The Book of Boba Fett has reached its fifth and penultimate episode! But wait a minute, was this episode really part of the show, or the pilot for something else? We think you know what we're talking about - otherwise you probably wouldn't be here! Now, let's talk about the longest Star Wars cameo ever, as well as that ending. This is the way...
In "Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian", not seconds after being introduced to a meat factory, we're introduced to the familiar shine of Din Djarin's beautiful beskar armor, as he arrives looking for a butcher who owes a debt. Naturally, a fight breaks out, and we see Mando brandish the Darksaber, with which he slices and dices his enemies.
After sustaining a minor injury, Mando leaves and we see that he's on an enormous space city, which is shaped like a ring. He meets the Armorer at a Mandalorian hideout beneath the city, who, upon inspecting the Darksaber, offers up a great deal of information about it, as well as the history of their homeworld, Mandalore.
When discussing the Darksaber, Mando says "Whoever wields it can lead all of Mandalore", to which the Armorer replies, "If it is won by creed in battle. It is said one warrior will defeat twenty and the multitudes will fold before it. If, however, it is not won in combat and falls into the hands of the undeserving, it will be a curse unto the nation".
A fellow Mandalorian tends to Mando's wounds, and we learn that he's a member of House Viszla. But we learn from the Armorer that the Darksaber was forged by a member of that very house over one thousand years ago. Having returned Grogu to Luke Skywalker, Mando agrees to return to work for his sect.
The Armorer takes his beskar spear and tells him that beskar should be used for armor only, so Mando asks her to fashion a weapon for Grogu, who he hopes to see again soon. We learn that Moff Gideon has been taken to the New Republic for interrogation, and possibly execution. Mando then asks the Armorer about Bo-Katan Kryze.
The Armorer describes Bo-Katan as a "cautionary tale", that she once laid claim to rule Mandalore based purely on blood, but the sword was gifted to her and not won by creed. She adds that Bo-Katan was "born of a mighty house who lost sight of 'the way'", that her rule ended in tragedy, and her family lose their way, and as a result, they lost their world.
We see a flashback of the Galactic Empire destroying Mandalore during the Great Purge. The Armorer explains that, had their sect not gone to the moon of Concordia, they wouldn't have survived. This attack is called "The Night of a Thousand Tears". The Armorer then proceeds to forge a weapon for Grogu using the beskar spear.
Recognizing his bond to Grogu, the Armorer tells Mando that the Jedi forbid attachment, but Mando argues that those values are the opposite to theirs. Later, Mando and the Armorer engage in a practise duel, during which Mando finds the Darksaber becoming increasingly heavy. She tells him that he's "fighting the Darksaber and not his opponent".
Then, the Mandalorian Viszla appears, demanding to fight Mando so that he can win the Darksaber. During the fight, the Armorer tells Mando that he is no longer a Mandalorian, as he previously removed his helmet. Mando begs for her forgiveness, and she tells him that "one can only be redeemed in the living mines beneath Mandalore".
Mando board a commercial flight and leaves the space city. During his journey, he looks at the mysterious gift for Grogu, which is wrapped in cloth. Mando later arrives at the spaceport Mos Eisley on Tatooine, where he revisits Peli Motto, who has half-built for him an N-1 starfighter, to replace his Razor Crest which was previously destroyed.
When Jawas bring them the finishing parts, Mando and Peli set to work on completing the starfighter. Mando later takes it for a spin, but is pulled over by two New Republic rangers. However, not wanting to answer questions relating to his recent involvement with the Empire, he soon speeds off, leaving the rangers dumbstruck by the speed of his new ship.
Back at Peli Motto's workshop, Mando is visited by Fennec Shand, who asks him to help Boba Fett. He agrees to help, but refuses payment, saying, "It's on the house", due to Boba helping him on two occasions in The Mandalorian Season 2. However, before joining Fennec in seeing Boba, Mando tells her, "First I have to pay a visit to an old friend".
We all know who Mando is talking about - he's going to revisit Grogu, but whether or not this will happen in The Book of Boba Fett finale, or in The Mandalorian Season 3, remains to be seen. But many fans will be on tender hooks until next week's episode, that's for sure!
As for the storyline involving Mando and Bo-Katan, this will likely play a huge role in the third season, which would explain why this episode included lots of exposition about Bo-Katan, the Darksaber, its history, and the rules of acquisition.
"Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian" is a great episode, but it isn't really part of The Book of Boba Fett, and instead feels like a pilot for The Mandalorian Season 3. Was this a mistake? Well, as thrilling as it was to see Mando back in action, it was also a little odd to see Fennec Shand make a cameo in her own TV show...