When last we left The Mandalorian, the eponymous bounty hunter and his egg-loving li’l buddy had just escaped a hair-raising situation. Will they make it to Trask in one piece? Will their passenger be able to successfully fertilize her eggs? And will Baby Yoda be able to resist slurping down his favorite treat?
Recap of The Mandalorian, S2E3: “The Heiress”
The Razor Crest, much the worse for wear thanks to an unexpected run-in with New Republic security forces and a clutch of angry ice-spiders, limps toward the estuary moon of Trask. Our crew—Din Djarin, the Child, and the hopeful mother guiding them toward Trask—brace for a bumpy atmospheric entry. The Crest survives the superheated maneuver only to tip over the side of the landing pad. After being pulled up out of the water and facing the need for extensive repairs, the bounty hunter leaves her at the docks and heads into town to find the Mandalorians he seeks. He makes contact with a Quarren who agrees to ferry Djarin to them.
Onboard the fishing vessel, the Quarren shows Baby Yoda an aquatic creature called a mamacore. He pushes the Child into the mamacore’s maw as it surfaces to feed, but Baby Yoda manages to shut his floating crib before being swallowed whole. Djarin leaps into the water to save him and the double-crossing Quarren locks him into the creature’s tank, sure that they’ve trapped this easy mark and his extremely rare beskar armor. The next few seconds resolve two major plot points. The first (Djarin’s impending doom) is averted by the arrival of the second: the Mandalorians! These long searched-for warriors handle the Quarren, pull Djarin out of the water, and kill the mamacore. The Child’s floating crib is heavily dented, but to the Mandalorian’s relief, Baby Yoda is safe.
Djarin begins to explain his quest but is pulled up short as all three Mandalorians remove their helmets to address him. Shocked by their sacrilege, he questions how they obtained their armor. Their leader lays out her bona fides: she is Bo-Katan, the last of Clan Kryze of Mandalore. Bo-Katan informs him that he’s the odd man out among these warriors. Djarin is a member of the Children of the Watch, a splinter cell of Mandalorian society whose members are religious fanatics fixated on the ancient past. Disgusted by this heretical talk, Djarin takes the Child and jets away from the Quarren vessel.
Resigned to continue his lonely quest, the Mandalorian arrives back at the docks but is waylaid by the Quarren’s brother. The criminal and his gang threaten to kill Baby Yoda before Bo-Katan arrives to save Djarin’s skin once more. Over drinks she lays out the situation on Trask. The Empire has been purchasing weapons on the black market moon; Bo-Katan
steals liberates these shipments in preparation for the reclaiming of Mandalore. Djarin wants nothing to do with her plans for reunification, but she knows where to find a Jedi—if he helps bring down an Imperial freighter, Bo-Katan will give him the information he seeks.
Leaving the Child with the mother he brought to Trask (now happily reunited with her partner and their newly arrived spawn), the Mandalorian helps Bo-Katan and her crew board an Imperial Gozanti-class freighter. The freighter’s grim-faced captain orders a rapid ascent through atmosphere to make the jump to hyperspace and rendezvous with their fleet. As the Mandalorians make their way toward the freighter’s bridge, the captain contacts his fleet commander: Moff Gideon. Gideon instructs him to bring the freighter down, destroying the weapons to deny the Mandalorians what they came for.
As Bo-Katan explains her larger purpose in obtaining the weapons, Djarin realizes she’s more than a Mandalorian gun thief. She aims to become the Mand’alor, supreme leader of all Mandalorians. To do that, she needs the Darksaber currently in the possession of Moff Gideon. Djarin and the Mandalorians manage save the ship and the weapons, but its captain commits suicide rather than take Bo-Katan to Gideon. Having held up his end of the bargain, Djarin demands the information Bo-Katan promised. She finally delivers: if he can get the Child to Calodan, a city on the planet Corvus, Djarin will find Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka will help him find the Jedi. Armed with this information, the Mandalorian picks up Baby Yoda and returns to the docks to find the Razor Crest repaired (if a little swampy for his taste). After giving the Child a snack, our duo set out to find Ahsoka and the Jedi.
