The Mandalorian season 3 finale review: The Return

Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) holding the Darksaber in a scene from Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) holding the Darksaber in a scene from Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

“Mandalorians are stronger together.” Spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3, episode 8 follow.

After discovering that the Mandalorian homeworld has been overrun by Imperials, the fight to reclaim their planet begins. Meanwhile, Din makes his way to take out Moff Gideon once and for all.

The season 3 finale of The Mandalorian brings a fitting close to what’s been another amazing season while leading perfectly into season 4.

The Mandalorian season 3 finale recap: Taking back Mandalore

After being ambushed by the Imperials, Bo-Katan and her Mandalorians retreat in order to wait for reinforcements before attacking once again. Axe manages to make his way back to the capital ship, thus sending every Mandalorian down to the surface to help Bo-Katan, while he takes over the capital ship as a decoy. This is a fantastic, tension-riddled scene as we’re scared that he’s not going to make it, but then that tension switches to thinking that he’s a traitor. But when it’s clear that he’s not, that tension then switches back again to fearing that Axe will die. It’s such a great sequence that keeps you on your toes throughout the entirety of it.

But once the reinforcements that Axe sends down to the surface arrive, a fantastic battle scene between the Mandalorians and Imperials. It’s intense, well-paced, and well-choreographed in a way that is often difficult for battle scenes in a 360-degree space, unlike the 180-degree space where regular ground battles take place. Yet, Rick Famuyima does a great job of handling this scene, making it look chaotic, but comprehensible.

But the real joy of this scene comes from the full circle of Bo-Katan’s arc of being a villain in Death Watch during The Clone Wars to now taking back Mandalore, Darksaber in hand, which is incredible. This character has gone through such a great redemption and to finally see her at her absolute best after over a decade of watching this character on screen is wonderful.

The Mandalorian season 3 finale recap: Infiltration

As for our singular Mandalorian though, he manages to escape from the squad of Stormtroopers with the help of Grogu and immediately begins to make his way to Moff Gideon. This sequence feels like a video game level after video game level with increasing difficulties corresponding to each new scene, which is great.

Sequences like this are always, but sometimes, they simply don’t just come out well. However, that is very much not the case here. This is a tense, exciting sequence where it actually feels like Din is in danger, even if he definitely isn’t yet. You know the director, writers, and editors have succeeded when you feel that your main character is in danger, even if there is no way storywise that they will die at this point.

But finally, after Din destroys the Gideon clones that have been on the back-burner since the literal first episode of the series, Din and Gideon begin to fight for the last time. Yet again, it’s a great fight that goes through several phases. And, basically, everything that’s been said about the other fight scenes in this episode can once again be said about this too.

The Mandalorian season 3 finale recap: Queen vs. Dictator

As Din is losing to Gideon though, Bo-Katan saves Din so that he can help Grogu, who is also fighting for his life. And this is where we get to the culmination of Bo-Katan’s arc. As she then fights Gideon, he destroys the Darksaber thus, theoretically, taking everything away from her. But, after Axe crashes the destroyed Capital ship into the Imperial base, thus also killing Gideon, we also see that the Mandalorians have moved beyond their need for a trinket like the Darksaber to determine their leader.

As Bo-Katan reignites the Great Forge, it’s clear that the Mandalorians stand behind her as they continue to move forward into the rebuilding of Mandalore, bringing her arc full circle.

The Mandalorian’s season 3 finale, to put it bluntly, is a perfect ending to an overall fantastic season.

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