REVIEW: ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3, Episode 5 – “Chapter 21”

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The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5

Following an action-packed episode last week, The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 dials up the set pieces even higher in a Mandalorian versus Pirate extravaganza. Directed by Peter Ramsey, this week’s episode brings together the threads spun over the past few weeks and answers many of the concerns fans have had with the so-called “filler” episodes. While the recap before the episode may suggest another adventure of the week, the stakes have never higher for the Mandalorians.

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 opens with the Pirate King Gorean Shard, seen early in season 3, returning to Navarro. Shard looks to take Navarro from the High Magistrate Greef Karga, and without many defenses, there is little Karga can do but call for help. Much to his chagrin, he sends a distress call to Captain Carson Teva of the New Republic. Teva responds by going to the New Republic to request the forces to investigate, but not before a familiar face makes a live-action appearance. With a little bit of nudging by the nefarious Elia Kane and the natural bureaucracy of government, Captain Teva is denied his request, given Navarro’s independence. This leads Teva to seek out help from none other than the Children of the Watch.

What follows is an attempt by the Children of the Watch to retake Navarro from the pirates. On paper, that makes for a very exciting episode with plenty of Mandalorian violence as they fight to liberate the world they once called home. That is undoubtedly the case. Deeper than that, The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 uses the strands of story points scattered throughout the previous four episodes to give weight and intention to the back half of the episode. The action has never felt more meaningful as we see the first glimpses of a reunited Mandalore fighting the good fight.

While deemed as directionless filler by some fans, without doing the little things right in previous episodes, I am not sure The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 lands as hard. Without seeing the state of the Navarro as a trade spur, there is little reason to see the planet as nothing more than an out-of-the-way rock in the Outer Rim. Without seeing the ineffectiveness of the New Republic, it wouldn’t make sense why they wouldn’t offer aid. Without having Din Djarin and Bo-Katan prove themselves in the eyes of the Children of the Watch, there is no way they would have agreed to go to Navarro to lend their help. Heck, even without reintroducing R5-D4 as a former Rebel, there is no way that Captain Teva would have ever known how to find the Children of the Watch. The little details matter, especially when the story is far from over. By the time the credits roll, the show’s plot is solidified. We are going back to Mandalore very soon.

At its heart, The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 is about the different lives each character in the series has lived and how that informs both their decisions and how they are treated. Greef Karga, once a leader in the bounty hunter community capable of fighting, now stands helpless to stop a pirate invasion as he has taken his role as High Magistrate and leader of Navarro’s future, which is free of scum and villainy. Captain Teva has to navigate this New Republic world after fighting in the Rebellion, where they aided those in need without the red tape of bureaucracy. Former Imperial Elia Kane now lives in a New Republic world where she has been able to adapt to meet her goals for the Empire. Bo-Katan, the former regent of Mandalore, is now a member of a sect she deemed just religious zealots, leading them into battle. The way that each character navigates those pasts in the episode further highlights the importance of building out those small character moments in previous episodes so that the viewer feels the weight of their actions when push comes to shove.

In all, The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 lands as a satisfying climax after weeks of build-up that serves as more than just the adventure of the week. The stage is now set for the rest of the season. While the various Easter Eggs will surely have fans buzzing, it is seeing the Mandalorians coming together to liberate another independent system that will stick with fans moving forward. Rushing them back together after all the squabbles would not have done their story justice. Mandalorians are more than just one person, and having the series shifted its focus to not only Din Djarin but Bo-Katan, Paz Vizsla, and the Armorer of the last few weeks gives us hope that the differences that once separated the Mandalorians will no longer do so. After this week, the Mandalorian for the show’s namesake may no longer be just Din Djarin but a presentation of who the Mandalorian are as a people. Together, united, and ready to fight.

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 is available now, with new episodes of The Mandalorian premiering Wednesdays on Disney+.

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10


In all, The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 lands as a satisfying climax after weeks of build-up that serves as more than just the adventure of the week

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