After a spine-tingling escape from a killer spider-inhabited ice planet in episode 2, Mando, The Child and Frog Lady are plunged straight into the deep end in episode 3, “The Heiress.” Luckily, there are a few Mandalorians more than willing to help their brethren, and their arrival not only provides further insight into our eponymous hero’s origins, but also sets up a compelling new storyline that pits the survivors of Mandalore against the Empire once more.
You’ve really got to hand it to the Razor Crest for doing the most while hanging together by a thread. Still, upon entry into the atmosphere of Trask, an estuary moon located in the same star system as the gas giant Kol Iben, Mando’s (t)rusty steed ends up in the port rather than the landing bay and needs fishing out.
He leaves it with a mechanic of the Mon Calamari people while Frog Lady reunites with her Frog Man, and luckily, there are more than enough eggs left for him to fertilize. Baby Yoda, meanwhile, is hungry, and now that frog spawn is off the menu, Mando takes him to a local inn where he can get info about the mysterious Mandalorians. There, some Quarren fishermen agree to take Mando to sea to find those he seeks, but they double-cross him in order to steal his Beskar armor. Thankfully, the local Mandalorians have been keeping an eye on the clan of two since they arrived on Trask, and take out the Davy Jones lookalike contest before the Mando and Baby Yoda end up as fish food.
But shock! Horror! These Mandalorians are taking off their helmets! Mando has had enough drama without needing to demand three sets of armor back, so there’s much relief when it turns out they’ve simply been raised differently from our Din Djardin. It’s here we’re introduced, for the first time in live-action form, to Katee Sackhoff’s Bo-Katan Kryze, who began life as a character Sackhoff voiced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) and Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides), also from the series, make up her party. Bo explains to Mando that he’s a “Child of the Watch,” which she describes as a “cult of religious zealots who broke away from Mandalorian society.” Their goal is “to reestablish the Ancient Way.”
Bo, however, was brought up in the Clan Kryze, and there’s a lot of backstory to enjoy in the animated series. We won’t give too much away and stick to what Bo reveals in the episode: She was born on Mandalore and fought in the Purge, which saw Empire forces decimate the planet’s civilization. She’s the last of her line, but Mando is freaked out by their helmet-free faces. “There’s only one way, the way of the Mandalore,” he says before jetting back to dryish land. There he’s confronted by some Quarrens ready to murder him and “his pet” for killing one of their brothers, but never fear—Bo, Koska, and Axe turn up just in time, again, to take out the Squidward fan club. One can hardly turn down a drink from the people who’ve saved your neck twice in the space of 10 minutes, so Mando and Baby Yoda join the trio for a bevvy and Bo gives him the 411. Trask is a black-market port and the locals have been staging weapons to sell “with the plunders of our planet,” Bo says. “We are seizing those weapons and using them to retake our homeworld.”
Mando is like, and we’re paraphrasing here, “No thanks. Mandalore is a cursed planet, only people die there. Where are the Jedi so I can drop off Baby Yoda and finish this quest?” But Bo will only give him the location if he helps them steal weapons from an Imperial Gozanti Freighter.
It will be a cold day in hell when Mando gets information without having to risk death in exchange for it, but until then, he’s forced to agree and gets the Frogs to babysit Baby Yoda. The quartet quickly blast their way onto the freighter as it’s leaving port, but their presence is soon relayed to the Imperial officer in charge, played by Bosch actor Titus Welliver, who looks like he’s just returned from an all-inclusive beach holiday on the planet Iloh.
The antagonist contacts his commanding officer for backup, and of course that superior is Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). He’s not willing to send in reinforcements when the Mandalorians are 10 stormtroopers away from taking the bridge. Instead, he orders the ship to be destroyed. Thanks to Mando and some handy explosives, they make it to the cockpit and stop the freighter from crashing, and this is where Bo reveals her true reason for seizing the ship: she believes the darksaber, currently in the possession of Gideon, is the weapon she needs to secure her role as the next leader of the Mandalorian. It was forged by Tarre Vizsla, a Mandolorian who trained as a Jedi and was once leader of Mandalore. Unfortunately, the Imperial officer does the Star Wars equivalent of ingesting a cyanide pill and takes his own life.
Ah well, no darksaber for Bo-Katan just now, but at least she’s acquired a sizeable armory of weapons to take back to Mandalore. Desperate to get back to his lil’ foundling, Mando is not persuaded to join this clan, but Bo makes good on her promise and tells our hero he can find a Jedi going by the name of Ahsoka Tano in the city of Caladon on the forest planet Corvus.
There’s a lot of juicy character story to take away from this episode, written by Jon Favreau and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, as it finally offers some deeper insight into the diversity of the Mandalorian people. It shows just how much Din doesn’t know about the people who rescued him as a foundling and inducted him into their culture. Clearly his clan was old school, but that doesn’t mean Bo-Katan’s Way doesn’t subscribe to a martial code too.
The Mandalorian has entered series-arc territory, one that will see the Mandalorians’ battle to take back their planet serve as the dramatic undercurrent for the next five episodes and maybe even seasons beyond. But first, Mando and Baby Yoda have a Jedi to meet, and we certainly hope to see Rosario Dawson bringing this Clone Wars favorite to life in the next chapter.
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