Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Mandalorian ended with Din Djarin nursing a battered Razor Crest toward the estuary moon of Trask. In addition to delivering the Frog Lady and her eggs to her destination, he hopes to find other Mandalorians there who can assist in his quest to reunite The Child with his people…and maybe a decent repair shop.
Rinse and Reunion
Perhaps “battered” was too generous of a description. When the episode opens, we see that the Razor Crest is falling apart worse than the 1990 Mercury Sable I drove during college.
Din Djarin is forced to attempt a landing on Trask via a manual reentry through the moon’s atmosphere. As the ship hurtles toward the surface, he has the Frog Lady help him stabilize the craft’s thrusters. The pair almost pull off a miraculous landing on a port docking station, but at the last second the ship blows one of its engines and tumbles into the water.
Thankfully, one of the port’s trawlers is able to pull the Razor Crest out and drop its waterlogged hull back onto the landing platform.
After departing the ship, Djarin pays a Mon Calamari repairman to do what he can to fix the Razor Crest. He then watches as Frog Lady and Mr. Frog Lady find each other and have a heart warming reunion. The grateful husband then makes good on his word and points Djarin in the direction of a nearby inn and its well informed/connected proprietor.
WWE superstar Sasha Banks a hooded figure watches the Mandalorian from a distance and with great interest.
Sect of Saviors
The inn Mr. and Mrs. Frog Lady lead Djarin to is filled with Mon Calamari and Quarren. It’s also a diner, which means the Child can finally eat something besides their traveling companion’s unborn children.
After getting Baby Yoda something to eat (which almost eats him), Djarin asks the proprietor where he can find other Mandalorians. The Mon Calamari innkeeper confirms that others wearing armor like his have passed through recently. He also connects Djarin with a Quarren who says he can take him by sea to where the Mandalorians are located.
After paying a steep transportation fee, Din Djarin and Baby Yoda board the Quarren’s boat.
Side Note: Ludwig Göransson’s score/theme for “The Mandalorian” has always sounded good, but something about this version against an ocean backdrop made it even better.
During their journey, the Quarren suggests letting Baby Yoda watch as they feed a nearby mamacore (a sea monster that looks like what would happen if you combined a giant squid and a circular saw). This probably should have raised a giant red flag, but Djarin tries to be a cool dad and lets the Child move to the edge of the ship’s feeding area. After dumping fish into the water and summoning the creature, the Quarren knocks Baby Yoda into the mamacore’s mouth. When Djarin jumps in after him, the Quarren jumps down and pulls the gate shut.
As Djarin struggles to come up for air, the Quarren and his crew revel over the Beskar they’ll be able to take off his corpse while knocking him back into the water with their spears. Just when it seems like all hope is lost, a trio of blue-armored Mandalorians descend from the sky and make calamari out of everyone.
After the leader pulls Djarin back on deck, one of the others dives into the water, kills the mamacore, and brings back Baby Yoda, who was kept alive via his (now destroyed) pram.
As you might imagine, Djarin is all types of grateful for saving him and the Child. He’s also relieved to finally discover more of his kind who might be able to help him. Unfortunately, his good mood takes a hard turn into anger/disbelief when his saviors all take off their helmets.
When he accuses the group of not being true Mandalorians, their leader identifies herself as Bo-Katan Kryze (!!!). She also correctly deduces that Djarin’s dogmatic insistence on not removing his helmet is due to him being descended from the fundamentalist Death Watch clan (who we saw rescuing him as a child in a flashback during Chapter 8).
Djarin doesn’t take kindly to his people being called a cult and takes off from the ship. After landing at a nearby port and watching the other three Mandalorians blow up the ship, he begins walking through the streets with Baby Yoda snuggled against his chest.
I’m not sure what he was hoping to find, but it ends up being trouble in the form of a gang led by the brother of the ship captain who tried to kill him. Just as the gang is about to move in on him, however, the same Mandalorian trio lands and saves Djarin again.
This time he agrees to let Bo-Katan and her crew buy him a drink, which is really the least he can do at this point.
Bo-Katan explains that Trask is a blackmarket port used to smuggle weapons that have been bought and sold with riches that rightfully belonged to the Mandalorian people. Their plan is to take those weapons back and use them to regain control of their home planet of Mandalore.
Djarin counters her plan is impossible due to the planet being “cursed” by the Empire, but Bo-Katan is confident they can succeed–especially if they have other Mandalorians like him on their side.
Djarin refuses her offer, explaining that he has been tasked with returning The Child to the Jedi. Bo-Katan responds by revealing that she actually knows a (former) Jedi who could help him…if he agrees to help them with an upcoming weapon heist.
Their plan is to board an Imperial Remnant Gozanti-class freighter and steal its weapons cargo. The ship would be restricted to the moon’s atmosphere while inside the shipping lanes, allowing them to get on board and get what they wanted before it could make the jump to hyperspace. It would also be guarded by a squad of stormtroopers, who one of the Mandalorians points out “couldn’t hit the side of a bantha.”
Before departing for his new mission, Djarin asks Frog Lady and Mr. Frog Lady to look after Baby. The couple happily agrees despite the kid’s obvious obsession with their eggs. As he hungrily watches them float inside their container, one of them hatches, which the the Childs reacts to with a mix of glee and surprise.
Whether this was due to witnessing the miracle of life or the appearance of new potential food source is anyone’s guess.
Later, the quartet of Mandalorians intercept the freighter and easily overtake the perimeter guards. After getting on board, they take down wave after wave of stormtroopers in the most badass manner possible.
Meanwhile, the ship’s captain locks down the bridge and orders his pilots to begin climbing immediately despite not being clear of the shipping lanes. He then tells one of his officers and the remaining stormtroopers to hold their attackers off until they can make the jump to hyperspace and connect with the rest of the fleet.
The officer initially resolves to stand his ground. Once the Mandalorians start mowing down his troopers, however, he quickly shifts into survival mode and seals them off in an adjacent room.
Unfortunately, the room he trapped them in was also the cargo control area.
After blowing the officer and his men out of the ship, Bo-Katan takes one of their communicators and taunts the captain. He responds by declaring that even if they jettison the weapons, his troops will hunt them down (HA!). Bo-Katan counters that they aren’t going to jettison any of the cargo–they’re taking the whole ship.
Upon hearing this, Djarin immediately points out that hijacking an entire freighter from the Empire was never part of their deal. Bo-Katan brushes off his complaints, explaining that the ship’s captain will likely have information on something she needs to find to become Mandalore’s ruler again.
She also notes that if Djarin wants her help finding the Jedi, he’ll need to go along with her shifting terms whether he likes it or not. When he continues to protest, she silences him with a snide “This is the way.”
Bridge Too Far
Back on the bridge, the captain makes a call to Moff Gideon to tell him the bad news. Gideon responds by tacitly commanding him to destroy the ship so that its cargo (and the ship itself) cannot be taken.
The captain proves himself to be a true believer in the Empire and complies. After shooting his two pilots in the back, he takes over their controls and sets the ship for a collision course with the ocean.
The Mandalorians realize what’s happening and make haste to the bridge. Unfortunately, it’s guarded by a group of stormtroopers who are apparently just as dedicated to the Empire as their captain (or just incredibly stupid). Either way, there’s too many of them firing from a protected vantage point for the Mandalorians to get past with ease like they had before.
Thankfully, Din Djarin chooses this time to go full badass and runs straight into the hallway with two detonators. As blaster bolts ricochet off his armor and knock him to the floor, he manages to throw both of them forward and obliterate the cluster of stormtroopers.
After the Mandalorians breach the bridge, Din Djarin and one of the others pull the ship out of its death dive while Bo-Katan demands that the captain tell her who has the Darksaber. He responds that she already knows. When she offers to let him live if he takes her to Gideon, the captain explains that even if she spared him, the moff wouldn’t. He then chomps down on a suicide pill and offs himself.
Bo-Katan is furious at losing her potential lead on the Darksaber, but one of her troops insists that they need to leave before the captain’s distress signal brings more heat than they can handle. She then offers Din Djarin a chance to join their cause. He politely-yet-firmly refuses, instead insisting that she make good on her promise to tell him where to find the Jedi.
She honors the deal this time, instructing him to travel to the city of Calodan on the forest moon of Corvus. That’s where he’ll find a (former) Jedi named Ahsoka Tano (!!!). If he says he was sent by Bo-Katan, the she will be willing to help him.
Bo-Katan then thanks Djarin for his help and bravery, bidding him farewell with a much more sincere “This is the way” as he departs from the ship.
Life Finds a Way
Back at the Frog Lady’s residence, Baby Yoda is fascinated by her new spawn. He also appears to be interacting with the tiny creature in a way that won’t result in digestive homicide.
The oddly sweet moment is interrupted when Djarin comes back to retrieve his charge. He thanks and congratulates the new parents before departing with the Child, who vehemently protests being separated from his new friend.
When Djarin returns to the port, he’s disheartened to find that the Razor Crest’s repair job is quite a bit shoddier than he’d expected for what he paid. Thankfully, the ship still works.
As the pair strap in for a rocky takeoff, a baby mamacore that managed to stow away on the ship begins stalking toward Baby Yoda. Before the tiny beast can chomp down on the Child’s head, Djarin catches and kills it. He then assures his adorable ward that the next stop on their journey will be much more helpful than the last few have been.
If you’re a hardcore Star Wars: The Clone Wars fan like me, then this episode likely had you screaming your head off with glee. (If not, then please don’t judge). But it wasn’t just nostalgia and Easter eggs that made “The Heiress” such a great chapter. We also got some definitive narrative momentum going with The Mandalorian‘s overarching story and foundational mythology.
On one side of the coin, we now have Djarin traveling somewhere that is virtually guaranteed not to end up as a bottle episode. While I disagree with those who say the show’s second season has been spinning its wheels, it had fallen into a dangerously predictable pattern:
- Din Djarin finds a lead and/or takes a job for money.
- Din Djarin trusts someone to help him (with a 50% chance of betrayal).
- Din Djarin gets saved/bailed out by an outside force.
Even this episode followed that pattern, but also managed to turn things on their head a bit by integrating a fantastic character from Star Wars lore. Bo-Katan (brilliantly portrayed by Katee Sackhoff) pushed Djarin in a direction that makes both the story and his character exponentially more interesting. Coming face to face with other Mandalorians who don’t share his rigid belief system–but were still badass warriors who saved him multiple times–is sure to effect how he views things in the future.
On the other side of the narrative coin, we finally have some context for the Darksaber’s importance in the show’s mythology. While many of us are well-versed in this part of Star Wars lore thanks to Clone Wars and Rebels, I would wager that a majority of The Mandalorian‘s audience is not. Moff Gideon and Bo-Katan’s stories were always destined to be tied together, but now everyone is in on the brilliantly executed fun.
Speaking of brilliant execution, this episode looked incredible. Bryce Dallas Howard wasn’t a director I had pegged as an expert on action sequences, but after this and her work in the director’s chair for Chapter Four, she’s proven to have a great knack for it.
I also loved the scenes with the Frog people way more than I expected. Maybe I’m not being cynical enough, but it’s no small feat creating a genuinely touching moment between two alien creatures who can only speak or express themselves in croaks.
There were a few things that bugged me about the episode, though. In addition to the aforementioned Mando Adventure Formula, there was also that redundant fight scene with the Quarren. I’m the last one to complain about getting to see Mandalorians smoke a group of bad guys, but it still felt like beautifully filmed padding.
And then we have Baby Yoda, who continues to bother me this season. It was nice seeing him change/grow a bit with regard to the eggs, but my biggest issue is his continued use as reaction shot fodder. Season 1 actually made the Child a part of the story and revealed new and interesting things about him. Now his appearances feel like a sizzle reel for potential merchandising shots.
That being said, “The Heiress” was still a wonderful episode. Add in all the Original Trilogy aliens we saw, and this crusty old Star Wars fan who also loves a good story was extremely happy.
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