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Recap / The Mandalorian S1E4 "Chapter 4: Sanctuary"

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On the run from the Bounty Hunter's Guild after rescuing the Child from the Imperial remnants, the Mandalorian seeks refuge in the backwater planet of Sorgan. But rather than a peaceful out of the way sanctuary, the Mandalorian becomes embroiled in protecting a peaceful village from the raiders who prey on them, with help from former Rebel Shocktrooper Cara Dune.
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This episode was directed by Bryce Dallas Howard in her directoral debut.


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Action Girl: We get a more traditional one in Cara Dune, former Rebel Shocktrooper and all-around badass, and a more subtle one in Omera, the only one of the Sorgan villagers who can competently use a blaster and curiously behaves as if this wasn't her first battlefield.
  • Alien Lunch: The "shrimp" the villagers farm can be brewed into some sort of blue luminescent brew called Spotchka.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The only weak point a bipedal tank has is a lack of stability. Once it's fallen on its side, it's vulnerable to a grenade down the hatch.
  • Badass Bystander: Omera is the only person in the village who's used a blaster before, and handles the one the Mandalorian gives her very competently. She also conducts herself on the battlefield as if this isn't her first time on one. How she got so good, when she currently lives in a completely unarmed village, doesn't get discussed.
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  • The Bait: The Mandalorian and Cara attack the raider's camp to provoke the AT-ST into chasing them into a prepared pit trap. When the AT-ST doesn't advance into the pit, Cara jumps into the pit and starts shooting in an attempt to provoke it into advancing.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: A Guild bounty hunter draws a bead on the Child and is about to fire. Cut to a gunshot, and moments later back to the bounty hunter, who just got blasted by Cara.
  • Blinded by the Light:
    • Cara makes sure to jump on the Mandalorian from the direction of the sun.
    • The AT-ST turns on a searchlight during a night attack on the village.
  • Blood Knight: Cara wasn't interested in peacekeeping duties after the war ended, so she took 'early retirement' and now hires out as a mercenary.
  • Brutal Honesty: Mando, and to a slightly lesser extent Cara. When they're describing the situation to the villagers, Cara even calls Mando out for how little bedside manner he has... but when she takes the stage, she doesn't do much better.
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  • But Now I Must Go: Mando is tempted to stay, or at least leave the Child there, but is forced to leave when a bounty hunter shows up, meaning neither will ever be safe there (and their continued presence endangers the village).
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: After Mando and Cara have pulled blasters on each other and are interrupted by the Child, Mando asks if she wants soup.
  • Continuity Nod: The blaster rifle that The Mandalorian gives Omera to use is a Relby-v10 mortar gun, the same type of blaster that Bossk uses. It appears to sadly lack any mortar ammunition, or they're not used.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Two badass warriors, each of whom qualifies as a One-Man Army, just so happen to independently chose to hide in the same region of the same backwater within a week of each other... just as a group of villages need their help against raiders.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Another bounty hunter shows up in the aftermath of the battle of Sorgan, intending to collect the bounty on the Child and Mando. However, while he's lining up his shot, Cara gets the drop on him and shoots him In the Back.
  • Cuteness Proximity: All the children in the village love the Child, and this defuses any tension there might be from having a couple of mercenaries living among them.
  • Decapitated Army: Justified. The raiders retreat after their AT-ST is destroyed, because without their big gun the villagers could put up a fight they weren't guaranteed to win.
  • Defiant to the End: The AT-ST pilot tries to blast the Mandalorian one last time after the AT-ST has been tipped over, and nearly gets him despite probably being disoriented and injured.
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That:
    • Cara Quick Draws her weapon on Mando who's just dropped a bag of coins next to her while she was asleep.
    • Mando Quick Draws his blaster when Winta enters the room while his back is turned. Averted earlier when he's approached by the villagers trying to recruit him, but as they weren't trying to hide their approach he likely saw them coming and had already dismissed them as a threat.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: The Mandalorian finds the Constantly Curious Child something of an aggravation in the Razor Crest cockpit with its Billions of Buttons and lights.
  • Double Meaning: As the Mandalorian and the Child are relaxing in the village in the epilogue, Omera comments to the former that the latter looks very happy and that he's welcome to stay here... also referring to the Mandalorian.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Played with but ultimately averted. The Mando does take his mask off in private, but the camera stays away from his face. Towards the end of the episode, Omera reaches for the mask and starts to lift it, but he stops her.
  • Fluorescent Footprints: The Mandalorian's helmet can detect a thermal signature, even days after the raiders have left. He also uses it to track Cara only to find she's doubled back and is waiting in ambush.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the AT-ST shines its bright light on the villagers, the Mandalorian's face can be seen very briefly through his helmet's visor.
