The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 4 Review
Season 3 episode 4 of The Mandalorian thankfully gets the show back on track, with the shortest and most fun episode of the season yet.
In a lot of ways, episode 4 of The Mandalorian’s season 3 felt like an apology. After the previous episode turned out to be a bloated, disappointing sidestep, “Chapter 20: The Foundling” gets us back on track. The episode’s a tight 30 minutes long, it places Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu at the forefront and it actually feels like The Mandalorian of old. This isn’t the show trying to do something radically new and falling on its face, this is the show using what already works so well about it and simply trying to add to that formula, resulting in my favourite episode of the season so far.
“The Foundling” sees us return to the show’s central storyline, with Djarin, Grogu and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) having been accepted into a Mandalorian enclave. The three spend the episode acclimatising to their new surroundings, with Kryze and Grogu getting the majority of the focus as the two have to learn to adjust to this hardcore Mandalorian culture. It’s a nice showcase of Kryze, who I admittedly haven’t been fully convinced about yet. It was always a risky move to add a third main cast member to a show that has worked so well with a duo as its focus, but this was the episode that convinced me that Kryze may prove to be a worthwhile addition. Everything she does here feels so calculated and suspicious, and whilst my suspicions may turn out to be completely unfounded, I definitely see the potential for an incredibly interesting story regarding her relationship with this culture.
Grogu is definitely the star of the episode, and as a hardcore Grogu fanboy, I can’t begin to explain how much joy this fills me with. I was cheering from the very first scene of him playing with rocks, so you can only imagine the excitement I felt watching him fight in his very first Mandalorian training match. We get treated to a lengthy flashback of how he escaped Order 66, which feels like this episode’s way of pleasing the most hardcore Star Wars fans amongst its viewers. There are Stormtroopers, Jedi, lightsabers, everything you’d associate with Star Wars that doesn’t normally appear in the more western-themed world of The Mandalorian, but it’s always nice to see some expansion on Grogu’s backstory and, I mean, who doesn’t like a lightsaber?
Djarin and Kryze’s main quest of the episode is to rescue a young Mandalorian child from a wild pterosaur. Given the length of the episode, there’s not a whole lot of time dedicated to it, but the battle that ensues is a fun one. I mainly liked it because it felt like what this season has mostly missed so far that the show has always done so well, those one-off missions. Whilst this one definitely felt a lot more important than some of the sidequests Djarin completed in season 1, and the ending of the episode seems to suggest it could have serious ramifications on the rest of the season, I was a big fan of how much it felt an old comic book, with a small group being assembled to go on a quick quest to save a random character.
As The Mandalorian goes on and gradually becomes a more complex show, it constantly risks losing what made it so special at the beginning of its run. The fact that every episode felt unique and that our main characters actually felt like bounty hunters travelling from planet to planet, helping out with whatever problem was going on at the time; it was these elements that drew me to the show. As more recurring cast members are introduced and especially as it becomes more intertwined with the lore of the Star Wars universe, I’m worried these aspects that I adore are going to fade out of the show, and they’ll slowly be replaced with the kind of structure we see in a Marvel show, where seasons are essentially just six-hour movies.
With that being said though, as long as we keep getting episodes like this one, I will keep loving this show. The serialised aspects are great, but what I love the most is the sense of adventure that the show manages to capture so well. “The Foundling” nails that, and here’s to hoping the rest of season 3 sees Djarin go on even more random quests, no matter how pointless they may seem.
The Mandalorian ‘s Season 3 Episode 4 is now streaming on Disney Plus.