“The Apostate” sees Din Djarin return to Nevarro, where he links up with his old pal Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who is now High Magistrate. The place has undergone a big cosmetic makeover since we first saw it. As Bryan Young noted in his /Film review, “Nevarro looks more like Disneyland now than the rough-and-tumble outpost it began as in season one.” Karga even offers to make Mando the marshal of the new and improved, Galaxy’s Edge-style outpost.
Nevarro’s new layout confuses some of the returning alien space pirates, expecting to find a saloon where a school now stands. They’re the pirate king Gorian Shard’s men, we’re told, and the leader, Vane (Marti Matulis), talks like he wandered in from another Disneyland attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean. (“Avast, Mandalorian.”) Naturally, Vane and his men are all packing heat. This leads to a showdown in the street that’s very reminiscent of one you might see in a Sergio Leone film.
“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” contains what is probably the most famous example of such a showdown, as the Man with No Name finds himself in a tense three-way standoff with some other bad hombres. “The Apostate” simply substitutes Karga, Mando, and Vane and his men for Leone’s gunslingers.
As Vane steps out into the street and he and Karga finger the blasters on their belts, director Rick Famuyiwa begins tightening the camera on their faces in Leone-esque close-ups. The buildup is slow before the scene explodes in a shootout that is over quickly. This is another hallmark of Leone’s spaghetti westerns, and it just goes to show how deeply indebted “The Mandalorian” is to them still, even after three seasons.
New episodes of “The Mandalorian” air Wednesdays on Disney+.