The title this week basically says it all. Din is off to find the living waters under the mines of Mandalore so he may be redeemed for removing his helmet in front of others. And it’s very exciting! Unlike last week, the action scenes feel like they have some weight and stakes to them.
We start off with a trip to Tatooine’s sassiest mechanic, Peli. It’s always a joy to see Amy Sedaris in the Star Wars universe. (I would very much like them to work in her character from Strangers with Candy. Maybe an aside about her sister who flunked out of school and became a dancer at Jabba’s Palace?) She’s keeping busy by having her Jawa buddies strip parts off of speeders, which she then sells back to unsuspecting suckers—after repainting them to look different, of course! Unfortunately, neither she nor the Jawas have an IG memory chip. Luckily, she’s got a brand new R5 model Din can take! (By “brand new,” I mean literally the same R5-D4 droid that was almost purchased instead of R2-D2 but broke down, meaning R2 would go off with Luke instead. There are literally 3 droids in the Star Wars galaxy. Oh, and the official canon backstory of the R5 droid is WILD.)
I’ve said it before, but the AI in Star Wars is crazy. R5 is a coward, but robots aren’t supposed to have emotions, so it’s programmed to shake and quiver when presented with a scary task. R5 shakes when told it’s going spelunking in the mines, shakes when it gets off the ship, shakes when it goes into the mine…
And then he disappears off the scopes. Din is sure the droid will be right back, but Grogu insists he go after it.
Mandalore looks great here, by the way. The planet is bombed out and desolate, with cities buried underground. It looks starkly beautiful. Din enters the mines, and after dispatching a bevy of cave-dwelling wild men with his blaster and the Darksaber (he looks so awkward fighting with the Darksaber, I swear), he props up R5 who had toppled over. The air is breathable, so Din and Grogu go looking for the waters.
Everything is going smoothly. Too smoothly. So smoothly that it’s really not a huge surprise when a giant droid monster pops out of the ground and captures Din. It’s piloted by a smaller, insect-looking droid, who clamps Din in some kind of rotisserie device. (And kudos on this droid design. It looks very frightening and imposing.) Grogu tries to use force to free Din, but Din tells him to get away and get Bo-Katan on her nearby moon.
Back at her castle, Katan is angered by the sight of Din’s fighter. She storms to the landing pad, ready to kick him out, but when she sees it’s Grogu by himself, she immediately jumps into action. She flies back to Mandalore and asks Grogu to lead her to Din. Grogu is scared, but presses on. They come across the insect droid in the process of draining Din’s blood, and Katan blasts it. They fight, and she notices that Din has dropped the Darksaber under his cage. She grabs it and makes short work of the droid. However, the head of the droid separates and scuttles back into the bigger droid, and Katan has to destroy that as well.
So, can Bo-Katan now claim the Darksaber as her own? It was a whole thing in Season 2 that Mando couldn’t just give it to her, she had to win it in order to wield it. Does picking it up count as a “win?” I hope so, because she handles it way more gracefully than Din who acts like it weighs 500 pounds when trying to swing it.
She offers to take Din back to her moon, but he refuses. He has to cleanse himself in the waters. She sighs. Fine, she’ll show him the way, even though she thinks all that stuff is fairy tale nonsense.
They get to the waters, where legend has it that the first Mandalorian fought the giant mythosaur. Din takes off his jet pack and walks down the steps into the waters, reciting the creed, when Whoops! A step is missing and he sinks like a stone.
Bo-Katan dives in after him, using her jet pack to propel her through the water. She dives deeper and deeper, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. (I guess Manadalore doesn’t do shallow ends, huh?) Din should’ve sunk straight down, but Katan is searching all over for him. Finally, she sees him lying on the bottom of the pool, and struggles to get him up. As they zip back to the surface, zooming over the rocky seascape, an eye pops open. Bo-Katan gasps as the horns of the giant creature come into view. It appears to be the mythosaur of legend, surely an omen for the Manadalorian who wants to lead her people.
Now, this was a step up from the muddled story of last week. Still, I think it would have been much more interesting for Din to get to the mines and find that the Living Waters were gone, or toxic, or dried up. It would have been a more satisfying conclusion if Din had arrived, seen the waters gone, and had to come to grips with that. The better impulse is to say “I’m a Mandalorian. I don’t need the Living Waters to make me one. I live my life by my creed.”
But, then we wouldn’t have gotten the mythosaur… And the mythosaur was pretty rad.
I’m also glad that Bo-Katan got to do more this week than just pout. As soon as Grogu came for help, she leapt into action and showed exactly why she might be considered a worthy leader for her scattered people.
So now that Din has been “redeemed” and Bo-Katan has claimed the Darksaber, it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Is Din going back to see the Armorer? Is Bo-Katan going to rally her followers? None of these storylines are as interesting to me as the stuff from the first two seasons, but they might get there. We’ll see!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Grogu Cuteness Meter: Our little Jedi was all Zen as he force-pushed a caveman out of his way to get back to the ship. No time for snacks, though! He had to save Dad.