The Mandalorian S2: "The Heiress" spoiler review
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
If you're anything like me, you woke up to a Twitter timeline screaming with excitement at this newest installment of The Mandalorian - unless, of course, you stayed up late to watch it as it dropped. Either way, the anticipation was greatly rewarded with a fantastic episode from returning director Bryce Dallas Howard. There are MAJOR SPOILERS below the image, so proceed at your own risk.
The episode picks up almost immediately where we left off last week: The Razor Crest is limping towards Trask (and it looks like Din finally managed to sneak in a power nap). After a rough, and frankly hilarious, dockside landing, Frog Woman is finally reunited with her husband in a truly sweet, heartwarming moment. Frog Man directs Din towards a nearby inn, where he can seek information about the Mandalorian cohort frequenting the moon.
At the inn, a deeply untrustworthy Quarren offers to provide Din passage to where the Mandalorians are, on board his fishing boat. Whether or not he actually knew where the Mandalorians were remains unclear, because at the first opportunity he pushes The Child into the waiting jaws of a Mamacore. Din dives in after him, which is exactly what the Quarrel wanted: if he drowns, they can strip his beskar to use for their own purposes.
But it is not to be. Because while the Quarren didn't help Din find the cohort, the cohort of three sure found him. And leading them is none other than the former wielder of the Darksaber herself, Bo-Katan Kryze!
That's right. Bo-Katan has entered the live action ring, played by Katee Sackhoff, who also voiced the character in The Clone Wars and Rebels. This is where the episode takes a turn from the "monster of the week" format we had for the first two chapters of the season, and shift into the more world-building aspects of The Mandalorian. The first significant shift in the story is when Bo-Katan removes her helmet to speak to Din.
There has been much conversation among fans as to why Din does not remove his helmet when we have seen other Mandalorians in the animated series do so. Some speculated that perhaps this rule was specific to Din's cohort, and this was confirmed this week when Bo-Katan correctly identified him as being a "Child of the Watch". In her words, the Children of the Watch were raised in an extremist cult seeking to bring back the old ways. Din bristles at this flies off, leaving the others on the fishing boat.
After they catch up with him - and save his life again - back in the port city, he finally decides to hear them out. Bo-Katan expresses a desire to restore Mandalore following the Great Purge, which Din believes to be impossible. However, he does agree to help her with her mission on Trask, in exchange for Bo-Katan's information about a Jedi he can seek out. the bargain struck, the four Mandalorians fly out to a departing Gozanti-class freighter - after leaving The Child to be babysat by the Frog Couple, of course.
On arrival, they quickly take most of the ship, including the weapons crates. But it becomes clear quickly that Bo-Katan isn't just looking for blasters. She's looking for something more, and fans of the animated series can make an educated guess about what exactly that is. In fact, it wasn't until my second viewing that I realized they never dive into the fact that she's seeking the Darksaber. We do know she's on the right track, as the Imperial she speaks with (threatens) spoke with Moff Gideon moments before Bo-Katan shows up. It is also heavily implied that Gideon knows she's looking for him, and he knows why.
Once they've taken the ship, Bo-Katan extends an offer for Din to join her crew, which he declines. Though she leaves the offer open, she also gives him directions to the Jedi as she promised. Din and The Child leave Trask with a new goal in mind: find Ahsoka Tano.
This episode was phenomenal. The action didn't drag, and overall the pacing kept everything moving at just the right speed. While the last episode was more about character development - you will never hear me call it "filler" - this episode was all about setting up Din's journey, both literal and emotional, for the rest of the season and beyond.
While I do believe he will grapple with the choice of whether or not to leave The Child behind when it comes to it, the introduction of Bo-Katan and other Mandalorians outside of his cohort throws a lot of other things into flux for him as well. The realization that not all Mandalorians live as he does will, I believe, cause him to question everything he thought he knew about the way he was raised. If, as Bo-Katan says, Children of the Watch are an extremist cult, is the show setting them up to be a foil for Din as his own journey progresses. He has seen more of the world, he has been outside the metaphorical cave and seen how other Mandalorians live, how they fight to restore their world. I doubt that he'll be able to live by the ancient ways ever again. Additionally, because we know Bo-Katan is seeking the Darksaber, and by extension Moff Gideon, it's not unrealistic to think that she and Din will meet again, and perhaps fight side by side.
Because this episode was so plot-heavy, it was pretty light on Easter eggs. So instead I give to you my Top 5 favorite moments:
5. The Mon Calamari with the thick, cable knit fisherman's sweater. It's one of those things that at once makes perfect sense for the setting, yet is hilarious to consider at the same time, because it's such a "real life" detail in an otherwise fantastical setting.
4. The Frog Couple's reunion was extremely sweet, as was their willingness to babysit The Child while Din was off with the other Mandalorians. I love how they were patiently teaching The Child how to be gentle with their baby too, it was such a lovely homey moment.
3. We've now basically got confirmation that Ahsoka Tano will be appearing in live-action. I can't quite believe we're actually getting her in live-action, and I will almost certainly lose my mind when we do. I will say, it is a little bittersweet that as far as we know Ashley Eckstein, who voices her, isn't involved in bringing her into live-action at all. The two of them are so inextricably linked, it will be strange to hear another voice coming out of her mouth.
2. It's a marvel of language how inflection can change the meaning of a sentence. When Bo-Katan realizes Din is a Child of the Watch, she sarcastically uses the phrase "This is the Way" when their beliefs and approaches do not line up. But by the end of the episode, the two of them exchange the phrase with a kinder sense of understanding between them, which does nothing except fuel my excitement for their inevitable team-up against Gideon.
1. BO-KATAN! This is not a small moment, it's half the episode, I know. We suspected this was coming because of the leaks, but the timing took many by surprise, and still allowed for a lot of jumping up and down in excitement. This marks a significant shift in the show as the paths of live-action and animation finally cross. It will be interesting to see how they manage to communicate her backstory without boring those who've already seen the animated series, while also making sure the audience meeting her for the first time can keep up.
What was your favorite moment? When do you think we'll see Ahsoka pop up? Check out this week's Streaming Star Wars for even more in depth analysis of Chapter 11.