Mando learns a shocking bit of Mandalorian history when he meets Bo-Katan Kryze, one of Mandalore's most famous warriors.

By Lauren Morgan
November 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM EST
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After last week’s rather controversial episode where Baby Yoda was being a genocidal egg-eating monster (forgive the toddlers for they know not what they gobble), this week’s episode (directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, returning from season 1) introduces a key Mandalorian character and answers the nagging question of why Mando never takes his helmet off. 

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

A badly damaged Razor Crest crash lands into the port of Trask and after being fished out of the sea by a repurposed AT-AT and some Mon Calamari dock workers, Mando finally manages to reunite the wonderful Frog Lady (Misty Rosas) with her hubby, Frog Man (John Cameron). Their reunion is honestly heartwarming and the thankful Frog Man tells Mando he can find more information about the Mandalorians he’s seen at the local dockside inn. But it looks like the Mandalorians might find him first as a cloaked figure (Mercedes Varnado, a.k.a. WWE star Sasha Banks) watches Mando from the shadows before disappearing. 

Credit: Lucasfilm

At the inn, Mando finally gets Baby Yoda properly fed despite his living bowl of chowder putting up a bit of a fight. Frog Man was right and there have been others in beskar armor about. Mando gets introduced to a Quarren fisherman who says he can take Mando to them by boat. 

As Mando and Baby Yoda sail on the Quarren fishing vessel, it soon turns into a trap as the Quarren throw the child into the giant mamacore in the ship’s hull. As Mando dives into the water to save Baby Yoda, they lock Mando in with the creature in order to kill him and steal his beskar armor. Things look dire for Mando until helps arrives in the familiar armor of a certain well-known Mandalorian Nite Owl. Two others Mandalorians arrive and they save both Mando and Baby Yoda who is unharmed despite his carrier being dented. 

Mando thanks them and sounds like he’s about to cry with relief until they take off their helmets which sets off his alarm bells. He doesn’t need to worry though because he’s looking at one BO-KATAN KRYZE! Bo-Katan, who is played by Katee Sackhoff reprising her animated role from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, is flanked by fellow Mandalorians Koska Reeves (Varnado again, this time not in the shadows) and Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides). While this seems to be the first appearance of Koska and Axe, Bo-Katan has a long history in the Star Wars universe and it’s absolutely thrilling to finally see her in the flesh. 

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

It becomes obvious though that no one really taught Mando the recent history of Mandalore and he accuses Bo-Katan of stealing her armor, which knowing both her and the history of her family, is truly hilarious. She tells him that her armor has been in her family for three generations and she realizes that Mando is a Child of the Watch, a cult of Mandalorian religious extremists who follow the ancient ways. That Mando has been raised in a cult seems to be news to him and he’s still suspicious until Bo-Katan introduces herself as being the last of Clan Kryze, born on Mandalore and a fighter in the Purge.  

Now, the history of Mandalore is exceedingly complicated but here is a brief history by my colleague James Hibberd. The gist is that Bo-Katan’s sister Satine was once the ruler of Mandalore (and also Obi-Wan Kenobi’s true love, but hopefully that’s a story the upcoming Kenobi series will touch on) and so was Bo-Katan at one point. What exactly happened in the Purge is still a question but it seems that’s when Bo-Katan lost power of Mandalore and the Darksaber along with it. Bo-Katan and her family are very important figures in the planet’s history and the fact that Mando doesn’t know that demonstrates that his view of the Mandalorians has been colored by his extremist upbringing. This also finally answers the question about why he seems to different from all the Mandalorians we’ve previously seen who took off their helmets freely and didn’t live as monastically as he does. Turns out he was in a cult! It will be interesting to see if this new information finally frees Pedro Pascal from having to wear a helmet all the time as Mando reconsiders his upbringing. 

Despite getting a crash course in Mandalorian history, Mando believes his way is the true one and takes off back to the port with Baby Yoda. After blowing up the Quarren ship, the three Mandalorians soon follow. Bo-Katan comes to Mando's rescue again later that night when he comes under attack from Quarrens looking for retribution for their kin’s death. They kill them all and Bo-Katan offers to buy Mando a drink as a sort of peace offering. 