  • Giant Footprint Reveal: The first indication that there's an AT-ST involved, given that the villagers somehow neglected to mention this when asking for help.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: The Mandalorian decides to leave the Child in the village so he can grow up in a normal, safe home surrounded by other children. He has to abandon the plan when another bounty hunter shows up looking for them.
  • Go for the Eye: Cara uses the Mandalorian's rifle to blast out one of the cockpit windows on the AT-ST. This sufficiently disorients the pilot to get him to fall into the pit trap, allowing the Mandalorian to toss an explosive charge into the broken window once it's been grounded.
  • I Got You Covered: The Mandalorian says he'll cover Cara when they're pinned down on the tent and when she has to rush out and take on the AT-ST directly.
  • Indy Ploy: Cara says she has a plan to lure the AT-ST forward, but it doesn't work. Together they're able to take it down, whereupon the Mandalorian asks if that was the plan. She just laughs and pretends it was.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Cara punches Mando right in his beskar helmet. It hurts him more than it does her.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: As much as he would like to stay, the Mandalorian is aware that word about him helping the villagers will spread and attract unwanted attention, so he intends to leave Sorgan. His initial plan is to leave the Child with Omera, but a bounty hunter after the kid shows him that the Child won't be safe as long as there's still a bounty on him, forcing the Mandalorian to take him with him.
  • The Juggernaut: An otherwise normal Imperial AT-ST becomes this in the context of a local village on a backwater planet, since its thick armor plating makes it impossible to bring down with conventional weaponry. If it weren't for the Mandalorian's arrival, the villagers wouldn't have had a prayer of dealing with it, especially not in a direct fight. Even Mando's impressive arsenal has nothing that can take it down directly.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Upon first meeting each other, the Mandalorian and Cara fight each other. He thinks she's a bounty hunter after the Child, she thinks he is there to collect a bounty on her. The Child interrupting their brawl gets them to talk it out.
  • Magnificent Seven Samurai: Mando is approached by the Sorgan villagers to assist them against the raiders, and recruits Cara Dune to assist him in Training the Peaceful Villagers.
  • Mundane Wish: The Mandalorian has no interest in the farmers offer until they mention that their village is out in the middle of nowhere, so it's a good place to hide out until the heat dies down. He takes their money, but only to pay Cara so she can come along as backup.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Exploited; in contexts like a full battlefield, an AT-ST is just another mundane piece of equipment as far as Imperial weaponry goes, effective in its role but vulnerable to larger armored vehicles or dedicated anti-vehicle defenses. But on a backwater planet where the locals have neither the training nor arms to counter it, or superior numbers and terrain advantage like the Ewoks, a single AT-ST commandeered by the local raiders becomes a borderline unstoppable juggernaut on its own.
  • No-Sell: When it's spelled out that no weapon on the planet can bring down the AT-ST, they aren't kidding — its armor is impervious to blaster fire, and even the Mandalorian's powerful rifle can't penetrate except through the more vulnerable windows. The only chance they have of beating it is to trip it, allowing the Mandalorian to finally finish it off with a thermal detonator through the window Cara blasted out.
  • Not Big Enough for the Two of Us: Cara initially isn't willing to share Sorgan with the Mandalorian, and insists he leave since she arrived a week before he did. He almost does, but the villagers trying to hire him as a mercenary gives him the idea to buy her cooperation instead.
  • Not What I Signed on For:
    • Cara joined the Rebellion to fight against the Empire, but after Imperial remnants stopped making trouble, her duties became peacekeeping and bodyguarding politicians. She didn't take the transition well, and took an unauthorized "early retirement".
    • In the episode itself, Cara is prepared to cut and run once she and Mando learn about the AT-ST that the villagers deliberately didn't tell them about. She almost expresses the trope verbatim.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The Child pulls this twice. When left in the Razor Crest's cockpit and told to stay, he appears at the ramp when it opens. When the Mandalorian and Cara are fighting, he shows up again, with the soup the Mandalorian ordered.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Cara and the Mandalorian get into a fight over their mutual misunderstanding of the other's intentions, only to stop when they realize the Child is watching them, sipping his soup.
  • Planetville: When he finds Cara is also hiding out on Sorgan, the Mandalorian talks of leaving the planet as opposed to simply moving to another part of the planet. Averted when Cara argues that the farmers should just move elsewhere as it's a big planet. They refuse however given that it's taken generations of effort to establish their farm.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • The AT-ST pilot withdraws a step just before falling into the pit trap, evidently wary of potential surprises the villagers might have set up. It only falls into the trap when Cara disorients the pilot with a well-placed shot through the cockpit.
