The Mandalorian didn't take the Thanksgiving holiday off. Episode 4 "Sanctuary," arrived on Black Friday to the delight of those who needed a new dose of Baby Yoda. But just because Mando's favorite womp-rat spawned yet another meme, and fans learned The Child is a "he," doesn't mean the title character was benched. A huge development occurred, as the Mandalorian took his helmet off for the first time on-screen. Warning: Spoilers for The Mandalorian follow.
Mando's choice to land on Sorgan as a place to hide Baby Yoda was something straight out of the traditional western genre. So was his decision to team up with shock trooper Cara Dune and teach the villagers to fight for themselves. But with "the stranger who saves the village," cliche came another trope: the Stranger and the Widow.
It's been done time and again in many a Clint Eastwood film. The tall, dark stranger, Mando, put up by the attractive widow, Omera. The sexual tension is instant. But in this case, the tension between them also comes from Mando's helmet. Omera cannot see his face.
When she starts pushing to find out what's underneath, Mando admits he takes his helmet off every day. He just never does so where anyone can see it.
In this episode, the helmet comes off, so Mando can eat, after Omera leaves. But the camera never pans up to Mando's face. Instead, fans are left with a shot of his back, neck down, as he stares out the door from the shadow, his helmet next to him.
It turns out, this is very important, not just to Mandalorians, but to Mando personally. He was not born into their tribe; he was an orphan, rescued by warriors of Mandalore. His gratitude to their care and trust in him lead him to join their order, putting on a helmet as a boy, and never taking it off again.
Should he take the helmet off in front of anyone, he explains, his role as a Mandalorian warrior will be forfeit, and he will never be able to put it on again.
It's tempting. Baby Yoda is happy here. All he has to do is let Omera take the helmet off, and he can retire to this backwater. He can play the protector of the village while living a comfortable life. But as she goes to lift it off his head, he stops her. He's not ready, not yet.
It's a good thing too, because just at that moment, a Bounty Hunter arrives on Sorgan with a fob, having tracked Baby Yoda down. It's no longer safe here. He and the kid must move on. And fans will continue to wait to see if they'll ever see Mando's face at all.