The Mandalorian Chapter 15 recap: Din Djarin’s Sacrifice

The Mandalorian chapter 15 "The Believer"
The Mandalorian chapter 15 "The Believer" /

The Mandalorian Chapter 15 sees our protagonist at his most vulnerable, but with the child’s life at stake, he’s willing to do almost anything.

This season of The Mandalorian has been a fun adventure for Mando and the child. Not anymore for this Disney Plus show. In The Mandalorian Chapter 15, the child is now in Moff Gideon’s hands, and Mando has no choice but to turn to unsavory elements from his past for help. Mayfeld (Bill Burr), a former Imperial officer turned bounty hunter, was implicated in the murder of a Republic officer back in Season 1. Mando was instrumental in Mayfeld and company being apprehended—but Mayfeld’s knowledge of working with Moff Gideon makes him a valuable asset right now.

We have come to expect surprises this season, but The Mandalorian Chapter 15 is going to be nothing like we imagined.

The Mandalorian Chapter 15:  Springing a Prisoner

Bill Burr returns in The Mandalorian Chapter 15. Chapter 6. Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian, Bill Burr is Mayfield and Mark Boone, Jr. is Ran Malk in THE MANDALORIAN, exclusively on Disney+
Chapter 6. Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian, Bill Burr is Mayfield and Mark Boone, Jr. is Ran Malk in THE MANDALORIAN, exclusively on Disney+ /

At the start of The Mandalorian Chapter 15, viewers are reminded of how Mayfeld was involved in the death of Davan, the Republic officer in Season 1—he wasn’t the one to shoot, though he didn’t exactly do much to help the situation. Remember this—it will play a part in the ending of this episode.

Cara Dune arrives on the prison planet to spring Mayfeld—she’s had to bend a bunch of rules to get him out but that doesn’t mean Mayfeld is happy about it. Prison is awful and he hates working on the rusted TIE Fighters, but at least he knows what he’s doing.

Once he’s set free, Mayfeld gets no details about what mission he’s being sent on. Worse, a Mandalorian comes out to greet him. But Mayfeld’s shock is tempered when he realizes this is someone else—Boba Fett, with his armor restored and spruced up.

That relief is short-lived—Mando walks out of Slave 1 shortly after. He may be suited and helmeted in Beskar but you can feel the disgust radiating off him as he approaches Mayfeld. This is going to be an uncomfortable trip.

The Mandalorian Chapter 15: The Imperial Base

Mando, Cara, Fennec Shand, and Boba share their plan with Mayfeld in The Mandalorian Chapter 15—they need him to use Mayfeld’s Imperial access codes to find Gideon.

There’s an Imperial base on Morak—since the one on Nevarro has already been blown to bits—and Mayfeld is going to help them get in there. In exchange, he gets to enjoy the view. It’s not much but Mayfeld agrees once he learns that Mando’s child has been taken.

The base on Morak isn’t easy to infiltrate. Mayfeld needs to get inside and access a terminal. Plus, the base has an ID check that will identify former Rebels like Cara, and outlaws like Shand and Fett. And Mando’s armour is obviously a dead giveaway.

But they can’t risk sending Mayfeld in on his own—he’s not exactly trustworthy and could notify the Imperials about Mando and co.

New plan—Mando will go with Mayfeld but it’ll require a change of suits. Mando, Mayfeld, and Cara hijack a transport and Mayfeld and Mando take the uniforms and helmets of the officers inside. Mando changes behind a bulkhead so nobody sees his face but he is clearly uncomfortable outside of his Mandalorian armour.

Mayfeld takes the opportunity to needle Mando about it—is his Mandalorian belief about wearing the armour at all times or about covering his face? Because there’s a difference and Mando is clearly ready to change the rules when the occasion arises.

These are all fine questions but what Mando wears and whether or not he shows his face is his decision and it’s frustrating to see Mayfeld question him about his choices for so long in The Mandalorian Chapter 15.

But the philosophical discussions must quickly be put on hold because suddenly there are explosions everywhere.

The Mandalorian Chapter 15: When Things Blow Up

The Mandalorian chapter 15 "The Believer"
The Mandalorian chapter 15 “The Believer” /

The transport that Mayfeld and Mando are in is transporting rhydonium—the kind of highly volatile material that explodes if you look at it funny. They can see the remnants of Imperial vehicles that made critical errors transporting the material—they need to be careful.

Easier said than done. Explosions abound in The Mandalorian Chapter 15 and Mando and Mayfeld soon find themselves attacked by a bunch of pirates. It’s not surprising—Morak hasn’t seen its fortunes change despite the fall of the Empire and the rise of the New Republic. They’re going to fight back somehow.

It’s clear that the pirates don’t want anything—they just want to blow up the Imperials. Mando and Mayfeld are caught in the crossfire. It doesn’t help that Mando is stuck with shoddy Imperial weapons that jam and poorly-designed Imperial armor that breaks if you tap it.

Nor can they outrun the pirates—too much speed and the rhydonium gets hot and close to exploding. Still, Mando manages to hold out against the pirates and outwit them long enough for a couple of TIE fighters to blow the remaining pirates away. This is probably the first time when we’ve been happy to see TIE fighters.