Review of The Mandalorian S2E3: “The Heiress”
First reaction: whoa. There’s so much to unpack in “The Heiress,” but let’s start with the big plot developments. Bo-Katan Kryze is a character from the animated Clone Wars and Rebels TV shows with wide-ranging connections across the Star Wars universe. Bo-Katan’s appearance in The Mandalorian dramatically widens the show’s scope, and while it’s not necessary to know everything about her to enjoy this episode, the significance of her appearance is better understood with some desperately trimmed background info.
Bo-Katan comes from one of the most influential clans on Mandalore, Clan Kryze. Her sister, the pacifist leader Satine Kryze, led Mandalorian society during the Clone Wars before being killed by Darth Maul in front of the Jedi she loved. After Satine’s death, Bo-Katan participated in civil wars that tore Mandalorian society apart and at various points has fought against Separatists forces, the Sith Lord Darth Maul (and later his Shadow Collective criminal syndicate), and the Empire. She was once the Mand’alor but lost that honor (and the Darksaber wielded by the Mand’alor) during the Purge the Empire carried out on Mandalore.
Besides being truly radical fan service, Bo-Katan’s appearance in “The Heiress” finally kicks The Mandalorian’s major story arc into high gear. Our favorite neighborhood bounty hunter has a name and a location to aim for: Ahsoka Tano and the city of Calodan, on the forest planet of Corvus. Ahsoka is a legendary figure for Star Wars fans; the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker turned Rebel spymaster has become a fan favorite since her debut in The Clone Wars. Rumors of her appearance in The Mandalorian seem to be confirmed by this episode and I, for one, welcome the return of Fulcrum.
Another major development in this episode: surprise, Din Djarin is an unwitting cult member! Turns out his rigid interpretation of the Mandalorian Creed is not universally followed; only the Children of the Watch follow it so strictly. We didn’t learn nearly as much as I wanted, but we do get a tantalizing taste of the diversity of Mandalorian life through Bo-Katan’s exposition. Before “The Heiress,” the only other Mandalorian with any character development was the Armorer, whose guidance set Djarin on the path to the Jedi in season 1. These two characters are apparently outliers in Mandalorian society (Bo-Katan describes the Children of the Light as religious zealots). We can only hope that future episodes will pick this thread up again.
The reappearance of the Empire provided a much-needed shot of menace. Moff Gideon’s crisp commands and casual orders to kill underlings evoked echoes of Grand Moff Tarkin. The freighter captain’s (played by an coldly competent Titus Welliver) suicidal loyalty to the Empire further emphasized the Nazi-like devotion and dedication the Empire can inspire in its followers. It looks like Moff Gideon knows exactly what he’s doing.
Quick notes and observations from “The Heiress”:
- This is another great episode directed by Bryce Dallas Howard. Her episode from season 1 proved that she knows how to wring more emotion out of Din Djarin than any other director the show has featured. The moments after the Child is rescued from the mamacore—Djarin’s rapid breathing as he works through the adrenaline surge of almost losing Baby Yoda, his exhausted body language, his delicate way he cradles him—prove she hasn’t lost her touch.
- We also know that Howard has a great eye for beautiful shots. The opening view of Trask at the top of the episode was worthy of George Lucas himself, as was the distant shot of Bo-Katan and company blow up the Quarren ship in the fading light of the sunset.
- I’m gonna assume that the “Dank farrik!” we hear a couple of times this episode is a righteous cuss word or phrase so filthy it’d have to be censored were it uttered in Basic.
- I love that Katee Sackhoff played Bo-Katan as an animated character and in real life on The Mandalorian. I can’t think of a better casting choice.
- The frog egg controversy (seriously, check that link for a great headline) from last episode is resolved neatly by having Baby Yoda learn about the mystery of life through birth. Not gross at all, right?
- The Mon Calamari dock worker who repairs the Razor Crest sports a sweater right out of LL Bean. Get that squid a job on Deadliest Catch!
- The Imperial officer whose stupidity gets him ejected out the cargo bay doors is none other than Kevin Dorff, a longtime comedy actor with bit parts on The Office and Parks and Rec, where he gets socked by Ben Wyatt.
- The Mandalorian continues to lean heavily into Din Djarin’s BDE (Big Dad Energy). “I know you’re hungry.” “Don’t play with your food!” “No, I have enough pets.” “Save the Child!” Mando’s one little league tournament away from going full-on pater familias.
- Djarin’s reaction to Bo-Katan’s explanation of his place in Mandalorian society was faintly Nick Miller-esque, which cracked me up.