Just when I didn’t think this series could get any more exciting, it goes and pulls this episode out of its back pocket. I knew my previous assessment of the episodes alternating between being amazing and just good was never going to last, now as the series approached its final stretch I’ve never been happier to be wrong. Nor could I ever predicted what was going to happen in this episode; as so many little factors start to come together.
The episode begins by immediately cutting to Din and Grogu arriving at Tython. I had almost thought we’d be getting another in-between episode before then, but nope. And it doesn’t take long for Din to plop the kid atop the seeing stone Ahsoka talked about in the previous episode. It’s very obvious that Din has grown attached to the kid and is really going to struggle to say goodbye, despite what he tells himself about dropping the kid off at the next stop on Jedi junction.
After some cute banter, Grogu starts reaching out in the force, becoming surrounded by some unapproachable force aura in the process. So, with him being out of reach, now would be the perfect time for things to start going sideways. And words cannot express the excitement I felt when I saw Slave I soaring over the horizon.
The appearance of this ship all but confirms what we all knew anyway, that the mysterious man that appeared at the end of the first episode was indeed Boba Fett. And as I predicted in that very episode, he’s chasing down Din in order to retrieve his father’s armour. Leading to a standoff between him, Din and the surprise return of Fennec Shand, the assassin seemingly killed in episode five of the first season (Played by Ming-Na Wen)
The mysterious figure that came upon her body at the end of that episode has also been revealed to have been Boba Fett now. So it’s all coming together. And seeing as how he saved her life, she’s become indebted to him. I guess that, while she may have been a deadly assassin, she does have some personal honour. Although not enough to have any issues about pointing a sniper rifle at the child who still meditates atop the mountain.
Fett demands his armour returned, but Din, being the indoctrinated by the Watch refuses to hand the armour over to a non-Mandalorian. Which, as I said before, Boba is not. Although apparently, this episode clears up that Jango was indeed a Mandalorian and not someone who simply stole the armour, as many other sources have been trying to claim in the years since he was introduced in Attack of the Clones.
Before this standoff can come to any kind of genuine conclusion, the party on Tython plays host to another set of guests, with an Imperial shuttle showing up and landing right next to the Razor Crest, having presumably tracked it to Tython thanks to the bug planted on the ship during its stop on Nevarro. We proceeded to get a very cool battle between the mercenaries and the stormtroopers, with a very scary looking Boba beating the crap out of the troopers using nothing more than a Gaffi Stick.
Seriously, he shatters their armour. I know there is this running joke about Stormtrooper’s armour being useless, I mean it’s even called “Plasteel”. Nonetheless, this episode felt like one big apology to Boba Fett. For over 35 years, the joke has been that for as cool as Boba Fett looked, he never really did anything. Getting dumped into the Sarlacc Pit rather unceremoniously before he could ever really show he had the good to back up his reputation.
This episode goes out of its way to show what a brutal badass he actually was, beating the everloving crap out of a bunch of Stormtroopers with a stick. And then later on, when he retrieves his armour from Din’s ship, he goes to show himself being even more of a badass by taking out the rest of the troopers with his blaster and armour, which also seemed to be packed with hidden blasters. In the knees no less.
While this is all going on, Din is trying to get to Grogu, who continues to be in some kind of force trance, the visible force aura around him stopping anything from approaching him. In the end, Din decides to try and buy the kids some time and help Fett and Shand in fighting off the Stormtroopers with them. Just when it seems like things are starting to look up, with the troopers fleeing in terror when faced with the might of the legendary Bounty Hunter, the title of the episode comes to bear.
A turbolaser from above fires down and destroys the Razor Crest in a single shot. Looking up, Din sees an Imperial Cruiser in the lower atmosphere. Aboard that cruiser is Moff Gideon, who orders the Dark Troopers into action. The advanced battle droids we saw revealed at the end of the 4th episode.
Unluckily, or maybe luckily for Din and his crew given just how fearsome the Dark Troopers are, they have little more to do than pluck up the exhausted Grogu from the seeing stone and fly back to the Imperial Cruiser without a fight. Fett, who is back aboard Slave I has the opportunity to shoot them out of the sky, but Din pleads with him not to as it would certainly kill the child along with them.
After chasing them, Fett seems surprised at the fact that the Empire is back. Although as far we’ve known; they never left. They just got smaller. Shortly thereafter, the cruiser makes the jump to lightspeed, leaving Din stranded on Tython and Grogu out of reach. Or maybe not. After retrieving his armour, Boba Fett proves to Din that his father was indeed a Mandalorian foundling, even fighting in a Mandalorian war. Which doesn’t really make Boba a Mandalorian, but it seems good enough for Din.
Boba Fett, it seems, is more of a man of honour than I was expecting. Which surprises me. I always just assumed he’d be a total mercenary, to the end. But he says that the deal for his armour was the safety of the child, and until the child is safe again, he pledges himself to Din until they’re reunited. And I’ll be real, this Boba Fett is a pretty huge asset to have on your side given his earlier display of violence.
And so Din starts to put a team together, one who can help him rescue Grogu from the clutches of the Imperial Remnant, starting with a prison break focusing on Migs Mayfield from the season one episode: The Prisoner. Huh, for a seemingly throw-away episode, that one seems to keep coming back to impact this second season.
The episode ends with Moff Gideon coming face to face with Grogu, who is doing his best to defend himself against a couple of dopey Stormtroopers, throwing them around using the force. Gideon, ever composed waits for little force wielder to ware himself out before approaching him and threatening him with the Darksaber. Mocking the kid by saying he should be careful, he could take an eye out with it… foreshadowing maybe?
This was a fantastic episode. It felt like so many little elements from the episodes already gone by coming back to pay off in a big way; Boba Fett’s return and the appearance of the Dark Troopers being the most dramatic of the episode. While the first season was great, this second one has upped the ante in so many ways, it truly feels like Star Wars in a way the sequel trilogy never did and I’m absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to see what kind of team Din puts together and how their eventual rescue attempt of Grogu pans out.
There is one small thread left hanging with the conclusion of this episode though. Grogu was atop that seeing stone for some time, reaching out in the force. And as Ahsoka said; doing so would act as a beacon to any other force users still out in the galaxy. Surely someone must have heard it, and it makes me super curious and super excited to see who exactly is going to show up to answer this call.
Given the new canon, I actually don’t know which Jedi survived Order 66 and might still be out in the galaxy this many years later. If I had to make a guess though: I’d say we might get to see the live-action debut of Quinlan Vos.
Vos was a huge fan favourite in the old, Legends continuity, being something of a renegade Jedi who walked a fine line between the light and the dark. After Disney rebooted the universe, Vos was mostly swept under the rug, only showing up in a single episode of the Clone Wars and starring in a novel called Dark Disciple. There have have been mentions of him surviving the purse though, and I’m not sure I could think of anyone more suited for The Mandalorian to salvage next than the Jedi who never got the proper treatment he was promised during the Clone Wars.
While the first series of the Mandalorian was no slouch, this second one has knocked it out of the park in almost every regard.