Your kid. He’s tougher than he looks. And he’s quite the navigator.– Bo-Katan Kryze
This is an episode title I thought I would see closer to the end of the season.
The Apostate does a good job of setting up a line of dominoes. By the end of this episode though, I feel like all of the dominoes have fallen.
Warning: The following review may contain light spoilers. Be sure to check out our review of the first episode of The Mandalorian‘s third season.
The Mines of Mandalore opens with fireworks and two speeders racing through Mos Eisley, signaling the start of Boonta Week.
Din Djarin (Pedro Pescal) pays a visit to Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris). He asks her if she has any memory circuits needed to repair IG-11. No chance cubes.
Afterward, she tries to sell Djarin on R5-D4, an astromech that has seen better days. At first, Djarin declines the offer, but after Peli lowers the price because it is Boonta Week, the Mandalorian agrees.
With the new droid loaded onto the N-1, the group makes its way to Mandalore, the homeworld of the Mandalorians. Fusion Bombs have disrupted the magnetic fields on the planet, so they can’t contact anyone unless they’re outside of the planet’s atmosphere.
On his search for the Living Waters, Djarin is captured in the clutches of a crab mech. The crab mech is piloted by a being that is part living and part robotic, much like General Grevious. It even has four arms. The only biological part is an eyeball suspended in liquid. After a failed rescue attempt from Grogu, Djarin tells Grogu to go back to Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff). And that’s exactly what he does.
Along the way, Djarin has been teaching Grogu about various readouts on the dash of the N-1. It was unclear if Grogu has retained any of these teachings until now. It seems to have paid off. When Grogu makes it back to the N-1, he points to a star map and R5 knows exactly where Grogu wants to go.
Bo-Katan says goodbye to her life of solitude and takes off in her own ship with Grogu and R5 in search of Djarin. Bo-Katan faces off against the crab mech pilot in his home. Bo-Katan uses the darksaber to slice the limbs off of the mech before delivering the killing blow.
After rescuing Djarin, Bo-Katan leads Djarin to the Living Waters. There, Djarin is pulled under the waters and Bo-Katan saves him again. Under the water they meet face to face with a massive mythical creature.
The episode ends with our heroes catching their breath on the steps that lead into the Living Waters wondering if there is a fight ahead of them.
Finally, a darksaber episode. And one where Bo-Katan is using it again! While this was a cool moment for the show, and it had an ending that got me excited to see how it plays out in the next episode, I have my gripes with this episode.
I hate to say it, but I think a few characters in this show have regressed.
First, I’d like to talk about Peli Motto. While her interactions with Grogu felt natural, her interactions with the Mandalorian did not.
Peli and Dijarin have built a rapport and this episode straight up did not respect that. She would never sell R5 to the Mandalorian. This is the duo that built the N-1 we’re talking about here. While this does solve Mando’s droid problem, even if only temporarily, it felt like fan service to me and not in a good way.
Say what you will, but building a ship with a warp drive takes a certain level of trust.
I’m not saying that Peli had to drop everything and help Mando find a working memory circuit for IG-11, but what we got didn’t line up with her character.
Next, I’d like to talk about the Mandalorian himself.
Look, I thought for sure this guy wasn’t going to go into orbit around Mandalore, let alone land on it without IG-11. Mando prioritizing redemption over the revival of his friend feels reckless and uncharacteristic. If this wasn’t Mando’s goal, then why even tease a possible IG-11 revival in the season premier?
Finally, I’d like to talk about Grogu. Yes, Grogu.
If Grogu can understand the Mandalorian, then Grogu knows the stakes. When Mando was trapped by the mech pilot, his blaster and the darksaber were right there. In my head, I kept rooting for Grogu to pick up the darksaber and slash at the cage Mando was trapped in. His attempt to rescue him using the Force was admirable though.
Side note: can Grogu get some new clothes? His burlap sack shtick isn’t cutting it anymore. He needs a full range of motion if he’s going to start playing a bigger part in the story.
In my opinion, Bo-Katan was the most believable character this episode.
Final Score (3 out of 5 stars)
The more I think about this episode the more I realize that the show could end next episode if it really wanted to. I scored it so high because it shows the audience what they want to see and, admittedly, it does have some fun with itself.
We get instant gratification when it comes to secrets surrounding Mandalore. The air is breathable and we even see the Living Waters. I was fully prepared to strap in for more of a slow burn this season, but with Mando’s quest to achieve redemption basically complete in this episode alone, I’m curious as to where the show will even go from here.
Ultimately this episode left me feeling the same way I’ve felt about a lot of what Disney has been churning out lately. Ok. Passable. Not my favorite.
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