We’re already three episodes into The Mandalorian Season 3, but not too much has happened yet. In ‘Amnesty,’ we learn more about what the New Republic is doing about the remaining Imperial loyalists.
This week’s episode starts right where the last one left off–the moment after Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) have emerged from the Living Waters on Mandalore. Din gathers some of the water in a vial to take as proof to the Armorer (Emily Swallow), and Bo-Katan asks if he saw anything alive in the water. No, he says, meaning he missed the Mythosaur. She doesn’t give him any more details.
She takes him on her ship back to her own planet so he can retrieve his Starfighter. Grogu tries once again to get out his first words, but he still needs to grow a little more. Suddenly, enemies attack the three of them. It’s TIE Interceptors sent off from an unknown source. Din jumps from Bo-Katan’s ship and into his own N-1, coming to aid her in the firefight. There’s plenty of ship-twisting and cliff-navigating to be had here. Din and Bo manage to blast all the pursuing interceptors out of the sky. Unfortunately, more interceptors arrive and bomb Bo’s castle into smoldering ruins. She goes to storm the incoming ships, but TIEs flood the horizon. Din sends Bo jump coordinates, and they both hop to hyperspace.
Considering how odd and sudden last week’s ending was, it’s strange that this was not the climax, though perhaps they wanted the startling final image of the Mythosaur to simmer in our minds. After this opening chase, however, the episode shifts entirely. Suddenly the story moves to Coruscant, the “center of the galaxy.” There, Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) gives a speech expressing remorse over his work for the Empire. Previously, he had worked on cloning technology for Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), but we learn the New Republic chose Pershing for a rehabilitation program to reintegrate him into society. In his speech, we learn that cloning technology could have saved Pershing’s mother from organ failure, and thus it’s clear his research has very personal resonance for him.
At “Amnesty Housing,” Pershing meets fellow former Imperials, including an officer named Elia Kane (Katy O’Brian), who also worked under Moff Gideon. She takes him to sight-see in Coruscant, and they eat glowing popsicles. Pershing even tries to touch the only part of the rocky planet’s surface visible before a guard droid shoos him away. Pershing voices a desire to continue on with his work, but he thinks the New Republic won’t allow it. Kane, however, encourages him to give it a shot anyway.
Pershing meets with a droid who appears to be a kind of case worker. She goes through a list of concerning thoughts and behaviors Pershing may be experiencing, but he says no to them all. He decides to ask the droid if he would be allowed to continue his research but learns that any cloning research is forbidden under New Republic law. He’ll have to break it if he wants to continue the work. Later, if he’s willing, Kane offers to help him get a mobile lab station. They’ll have to leave their designated perimeter, and if caught, they’d be sent back to the reintegration institute, but even so, she convinces him to go.
At work, Pershing asks his manager why they’ve tasked him with destroying archival materials on Imperial scientific research that he believes the New Republic could use for good. His boss tells him putting in a request would be too difficult and that he must return to work. He does.
The next night, Pershing and Kane sneak out of the housing to go find a mobile lab station for him. They must hop a train with no ticket and jump off at a disposal yard to find Imperial ship ruins. They break onto a ship, sneak around, and find a lab for Pershing.
They hear others coming, so they make a run for it, but once they’re outside, they’re surrounded. I hate to do this to you, but: it’s a trap! Kane sets up Pershing, and Republic guards arrest him. Later, Pershing finds himself lying down and strapped into what he calls a “mind-flayer,” but a scientist reassures him that it’s something gentler and supposed to help with traumatic memories rather than wipe the mind. Kane looks on, and when she’s left alone with him, she turns up the controls on the machine far too high. Her exact motives are unclear, but one can assume she’s still in contact with Moff Gideon or others like him.
Back to Mando, finally. He takes Bo-Katan to meet the other clan of Mandalorians. They meet with Paz Viszla (voiced by Jon Favreau, the showrunner himself), who shows hostility, but they convince him to let them talk with the Armorer. She pours the vial of water into a basin, and the water glows, proving (somehow) that it’s from Mandalore. She declares him no longer an apostate, and since Bo-Katan also bathed and hasn’t since taken off her helmet, she is also free to join the group.
It’s another oddly-paced episode, but the framing pieces of Din and Bo-Katan make sense, with the amnesty narrative taking place in the middle. Although the idea of giving us insight into what an amnesty program might look like is compelling, the execution here just feels a little drawn out. I’m weary of the term “filler” and don’t think that’s what this episode is doing, but I wish the detour felt more impactful. I wonder if this is the last we’ll see of Kane or if she’ll be woven into a narrative of the Empire remnants.