Mandalorian S3E6: Guns for Hire
“Guns for Hire” is a fun, interesting, but out of place episode of “The Mandalorian.”
I like curveballs. Give me something different and keep it fresh, and I'm a happy camper. That's why my reaction to this week's "Mandalorian" episode was so unexpected. "Guns for Hire" felt like a weird choice at this point in the season, and I didn't love it at first. However, I highly recommend giving it a second viewing because the episode is solid and has a cool vibe that's unique from other episodes.
I will throw out a spoiler warning right out of the gate. It would be hard to discuss this episode and avoid spoiling anything. So, this is your last chance to avoid any spoilers.
This episode features some bonker cameos almost right out of the gate, and for the first viewing, I caught myself staring at the screen, brow furrowed with my mouth forming a silent "What the hell" so as not to wake anyone in the house. And I think that will be the reaction of most people.
"Guns for Hire" begins with Axe Woves (Simon Mario Kassianides) and his band of privateer Mandos locating and returning the son of a Mon Calamari Viceroy. We then quickly catch up with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal, Brendan Wayne, and Lateef Crowder), Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), and Grogu as they arrive on Plazir-15 trying to locate Bo-Katan's former crew led by Wolves.
This is where we take a hard right turn.
The trio is ushered to a lavish dining area where species of all shapes and sizes are enjoying food and each other company. At the head of the table are The Duchess (Lizzo) and her beau Captain Bombardier (Jack Black). Yep, Lizzo and Jack Black are now Star Wars canon, and trust me when I say it will take a moment to get past their initial presence. I moaned and groaned during the first viewing, but upon the second watch, the characters grew on me a little.
My initial thought upon seeing Black dressed as the Captain was how he has not played Harry Mudd in a Star Trek flick. The guy looks perfect for that role, and I think he would knock it out of the park. Enough Trek; let's get back to the Wars.
The Duchess and Captain Bombardier enlist Din and Bo-Katan's help in helping rid the city of malfunctioning droids that have turned on the citizens. They can't do it themselves since weapons of any kind are not allowed within the city, but since weapons are part of the Mandalorian culture, they are permitted to carry theirs.
After an initial bit of hesitation, Bo-Katan and Din agree to help when the leader will, in exchange for their help, recognize Mandalore as an independent planet and talk to the New Republic on their behalf. Their first stop is a sit down with Commissioner Helgait (Christopher Lloyd), where they find the citizens of Plazier-15 won't allow for the mass shutdown of droids because it means they will have to begin working and taking care of themselves again.
The duo goes off on a CSI-type mission, meeting up with Ugnaughts, stopping by the droid bar "The Resistor," and witnessing the autopsy of a Battle Droid. The scenes at "The Resistor" were some of my favorites. The droids are willing to help because they fear losing their purpose and position, worried that humans will take their roles and responsibilities – a nice role reversal of the current moment when folks are concerned about the advancement of A.I. and the repercussions that it will bring about.
They learn the rogue droids were built by the Techno Union years ago and were brought out of cold storage by Commissioner Helgait, who they discover is a Separatist still loyal to the cause and its leader Count Dooku.
The case is solved, and the threat is neutralized, but Din and Bo-Katan's mission is far from over. Now they must convince Woves and his crew to rejoin the cause and bring about the rise of Mandalore. When Wolves declines the invite, Bo-Katan challenges him to a duel, with the victor assuming control. This results in the best bit of "Guns for Hire" as they duke it out. Tons of fun action with Bo-Katan forcing her adversary into submission.
She's told she will never be the rightful ruler of Mandalore because she no longer possesses the Darksaber. But the ever-resourceful Din uses a loophole to give possession of the saber back to Bo-Katan, solidifying her claim as ruler of Mandalore.
“Guns for Hire” is a quirky, campy feeling episode of “The Mandalorian” that I liked, but also felt that was out of place. That was the biggest hurdle for me to get past during the initial viewing. The episode has a unique vibe that I really liked and would like to see again, but the placement of the episode in the season with only a couple episodes left felt like an odd choice.
The biggest complaint I’ve heard is this season isn’t Din’s story, but Bo-Katan’s and that’s why it feels fresh to me. I’ve loved that character since “The Clone Wars” and seeing her arc has been great. Sackhoff has hit every beat to perfection, and I can’t wait to see more.
Black and Lizzo are fine in their roles, even really fun at times, but it felt unnecessary. After the second viewing the two grew on me, but it still felt too far out of place to completely ignore and enjoy. Lloyd on the other hand fit well in his role. It’s delicate balance when you use recognizable faces that aren’t concealed behind a mask or make up and this week it didn’t’ work for me. I never saw the Duchess or Captain Bombardier – I saw Jack Black and Lizzo and that’s unfortunate.
You might have noticed for the first time I recognized Pedro Pascal, Brendan Wayne, and Lateef Crowder all as the Din Djarin aka The Mandalorian. Previously, I only recognized Pascal and I realized how unfair that was to Wayne and Crowder. Those two have been instrumental in creating the character as they are who you see week in and week out in each episode and to not recognize them borderlines on the criminal.
“Guns for Hire” is a fun, interesting, but out of place episode of “The Mandalorian.” The episode pumps the brakes on the momentum the show has built and I’m hoping it’s the calm before the storm before the season ends in epic fashion.