The Mandalorian Recap: S03E01, “Somehow, Grogu Returned”

Mando’s back, baby! And so is Baby Yoda. Yeah, the lil’ gremlin went off with Luke Skywalker at the end of The Mandalorian’s last season, but he came back in The Book of Boba Fett. It’s all very convoluted, but ultimately we’re just back to Mando tending his cutesy charge, so it’s fine. Don’t watch The Book of Boba Fett if you haven’t already, because it doesn’t matter. No one needed to write a book about Boba Fett. He needed, at best, a pamphlet.

Anyway, on to the episode!

As it opens, the Armorer is making a child-sized helmet. Is Baby Yoda going full Mandalorian? Nah, it’s for this other kid. And it seems like maybe he’s an OKC Thunder fan, because it’s blue and a fun, summery aqua.

This is the way—to the NBA finals!

This kid is getting his Mandalorian equivalent of his bar mitzvah, where he’ll put his helmet on and never again take it off in front of anyone. Remember how that’s a mechanic? They certainly won’t let us forget!

Actually, maybe it’s more of a Mandalorian baptism, because they do it in some water—and that ends up being a big mistake. Turns out, the body of water they chose is from MegaGator or some other straight-to-video Asylum production, as evidenced when a massive lizard erupts from the lake.

The surrounding Mandalorians try to take it out but—as usual—it takes Mando swooping in to finish it off. Because what’s a Mandalorian season without a big monster to kill every few episodes?

Mando then has a private convo with Armorer, where he’s like, “Hey, I just remembered this other mechanic where I could take a bath in the mines of Mandalore, then it would be fine how I took my helmet off in last season’s finale.”

She reminds Mando that the mines of Mandalore are now toxic, but he has evidence otherwise: this cool chunk of a Mandalorian Heinekin bottle he found! Perhaps he can redeem himself there…

So off he goes: to Mandalore!

Wait, never mind. He’s actually going to [planet] first.

He gets in his Naboo ship, kicks on the hyperdrive, and he’s off. He decides to take a nap during the flight, during which Baby Yoda discovers that hyperspace is full of flying wigs.

When the pair finally arrive, they find [planet] completely unfamiliar. It’s really been fixed up! Yet it’s also completely familiar, in that it’s populated with all your bog-standard Star Wars aliens and droids. After Andor gave us next to no freaks, this one just feeds us the same old dried-up plate of Mon Calamari leftovers.

Also new to the town square: a statue celebrating Taika WaiT1-T1. Detroit is over a decade deep in trying to get their RoboCop statue erected, but these people got this tribute to their sacrificial RoboKiwi up in no time at all. The secret? It’s mostly just the original droid; they just popped some bronze legs on it.

This is relevant, because as we soon learn, Mando is fixated on getting WaiT1-T1 running again.

Remember when this show was an episodic thing with a new guest star every week? Well, now Mando is expressly obsessed with his friends—and he wants his droid-bro back to help him with having his redemption bath, which is different from all the healing baths Boba Fett kept taking.

Carl Weathers is now mayor of [planet]. He is also now, like all of us, wondering why Mando is still tending this “little critter” and, likewise, does not care what its actual name is. We’re all adults here, and we’re not going to start saying “Grogu” any time soon.

Mando and Carl Weathers start to have a reunion, but it’s broken up when it’s revealed that pirates have arrived. And these pirates despise gentrification.

This pirate gang is banging at the door of what used to be their dive bar but is now a nice school. They want to get shitfaced in there; Carl doesn’t want them to; and after a couple shootouts, Weathers and Mando send the pirate leader packing—alone.

So, back to repairing WaiT1-T1.

Mando gets the metal fucker going, but it seems that his memory is damaged. He’s back to being an assassin desperate to get at Baby Yoda. (Remember? That’s how this all started three years ago.) The legless fool starts angrily crawling around on the ground (an Anakin callback?) before finally being crushed by a golden bust of Carl Weathers.

Is the bust section of a former statue being crushed by another statue bust irony? Look, I’m not your English teacher. And neither is writer Jon Favreau, because he just sort of blows that off, instead having Mando note, “Now that’s using your head.”

It’s such a bad one-liner that you figure Weathers will at least roll his eyes, but no, we’re again just moving on.

Continuing the endless convolution of familiar elements, Weathers instead notes how maybe Babu Frik from the otherwise insufferable Rise of Skywalker could help repair the droid. Or at least the Babu Frik race of Fraggle Rock doozers? Like the Jawas, they’re just these little indistinguishable freaks, but regardless, they apparently can help. If Mando completes his latest fetch quest of fetching a new memory unit.

Time for another sidetracking mission.

Mando and Baby Yoda take off, but they’re quickly intercepted by that pirate leader and some of his other cronies. Our titular hero is able to take out a couple of them, but he falls into a trap and ends up trapped against the pirates’ main fleet ship, a huge vessel pirated by the Pirate Captain—a real a-hole equal parts Swamp Thing and Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones.

Mando’s solution? Just GTFO. It works!

His destination ends up being a grey, rainy place that may be another callback to Rise of Skywalker? Who cares, though.

There, he heads to a “Mandalorian castle”—which is really being generous in the definition of castle. It’s a brutalist office building at best.

Mando enters, and he soon finds Katee Sackhoff. She’s lethargically lounging upon a throne like she’s in the post-credits Mandalorian bit that announced The Book of Boba Fett. Like any Mandalorian who lays upon a throne immediately just splays out and sits there with nothing to do. Read a book or something, Katee Sackhoff.

Well, she does not lazily read a book, but she does lazily read her lines, telling Mando how her followers left her because she didn’t have the DARKSABER. She also reminds him how they probably would follow him—before also cautioning him not to go to the Mandalorian mines.

Sounds like somebody has some side- and main-quest storylines set up!

Please help these sad nobodies and: