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The Ending Of The Mandalorian Chapter 7 Explained

Contains spoilers for The Mandalorian chapter 7, "The Reckoning"

We knew Mando's scrappy little plan was going to go poorly, but we didn't expect it to be quite this much of a disaster. 

On chapter 7 of The Mandalorianreleased ahead of schedule on Wednesday, December 18 — Mando's (Pedro Pascal) troubles stack with all the pressure of compound interest. Illustratively titled "The Reckoning," the newest episode of the Disney+ series proves that reckoning is indeed here, and it's out to make a harvest of some of the show's beloved characters. (Yes, we are including Werner Herzog's character, despite him being evil.) Kuiil (Nick Nolte) has fallen in his last-ditch effort to secure the Child (otherwise known as Baby Yoda) back at the Mandalorian's ship, the Razor Crest. Meanwhile, Mando, Cara Dune (Gina Carano), and Greef Carga (Carl Weathers) are pinned down inside the trading hub of Navarro, confronting the major antagonist we've all been waiting for: Giancarlo Esposito's Moff Gideon, a former governor of the Empire.

The entirety of The Mandalorian chapter 7 stretches out and makes you wonder who will double or even triple-cross another character... then Moff Gideon arrives and shows us he's rigged the board from the beginning. He slaughters the Client (Herzog), reveals he's tapped Mando's comm and will cut any escape for Kuiil off at the pass, and shows he's brought a force to bear that Mando can't possibly outplay. There's no enclave of other Mandalorians around to help him get off Navarro this time. 

Already, we can tell Moff Gideon is a different kind of villain. The original, unnamed Client spoke of Baby Yoda transactionally and as a scientific specimen. Moff, on the other hand, describes him in almost loving terms: "It means more to me than you will ever know." 

The stakes have always been presented as high from the very first episode of The Mandalorian, but only now are they beginning to be explained.

What's the deal with the Child?

Chapter 7 of The Mandalorian puts the Child/Baby Yoda front and center in a brand-new way. We haven't gotten to see him perform many more Force stunts since the big reveal on chapter 2, but on this episode, he carries out verifiable miracles with the Force the likes of which we've never seen in the whole of the Star Wars canon thus far. We were given a hint of Baby Yoda's strength back on episode 2 of The Mandalorian: when Mando has that nasty gash in his arm, Baby Yoda clambers out of his floating pram and reaches desperately for the wound, only to be picked up and put back to bed. That stuck in our head, and now we know why: Baby Yoda can heal wounds — substantial wounds — with the Force. We can think of several instances across the Skywalker saga in which that little trick would have been extremely handy, and yet no one could perform it.

It's another game-changer of a twist, and once again only prompts more questions than answers. It is confirmed, however, that Mando has no idea what the Force is. Kuiil doesn't know it by name, but has heard legends and rumors — which would make sense, having been a former slave of the Empire and its ruler, Emperor Palpatine. Cara Dune, curiously, doesn't say what she knows either way — despite having been Force-choked seconds before and being a decorated, high-ranking veteran of the Rebellion. She told us when she was introduced that she was supposed to kill important targets and, later, escort VIPs. Does she know more about the Force than she wants to let on?

The Mandalorian chapter 7also takes a quick moment to shoot down a natural suspicion the audience may have when Kuiil expresses doubt that Baby Yoda is a clone, or somehow grown by synthetic means. If Baby Yoda is a genuine biological article, where in the great, wide galaxy did he come from?

It's a metaphor, guys — did you get it?

On chapter 7 of The Mandalorian, Kuiil reveals that he found and reconstructed the bounty-hunting droid IG-11 (Taika Waititi) after Mando ruthlessly shot him in the neural harness and left him to rust. In a pointed montage, Kuiil describes the process of rebuilding, reprogramming, and rehabilitating the IG unit — only to be interrupted by an extremely suspicious Mando. "Is it still a hunter?" he demands to know. Kujil responds, "No, but it will protect."

We're all on the same page here, right? We understand that the idea of IG-11 walking on shaky legs, gaining the empathy to not drop boxes on small reptilian wildlife, and learning how to gently hold fragile items is a metaphor about Mando's whole journey, yeah? Good, because it is. 

Mando was a hunter, and was so repressed that he might as well have been a bounty-seeking droid for hire like IG-11. He isn't this way anymore — he has friends and reciprocated affection from them, exactly in the way Kuiil says he gave the IG unit repetitive affirmations. A personality blossomed (or, more accurately, reemerged) from within Mando. It's a beautiful process, but the greatest trial lies ahead. His emotional wherewithal is tested now that Baby Yoda is on his way to being delivered to Moff Gideon.

Is a breakdown coming on The Mandalorian chapter 8?

Up until this last second of publicly-released Mandalorian footage, Mando has been very measured in doling out his wrath upon others. He often chooses not to kill, because he's doing his best to be honorable and not a soulless killer. He is, nonetheless, obviously angry and stressed out all the time and has learned how to contain it. But what happens when Mando cares too much? The new priority in his life is to protect, yes, but at some point he does need to break. Many people have died for him and his stumbling, abrupt impulse to be a dad, and the rising body count shows no signs of halting. We're sympathetic to his emotional journey and rooting for him, but we have to be honest and say that what he's been doing is reckless and clumsy — and he no doubt knows and feels that more than we do. Will that carefully constructed containment for his worst impulses come to the fore, crack him open like a stale nut, and make him desperate and stupid? 

There's a finale ahead for us with chapter 8 of The Mandalorian, but it feels like its interest will chiefly lie in bringing more suffering to Mando's feet rather than solving anything for the better.