We’re running a weekly recap of The Mandalorian on Disney+ for season two. There are spoilers, duh! You’ve been warned.
This week (“The Tragedy”) starts with Mando and Grogu on their course to Tython. The plan is to set the kid on the Seeing Stone. He’ll reach out with the Force and “see” (get it?) if any Jedi responds to his call. Then, as long as Grogu is agreeable, Grogu will leave Mando with a new companion to begin his re-training in the Light side.
I think Mando dreads this moment.
Last week, when he finally found Ahsoka Tano on Corvus, when he genuinely thought that Ahsoka would take Grogu from him, Mando finally faced, for the first time, in tangible terms, his final goodbye to Grogu. He’s not handling it well. How could he?
Just before they reach Tython, Mando tells the kid, “I agreed to take you to your own kind, so that’s what I need to do. You understand, right?”
But Grogu doesn’t understand. Of course he doesn’t.This episode did for Boba Fett what Rogue One did for Darth Vader.
I’m convinced Mando is talking to himself, steeling himself to do the impossible. He’s in too deep. He’s gone too far. He can’t turn back. He must deliver Grogu to his new home, to the Jedi, like he promised.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m adopted.
When I was four years old—too young to understand, but old enough for it to hurt—my mother made a similar choice as Mando is making here. She embarked on a path that would sever (for a time) her bond as my mother and mine as her son.
It’s a devastating choice, the kind of bittersweet decision that’s born out of indescribable self-conflict, regret, and love.
My mother had her doubts. She must have. At any step of the process, I imagine her telling me, “I agreed to take you to your new parents,” just as Mando did to Grogu.
“You understand, right?”
The life she could provide was no life she wanted for me. Just as the life of a bounty hunter is no life for a special kid like Grogu.
Mando loves Grogu so much it hurts.
Which is why he needs the reminder: That’s what I need to do.
Boba Fett is back. The last time we saw him, he was standing in the desert with his mean face, and I’ve since been making fun of it just about every week of this recap.
Seriously, come on, Jon Favreau. You reveal Boba Fett for the first time on screen in 37 years, and then you ignore his existence for five more episodes? That’s almost as bad as teasing Luke Skywalker until the end of The Force Awakens, only to wait two more years to actually hear him speak in The Last Jedi.
But credit where credit is due. Fett’s full return was a heckuva good time.
This episode did for Boba Fett what Rogue One did for Darth Vader.
You know the scene I’m talking about, the one that finally showed Vader’s full power and savagery in ways that had only been hinted at in the original films.
Similarly, “The Tragedy,” unleashed Boba Fett. This is the guy the true fans believed him to be, the guy who could take out a Stormtrooper squad with just his wits and Tusken gaffi stick.
And then, Fett was reunited with his Mandalorian armor. And he slayed.
Don’t think too hard asking yourself why Fett didn’t just take it from Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth on Tatooine during any one of those 37 years in the desert. The Rule of Cool covers a multitude of plothole sins. And if any moment in The Mandalorian deserves a rigorous application of the Rule of Cool, Fett’s reunion with his Beskar was it.
As this season winds down, we’re seeing a shift in Mando. It’s hard to pin down exactly how much time has passed between Mando’s encounter with Bo-Katan Kryze and her team of Mandalorians, and this interaction with Boba Fett on Tython. A few weeks? A month?
Either way, it’s a remarkably short time for Mando to internalize and accept that not all Mandalorians are like him. He’s only recently learned he was in a cult, that for all his devotion to “the Creed,” he doesn’t really know much about the Creed at all.
So it came as no surprise that he insists that Fett’s armor cannot be returned. Look at you, Fett! You’re no Mandalorian. But by the end of the episode, Mando’s convinced. You’re right. This armor belongs to you.
Why the change? Mando intuits what his eyes are plainly telling him, even if it bristles his most closely guarded beliefs.
Wrapping up this week:
The Empire is back.
Moff Gideon kidnapped Grogu and now holds him prisoner aboard his light cruiser. Mando and Boba Fett and Fennec Shand (had to Google her name, sorry lady!) have now teamed up on Slave 1 (Fett’s ship) to rescue the Child from the Empire’s evil plans. If I were placing bets, it’s all but certain that a Jedi will join them on the hunt—the one who answered Grogu’s call, whoever it is.
I audibly gasped when the Razor Crest’s turkey was cooked. I realize it’s not as iconic as the Millenium Falcon, but still. Mando’s ship was itself a character in this show, and I think it deserves a moment of silence.
[insert moment of silence here]
Two episodes left. That means next week is the penultimate episode. That’s a boujee way of saying second to last.
You know what’s not second to last? That dang Boba Fett fight scene, that’s what.
Sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ll see myself out.