If it wasn’t obvious by now by all the double-crossing, Bo-Katan tells Mando that Trask is a black market port and they have been buying and selling weapons with the plunders of Mandalore. Her plan is to seize these weapons in order to retake Mandalore and seat a new Mandalorian on the throne. While Mando thinks the planet is cursed, Bo-Katan tells him he’s been misinformed and that Mandalore’s enemies want to keep them separate but that they are stronger together. 

That sounds nice but Mando is on a quest to return Baby Yoda to the Jedi. Bo-Katan, who has quite a bit of experience with the Jedi, wants to know what Mando knows of them. He knows nothing, but he was hoping they would help him as part of the Mandalorian Creed. She can lead them to one of their kind (a certain former padawan of Anakin Skywalker, perhaps?) but first she needs help on their mission of attacking an Imperial Gozanti freighter loaded with weapons as it leaves port. 

After leaving Baby Yoda with the Frog family and telling him to behave (i.e., no egg eating), Mando joins the other Mandalorians in attacking the ship, dispatching the first batch of stormtroopers easily. Inside the ship, the Imperial captain played by Titus Welliver, who is the third Deadwood alum this season alongside Timothy Olyphant and W. Earl Brown in the premiere, seals the hatch and commands the pilot to begin the climb to space so they can jump to hyperspace even though they haven’t yet cleared the harbor zone. 

The Mandalorians continue to plow through the troopers like soft butter and the ship’s crew is so hapless it traps the Mandalorians in the cargo control area which allows them to suck a batch of troopers and their commander out of the ship. Bo-Katan thanks the captain for the weapons and informs him that they are taking the ship as well, much to the captain and Mando’s shock. 

Bo-katan tells Mando she needs something if she is to rule Mandalore, something that was once hers (obviously the Darksaber) and the Imperials know where it is. Mando says this isn’t part of his plan but Bo-Katan reminds him that if he wants to find the Jedi, he’ll help her take the ship. When he tells her she’s changing the terms of the deal, she coolly responds, “This is the way.”

Back in the cockpit, the Imperial captain contacts Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito in his first appearance of the season) and asks for backup since the ship was attacked by pirates. Gideon wants to know if these are the same pirates that have attacked them before and once it’s confirmed. Gideon informs him that backup won’t be coming and signs off with an ominous, “Long live the Empire.” 

The captain kills the pilots and takes the ship into a sharp dive planning to destroy it before the Mandalorians can get it. As the Mandalorians come under fire from the last batch of troopers, Mando runs at them and launches two detonators their way. They storm the bridge and Bo-Katan points a knife at the captain’s throat, demanding to know where the Darksaber is and inferring that she knows Moff Gideon has it. As Mando and Koska rescue the ship from its deep dive, the captain dies by suicide before he can confess any information. 

The mission complete, Mando prepares to leave the ship but not before Bo-Katan to tells him the Jedi can be found in the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus. There he will find Ahsoka Tano (the rumors of her appearance are true!) and he just needs to tell Ahsoka that Bo-Katan sent him. She thanks him and says his bravery won’t be forgotten. They bid farewell with a mutual “This is the Way.”

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Mando heads back to port where Baby Yoda is playing with a newly hatched frog child and thankfully treating the tiny creature as a pet and not dinner. He’s learning! Mando thanks the Frog family for watching his kid as Baby Yoda whines and resists losing his new pet (this show knows parenthood so well). Our favorite amphibians kiss and coo over their baby. 

The Razor Crest still looks awful despite the fact Mando has paid a Mon Calamari dock worker a thousand credits to fix it. Mando looks at the cockpit in dismay at the nets strewn about but prepares to take off. A creature that looks like a tiny mamacore has stowed away on board and is about to attack Baby Yoda before Mando catches it and gives it to him as a snack. Though Mando finally knows where he’s taking the child, it’s going to be a bumpy ride and the Razor Crest continues to shed parts as it begins the search for the legendary Ahsoka Tano. 

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