Din Djarin and Grogu are back in their own series at last, after we last saw them parting ways in The Mandalorian at the end of 2020.

Yet they hijacked a few episodes of the more recent show, The Book of Boba Fett, entirely – removing the titular character from that series from the equation in order to get them back together once more. Weirdly, this actually gave us the best few episodes of The Book of Boba Fett; it says something when the finest few hours of a series don’t even feature the main character or the show’s actual plotline at all.

The opening recap to The Mandalorian’s third season doesn’t even bother to cover this diversion, so if you’re a more casual fan who didn’t take the time to watch the mostly terrible Boba Fett show – and who can blame you, given how it went – then you may well be confused as to why and how Djarin and the galaxy’s cutest little merchandising machine are still travelling through the intergalactic highways, as if nothing happened.

In this episode, Djarin continues a way to seek redemption for removing his helmet, which has caused him to be cast out of his extreme Mandalorian sect. The only avenue he was given – by the Armorer – was to redeem himself in the Living Waters in the mines of Mandalore; however, with their home planet having been decimated and supposedly poisoned by the Empire during the Great Purge of Mandalore, the mines were thought to no longer be accessible. Yet the determined Djarin has found evidence that the mines – and therefore the Living Waters – can be found and accessed, so he begins a new quest to rejoin The Tribe.

This is an exposition-heavy episode, with Djarin catching up with familiar faces in order to get an update on where certain characters have ended up. It’s a neat, if slightly obvious, way of tying up a few loose ends (with one in particular left by the firing of Gina Carano, who played Rebel mercenary Cara Dune) and allowing our protagonist to inform his friends (and the audience) of his current status quo.

Beyond that, there’s a few excellent action sequences; the episode opens with an assumed flashback that cleverly turns out to be anything but – and closes with an important encounter that sets up the next step on The Mandalorian’s current quest.

There’s also a potential recurring threat, set in motion by a pivotal encounter, too.

There’s no big surprises or world-shattering revelations here. After the astonishingly mature, much more political and deliberately paced drama of Andor, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to settle for the more action-oriented, almost video game-style structure of The Mandalorian and his main quest/side quest antics, but there’s a certain familiarity to these adventures that’s gently satisfying – it hits all of the action and special effects beats that will be expected by Star Wars fans (some of whom were definitely turned off by the approach favoured by Andor), without just being utterly pointless, character-destroying Bantha fodder, which The Book of Boba Fett turned out to be.

So this episode is another welcome return for The Mandalorian, as long as you’re aware that this is, essentially, more of the same. In my opinion, that’s not necessarily a bad thing – especially when Grogu remains such an adorable and amusing sidekick to our gruff anti-hero. It would be good to see expectations subverted at some point and stakes raised even higher – but this is undoubtedly televisual comfort food after the emotional wringer we were put through in Andor.

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