (Jack Black) and his wife (Lizzo) who are hosting a rather lavish and colorful meal, which looks like something torn from the pages of Alice in Wonderland. After a brief backstory, which reveals that Captain Bombardier was formerly a member of the Empire who found a new life and love through the Amnesty Program, the couple reveals that in order for them to grant Bo-Katan and Din access to the Nite Owls, they need to essentially complete a side quest for them. While Plazir-15 appears to be the picture of tranquility, beneath the surface they have been dealing with a sudden rash of droid attacks, and their democratically elected rules won’t allow for them to handle the situation on their own. The deal is further sweetened for Bo-Katan when Bombardier offers to recognize Mandalore as a sovereign system, should they complete the task for them.

Bo-Katan and Din set out to solve the mystery, which turns “Guns for Hire” into something out of an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, complete with shady government officials, seedy cantinas, and droid morgues. Their first stop is to visit Helgait (Christopher Lloyd) who handles surveillance across the city, and he shows them footage from a handful of the droid attacks, which helps them build a theory about the situation. When Din suggests turning off droid services, Helgait explains that the citizens voted against interrupting services because they don’t want to work—they want to relax and let droids handle everything for them. Despite Din’s insistence at the top of the season that he wanted to once again employ IG-11 to assist him, he is quick to show his prejudice against droids in this episode. Bo-Katan is convinced that there is something larger afoot, yet Din is quick to assume that it’s just battle droids being battle droids. There’s an interesting dichotomy lurking beneath the surface that is never fully unpacked in the episode, with Captain Bombardier proving himself as a reformed former Imp, while the droids are seemingly deemed unredeemable.

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Their next stop takes them down to visit the Ugnaughts, who are responsible for smithing and working on the droids. They are quick to claim that there aren’t any malfunctioning droids, but after some polite maneuvering on Din’s part, they provide them with information about the droids they’re looking for, which leads the duo to the loading dock. It’s there that they find the refitted and seemingly docile battle droids hauling cargo, though Din is eager to antagonize them into violence. Once the compromised battle droid is activated, Din and Bo-Katan pursue it through the city and manage to destroy it. It’s on this droid that they locate a spark pad for the droid bar The Resistor, which gets them a little closer to solving the mystery.

When they arrive at The Resistor, Bo-Katan tells Din to allow her to handle things her way, but he just can’t help himself when it comes to droids. The second that the bartender tries to evade Bo-Katan’s questioning, Din jumps straight into threatening violence against the droids, which admittedly, gets them to be a little more amenable. It is revealed that, while Helgait suggested that the humans on Plazir are reliant on the droids for everything, the droids are actually quite worried that they are going to be replaced by humans. It’s a rather humorous plotline when in real-life humans are worried that technology will replace them. The bartending droid explains that, unlike non-droid cantinas, the droids at The Resister are only served one drink—Nepenthé. They discover that all the malfunctioning droids were served from the same batch of Nepenthé, which was seemingly contaminated with something.

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In the morgue, Bo-Katan and Din continue their investigation and learn that the Nepenthé in the recently destroyed battle droid contained sub-particles, but before they can get much further with the explanation the medical droid goes haywire and starts attacking them, and the tech in the lab. Din quickly dispatches the droid with the Darksaber, and it is then revealed that the Nepenthé contains nano-droids within it, which feature a chain code that points them back toward Helgait. It is then revealed that Helgait is the one that commissioned the droid attacks in order to disrupt and attack the way of life on Plazir. While the initial belief is that he must be an Imperial sympathizer trying to wreak havoc on Plazir, he actually reveals that he is a Separatist and ardent supporter of the late Count Dooku. Bored with the political conversation, Bo-Katan quickly stuns him, and they haul him back to the planet’s leaders to face the music.

With Helgait exiled to the Moon of Paraqaat and the droid threat neatly handled, Bo-Katan and Din are granted their audience with the Mandalorian privateers, but first, they are bestowed a few honors. Bo-Katan is gifted the key to the city and Grogu—who was living the high life with Lizzo while Din was chasing down droids—is given knighthood under the Ancient Order of Independent Regencies. With The Mandalorian so frequently following the path of video game side quests, this will likely play into a future plot, somehow.

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Bo-Katan’s concerns about reuniting with the Nite Owls aren’t unfounded, with Axe making it quite clear that she is no longer their leader. When she challenges him to a fight to reclaim leadership, he taunts her for her inaction in taking the Darksaber from Din. She ultimately beats Axe, but forcing him to yield doesn’t stop the tit-for-tat of it all. He continues to prod at the fact that Din has the Darksaber, despite him not having a drop of Mandalorian blood in him, and Bo-Katan, to her credit, stands up for Din. Wanting to dispel the situation, Din offers to gift the Darksaber to Bo-Katan, but obviously, that isn’t how ownership of the Darksaber works. At long last, Din points out that when he was attacked on Mandalore, Bo-Katan took the blade off his body and defeated the creature that defeated him, thus making her the rightful owner of the Darksaber. “Guns For Hire” comes to a close as Bo-Katan stands before the Nite Owls with the Darksaber in hand and one step closer to achieving what she failed to in The Clone Wars. Perhaps, at last, Mandalorians are once again on the cusp of greatness.

While Bryce Dallas Howard remains one of the best directors that The Mandalorian has brought into the fold, Jon Favreau’s rather thin scripts consistently hold her back. “Guns For Hire” has its delightful moments, fully embracing what it means to be a goofy Star Wars tale that feels distinctly Prequel Era in its styling and themes, but ultimately it is another in a long line of oddly paced and oddly placed episodes this season. Much in the same way that Din took over The Book of Boba Fett, this series’ title seems to be about a different Mandalorian this time around, as Bo-Katan remains at center stage.

Rating: B

New episodes of The Mandalorian Season 3 are available to stream exclusively on Disney+.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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