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The following contains major spoilers for Episode 6 of The Mandalorian**, titled "The Prisoner." Go watch it first, then come back and we'll break down the big unanswered questions.**
Episode 5 of The Mandalorian ended with the biggest cliffhanger moment of the series since the very first episode. We saw a mysterious, unnamed figure approach the body of Mando's most recent bounty. We waited a week to find out the identity of this stranger...and we'll continue waiting because Episode 6 didn't deal with any of that at all.
Instead, Episode 6, called "The Prisoner," was just another job for our traveling bounty hunter. Specifically, it was a prison break. We met a host of new characters, made up of an excellent cast of actors, and the show made a brief shift from space western to space-horror movie. It was a solid episode over all, but as usual, we have questions.
Just How Smart Is Baby Yoda?
Baby Yoda is still very much a mystery. His race hasn't even been recognized by any other characters. We know that thew little guy is 50 years old, but that doesn't mean a great deal for a race that we know can make it to 900. He presents as little more than an infant. He can walk, but he can't speak and appears to be mostly helpless a lot of the time.
Any yet, in Episode 6 of the Disney+ series, we see the little Baby acting in what appears to be a much more intelligent way. He knows something's up with Zero, and knows he needs to keep his distance. He finds a hiding place where he can watch the droid so that he'll know what his adversary is doing. These actions would seem to indicate an intelligence far more mature than that of an infant or toddler. We have no idea how this race matures, perhaps he's smarter than we think. Maybe hew only wants people to think of him as a baby.
Do Mandalorians Actually Have Romantic Relationships?
We learned a few bits and pieces of our friend Mando's history in Episode 6, including meeting several of his former associates. We have a lot of questions about all of them now, but by far the most interesting one is the female twi'lek named Xi'an. Not only do the two of them have a history, but that history appears quite personal.
It may have been the twi'lek simply messing with Mando, when she seems to imply that she knows him quite well, but it brings up an interesting question either way. Can Mandalorians have intimate relationships when they apparently can't take their helmet off for anyone? Can you truly get close to somebody when there is always a helmet between you? Alright, do Mandalorans have sex with their helmets on? This is what I really need to know.
What Happened On Alzoc III?
He did what he had to do. That's all wed know about what happened during a previous job that the Mandalorian did that involved Xi'an. The job on Alzoc III comes up in response to a question about whether or not the Mandalorian is as good as the reputation claims. It would seem the answer is probably "yes" in her opinion, but we don't know why.
Whether this job is the same job where the Mandalorian got on everybody's bad side, where he apparently left Xi'an's brother behind, is anybody's guess, but it feels like that's probably the case. The job would be on her mind since she knew she was about to double cross him. Did he really do something that was worth the way he's treated here? Just what kind of a person was Mando before he adopted a little green alien baby?
There Are So Many Questions About The Tracking Beacon
Our prison break gets put on a timer after the lone human on board the prison ship activates a tracking beacon as he dies, apparently bringing a republic strike force down on their heads. As a plot device, it works to up the tension, but so much about this beacon doesn't make sense. These things must be related to tracking fobs.
First off, why didn't the prison transport officer activate the beacon as soon as he knew the ship was being attacked? Surely, he knew what was up from his command post. Next, why is the beacon a mobile device, and not simply something built into the prison ship? Obviously, part of this answer is necessary for the plot, but it simply doesn't seem efficient. Finally, since the Republic apparently doesn't know what the beacon actually means and just blindly follows where it goes, couldn't the squad have simply broken the thing?
Why Didn't The X-Wing Pilots Ask Any Questions?
When the tracking beacon leads three X-Wings, and their very special pilots, back to where the episode started, they see that the space station is about to launch a fighter, and so, without so much as trying to establish communication, they blow the station to kingdom come.
This seems like something of an overreaction. Sure, the station is making an aggressive action, but they're launching one fighter against three. The X-Wing pilots are simply following a signal, they clearly don't know why or what it could mean. There could be captured Republic citizens on board that station looking for rescue. If there were, they'd be very, very, dead.
Why Did The Mandalorian Take This Job?
Almost from the moment this episode started, I had one question above all others. What in the hell possessed the Mandalorian to take this job? From the moment it was made clear that they wanted Mando's ship, not simply him, it seems like the right movie was to say thanks, but no thanks. Sure, he needs money, but there must have been other ways to make money.
Putting a bunch of strangers, and one person he knows, but clearly doesn't trust, on board his ship is putting baby Yoda at risk in a big way. He threw away his life for the little guy and it seems crazy that he would take this risk now.
Episode 6 of The Mandalorian felt like it may have been even more of a contained story than some of the others. the job is over, and the people involved are either dead or locked up. For that reason, we may never get any answers to these questions.