'The Mandalorian's Twist: There's More Than One 'Way' (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 2 episode 3, "The Heiress."]
Since the start of the series, Mando (Pedro Pascal) has always kept faith in “the way”: Mandalorians look out for each other, keep faith in their weapon-based religion, and, perhaps most importantly, never, ever, ever remove their helmets. That is the way.
And yet in the Bryce Dallas Howard-directed, guest-star studded “The Heiress,” Mando finally succeeds in finding others of his kind, only to learn that his is not the only way — and his past might be a little more layered than he thought.
A Rough Landing
Mando and his team crash-land, and the Razor Crest goes underwater. The dock hands pull it out, and Mando pays them to fix it. Then, after the Frog Lady and her hubby are reunited, Mando inquires about what he really wants to know: “I was told you could lead me to others of my kind.” This takes him to an inn, where the Mon Calamari innkeeper says others with beskar have been through. He gets a Quarren boat captain and says he can bring him to them, and that’s how Mando and Baby Yoda wind up on a boat, after paying handsomely for the trip.
The Quarren though, isn’t what he seems. He and his workers are transporting a rathtar-like monster and, after inviting Baby Yoda and Mando to look at it, he pushes Baby Yoda into the water, where the monster swallows him. Mando dives in after him, and they lock the enclosure, proclaiming the beskar is theirs. All hope seems lost…and then three blue-helmeted Mandalorians fly in on jet packs and take down the whole crew, save him, and rescue the child.
Mando’s relieved to have accomplished his mission and starts to tell the trio about how he has to return Baby Yoda to his kind, but then they do something unexpected: they remove their helmets. Gasp! Mando, of course, is indignant and says they don’t deserve their armor, but the leader, Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) explains that he’s not of true Mandalorian descent: Mando was a Child of the Watch, which, as she puts it, were “a cult that broke away from Mandalorian society.”
She tells him their goal was to “reestablish the ancient way,” but Mando’s not convinced. “The only way is the way of the Mandalore,” he says, and flies away. The rest of the Mandalorians destroy the ship, and they fly away, too. Fun fact: the other two Mandalorians are Koska Reeves and Axe Wolves, played by WWE wrestler Sasha Banks and Simon Kassianides, respectively.
Fortunately, that’s not the last he sees of them. When Mando heads back to the docks, he runs into trouble with an alien who says the captain of the ship was his brother. He threatens Baby Yoda and it appears there’s going to be a fight, but the rest of the Mandalorians fly in and destroy them all in short order. Bo-Katan then offers him a drink, and they all discuss plans. Turns out, Bo-Katan and her pals are at Trassk to seize black market Mandalorian weapons and use them to retake Mandalore. Mando scoffs at the idea, saying Mandalore “is cursed” and that “anyone who goes there, dies.” Bo-Katan responds by telling Mando not to believe everything he hears, and says she can lead him to a Jedi…if he helps with their mission.
“The mission” is seizing control of an Imperial weapons freighter, which doesn’t seem like it’ll be a problem (there’s only one squadron of guards, who, as one Mandalorian puts it, “couldn’t hit the side of a bantha”). Nonetheless, it’s too dangerous for a child, so Baby Yoda stays with the Frog Lady.
Mando, Bo-Katan, and the rest head out on their mission, and Bo-Katan and her crew blast through at least a dozen Stormtroopers like they’re just doing target practice. They end up sealed in the cargo hold, which is exactly where they want to be, and then Bo-Katan springs the plan in its entirety on Mando. She’s not just there for the weapons: she’s taking the ship.
“This is more than I signed up for,” Mando tells her, obviously annoyed. She counters by saying that the Imps know where to find something that was taken from her (THE DARKSABER!!!), and she has to get it back to rule Mandalore. Regardless, she says, they’ll need the ship in the wars to come and if he wants to find the Jedi, he’ll help her. “You’re changing the terms of the deal,” Mando says, exasperated. “This is the way,” she smirks, leaving Mando staring after her.
A Bumpy Ride
After a brief conference with Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) during which he says they won’t be rescuing him, the captain of the ship puts it in a steep dive, electing to destroy it rather than allowing it to enter Mandalorian hands. That doesn’t stop the Mandalorians, as they fight through a group of Troopers and make it to the bridge. They take the ship and Bo-Katan demands the captain tell her whether Moff Gideon has the darksaber, but the man kills himself rather than take her to his commander.
The Mandalorians, minus Mando, must continue on their quest ASAP; the captain sent a distress call to the Empire forces, so they have to leave. Mando’s determined to continue his quest, and Bo-Katan tells him where to find the Jedi: “the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus. There, you will find Ahsoka Tano.”
So, with the offer to come help her save Mandalore standing, Mando and Baby Yoda head off on the next leg of their journey in a shoddily repaired — but flying!— ship. “I finally know where I’m taking you,” Mando says, “but it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
- I’m not sure I’ve ever been as hyped about this show as I am right now. Bo-Katan has quickly become my favorite character (Sackhoff was great), and I hope this isn’t the last we see of her this season. Regardless, even if she doesn’t reappear, this episode set up so many intriguing storylines that I’m looking forward to the show exploring.
- So, it looks like the speculation about Sasha Banks playing Sabine Wren was incorrect. Doesn’t mean we’ll never see Sabine, though! If she doesn’t show up this season, I bet she’ll make an appearance in Season 3.
- Speculation that Mando was part of Death Watch isn’t exactly new — fans have been wondering about it for a while — but now, with the name “Children of the Watch” attached to him, it makes a lot more sense. The names of the groups line up, to say the least. I’m looking forward to seeing how Mando deals with the revelation that he’s not, in fact, a traditional Mandalorian and is descended from a terrorist group. Well, at least he can remove his helmet! There’s more than one “way,” Mando!
- Boy, did we ever have the guest stars this episode. Titus Welliver as the Empire ship captain, the trio of Mandalorians played by Sackhoff, Sasha Banks, Simon Kassainides, and more.
- It wouldn’t be an “Other Observations” section for me if I’m not saying how much I love the music, but…again, I really loved the music. The theme for the trio of Mandalorians (or is it just Bo-Katan’s theme?) was so incredibly cool, and the scene when they were fighting on the ship and Mando’s theme wove through it? Absolute. Perfection.
- I also love how this episode corrected the oddness in Episode 2 with Baby Yoda eating those eggs. It seems the child has learned from his mistakes, considering he even wanted to keep the little frog alien baby.
- Rating: 5/5. After a slight misstep last week, The Mandalorian is jet-packing ahead at full throttle with exciting plot developments, incredible guest stars and the promise of yet another epic guest star soon to come: Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano.
The Mandalorian, Fridays, Disney+