Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Mandalorian S3 Chapter 23 Shows That Sometimes The Binge Model Is Better

Contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian" Season 3 Episode 7, "Chapter 23: The Spies"

There's always a lot going on in "The Mandalorian," but "Chapter 23: The Spies" just might take the cake. We finally witness the grand return of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who's revealed to be part of the Shadow Council that's plotting the Empire's return to power with Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) as their leader. We spot Armitage Hux's (Domhnall Gleeson) dad, Brendol (Brian Gleeson). Grogu pilots IG-12 (Taika Waititi) like a battle mech, and board game enthusiast Paz Viszla (Tait Fletcher) dies a heroic death at the hands of the Praetorian Guards. 

If you're reading beyond the spoiler warning, you've probably already seen the episode and know that "Chapter 23: The Spies" features a whole bunch of these big beats and revelatory stuff. This isn't exactly unique to this particular episode of "The Mandalorian" Season 3. However, what is pretty significant is that in this episode, none of it is random anymore. After six episodes of disjointed side quests, the show has grabbed a fistful of the loose strands of plot it has thrown in all directions for weeks and makes a spirited attempt to tie it all together for the big finale. 

It's nice to have payoffs to all these wildly different plots that have taken place across the season, sure. However, the very particular way "The Mandalorian" Season 3 is structured doesn't necessarily mesh with its weekly release model. Instead, it's best suited for binge-watching.

Keeping up with the Mandalorians can be hard with all those side quests

Though it always has an overarching larger story, "The Mandalorian" often enjoys a case-of-the-week approach. It's just that Season 3 has been getting a bit too disjointed for the weekly release schedule. Sure, the first two seasons are also fond of mixing things up from episode to episode, but they benefit from having a very clear, easy-to-follow throughline: "This is a Baby Yoda. Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) wants to protect the Baby Yoda from bad guys. Here's how this plays out."

Come Season 3, Grogu is safe, and narratively, things are ... a bit of a mess, really. Din Djarin has already hijacked a significant percentage of "The Book of Boba Fett" to take care of some life stuff, and now, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) pays it forward by hijacking Din's show to the point that it's debatable which Mandalorian "The Mandalorian" is about anymore. What's more, the story Season 3 is trying to tackle is far grander in scale than the relatively low-key space Western stuff of Seasons 1 and 2. Subsequently, its detour episodes aren't of the "this week, Mando has to help some locals kill a huge desert lizard" variety. Instead, the season spends nearly entire episodes following people like Dr. Pershing (Omid Abdahi) and is only beginning to explain why in the penultimate episode.

Binging The Mandalorian Season 3 would tie the plot together far more efficiently

An ambitious plot structure isn't a bad thing, per se. Give or take the occasional badly-planned Pterosaur rescue operation, the individual episodes of Season 3 have been guaranteed "Star Wars" fun. However, the whole thing would flow much better if you could watch more than one episode at a sitting, instead of trying to keep track of the seemingly unconnected plotlines every week. If "The Mandalorian" Season 3 followed the binge-watching release model, the time between the seemingly random side quests and their eventual, cohesive payoff would be much shorter from the viewer's standpoint, and it's easy to think that the viewing experience would be far smoother.

Of course, there's a fairly simple way to test if this is true. All you need to do is practice some restraint by waiting for every episode to drop on Disney+, and watching the show at your leisure at some point in the future ... ah, who are we kidding? It's "The Mandalorian," who's going to wait? It is what it is, watch away as you like. This is the Way.