“Guns for Hire” spends most of its runtime on a fun procedural mystery plot, but it ties back into the overarching story eventually with a big step for Bo-Katan and the Mandalorians.
This recap of The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 6, “Chapter 22: Guns For Hire”, contains spoilers.
In my recap of The Mandalorian Season 3, Episode 5, I made a point about how this season seems to have solved the show’s longstanding case-of-the-week problem by tying its diversionary episodes into the overarching plot more.
Naturally, then, “Chapter 22: Guns for Hire”, is almost entirely an isolated procedural mystery that has little to do with anything.
But no worry! By the end, it manages to include perhaps the most significant moment yet in both Bo-Katan’s personal arc and the overall efforts of the Mandalorians to regain their former glory and reclaim their homeworld. So, my point still stands. For now.
The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 6 Recap
Who are The Dutchess and Captain Bombardier?
Of particular importance this week is the remnants of Bo-Katan’s fleet, now led by Axe Woves and still including Koska Reeves, played by professional wrestler Mercedes Varnado, aka Sasha Banks. In the cold open we see how they’re functioning as well-spoken mercenaries, but their base of operations is on Plazir-15, where they’ve been hired as protection by The Dutchess (Lizzo) and Captain Bombardier (Jack Black).
Bombardier is a former Imperial who has helped to reinvent Plazir-15 as both a flourishing independent democracy and a colorful monarchy. Given his past service to the Empire forbids the planet from having a military, the planet has hired the Mandalorian privateers as a security force, and the day-to-day operations of the planet have been automated by battle droids that have been reprogrammed for civic duty.
But that’s the problem. The droids are malfunctioning in what seems like a coordinated way. Some are flipping out and destroying things. Others are assaulting people. Since Plazir-15 is a pluralistic society, and weaponry is intrinsic to Mandalorian culture, Mando and Bo-Katan roaming around armed is basically a social equality matter, so Bombardier and the Dutchess hire them to investigate the matter. In exchange, they’ll petition the New Republic for Mandalore to also be recognized as an independent system.
Why can’t the droids on Plazir-15 be shut down?
So, as we know, the droids on Plazir-15 were initially reprogrammed for civic duty, which seemed to be going well until it wasn’t. Now they’re harassing people and breaking stuff, but despite the fact there’s a failsafe cutoff switch, nobody can push it since the citizens voted against any interruption in droid services. Automation means they don’t have to work. If the droids are gone, they won’t know how to survive.
Mando and Bo-Katan, then, need to track down and decommission the problematic droids until the issue is fixed. This takes the form of, essentially, an episode of a procedural mystery show with all the usual hallmarks — a chase scene, interrogating witnesses, a trip to the morgue, and so on, and so forth.
The Ugnaughts who maintain the droids are adamant there has been no malfunction, but since Mando knows how to communicate with them thanks to his experiences with Kuiil, they hand over a list of droids that might be prone to kick off. One is at the loading docks, where Mando starts kicking the battle droids over until one flips out. He and Bo-Katan chase it and ultimately shut it down, and on its person, they find a spark pad leading them to a droid bar.
How were the droids reprogrammed? And by who?
The proprietor of the bar explains that the droids are worried about being replaced by humans. If you were wondering, droids drink nepenthe, a lubricant that also patches their programming. All the deviant droids happened to drink from the same batch.
After having some fluid pulled from the droid they caught, Mando and Bo-Katan learn that it still contains active nano-droids imbibed through the nepenthe. The nano-droids have a chain code that reveals they were originally manufactured by the Techno Union and were illegally requisitioned directly by the Security Office, in particular Head of Security Commissioner Helgait, played by Back to the Future‘s Christopher Lloyd.
When confronted, Helgait threatens to press the failsafe button and turn all the droids back into their hostile battle variants, unleashing them on the unsuspecting public. He’s a Separatist and launches into a big spiel about Count Dooku before Bo-Katan is able to stun him unconscious.
Helgait is sentenced to exile by the Dutchess. Mando and Bo-Katan receive the key to Plazir and are granted an audience with the Mandalorian privateers. Even Grogu is made a knight of the Ancient Order of Independent Regencies despite doing nothing other than helping The Dutchess cheat at space croquet.
The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 6 Ending Explained
When Bo-Katan finally gets face to face with Axe Woves, she challenges him to single combat. This is the Way.
While Bo-Katan wins the fight, it doesn’t do much for her public standing. Mandalorians believe in the outcome of duels, sure, but they believe more in the Darksaber, and their leader should ideally wield it. At present, Bo-Katan doesn’t.
However, Mando does. And since he never wanted it in the first place, he offers to give it to Bo-Katan. It doesn’t work like that, though. Bo-Katan has to earn it. However, since she saved Mando from his captor back on Mandalore, she technically did. Mando explains this to the group, who all agree. If Bo-Katan defeated the opponent who defeated Mando, then she technically defeated him. The Darksaber is rightfully hers.
So Mando gives it to her. The episode ends with her proudly igniting it, leader of the Mandalorians once more.
You can stream The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 6, “Chapter 22: Guns For Hire” exclusively on Disney+.
2 thoughts on “The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 6 Recap – Who are The Dutchess and Captain Bombardier?”
Nepenthe. The subtitles have it starting with an N