Warning: This article contains spoilers for Chapter 11 of The Mandalorian
After a somewhat disappointing filler episode last week, The Mandalorian returned to form today with one of the best episodes of the series. Despite its short 35 minute runtime, the episode held back nothing, and delivered an action-packed adventure for our hero.
Following off the heels of the previous episode, Din Djarin and the Child safely arrive at their destination, dropping off Frog Lady from the previous episode. Still searching for more of his kind, Din enlists the help of a Quarren and his crew. Unsurprisingly, our hero and the Child are betrayed and as all help seems lost, three Mandalorians come to their aid. This trio is led by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) who reprises her role from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. Now united with his kind, Din seeks out help finding a Jedi. Bo-Katan offers help, if Din can help her and her two allies (Simon Kassianides, Mercedes Varnado) steal cargo from an Imperial freighter. He agrees, but during the mission it becomes clear that Katan and company have alternative plans. Katan seeks the darksaber, which she needs to use to save her people and her planet, but it is currently in the grasp of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) who we saw wield the saber in the season one finale. Din helps his fellow Mandalorians capture the ship, but their efforts to catch Gideon by surprise are thwarted. Katan offers Din a place on her team, which he refuses, but asks for information about the Jedi. Bo-Katan then reveals that the Mandalorian and the Child can find Ahsoka Tano in the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus. The episode ends with the pair embarking off in a poorly-repaired Razor Crest.
Truthfully, this episode fired on all cylinders for me. As a longtime fan of The Clone Wars and Rebels, this episode was a lot of great fan service for me, but I also think it provided a lot to new fans of the saga as well. Something that I immediately appreciated was the explanation as to why some Mandalorians remove their helmets and some do not. It is revealed in this episode that Din comes from a splinter of his people called the Watch, a cult of religious zealots whose goal was to re-establish the ancient way. While brushed over in the episode, I think that this thread will come to play a big role in the character development of our protagonist. While the concept of a faceless hero has worked so far, a lot of fans really enjoyed the moment last season when his helmet finally was removed, and I think the series is heading in a direction where we will see Din become comfortable with removing his helmet in time.
Evaluating the episode from a technical level, Bryce Dallas Howard returned to the directors chair this week and continues to do an incredible job. Her episode was my favorite of season one, and while I think there is even more to come for me to enjoy in season two, this episode might be my favorite one so far this season as well. She also worked with a different style of action this time around, and she handled it very well. I found the action in this episode very impressive and I hope we see more of this style moving forward.
The costume design for this episode was also top-tier. I found that the live-action adaptations of the Death Watch armor in season one was a bit underwhelming, but seeing it again this week it became clear they have made major upgrades to the costume design. Not only does Bo-Katan look like she was ripped right out the animated series, but her allies also have very accurate costumes. However, after seeing both Clan Kryze and Boba Fett’s armor side-by-side with Din Djarin’s it becomes clear that the silver beskar is the best looking suit on the show. I wonder if in time we will see Din establish his own clan, as it would be interesting to see his armor with some color.
I have no complaints about this episode. Although I usually would find issue with the shorter runtime, the episode made up for it by pushing the narrative forward, establishing relationships for the audience between Bo-Katan and Gideon, as well as explaining to general audiences the importance of the darksaber.
Looking ahead, as much as I can hope over the next week, I do not expect to have a full Ahsoka-centric episode next week. Due to the current state of the Razor Crest, I do not expect our heroes to make it all the way to their destination without another filler episode as they need repairs. I hope to be wrong, but I expected Ahsoka around episode six, not four, so now I think she will appear in five. I have been very skeptical regarding the Rosario Dawson casting and the live-action appearance of the character, especially without Ashley Eckstein attached, but after seeing how Bo-Katan was handled, I do feel more reassured that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are going to deliver a really great live-action Ahsoka. Whether that is in the next episode or episode five remains to be seen, but I now look forward to her appearance.
What did you think of this episode of The Mandalorian? Where do you think the show goes from here? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media pages!