It’s been a whirlwind two months since The Mandalorian — and Baby Yoda — brooded and cooed its way into our hearts. But we’ve finally reached the end of the road (for now) in the Taika Waititi-directed season finale.
The episode opens with the pair of stormtroopers (played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally), who kidnapped Baby Yoda from Kuiil awaiting instructions. Even a largely-underground Imperial outfit has its own share of bureaucratic nonsense as the pair wait for Moff Gideon to finish his power flex and stop killing his own troops. These troopers are staying far out of anything, waiting on standby for the go-ahead to return to town. However, one trooper is very interested in the little asset causing so much drama, only for the Child to bite his finger. The pair are interrupted by the arrival of IG-11, commanding they turn over the asset. At their refusal, the bounty droid turned nurse droid takes them out and takes custody of Baby Yoda.
In the tavern, Cara, Mando, and Greef look for a way out of their predicament, as Gideon and stormtroopers set up an E-Web heavy repeating blaster. Not wanting to be blasted into smithereens with the space machine gun, Mando suggests finding the Mandalorian refugee colony in the sewers. Cara attempts to blast the grate but it won’t budge. Meanwhile, Gideon ominously teases that he knows exactly who his enemies are, calling Cara and Greef out by name and reveals Mando’s true name to be Din Djarin (though he’ll always be Mando to us). He tells the trio in no uncertain terms that he’d relish in the opportunity to see them die at his hands but gives them until nightfall to come to their senses and assist him.
Looking to spare himself, Greef wants to negotiate while Cara, a former rebel shocktrooper, who vows to shoot her way out. Mando, meanwhile, reveals that while their enemy knows exactly who they are, he knows something about him: their enemy is Moff Gideon, who was supposedly executed for war crimes. He adds that he’s positive it’s Gideon, as the Imperial governor knew his real name — something he hasn’t heard since he was a child.
There’s been an air of mystery regarding Mandalorians but this episode confirms a fundamental element of the people. When Greef inquires about Mando growing up on Mandalore, Cara and Mando reveal that Mandalorians aren’t a race, it’s a creed. We revisit Mando’s childhood flashback to the day Mando’s home was destroyed and his parents killed. We see that young Mando was rescued from certain death by a team of Mandalorians, who raised them and trained him as their own. He reveals the only record of his birth name is in the registers of Mandalore and as an officer during the purge, Gideon would have access.
He deduces the only reason Gideon needs them alive is because Baby Yoda got away, however Kuiil’s worrying lack of response is indicative of something wrong. He sends another communication and this time, IG-11 responds, confirming Kuiil’s death. Reiterating his duties to nurse and protect Baby Yoda — who happily coos from the speeder — the nurse droid blasts his way into the city, taking out any and all stormtroopers in his wake.
With Cara covering, Greef and Mando join IG-11 in the street, taking out the legions of Stormtroopers, with assistance from the E-Web. Gideon enters the fray, blowing up a small transformer near Mando, severely injuring the bounty hunter. Losing their upper hand, they retreat back into the tavern, with Cara dragging the injured Mandalorian. With Gideon intent on smoking them out, IG-11 goes to work on the grate while Cara discovers the grave extent of Mando’s injuries. Believing he won’t make it, Mando tells Cara to take the baby and leave him behind, and he gives her a Mythosaur skull necklace which will prove to the Mandalorians that he sent them.
The flametrooper ignites the tavern, entering to burn the rebels to a crisp when Baby Yoda steps up and uses the Force, sending the flames blasting back at the trooper. This gives Greef and Cara — holding Baby Yoda — time to escape while IG-11 vows to stay with Mando. The bounty hunter expects the droid to kill him, and is surprised when the nurse droid vows to save him. As with Cara earlier, Mando refuses to let IG-11 remove his helmet, citing the cardinal rule that states no living being can see him without his helmet. Luckily there’s a loophole in that IG-11 is not a living being and thus, our very first — and last — look at Pedro Pascal in season 1 of The Mandalorian!
IG-11 and a rehelmeted Mando meet Cara and Greef in the tunnels on the lookout for the Mandalorian colony. They find the colony exterminated, a pile of armor is all that remains. Mando blames Greef for destroying the refugee colony but the Armorer reveals herself, telling Mando that after the Mandalorians made the presence known, it was only a matter of time before someone came for them — and the Imperials did. She adds that there’s a chance some survivors fled Nevarro but she’s all that remains and will not leave until she’s salvaged all that she can.
She asks to see the cause of the devastation and upon seeing Baby Yoda, remarks on how helpless he looks. Mando opens up about his powers and the Armorer reveals she’s heard of such powers — possessed by an order of sorcerers called Jedi. She tells Mando that his duty mandates he return Baby Yoda back to his people. Mando balks, having just learned that in the old songs, this sorcerer species battled Mandalorians, but this is the way. She also makes things official between Mando and Baby Yoda, noting that per Mandalorian creed, until the baby comes of age or is returned to its people, Mando is now Baby Yoda’s father. In another full-circle moment, she tells him that he’s earned his signet, a Mudhorn, representing the bond between him and the Child.
Before sending them on their merry way, she gives as a final parting gift to Mando a jetpack that’ll only respond to his commands when he is ready. But given the circumstances, we can only assume we’ll see Mando take flight in a matter of minutes. Having said her goodbyes, the Armorer patiently waits for the stormtroopers to arrive. When they do, she mercilessly shows them the way of Mandalorians, allowing for Mando and his crew to escape for the lava river by gondola speeder.
The coast looks clear but using his heat vision goggles, Mando can see an entire platoon of stormtroopers waiting to ambush the group at the mouth of the river. Seeing there’s no way out, IG-11 sacrifices himself, walking out to the troopers and self-destructing. Moff Gideon arrives in a TIE fighter, blasting at the speeder boat. Mando straps on his new jetpack and goes to battle against the Imperial governor. After a brief in-flight battle, Mando blows up the fighter up, sending it careening back down to Nevarro.
With the Imperial faction defeated, Greef is ready to restore Nevarro to its former glory, while also deciding to stay to ensure no Imperial support remains — though Greef attempts to recruit her for the Guild. Mando has an important job to do and bids his friends farewell, returning to the Razor Crest, though not before giving Kuiil a proper send-off.
However, this little issue with Moff Gideon is not over just yet as the Imperial governor climbs out of the TIE wreckage, a darksaber in hand and looking intent on revenge.
And that’s it for The Mandalorian season 1. Will Mando successfully return Baby Yoda to his people? Is this the last we’ve seen of Greef Karga and Cara Dune? How will Moff Gideon exact revenge on the Mandalorian? Will we ever see Pedro Pascal’s face again? With any luck, we’ll have all these questions answered in season 2.