The Mandalorian The Sin Review

Deborah Chow directed this third installment of The Mandalorian entitled “The Sin” and it’s yet another terrific episode of the Disney+ series.

Naturally, there are spoilers ahead.

It opens with Pedro Pascal’s Mandalorian character arriving back on the planet he calls home base. There, he—quite shockingly so—hands the asset right over to the Imperial Remnant. But there’s something difficult about that. The Mandalorian takes his payment and fashions it into a new, glistening suit of Beskar armor. Once he gets a new bounty puck and is about to leave the planet, he has second thoughts. Then he proceeds to go full one-Mando-army to steal the asset back then shoot his way out.

Unfortunately, this means the end of his relationship with Greef Carga and the Bounty Hunter Guild since this blatantly breaks their code. Every bounty hunter in the parsec shows up to help take back the asset from the Mandalorian resulting in an epic shootout. When things seem the most hopeless, The hero of our story calls in the cavalry and his fellow Mandos to save the day. With the way cleared, he makes it to the Razor Crest with the child and leaves the planet.

The Filmmaking

After watching this episode, it’s no surprise that they gave an entire series to Deborah Chow to helm with the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi show. The episode is more verbose than the last, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its moments of excellent silent filmmaking. One moment in particular ties the beginning, middle, and end visually, allowing us to “see” what the Mandalorian is thinking without having him say anything. In this episode, it’s the knob on the Razor Crest’s console. In the first scene, Chow ties it to the child and its curiosity, then has the Mando take it, chiding the child that it’s not a toy. In the middle, when he considers leaving the child behind but thinks twice about it, the thing he’s allowed to meditate on is the visual of the missing knob. Then, at the end of the episode, we know exactly where his heart is and how he’s changed over the course of the episode. It’s a great bit of visual storytelling that adds meaning to an object only to the story.

This episode also has far more fights and shoot-outs than we’ve had previously. The action is directed confidently and, as the Mandalorian breaks into the Imperial enclave to steal the asset, it’s played almost like a horror film that transitions into the careful mastery of Hithcock. After the Mandalorian takes the asset, the tracking FOBs that were handed out to every bounty hunter on the planet start lighting up, letting understanding punch the audience in the gut.

What to look out for

One of the most exciting things to watch for in this episode is the expansion of Mandalorian lore. We hear more about “The Purge” that scattered many Mandalorians into hiding. Even Werner Herzog’s character mentions that it is easier to find Beskar in the world now than it is to find a Mando, which makes one wonder exactly what occurred between the Empire and the Mandalorians in the time between the end of Star Wars Rebels and the end of the war.

Another fascinating thing to look out for is a Mandalorian voiced by what sounds like Jon Favreau. According to the ending credits, this is a Mando named Paz Vizsla. The character Favreau played on Star Wars: The Clone Wars was Pre Vizsla and was beheaded by Maul thirty some odd years prior to the events of The Mandalorian. The use of the name Vizsla is no accident. Clan Vizsla was an important player during The Clone Wars and later backed Bo Katan’s war against the Imperial supported Clan Saxon and then her claim to become leader of Mandalore. After that, the only reference we have is of this mysterious “purge.” We can only hope the show fills in more blanks about this dark spot in the history of the galaxy.

The Bounty Hunter Guild is explored much more in this episode is well and takes cues from classic western and samurai tropes. The struggle of the amoral gun-(or sword)slinger who grows a heart is littered through these stories. Honor and the Byronic hero loom large in all of these stories and this is patterned after them exactly.  When the Mandalorian takes back the asset and Greef Carga calls up all the reinforcements, it feels very much like scenes from movies like The Raid (2011) or Dredd (2012). In both of those movies and in many other more classic films, a good guy (of sorts) is put in a position where they have to fight their way through wave after wave of enemy in practically limitless quantities. There is no way out for him… that is until he calls in reinforcements.

The shots of the Mandalorians arriving are evocative of the animated shows—Clone Wars and Rebels—and feel like they were ripped right of the animation and writ in live action. One shot at the end of the episode, with one of the Mandalos flying beside the Razor Crest with his jetpack and turns to salute our main character evokes The Rocketeer (1991).

Coda

Though I might prefer the first two episodes, this episode is a great entry into the story, advancing the mythology and setting up a major conflict of the rest of the series. There’s no doubt that bounty hunters from the guild will feature into the rest of show. One complaint I had is that it does repeat some shots and motifs from the first episode that feel repetitive. The shots of the Mythosaur skull and build up through the Mandalorian enclave feel like discrete repeats of shots in the first chapter without a story purpose. Even the flashbacks, when and how they come, are in the same place. Granted, we saw more details to the memories, but it felt repetitive in a show that’s already too short. Aside from that, I have no complaints about this episode, whatsoever. It’s a tale told boldly with action that matches the Kurosawa and Leone influences with a Star Wars flair and dilemmas that churn the gut like a Hitchcock film. The moment that is going to make every audience cheer, though, is worth overlooking any flaws, and that’s when the Mandalorians arrive as backup to fight against the bounty hunters. It’s a stand up and cheer moment and built to beautifully.

This show is dynamite and I’m glad we have it.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: