The Mandalorian season 2 kept rolling on Friday, with a super exciting third episode titled The Heiress to follow last week’s quirky, creepy detour and Baby Yoda’s morally dubious eating habits. This is a big one for fans of The Clone Wars, but there’s plenty to love even if you haven’t watched the CGI animated series (you should though; it’s so good and it’s all on Disney’s streaming service).
Episode 3 was directed by Bryce Dallas Howard. She directed season 1’s fourth episode and her dad, Ron Howard, directed 2018’s Solo. This episode was written by series creator Jon Favreau and sees Mando (Pedro Pascal) continuing his quest to find other Mandos as he tries to reunite Baby Yoda (aka The Child) with his own kind.
You might want to turn on the subtitles for this episode, since there are fish people I found hard to hear. Let’s jetpack into an ocean of SPOILERS.
Shortly after arriving on the watery moon of Trask and reuniting Frog-Lady with her husband, Mando and Baby Yoda are rescued from a terrifying situation by fellow Mandalorians Bo-Katan Kryze, Koska Reeves and Axe Woves (played by Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica fame, Mercedes Varnado, better known as WWE wrestler Sasha Banks, and Simon Kassianides, whom you might recognize from Agents of S.H.I.E.LD).
Bo-Katan was a regular in The Clone Wars — she showed up in the incredible final arc earlier this year — and followup CGI series Rebels. It’s wild to see Sackhoff playing the character in live action, especially since the show managed to stick so closely to the look of her CGI counterpart. Bo-Katan held the Darksaber and united the clans of Mandalore in the final season of Rebels, but Imperial Moff Gideon took the weapon in the years between that show and this one. So he’s kinda sorta the leader of Mandalore.
Bo-Katan reveals that she and her fellow Clan Kryze members — all three have the same symbol on their shoulders — are on Trask to seize weapons so they can retake their homeworld Mandalore (which is presumably occupied by the Imperial Remnant).
Even more exciting, she ultimately sends Mando to find former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, another Clone Wars alumnus, in the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus.
Child of the Watch
This episode dumps a whole lot of lore on us, but it’s all super cool. We learn that Mando and the intense group of Mandalorians he was with in season 1 are actually a “cult of religious zealots that broke away from Mandalorian society.” According to Bo-Katan, they want to reestablish the ancient Way — the Way of the Mandalore.
It’s likely this group is an offshoot of the Death Watch, a splinter group that opposed Mandalore’s pacifist government during the Clone Wars. Bo-Katan was part of this group until they joined Darth Maul (who was obviously nothing but trouble), at which point she allied with Ahsoka to boot the former Sith off Mandalore. Did I mention how good The Clone Wars is?
We already knew Mando was rescued by Death Watch members as a child, after his parents were killed during the Clone Wars. Presumably the indoctrination started shortly after that.
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The Way of the Mandalore is likely a fundamentalist interpretation of past Mandalorian leaders’ teachings. Unlike Mando and his buddies from last season, Bo-Katan and her crew have no issue with taking off their helmets around other people (hurray for eating in public!).
Mando also thinks the planet Mandalore is “cursed” and everyone who goes there dies — this is likely misinformation (how topical) planted by the Empire to keep the Mandalorians divided, so they won’t have the numbers to take their homeworld back.
‘Long live the Empire’
After Mando and his new Clan Kryze awesomely storm the Imperial freighter, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) orders the captain (Titus Welliver, who played the Smoke Monster in Lost) to murder the flight crew and crash the ship so the Mandalorians can’t get the weapons.
It suggests Gideon’s Imperial Remnant is pretty cult-like too. The reactions of the young Imperial security officer (Philip Alexander) really sell us on how intense it’s become; he clearly knows they’re screwed when the Mandalorians come aboard, and then his boss kills him.
Bo-Katan also learns that Gideon has the Darksaber, so she’ll be gunning for him next. She needs to get it back so she can reunite Mandalore’s scattered clans.
Baby Yoda moments
Despite all the Mandalorian lore, Baby Yoda gets some nice character development in this episode. He goes from chillingly gobbling up Frog Lady’s eggs in the previous episode to forming a heartwarming connection with the Frog couple’s first-born.
There’s also a gut-wrenching moment when the sleazy Quarren knocks the little guy into the Mamacore’s feeding pool. He’s protected by his pod, but Mando is understandably freaked out (I certainly shared his horror).
Easter eggs and observations
- Bo-Katan mentions that she’s the last of her line, so Mandalore won’t have an heir apparent if she’s killed. I suspect she will be, and Mando will take the throne.
- He’ll probably chill out about the helmet removal rule too, so we’ll see Pedro Pascal’s face again.
- “Put some tea on. We’ll be up in a minute.” Bo-Katan taunts the Imperials in a manner after my own heart.
- The Imperial captain bites into a suicide pill with a Star Wars twist; it seems to be an electronic implant in his tooth.
- Between this and the previous episode, the Razor Crest has been through a rough time. It’s got a whole new Mon Cal-style look now, and seems worryingly rickety.
- It’s surprisingly touching when Frog Lady reunites with her husband, considering we just met her in the last episode. He’s credited as Frog Man (John Cameron) — I was hoping he’d be “Frog Gentleman.”
- “Don’t play with your food.” Chowder exists in Star Wars, but it’s much scarier than it is in real life.
- Mando paid with the Calamari flan Greef Carga gave him in the first episode.
- There’s some cool converted tech, like a Hammerhead cruiser (as seen in Rogue One) being used as a sea vessel.
- Director Bryce Dallas Howard included a homage to her father — the sequence in which the Razor Crest enters Trask’s atmosphere mirrors the capsule returning to Earth in Ron Howard ‘s 1995 movie confirmed it after a fan compared the scenes on Twitter. . She