Season 3 episode 3 of The Mandalorian proves to be the worst episode of the series so far, showing us a side story that just isn’t very interesting.
I’ve seen online that a lot of people have said that episode 3 of season 3 of The Mandalorian is more akin to an episode of Disney+’s other flagship Star Wars series, Andor (2022). Now, admittedly I haven’t watched all of Andor, as I couldn’t get past episode 2, though I am planning to go back and finish it one day because I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s very good. With that being said though, if “Chapter 19: The Convert” is anything at all like the rest of Andor, then I will keep that show buried deep in the darkest depths of my backlog, because I am not at all keen on the idea of spending another hour of my life watching something like that ever again.
“The Convert” feels like the kind of episode that I, as a critic, should be lavishing with praise. A lot of television shows do this nowadays, where they take one episode of their season and dedicate it to a completely separate storyline, pulling the attention away from the main characters and their stories so that they can spend some worldbuilding or taking some creative risks with the show’s format or structure.
The third season of Atalanta (2016-2022) does this a lot, The Last of Us (2023) just did it with their third episode, which I absolutely adored. Everytime we get an episode like this, it nearly always feels like bait, a way of suckering in critics to give it a five star rating simply because it’s the show doing something different and taking a bold risk. Most of the time, it does work. Here however, it just irritated and bored me.
We begin with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) on Mandalore, both having just bathed in the planet’s waters. For Djarin, this is his mission completed, having just restored his status as a Mandalorian. The end of the previous episode set up an encounter with a fabled Mythosaur, but I’m assuming that’ll be pushed towards the climax of the season, as the two simply just get up and leave the planet. As they leave, they’re caught in a battle against some TIE Interceptors, leading to a fun aerial combat scene that might just be my highlight of the episode.
Then, we’re taken to Coruscant, where we spend basically the rest of the episode. We’re introduced to this episode’s lead, Doctor Pershing (Omid Abtahi), a former scientist for a remnant of the Galactic Empire who was experimenting on Grogu. In a bid to be let free by the New Republic, he’s working in an office job for them, as part of their Amnesty program. There he meets Elia Kane (Katy O’Brian), another member of the program who used to work for antagonist Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who he eventually convinces to help him continue his research, leading to a risky break-in.
There’s definitely some interesting stuff here to do with the New Republic and their politics, not to mention the episode seems to have plenty of easter eggs for hard core Star Wars fans to spot and smile at. However, it unfortunately commits the ultimate entertainment sin. It’s just boring. I’m sure the idea of following a former Imperial scientist working for the New Republic whilst desperate to continue his former work is an interesting one on paper, but Pershing is just not an engaging enough character, nor is there anything to get emotionally invested in.
When The Last of Us did something similar, they presented us with a beautiful love story that we could get attached to, and actually feel things towards. The many times Atlanta did this, they told absurd yet powerful stories that you simply couldn’t turn away from. “The Convert” is so cold, both emotionally and visually, that there is nothing to get interested in.
Not to mention, it’s just so long. The episode clocks in at 59 minutes, and that’s an absolutely ridiculous runtime. The entire second half could get cut down massively, and that would maybe help the episode feel at all entertaining. I genuinely like the ending of the New Republic storyline, but the trip to get there just feels like a chore. When it finally cut back to Djarin and Kryze, arriving at a secret Mandalore hiding spot, a part of me let out a small cheer, only for the episode to basically immediately end.
This might be hyperbole, but I do think this is the worst episode of The Mandalorian so far. Hopefully it will prove to just be a small blip on another otherwise great season, because I’d hate for the show to lose focus on what makes it so good in the first place. I really like this show because of its central characters, so replacing them for an episode is definitely not the kind of thing I want the show to do. I mean, there was barely even any Grogu in this episode. What did I do to deserve that punishment?
The Mandalorian ‘s Season 3 Episode 3 is now streaming on Disney Plus.