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The fourth chapter of The Book of Boba Fett, “The Gathering Storm,” is chock full of action, “soft” Boba and fan favorite Fennec Shand. But I had to watch it more than once to grasp the significance of how its various pieces fit together. Directed by Kevin Tancharoen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) from a script by Jon Favreau, this episode finally bridges the show’s two timelines, serving as an effective season midpoint as well as highlighting just how much of Fett’s history is being distilled into seven episodes of television.
What’s great about it is that this one gives a clearer sense of what Fett and Fennec are truly after; we see them plot to take out Bib Fortuna and claim Jabba’s old palace for themselves. Until now, we didn’t have a strong sense of their motivations for seizing power on Tatooine. The series really finds its momentum here, even if I’m occasionally wishing we were still in the time period of the flashbacks from earlier this season. Time marches on like a bantha crossing the Dune Sea.
How can you watch ‘Boba Fett’?
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What happens in this episode of ‘Boba Fett’?
“The Gathering Storm” opens with Boba in the bacta tank, dreaming of fairly recent events. He rides through the desert alone, stops at Jabba’s palace to scope the place out and finds it heavily guarded. How long has he been wandering? Five years, now? How long were the Tuskens his family—his home? The sands shift imperceptibly out on the dunes.
While sharing a meal with his bantha beside a campfire, Boba sees a brilliant white flare—some kind of explosion—light up the distance. He ventures out into the night and finds the body of master assassin Fennec Shand, gut-shot and left for dead.
He carries her to his bantha and rides for the nearest settlement, a hip body-mod parlor on the edge of Mos Eisley. “This woman’s about to die,” says Boba. “She needs modification.”
Like Fett emerging from the Sarlacc in episode one, she’s both resurrected and transformed, her belly opened and rebuilt with silver piping, copper wiring and a series of glowing red lights. Boba asks the surgeon if he intends to close up her wound. “And cover up all that beautiful machinery?” he says.
When Fennec wakes beside the campfire, she’s shocked and a little horrified at seeing her changed appearance. But the man who saved her life has plenty to offer: a black melon to help her heal, job prospects, plans to rid the world of its worst oppressors.
“I am Boba Fett,” he tells her, as the first of the planet’s binary suns begins to rise. She was under the impression he’d been killed. “I was. Left for dead on the sands of Tatooine, like you. I was rescued by the Sand People. They took me in, treated me as one of their own. I tried to help them. Instead, I got them massacred by Nikto speed bikers.”
“Speed bikers defeated Tuskens?” she asks. “That’s highly unlikely.”
He asks Fennec for one thing to pay back his kindness—her help retrieving his Firespray-class starship from Bib Fortuna’s hangar.
He wants his armor back, literally and figuratively. Without the tribe, he’s been made unwhole; fate has kept him from becoming who he’s meant to be. And his search for purpose has led him to Fennec. He means to take Fortuna’s throne, he tells her, and forge a more just and equitable Tatooine for their kind. “You wanna head a gotra?” she says. “Gotra” being a Sanskrit word meaning lineage, or clan.
The two of them infiltrate Jabba’s palace, more or less quietly, battling some kitchen droids and Gamorreans along the way, and manage to fly away with Fett’s old ship back in the hands of its rightful owner. “Good work,” he says as they’re clearing out the hangar. “Not bad yourself,” Fennec tells him.
With her debt repaid, Fennec is free to go wherever she pleases. But she wants to stay at Boba’s side: “I’ll go for the ride.” Together, they hunt down and obliterate the biker gang that slew Boba’s tribe. They hover above the crater of the Sarlacc Pit, looking for Boba’s armor, and get a surprise when the tentacled beast suddenly lashes out at the ship, pulling it toward the sand.
Fennec unstraps her harness and reaches up to flip an overhead switch inside the cockpit; it drops a seismic charge into the creature’s maw and vanquishes it for good. “Next time don’t touch my buttons,” Boba says, playfully and perhaps a little flirtatiously, like a husband driving his prized Camaro.
Fett tells Shand he wants her to stay and keep working with him as part of his new gotra. “I can offer you something no client has,” he explains. “Loyalty. I will cut you in on the success and pledge my life to protect yours.”
She’s taken aback by this. “Living with the Tuskens has made you soft,” she says.
“No. It’s made me strong. You can only get so far without a tribe.”
His physical scars all healed, the daimyo emerges from his bacta pod and seeks out the Wookiee Black Krrsantan in hopes he’ll join their cause. War’s on the horizon, and they need all the help they can find.
Fett and Fennec throw a feast for the three families of Mos Espa—the Trandoshans, the Aqualish and the Klatooinians—and propose that they, too, work with them to drive the scourge of the Pyke Syndicate from the planet. When these guests ask why they should honor Fett’s claim to the throne at all, Boba’s pet rancor claws the floor beneath their feet, rattling the table. The families don’t wish to fight for this new daimyo, but they agree to remain neutral in the coming conflict.
Later, Fennec asks how much treasure they have in reserve.
“I have plenty of credits,” says Boba. “What I’m short on is muscle.”
“Credits can buy muscle—if you know where to look,” she says. And a familiar melody leads us into the end credits: the theme of Din Djarin, the Mandalorian.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Book of Boba Fett episode 4 recap: ‘The Gathering Storm’