When Mayfeld and Mando arrive at the base, they are greeted as heroes. We are so used to seeing Rebel and Resistance forces cheering on the destruction of Imperial Death Stars—here we see Stormtroopers lined up, saluting and cheering who they think are their own people.

It’s a bizarre sight but also a reminder that Stormtroopers are just regular people who were caught up in the Imperial mess—after all, in the future, we will see a Stormtrooper become one of the greatest heroes of the Resistance.

The Mandalorian Chapter 15: The Believer

The Mandalorian chapter 15 "The Believer"
The Mandalorian chapter 15 “The Believer” /

Unexpected celebrations aside, things take a bizarre turn in The Mandalorian Chapter 15. Mayfeld finds a terminal in the mess hall—the only problem is, he can’t get in without possibly being recognized.

Mayfeld’s former commander, Valin Hess (Richard Brake), is enjoying a meal in the hall—there’s a chance he may remember Mayfeld. But there’s no way Mando can access the terminal—it has to scan a person’s face to activate.

But with Mayfeld refusing to do it and the child’s life hanging in the balance, Mando has no choice. At the terminal, Mando tries to access the terminal with his helmet on—the error message is loud and clear. Too loud.

Mando was raised in the Deathwatch version of Mandalore—their beliefs in being seen in their armor at all times is ingrained in him. He has only removed his helmet and shown his face once before—for a droid to heal him.

But his child’s life is at stake so Mandalorian beliefs or not, Mando has no choice—he removes his helmet and lets the terminal scan him so he can get Moff Gideon’s location.

That could have been the end of it, but Hess noticed Mando and Mayfeld earlier and he comes up to speak to Mando. Din Djarin has little idea about Imperial protocol. He barely answers Hess, and he has no operating number to state.

Mayfeld swoops in to the rescue but that means everybody in the hall has seen Djarin’s face. This is the worst possible thing to happen to someone of the Mandalorian creed.

The Mandalorian Chapter 15: Sins of the Past

The Mandalorian chapter 15 "The Believer"
The Mandalorian chapter 15 “The Believer” /

And it’s going to get worse. We told you to expect the unexpected in The Mandalorian Chapter 15 and that’s exactly what happens. Hess wanted to know who Djarin and Mayfeld were because of their exploits against the pirates. He wants to celebrate with a drink.

For the toast, Mayfeld suggests Operation: Cinder. He lived through it—10,000 officers and civilians didn’t. Hess thinks of it as a glorious sacrifice for the Empire—one that showed how weak the New Republic would be.

Djarin knows about this event and he needs Mayfeld to stop talking about it. But Mayfeld won’t—he keeps bringing up the staggering number of deaths and the unwilling ‘sacrifices’ made by the people around him. And then he takes out his blaster and shoots Hess point blank in the chest.

Clearly, Mayfeld wasn’t concerned about Hess recognizing him earlier—he didn’t think he could stop himself from avenging the deaths of all those people. Mayfeld was right to believe that he would act on it. It leads to a massive shootout and the infiltrators escape out a window. Mando is now restored with his Imperial helmet and Mayfeld’s word that he will never mention having seen his face.

Cara and Fennec are at a distance, taking down the Imperials, and Boba brings in Slave 1 to rescue the infiltrators. As they’re parting, Mayfeld uses his sharp-shooting skills to blow up a rhydonium tank and the entire base goes up in flames.

And, the remaining TIE fighters that attack them? Boba takes them out with a sonic charge—we remember those from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones! Who doesn’t love a prequel trilogy throwback?

Back in his Beskar armour, Mando and Cara tacitly give Mayfeld their approval to escape—they will be reporting his death to the Republic. Mayfeld is surprised to be freed but also relieved.

On Moff Gideon’s star destroyer, he receives a message from Mando—he’s coming for the child because he means more to Mando than Gideon could ever realize, the same words that Gideon had said to him in Season 1. Mando is ready for Gideon—but is Gideon prepared?

Final Thoughts: The Mandalorian Chapter 15 Needs its Politics Re-examined

The Mandalorian Chapter 15 was quietly exciting—it’s not just the action or the plot that makes it memorable, but the character study.

This episode is a redemption episode for Mayfeld—though it’s hard to forgive him for being complicit in Davan’s murder. Let’s not forget, Mayfeld and his crew terrorized Davan before killing him. But, that doesn’t make Mayfeld any less of a victim of the Empire as anyone else.

It’s interesting to note that Operation: Cinder is from Star Wars: Battlefront II—tying this season into the videogame universe even further.

It’s also important to remember that actor Bill Burr has had allegations of transphobia leveraged against him for years. In my opinion, for him to make recurring appearances on this show is deeply disturbing.

Pedro Pascal’s voice has been doing the majority of the work on this show, but his face gets a workout here. He’s absolutely embodied this character and this episode is a reminder of what a powerful addition to the Star Wars universe he is.

But the show’s obsession with showing Din Djarin’s face—both times in the penultimate episode of the season—needs to be questioned. A character whose beliefs revolve around what they wear and what parts of their body or face can be seen shouldn’t keep being put in a position where they have to reveal themselves.

It has disturbing real-world connotations and as perceptive as The Mandalorian Chapter 15 attempts to be, it does not exist in a vacuum. I hope that Mando isn’t put in too many more of these situations—two is already two too many.

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The Mandalorian streams weekly on Disney Plus.