The Mandalorian S3E7: The Spies
"The Spies" is a great episode that sets the stage for an epic season finale.
Of course, it would be one of my favorite episodes of the season that I couldn't get to review for a few days. Sometimes life gets in the way, and this was one of those weeks. By now, most of you know the particulars of the episode, but I couldn't not talk about this episode.
What's not to love about "The Spies?" It's funny, has action, and sets up the season finale wonderfully. We get to see Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal, Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), and the rest of the Mandos return to Mandalore in hopes of rebuilding their civilization; more questions surrounding The Armorer's (Emily Swallow) true motives, Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) menacing return and Grogu gains extra mobility in epic fashion.
The episode begins, which looks a lot like the "Andor" series in the darkened streets of Coruscant with Elia Kane (Katy M. O'Brian) rendezvousing with a probe droid that should stick out like a sore thumb, but apparently does not. We find that Moff Gideon has been busy and didn't make it to trial. We learn he wants all of the Mandos wiped out, and after his holo ends, we get our first glimpse of the Shadow Council – a group of Imperials waiting for their chance to reemerge.
For fans of the Expanded Universe, we get to see Captain Pellaeon (Xander Berkeley) in the flesh speaking of Grand Admiral Thrawn helping set up the events that will happen in the upcoming "Ahsoka" series. We also meet Commandant Brendol Hux (Brian Gleeson), father of General Armitage Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Yes, Brian is the young brother of Domhnall, which was a brilliant casting touch. I loved the Shadow Council and would love to see even more of it down the line.
Next, Bo-Katan and Din brought the privateers back to Nevarro to unite and reclaim their world of Mandalore. This doesn't happen without its hiccups, but the two factions are able to get beyond their differences long enough to make the trek to the planet.
On Nevarro, High Magistrate Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) continues to play the role of fun grandpa when he gifts a repurposed IG-11 the Anzellans have built to Grogu, which will function as an exoskeleton for The Child to use to better keep up with Din. At first, I found it ridiculous, but I soon was laughing as Grogu found his "voice" and began giving Din more grief than he could handle, providing some perfect Dad vs. Toddler moments.
Grogu also gets a great moment to shine when the two groups are officially on their way to Mandalore, and Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher) and Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides) get into a scuffle over chess. As the two duke it out, Grogu, in his exoskeleton, intervenes, repeatedly slamming his "No" button to stop them.
I love the compassion Grogu has shown throughout the series, and I don't think it is a coincidence that they keep making choices to showcase it. Could we be in store for a heartbreaking turn in the season finale? The two times we’ve seen Grogu flash some dark side tendencies both involved Din being in danger and it would be a twist many wouldn’t be ready for.
Once at Mandalore, they begin searching for the Great Forge but are attacked by Beskar armored Stormtroopers beneath the surface. They give chase, but Din and Paz are separated from the group as Moff Gideon reveals his plan for Mandalore, which doesn't include the Mandalorians. Din is whisked away, but Paz ferociously fights the troopers until his gun is red hot and quits and then dispatches the rest by hand.
Enter the Praetorian Guard.
Even the mighty Paz Vizsla is no match for them, and the warrior falls as his effort allows the others to escape. I've "liked" Paz Vizsla, but this episode catapulted him into one of my favorites of the series. It's such a badass way to go out.
Din is captured by Moff Gideon, the Mandalorians are fractured, and the fate of Mandalore hangs in the balance. What an excellent way to lead into the season finale. I cannot wait for it… and due to the lateness of my review, the wait will only be a few hours.
In the finale of Season 2, we got Luke Skywalker swooping in to be the group's savior, and with the introduction of the Praetorian Guard, I have to assume we're in for another treat for the Season 3 finale. Only a select few can hold their own with the Praetorian Guard, and I'm excited to see who that may be.
I also think we'll get our first look at Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) even if it's just for a split second, which should excite every fan out there. Everything has been building up to that, and with the Ahsoka series debuting in August, I fully expect this finale to set that series up in a big bad way.
"The Spies" is a great episode that sets the stage for an epic season finale. This time around I’m hoping the savior of this season's finale comes from within in the form of a pint-sized Jedi.