Coming off its game-changing second episode, The Mandalorian season 3 has returned this week with one of the Disney+ show’s strangest and most surprising installments to date. Picking up after the events of last week’s The Mines of Mandalore, episode 3 of The Mandalorian season 3 spends its runtime following not only Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), but also Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and Elia Kane (Katy M. O’Brian), two supporting figures from the show’s past seasons.
The episode, titled The Convert, splits its focus between those two storylines. As a result, The Mandalorian’s latest installment raises new questions about the future of Mandalore itself, as well as the fragile, quietly unnerving bureaucratic state of the galaxy’s New Republic.
Why didn’t Bo-Katan tell Din about the mythosaur?
Episode 3 of The Mandalorian season 3 picks up immediately where its predecessor left off. In the wake of her unexpected mythosaur sighting, Bo-Katan asks a groggy Din Djarin whether or not he saw something after he “fell” into the cavernous depths of Mandalore’s Living Waters. Din says that he didn’t and Bo-Katan doesn’t mention the mythosaur that she very clearly saw just moments earlier.
Why not? Is it because Bo-Katan is still struggling to come to terms with what she saw? Or is she trying to decide whether or not she wants to share her new secret with Din, her biggest competitor for the throne of Mandalore? So far, The Mandalorian season 3 has done an exceptional job of keeping Bo-Katan’s motivations unclear, and her decision to keep her mythosaur sighting to herself only continues that trend.
Why was Bo-Katan’s castle bombed?
On their return trip to her home planet, Kalevala, Bo-Katan, and Din find themselves on the receiving end of an ambush from a squadron of Imperial TIE Interceptors. After the duo manages to wipe out all of the enemy ships, they’re surprised again to discover an even larger group of Imperial fighters waiting for them on Kalevala. Several TIE bombers subsequently destroy Bo-Katan’s castle and, moments later, she and Din are forced to retreat.
The Convert, notably, doesn’t reveal the reason behind the Imperial Remnant’s attack on Bo-Katan. In fact, the only explanation that’s given in the episode comes when Katee Sackhoff’s Mandalorian warrior notes that she’s “scugged off a lot of Imperial warlords.” It’s fair to assume that there’s more to the sudden attack than Bo-Katan’s comment suggests. For now, though, fans will just have to wait to find out more about the ambush.
Why did Elia Kane betray Dr. Pershing?
For the bulk of its runtime, The Convert follows Dr. Pershing and Elia Kane, two former Imperials, as they attempt to reintegrate themselves into society as part of a New Republic-run rehabilitation program. The process doesn’t go particularly well for Pershing, who is pushed by Elia to continue pursuing the very cloning experiments that once made him so important to Giancarlo Esposito’s villainous Moff Gideon. Near the end of the episode, Pershing is shocked to discover that Elia was secretly manipulating him the whole time.
The scientist is captured by the New Republic and put through a painful mind-wiping process — one that is monitored and run by Elia herself. The episode ends minutes later without explaining why Elia chose to manipulate and betray Dr. Pershing in the first place. Is it because she bitterly detests the Empire and wants to punish anyone who participated in its crimes against the galaxy? Or is it because tricking her fellow Imperials into breaking the New Republic’s rules gives her a chance to continue exercising her own fascistic impulses?
Right now, the latter explanation seems more likely than anything else, but there’s also no telling where Pershing and Elia’s story will go from here.
Has Dr. Pershing’s mind truly been wiped?
When Dr. Pershing is hooked up to the New Republic’s torture device (known as a “Mind Flayer”) he exclaims in fear that his mind is going to be wiped by the machine. He is unconvincingly told that won’t actually happen by his New Republic captors, but Elia’s decision to turn the machine’s power all the way up certainly suggests that Pershing’s experience with the Mind Flayer is going to have lasting consequences. Will his mind truly be wiped by the machine, though?
There is, unfortunately, no way of knowing either way right now. On the one hand, it’d make a lot of sense for the New Republic (and, to an extent, Elia) to be interested in robbing someone like Dr. Pershing of his intelligence. On the other hand, it also seems unlikely that The Mandalorian would want to render one of its most potentially dangerous characters totally harmless.
Will Bo-Katan become a permanent member of the Tribe?
At the end of The Mandalorian season 3 episode 3, The Armorer (Emily Swallow) tells Bo-Katan that her recent experience bathing in the Living Waters of Mandalore has made it possible for her to become a member of the Tribe for as long as she chooses to keep her helmet on. In the moments that follow, Bo-Katan is warmly welcomed into the Tribe by its present members, even as she struggles internally with her decision to keep her recent mythosaur sighting a secret.
Based on where the episode ends, it’s worth asking: Will Bo-Katan end up choosing to remain in the Tribe? As much as she seems to look down on the sect and its ways, The Mandalorian season 3 has also made it clear that Bo-Katan needs to find some way to reconnect with her fellow Mandalorians. Her induction into the Tribe may very well give her the opportunity to do just that.
Like most of the questions currently surrounding The Mandalorian, though, Bo-Katan’s future in the Tribe will depend entirely on the path she chooses to take moving forward, which remains compellingly unclear right now.
New episodes of The Mandalorian premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.