With Chapter 24 of The Mandalorian now streaming, Season 3 of the series is now in the books! Though the finale made good on several season-long arcs, made some major moves and significantly changed the status quo of the New Republic era, it probably won’t erase some of the hard feelings fans felt towards some of the other episodes along the way. Now that all eight episodes have been etched in beskar, we take a look back and the best and the worst of Season 3.
Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore
One of the best episodes of the entire series, The Mines of Mandalore was the highlight of Season 3. This chapter saw Din Djarin, Grogu and still reluctant Bo-Katan Kryze take the first step in restoring Mandalore to its former glory. The episode’s exploration of the mythology and culture of Mandalorians was something hardcore fans loved and are still buzzing about even after the finale.
Chapter 21: The Pirate
Kicking off the second half of the season, The Pirate was a remarkably well-made episode that firmly grounded the events of the series in the larger universe of the New Republic and set in motion the march to the finale. While it started off as the story of Grogu and Din Djarin, The Mandalorian has grown into something much bigger as has its central cast of characters. Just as everything seemed to be trending up for everyone, The Pirate reminded everyone it’s not always so easy to put the past behind you.
Chapter 23: The Spies
The Shadow Council. The revelation that Gideon had set up shop deep within Mandalore. Din Djarin’s impassioned speech to Bo-Katan. The sacrifice of Paz Viszla. The Spies was about as good of a penultimate episode as we could have hoped for and was the perfect bridge between Chapter 22’s feel-good story and Chapter 24’s finale.
Chapter 20: The Foundling
Before Chapter 20 streamed, fans had spent the better part of a week bemoaning its short run time. And then the episode spent almost every second of that runtime with its ears pinned back and having a helluva lot of fun. A huge episode for Bo-Katan’s redemption; an incredible action sequence with some crazy birds of prey; more of Grogu’s story complete with the live-action introduction of Jedi Master Kelleran Beq. Just a great all-around Star Wars story.
Chapter 24: The Return
While it lacked the big cameo appearance of the Season 2 finale, The Return gave fans everything they’d been asking for in Season 3 and somehow still made them unhappy. The Mandalorian Renaissance has officially begun with the destruction of the Darksaber symbolically ushering in a new era free of the prejudices of the past. Mando and Grogu kicked ass together and left to begin their journey anew in Season 4. Big action and big heart came together for a fun and fulfilling Season 3 finale.
Chapter 17: The Apostate
Though it felt like a sluggish start to Season 3, in hindsight, The Apostate laid the foundation for a great season of The Mandalorian. Not only did it remind us of just how big the galaxy in which this story is told is, it subtly set us up to see what had previously been a story with a pretty small scope expand into one that has major consequences for the New Republic era of storytelling.
Chapter 19: The Convert
Notable for establishing the hypocrisy of the New Republic and establishing it as anything but safe, The Convert took the focus off of Din and Grogu in lieu of some time with Doctor Pershing and Elia Kane. If the characters of The Mandalorian were ever going to start impacting the galaxy on a larger scale (spoiler, they were) then making sure the audience has a good grasp on the goings on of that galaxy matter. So while this episode seemed pretty humdrum, not every episode can be action-packed.
Chapter 22: Guns for Hire
Memorable for is wild cameos and the hatred they inspired online, Chapter 22 actually had quite a bit to say for anyone paying attention to the story rather than than the players. From beginning to end, Guns for Hire actually served as a reminder of just how big of a mess the galaxy is and how hard it is for the wounds of war to heal. Unfortunately, the episode relied too heavily on fans being both savvy and pretty deeply immersed in Star Wars lore to be able to read between the lines of the over the top cameos of Jack Black and Lizzo and will probably continue to be used as an example of “Disney Star Wars bad” for years.