WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the third episode of The Mandalorian, "The Sin," streaming now on Disney+.
All of those comparisons to the samurai epic Lone Wolf and Cub appeared to be crushed early in the third episode of The Mandalorian where, instead of heading into the Star Wars galaxy's Unknown Regions, the bounty hunter dutifully returned the adorable Asset (better known as "Baby Yoda") to the Client. Oh, sure, he asked Werner Herzog's character what he planned to do with his prize -- "How uncharacteristic" -- but he nevertheless accepted his handsome payment in coveted Beskar, and even had most of it cast into shiny new armor.
But viewers just knew, deep down, that Pedro Pascal's Mandalorian couldn't simply turn his back on "the Kid," as he's come to refer to the infant of Yoda's mysterious species; that's a leap of affection from calling the baby "it." Now envied not only by the other Mandalorians in the covert, but also the other members of the Bounty Hunters' Guild, all of whom possessed tracking fobs for the Asset. "You're a legend," Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), head of the guild, gleefully tells him.
With his new status, and a choice of bounties, the Mandalorian is ready to move on to his next job -- the son of a Mon Calamari nobleman who skipped bail -- which would take him far away, to the ocean dunes of Karnac. Except, that he can't get the Kid out of his mind. Rebuffed by the Client, the Mandalorian asks Greef if he knows what will happen to Baby Yoda, only to be reminded that such questions are a violation of Guild Code. Greef encourages him to forget all about the Asset, and enjoy his reward. But, luckily for viewers, he can't.
Instead of flying the Razor Crest to Karnac, the Mandalorian, he returns to the Client's location, where he uses his Amban sniper rifle -- surely, the Swiss Army knife of Star Wars -- to eavesdrop, and learn some tantalizing clues: that Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) is supposed to extract something from the Kid, and that the Client is little more than a middle man. It's all the Mandalorian needs to know to spur him to conduct a daring raid in which he takes out a bevy of the Client's mercenary Stormtroopers, terrifies Pershing and, most importantly, extracts the Kid.
However, if you thought the Mandalorian would simply waltz down the street with the Kid to his ship and fly off, then you haven't been paying attention, either to the episode's run time or its equivalent of Chekhov's gun: the tracking fobs in the hands of every member of the Bounty Hunters' Guild. With the Asset back in play, those fobs blink red, drawing virtually every bounty hunter on the planet to the Mandalorian's location for a standoff and shootout worthy of any classic Western (just replace the droid-piloted landspeeder in which the Mandalorian takes cover with a horse-drawn wagon).
Although it's difficult to know what elements of the Bounty Hunter's Code remain Star Wars canon, it's clear the Mandalorian has violated multiple rules. Asking the client what he intends to do with the asset is a minor infraction when compared to accepting payment, and then stealing back the asset -- and, in the process, killing the client's hired guns and destroying his property. Presumably any bounty hunter who recovered the Kid would receive the Mandalorian's substantial Beskar payment, most of which was transformed into his enviable armor. However, there's more at play here than wealth.
Violations of the Bounty Hunter's Code can result in expulsion from the guild, but what the Mandalorian does is so egregious, it's obvious Greef isn't simply looking to pull his license. The assembled bounty hunters aren't there merely to recover the asset and restore the reputation of the Bounty Hunters' Guild; they're firing to kill their colleague/rival -- which itself would be a violation of the Code, under ordinary circumstances.
It's only through the last-minute intervention of other Mandalorians that Pascal's title character survives the onslaught, and flees the planet, with the Kid safely in tow. But while he's earned the respect of his fellow Mandalorians, some of whom earlier questioned his honor, he's now a wanted man. He will undoubtedly be pursued by every bounty hunter in the far reaches of the galaxy, as well as by mercenaries hired by the Client's mysterious employer.
But, hey, at least he got that swanky armor, and an adorable sidekick, for his troubles.
Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte.