It looks like Bo-Katan’s conversion to becoming a follower of The Way, and possibly the reincarnation of Mandalore’s legendary messiah hero, is underway. After being welcomed into the covert along with Din Djarin a few episodes ago, since both of them bathed in the Living Waters and had kept their helmets on ever since, Bo-Katan has been embracing Din’s community and their more hardcore religious doctrine—while maybe quietly taking over his show at the same time. Hey, it’s called The Mandalorian, not This One Specific Mandalorian.
The episode started off with the Mandalorians training on the beach we saw in the season premiere, doing some hand-to-hand or flamethrower-to-flamethrower sparring and aimlessly firing guns into the nearby lake. (Which seemed a little silly…like, they’re not trying to hit targets, they’re just shooting guns?) Din stops Grogu from playing with some hermit crabs (he seemed to be arranging them into a pattern, if that matters) so he can start doing some actual Mandalorian training, which means sitting him in front of another kid who is not a tiny 50-year-old baby and making them fight.
The kid doesn’t want to, because Grogu looks like Grogu, but after some prodding from Din, he relents and agrees to fight Grogu with darts. Conveniently, the darts are a weapon that makes some sense to use with the Grogu puppet, since it would’ve been very bizarre to see them fight with guns or sticks, but this kid—later given the name Ragnar—easily hits Grogu with a pair of darts anyway. Before he can be finished off, Grogu does a big Jedi leap and hits Ragnar with all three of his darts, winning the fight. Everyone’s happy for Grogu, and Ragnar sulks off to feel bad about himself. (He did just get beaten by a baby in a fight.)
Unfortunately, all of this aimless shooting and roughhousing on the beach attracted the attention of some kind of dragon monster—it might be called a Shriek-Hawk, but I think that’s a different Star Wars creature—which swoops in and carries Ragnar off in its claws. The Mandalorians all jetpack after it, but one by one they run out of fuel until Bo-Katan shoots past in her ship. She’s able to track the monster to its nest (on top of a big mountain) and returns to the group to plan a rescue.
Apparently this kind of thing has been happening a lot, with this monster grabbing a kid and flying away, and the Mandalorians have learned that if they shoot the monster or spook it in some way, it will kill whoever it has captured. That’s also weird, because why wouldn’t it just kill the kid anyway? Especially when we find out later that it has apparently been carrying the kid around in its mouth and coughs him up to feed him to its babies?
Either way, Bo suggests sneaking in close to the mountain and just climbing up. There’s an interesting little scene where the hunting party makes a camp and one of them distributes food, prompting Bo to ask how they’re supposed to eat without removing their helmets. Din explains that they go off to some private place to eat, calling back to (I believe) the first time we saw him take his helmet off way back in season one. I like this as a sad little detail about life in this hardcore Mandalorian cult…it seems very lonely, but also needlessly dangerous, and it fits everyone’s typically gloomy, self-serious vibe.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, the Armorer tries teaching Grogu about how Mandalorians are like the armor they wear, in the sense that they have to be melted down and forged into something stronger and blah blah. Grogu isn’t really listening, though, because watching her work is reminding him of being on Coruscant during Order 66—when the Clone Troopers betrayed the Jedi. Grogu remembers seeing a group of Jedi trying to protect him, all of whom get killed by Clones. He makes it into an elevator and meets a Jedi named Kelleran Beq—played by none other than Ahmed Best, Jar Jar Binks himself.
This rules. I love that they finally gave Best a gift like this after decades of him defending Star Wars as a brand and after opening up about how hard he was hit by the backlash against Jar Jar, and I hope he got paid well and I hope they bring this character back as many times as Best wants. He deserves a lot more, frankly. Anyway, Kelleran grabs two lightsabers and effortlessly holds off some Clones, which is rad, and then he and Grogu jump into a flying motorcycle and zip off through the urban canyons of Coruscant.
That aerial escape sequence is kind of a stinker, though. It’s very weird to immediately be back on Coruscant after last week’s nearly episode-long trip (even if this is decades earlier), and it’s very, very weird that we not only see another one of those commuter trains from last week but also the big rock memorial. It doesn’t help that the CG is a little funky, unless that’s just how Coruscant looks all the time (especially in the Prequels era). It doesn’t really match the vibe of The Mandalorian, which tends to be more Original Trilogy than Prequel Trilogy, and it feels more fake and cheap because of it.
Grogu and Kelleran jump into a chromed-out starship (I believe it is specifically a Nubian yacht, like what Senator Padmé Amidala and her secret boyfriend Anakin Skywalker zipped around the galaxy with in Attack Of The Clones) and fly away, leaving that flashback story unfinished for now.
Back in the main plot, the Mandalorians reach the top of monster mountain and discover that the monster is not there. Paz Vizlsa, the guy in the big armor with the big gun, reveals that Ragnar is his son and runs in to try and find him, accidentally waking up a trio of monster babies that call their mother. The monster returns and coughs up Ragnar. The Mandalorians chase her through the air again and tie up her wings with nets and ropes, which causes her to plummet into a lake and get chomped up by one of those turtle monsters from earlier in the season. (Is it rude to keep calling everything a monster?)
They all return safely, bringing the monster babies with them so they can be trained in the ways of Mandalore for some reason. (They’re going to need big helmets.) Bo’s armor got damaged in the scuffle, so the Armorer goes off to repair it. Rather than another owl crest, though, Bo asks to have her armor stamped with a Mythosaur sigil and tells the Armorer that she saw a real Mythosaur back on Mandalore. The Armorer doesn’t seem to really believe her, but they both shrug off the conversation with a standard “This is the way.”
- No word from Dr. Pershing or those mysterious TIEs that chased our heroes off of Mandalore. Seems like Din Djarin would be content just hanging out on this planet from now on, which won’t make for an exciting TV show if it lasts much longer.
- The Armorer gives Grogu a new piece of armor, which is just a big disc that she pins to the front of his chainmail. It’s too big for him and looks a bit goofy, but we’re moving closer to the inevitable scene where he gets a Mandalorian helmet.
- This episode was directed by Carl Weathers. I wasn’t totally impressed with the various air combat scenes, but I don’t know if any of that is his fault. This is his second time going behind the camera for The Mandalorian, having previously directed the episode in season two that had a guy wearing jeans.