    • The Mandalorian intends to leave Sorgan after the battle because such a high-profile event on a backwater planet is going to attract attention. Sure enough, a Guild bounty hunter has come to investigate the ruckus, and more are sure to come if he doesn't return.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Up to this point, it was implied that the Mandalorians of the Tribe never remove their helmets. We find out that they actually are allowed to do so for eating and other necessary reasons, just not in the presence of others.
    • As Cara points out, even if it's a scout vehicle, the AT-ST is a military-grade combat walker designed to wipe out entire squads of trained soldiers. Against unarmed villagers with only anti-infantry weapons at best, this thing might as well be invincible. Furthermore, with no intelligence suggesting heavy vehicles, the Mandalorian doesn't take any anti-armor weapons from his ship to the village. If he had any to begin with.
  • Reed Snorkel: A different take when Omera and her child hide under an upturned wicker basket floating in the water. Fortunately, the raiders are too busy plundering to pay close attention to it.
  • Recycled In Space: The basic plot beats within the Sorgan village defense retread The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven very closely. The plot has also been seen an adaptation in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Bounty Hunters”.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The first sign of the AT-ST is the red lights of its cockpit windows shining through the darkness. Bonus points for Shown Their Work: Cockpit lighting in real aircraft is generally red to prevent it from interfering with the pilot's night vision.
  • Retired Badass:
    • Discussed by Cara and the Mandalorian. Cara points out that he can simply remove his helmet and settle down in this village, comfortably spending his days raising kids and Romancing the Widow that has taken a liking to him. Unfortunately, a bounty hunter with a tracking fob shows up and makes them run for it again.
    • Cara herself. She was a former Rebel shock trooper, but deserted after the Empire's defeat due to her dissatisfaction with peacekeeping duties and (especially) bodyguarding politicians.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Mando takes his helmet off (offscreen), before looking out at the scenic village and the Child playing, showing his desire to stay despite his Mandalorian creed.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: There's really no need for the AT-ST to advance at all, given that the entire village is out in the open, it has a searchlight to illuminate potential targets and blaster cannons with a range of up to two kilometers.
  • Shout-Out: Director Bryce Dallas Howard, one of the stars of Jurassic World, gives the AT-ST a distinctly T. rex vibe.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Mandalorian has an Oh, Crap! when he finishes talking to the waitress and finds that Cara has vanished. He runs after her only to be Lured into a Trap.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Right at the beginning, the Mandalorian says the planet is isolated and that no one should find them there. One battle with locals raiders later, that's proven to be false when a Guild bounty hunter shows up to investigate the sudden burst of activity.
    • When convincing Cara to protect the farmers, the Mandalorian says there's nothing in these woods that a former Shock Trooper can't handle. Which might be true if she still had access to anti-armor weaponry.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: After Cara tips the walker over into the pit, Mando rushes the downed walker and tosses a grenade through the window to finish it off.
  • Time Bomb: The Mandalorian sets up a thermal detonator on countdown. Unfortunately, more and more mooks keep barging into the tent, slowing down their escape and they barely make it out Just in Time before it explodes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The AT-STs in Return of the Jedi were threatening, but easily lured into ambushes by the Ewoks. Here, a single AT-ST is a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut, and its canny pilot has to be lured into the pit trap by Cara placing herself at its mercy while taking potshots with Mando's rifle.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: The Mandalorian and Cara Dune train the villagers to fight back against the raiders, both with blasters and with improvised spears.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Mando and Omera. The former seems genuinely tempted to stay, and Omera takes a liking to him, all but asking him to stay with her, and Cara even teases Mando about her. Omera even comes close to removing his helmet. However, Mando knows his presence will threaten Omera and her village and soon finds it's not safe for him and the Child to stay once a Guild bounty hunter shows up.
  • The Un-Reveal: Mando removes his helmet in private to eat but the camera stays behind him and below the shoulder, so the audience doesn't get to see his face.
  • Unsafe Haven: The village is saved from the raiders, but the fight attracted too much attention and a Guild bounty hunter finds them shortly after, forcing Mando and the Child to leave.
  • Walking Tank: The raiders have an Imperial AT-ST, which may as well be invincible versus the small arms that the Mandalorian and Cara bring to bear. They're only able to defeat it by luring it into a pit trap that exploits its high center of gravity, and this nearly fails because the pilot is savvy enough not to step on ground that may be deeper than it appears.
  • What Does This Button Do?: The Child starts flipping random switches and buttons on the dashboard of the Razor Crest which makes the ship shake violently until the Mando flips another switch.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The bulk of the episode is The Magnificent Seven Samurai but with only two "samurai".
  • Would Hit a Girl: The Mandalorian gets in an all-out brawl with Cara and lands several solid punches. Justified, though, in that she ambushed him and is certainly capable enough to take on a Mandalorian in hand-to-hand combat.

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