The Mandalorian: Chapter 23 (The Spies) – TV Review

TL;DR – Everything comes to a crescendo as the big players make their mark.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this show.

The Mandalorian fleet over Mandalore.

The Mandalorian Review

To say that this season of The Mandalorian has felt a bit disjointed is a bit of an understatement. While clearly entertaining, it has felt like we had forgotten all these side quests we needed to do, and this season, we caught up on all those. But at some point, that all needed to come together, and this was the week for it.    

So to set the scene, on Coruscant, the spy Elia Kane (Elia Kane) has let slip to Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) that his failures with the pirates at Navarro came from a team-up of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff). Two figureheads of the opposing divisions of Mandalorians coming together for a common goal. Moff sees this as the apparent threat that it is because the combined Mandalorians are a genuine threat to the purposes of the resurgent empire. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

The cabal of evil meets up.
there be evil working in the shadows. Image Credit: Disney+.

To say there is a lot to unpack this week is a bit of an understatement, given that Din officially handing the title of the lead character to Bo is not even at the top of what we need to discuss. Because this episode has codified what they have been hinting about all season that we are now officially transitioning into this being a set-up for The Force Awakens. We are getting the cabal of Imperials putting The First Order into motion. We are getting references to Project Necromancer, which will be explained in The Rise of Skywalker. Also, a name drop to Thrawn, which I am unsure if that hits harder or softer now, given we got that reveal in the Ahsoka trailer earlier this week.

The many disparate parts of this season also fall into place: the drive to unite The Mandalorians, the pirate raiders and instability in the outer rim, what happened to Moff Gideon, and of course, whatever is happening on Coruscant. Am I happy these are finally tying the season into a united whole? Yes! Did I wish it had happened before now? Absolutely? Ever since The Book of Boba Fett, there has been this feeling of disjointedness, like the show has to do something, but it is not sure what it wants to do. Today’s episode went a long way to fixing some of those issues, but I hope it is more than just a Band-Aid on the problem. Also, now that I am thinking about Boba Fett, it feels odd that he is absent this season.

Coruscant in all its glory. Image Credit: Disney+.

This is all before we get into the meat of the story this week, which comes as the two sides of Mandalore come together for the first time since the Night of a Thousand during the Great Purge of Mandalore. We get both sides confronting that animosity first-hand, and you can cut the tension with a knife. But there is no better way to unite a people than to focus them on an external threat, in this case taking back the planet. However, while this is happening, the audience knows something sinister is waiting to stop this united front from proceeding further. Every communication glitch, whenever someone emerges from the storm, there is a sense of dread wondering if this is when the trap will drop.

Before we dive into that final confrontation, I want to take a moment to explore the beautiful parts of this episode. Every time a ship would go out of the storm clouds and into space, it would take my breath away. I loved the design of the sailing vessel that skirts across the glass surface of Mandalore and who would not be charmed by every moment of Grougu piloting the body of IG-11 (Taika Waititi). I mean, as long as you don’t think that hard about what it means to walk around in the skin of a dead droid after everything we learned in last week’s Guns For Hire. Also, I am grateful that we got our jaunt in Navarro to break up the dark, dingy Coruscant and the dark, dingy Mandalore.

Grogu and the little driod dudes.
Am here for this team up film. Image Credit: Disney+.

The highlight of the episode, and probably the one that people will point to when discussing this episode, has to be the final confrontation between the Mandalorians and the Imperial Forces under the command of Moff Gideon. From a production perspective, I think they did a good job with the fight for something working on a TV budget. The editing is generally good enough to follow, with only a few overly cut moments. I also liked that they broke the conflict into separate sections so the audience didn’t have action fatigue. There was the ambush, the flight through the tunnels, the second ambush, and then the last stand of Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher). Tait Fletcher might be one of the most recognisable stuntmen working today, but I like he at least got his moment, even if it was under armour. Also, with the reintroduction of the Praetorian guards, we get our link to The Last Jedi and, as such, references to all three of the sequel Star Wars films.  

In the end, do we recommend The Spies? Yes, yes, we do. In fact, that might be to most resounding yes the show has gotten so far this season. It felt like this week was standing on solid ground and not slipping around on the sand and I hope the season finale can stick the landing.        

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen The Mandalorian yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us
Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    

Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Mandalorian
Directed by
– Rick Famuyiwa
Written by – Jon Favreau & Dave Filoni
Created by – Jon Favreau
Based OnStar Wars by George Lucas
Production/Distribution Companies – Lucasfilm, Golem Creations & Disney+
Starring – Pedro Pascal & Katee Sackhoff with Katy M. O’Brian, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Tait Fletcher, Simon Kassianides, Mercedes Varnado, Brendan Wayne & Lateef Crowder and Xander Berkeley, Brian Gleeson, Jonny Coyne, Jodi Long, Hemky Madera, Ron Bottitta, Marco Khan, Imelda Corcoran, Taika Waititi, Charles Baker & Charles Parnell


1 thought on “The Mandalorian: Chapter 23 (The Spies) – TV Review

  1. Pingback: The Mandalorian: Chapter 24 (The Return) & Season 3 – TV Review | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

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