Strap on your jetpacks! The Phoenix rises! The Mandalorian concludes its banner first season with incredible action scenes and jaw-dropping reveals. Chapter eight, "Redemption" has our heroes surrounded by Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) stormtroopers in the bar. But have no fear, IG-11 (Taika Waititi), the former bounty droid reprogrammed by Kuiil, comes to the rescue. I daresay we have never seen a droid kick this much ass. We see Mando's face, learn his true name, and watch as he earns his signet. Baby Yoda takes a few lumps, thwarts a flamethrower, and officially gets a guardian. Not to be outdone, Moff Gideon drops a bombshell surprise in the final scene.

"Redemption" opens with the bike troopers racing back to town. They halt on the outskirts and radio for instructions. The troopers (Adam Pally, Jason Sudeikis) learn that Moff Gideon has killed many of his men. As Baby Yoda stirs, the first trooper hits his satchel. The second trooper wants to see the creature. The first one cruelly thumps the bag again. Cut to a metal foot on the lava field. IG-11 demands the child be returned. He beats the troopers to a pulp, grabs the baby, and hops on the speeder.

At the bar, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), and Mando (Pedro Pascal) try to figure a way out. Mando tells them the Covert hid in the sewers below. They find an entrance behind a bar chair, but the grill is solid and doesn't give way to blaster fire. Moff Gideon's men start setting up an EWEB, heavy repeating blaster. He shockingly calls out their names, Cara Cynthia Dune, Republican Shocktrooper from Alderaan, drumroll please, the decommissioned Mandalorian hunter, Dinn Jarron, and disgraced former magistrate, Greef Karga. They have until nightfall to surrender.

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Mando realizes Gideon doesn't have the child. He radios again for Kuiil. IG-11 responds, Kuiil is dead, but he has the baby, and is coming. IG-11 shoots the guards at the town's entrance, then zips through with blasters blazing. Baby Yoda gurgles with glee as IG-11 cuts down every stormtrooper in their way. The troopers at the bar turn to face the oncoming speeder. IG-11 puts the baby behind his back, then continues the onslaught.

Mando comes out the bar's back door firing. Cara Dune shoots through the bar entrance. Mando has a short scuffle with a black shadowtrooper before grabbing the EWEB cannon. He rains fire unto Imperials, but is badly hurt when Moff Gideon shoots the EWEBs battery pack. IG-11 drags Mando back into the bar. He makes Cara Dune swear to protect the child. IG-11 starts cutting through the grill.

A stormtrooper with a flamethrower tries to burn them out. He enters the bar, but Baby Yoda uses the force to repel the flames and set the trooper on fire. Cara Dune grabs the child. She and Greef Karga drop into the sewer, but Mando remains. He'll fight to the death to hold the Imperials off. IG-11 stays as well, his sole purpose is to protect the child.

IG-11 removes Mando's helmet. At first Mando refuses, but IG-11 reminds him that a droid is not alive, or a person. IG-11 sprays a healing chemical on Mando's head. He takes him into the sewer where they meet up with the others. They are lost in the maze below, but are rescued by the Armorer (Emily Swallow).

She leads them to the Covert foundry. Mando rages when he sees a pile of armor on the ground. The others revealed themselves to escape. We learn in a flashback that the Mandalorians rescued him as a child. He's picked up and flown to safety after his parents were killed. Moff Gideon ordered the attack on his world. That's how he knew Mando's birth name.

The Armorer melts a piece of breastplate and fashions a new signet for Mando. She doesn't know the child's race, but remembers stories of the Jedi. She fixes the signet on Mando's shoulder. It is the "Clan of Two". He will be the baby's guardian. His mission, return the child to its people. The Armorer gives Mando another gift. The Phoenix Rises, he has earned the jetpack.

The Armorer stays as the others escape. They find a boat on the lava field and take it out of the sewers. Mando's helmet alerts them to the trap. Stormtroopers await at the end of the tunnel. IG-11 fulfills his purpose. He cannot be taken alive. Back at the foundry, the Armorer survives by thrashing a group of stormtroopers with her tools. IG-11 wades into the lava and walks to the stormtroopers at the exit. His security protocols activate. IG-11 explodes and clears the way.

The gang isn't safe yet. Moff Gideon swoops down in his TIE fighter. Mando activates his jetpack. He soars upwards, then shoots his grapple line unto the wing. He struggles, but is able to affix a charge on the cockpit. He flies off as the TIE wing is destroyed. Mando lands safely, but the fighter crashes in the distance.

Cara Dune decides to stay with Greef Karga on Navarro. The Imperials have been wiped out. Karga offers Mando a chance to return to the guild. He refuses, he has a mission to carry out. The Razor Crest lifts off into the sky. Baby Yoda plays with Mando's old signet, which had been fashioned into a necklace by the Armorer. But in the lava fields, Jawas scurry away from the wreckage of the TIE. The Darksaber cuts through the cockpit. Moff Gideon emerges, holding the legendary weapon of Tarre Vizsla. The Mandalorian will return for season two on Disney+ apps and DisneyPlus.com.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman