Warning: Contains Heavy Spoilers for The Mandalorian Chapter 20
It's time to jump back into the galaxy far, far away with the 4th episode of the third season. It picks up right where the previous one left off, with Din Djarin (aka Mando) and Bo-Katan Kryze being welcomed back into the covert after being bathed and redeemed in the living waters.
We are then treated to a scene of the covert Mandalorians doing practice drills, with Grogu happily chilling in between. Honestly, I don't know about you, but I missed Grogu quite a bit in the last episode. So, I was delighted to see him back in action. Alas, his playtime is over when Mando asks him to practice with the other foundlings. It’s almost comical how small he looks, but one must never underestimate Grogu. He wins, of course, with 3 sharp dart shoots on target, and Mando is a proud papa.
But their peaceful practice is soon interrupted by a dragon-like monster that attacks and takes a foundling in its claws. Din Djarin and another Mandalorian, Paz Vizsla, chase it, but their jet packs run out of fuel. Bo-Katan is there to save the day though, as she follows it to find out where its lair is and the title credits role.
Chapter 20 of The Mandalorian, titled The Foundling, doesn’t change the location or plot line after the introduction. Bo-Katan has been successful in finding the lair of the monster and returns to tell about the way there to the others. Soon after receiving instructions from the Armorer to not use fatal blows that could kill the child, Bo-Katan, Mando, and Paz Vizsla head to the monster's lair to save the kidnapped child.
As the other Mandalorians prepare to face the dragon-like creature, Grogu remains behind with the Armorer. With his small form waddling towards her, the Armorer promises to teach him the ways of their people, and for a moment, it seems like he might be content. But as the forge fires up, the memories of his past come flooding back, and the sadness in his eyes almost makes you cry.
In a heart-wrenching flashback, we see Grogu on imperial Coruscant, defended by a group of brave Jedi against an onslaught of stormtroopers donning white and red. As the battle rages on, one by one, the Jedi fall, sacrificing themselves to keep Grogu safe. In the end, it is Kalleren Beq who saves him, but at a great cost. Forced to leave his home and everything he knew, Grogu's trauma is palpable even in the present.
Back in the present, the Armorer presents Grogu with his very first piece of Mandalorian armor, a proud moment set to an uplifting background score. But the weight of his past still lingers, and you cannot help but feel a sense of sadness for this innocent child who has already been through so much.
Meanwhile, Bo-Katan and the others camp for the night, and she is learning how to live with a helmet on all the time. She is the leader of the pack as of now, and the next morning, they scale a mountain toward the lair. Also, it turns out that the kidnapped child is Paz Vizsla’s son, Ragnar.
A fight ensues - Paz Vizsla rushes into the lair to save his son, but the monster is back, along with three of its hatchlings. It flies away with Ragnar again, but Mando the hero hasn’t gone anywhere. The monster is shot at and drops Ragnar, and Mando freefalls him to catch the child in time and return him to his dad. Honestly, there should be a count going on about how many times Mando has freefallen almost to his death to save someone else.
They bring back the monster hatchlings to the camp and Bo-Katan is praised by the Armorer for saving the foundling. After all, saving a foundling is considered very honorable in the ways of the Mandalore. She is even given a replacement for her broken armor part and chooses to wear both the night owl and the Mythosaur as her symbols.
Bo-Katan tells the Armorer that she saw the Mythosaur in real-life, and even with the mask on, we can imagine the Armorer must have a proud glint in her eye by seeing how Bo-Katan is becoming a true Mandalorian again. And of course, the episode ends with the famous line, “This is the way.”
As the episode comes to a close, we can't help but feel a sense of comfort and satisfaction. Seeing the Mandalorians and Grogu working and bonding together in their peaceful practice drills was a joy to watch. We were reminded of the strong bond that exists between them and the love that Mando has for his little charge.
The pacing of the episode was spot on, and we were given a glimpse into the depth of Grogu's trauma and his harrowing escape from the imperial troopers. It was a poignant moment that tugged at our heartstrings, reminding us of the little guy's resilience and strength.
But what truly stood out in this episode was the parallel between Grogu and Bo-Katan. While Grogu was being taught the ways of a Mandalorian, we saw Bo-Katan relearning and accepting the old ways of Mandalore after decades adrift. It was a powerful moment that showcased the importance of tradition and identity.
Overall, this episode may not have had as much action or location changes as the previous one, but it was no less touching. It was a reminder of why we love this show so much - the heart, the humor, and the humanity that it brings to the screen. We can't wait to see what's next for Mando and his little green buddy.
Final Score - [8/10]
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