Well, it took five episodes, but we now have an answer to the question “what is The Mandalorian actually about now?” For two seasons, it was about Din protecting Grogu and getting him to the Jedi. But that didn’t work out, so now the show was about…?
That question didn’t really seem like it had all that much of a firm answer until this week’s quite good Bryce Dallas-Howard directed episode fully spelled it out. The Mandalorian is now about reassembling the nation of Mandalore.
This really started in earnest a few episodes ago with the return to Mandalore by Din and Bo-Katan, seeing both that it was not actually poisoned, even if it was mostly reduced to glass. Then Bo-Katan saw a Mythosaur, a beast of legend, which seems to be interpreted as a sign that the former ruler is the one meant to reunite the people, even if it’s Din that still has the Darksaber, though he doesn’t seem all that attached to it.
This week, we saw a coherent use of the Mandalorian enclave, working as effectively shock troopers to liberate a city from a pirate takeover in a way only Mandalorians can. This ended with them getting a tract of land on the planet, which means for the first time since Mandalore’s destruction, they can live in the open.
But you can’t really restart an entire civilization with like, thirty people, so Bo-Katan has been allowed to remove her helmet (I wonder if that was in Katee Sackhoff’s contract) and go recruit other hidden Mando tribes to rejoin this main one. Uniting the helmets and non-helmets, I suppose. I do wonder if the eventual plan is to literally rebuild Mandalore, as in return to the non-poisoned planet and restore it, though that seems like a thousand year project, given the state of the place.
The episode ends with the reveal that surprise, Moff Gideon is still in play and did not make it to trial, having been extracted in transit by a strike team. Beskar is found at the scene, the implication being that either some rogue group of Mandalorians rescued him, or that the Mandalorians are being framed, and positioned as enemies of the New Republic, seemingly aligned with Imperials. I’m not sure precisely what’s happening here, but that’s kind of the point. I do sort of want to see an “evil” Mandalorian faction in play here, rather than this just being a frame job.
Yes, it does very much seem like Din and Grogu’s story is now secondary to Bo-Katan’s, like they’ve now become supporting characters in their own series. They still have roles to play, certainly, but this has been the Bo-Katan show all season. That may be about the change however, depending on if the camera follows her on her recruitment trips and we stay with our main Mandalorian instead.
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