The Mandalorian

"Chapter 11: The Heiress"

3.5 stars

Air date: 11/13/2020
Written by Jon Favreau
Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Djarin arrives at Frog Lady's homeworld in his very damaged vessel. The landing is, shall we say, rough (and makes for quite the opening scene). While awaiting repairs, he follows some leads in tracking down the Mandalorians who may be able to help him complete his mission to deliver the Child.

The leads take him to the open sea (in three episodes we've gone from desert to snow to now, briefly, a sea adventure), where the ship's captain quickly double-crosses Mando and tries to steal his armor. (One important trait about our hero is that even though he's formidable, he's not invincible, and he sometimes gets suckered into traps, as he does here.) Fortunately, the very Mandalorians Djarin was looking for show up and save his skin, taking out the crew of the ship and then sinking it for good measure. Led by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), they recruit Djarin into their plan to hijack a former Imperial freighter loaded with weapons cargo. In exchange, she agrees to give him the next clue for his mission to track down the Jedi.

"The Heiress" is a brisk outing that clocks in at just over 30 minutes, if you don't count the end credits. Since it began, one of this series' strategies has been to keep the episode run times short. These episodes never drag, and indeed they leave you with a feeling of wanting more.

There's plenty of solid action here (including some stormtrooper shoot-em-up that's in the long tradition of the franchise), but there's notably more meat to chew on as well. The former Imperial officers here (including one played by Titus Welliver) are working for Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito, who appears via hologram), who possesses the Darksaber that this trio of Mandalorians are seeking.

Most notably, Djarin learns these Mandalorians are not as set in the Way as he is. They remove their helmets and are considerably less dogmatic. Bo-Katan tells him that his particular practice of the Mandalorian code originated from a sect known as the Watch, who are considered extremist zealots. This sets up an interesting turn for our hero's identity. He may be an outlier; perhaps there are other ways than simply the Way, although it remains to be seen if he will choose to pursue any other path.

Bo-Katan also gives him the name and whereabouts of the Jedi he should seek out: Ahsoka Tano.

Previous episode: Chapter 10: The Passenger
Next episode: Chapter 12: The Siege

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10 comments on this post

Paul M.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Just look at the opening sequence with the port, the town around it, the walker that pulls the Razor Crest out of the water... and compare it to Disco's latest episode which also features a bird's eye-view of an industrial zone with various antique ships in low orbit. There is no comparison, really.

The raid on the Imperial cargo ship is a very enjoyable action set piece which perfectly showcases just how badass these Mandalorians are. Titus Welliver is a hoot too!

"Where!?"

Whoosh!
Yanks
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
This was lightyears better than last week.

Katee Sackhoff as... can't remember her name... Seems some Mandalorians take their helmets off... I was about ready to see Mando take this crew on!

Fighting for the retake of Mandor? I'm sure the dark sword thing will come into play here.

Nice to see Baby Yoda didn't eat the baby frog person thing.

Now Mando has some real guidance to finding Baby Yoda's people.

This is the way!!
SlackerInc
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
Agree with Jammer: 3.5 stars. The shot from the distance of the ship getting blown up after the other Mandos flew away looked incredible, movie quality.

Really like this show--surprised to see only two comments! Maybe, like me until a few minutes ago, there are others who don't yet realize this show is getting covered?
JPaul
Thu, Nov 26, 2020, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Many of the the Mandalorian episodes are very basic plots but this one struck me as having some really deep subtext that won't immediately be seen by most viewers.

The Mandalorian himself is basically an everyman character, a type of character that is supposed to be a stand-in for the audience itself at some level. In this episode, Mando's attitude is that he doesn't care about Bo-Katan's attempts to rebuild that Mandalorian homeworld, he is just interested in fulfilling his quest to return baby Yoda to its kind. This struck me very much as the typical casual Star Wars fan reaction to more recent Star Wars content such as the Clone Wars, Rebels, or the new movies. They don't want anything complicated, they just want to see some Storm Troopers and Tie Fighters get blown up.

It's not all that out of line with a video game player who is just following a quest because that's what they're supposed to do, not caring one bit about the plot of the story they're supposed to be following, just in it for the action. And as we've seen with Mando, he learns that not all Manalorians are religious extremists like himself (he didn't even know he was a religious extremist because it's all he's ever known) and now he's likely questioning what else he doesn't know, potentially mirroring the causal Star Wars fans asking themselves a similar question. I expect that to much of the audience of The Mandalorian, the idea that not all Mandalorians are such extremists comes as a surprise, but to viewers like myself who have seen the Clone Wars and Rebels, it's no surprise at all, in fact it was confusing to us initially because we had never seen Mandalorians have this type of attitude before.
Booming
Thu, Nov 26, 2020, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
I think that is reading too much into this show. It is a star wars version of an italo western. gunslinger comes to a town, does not want to help but for some reason has to, then starts to sympathize with the villagers and when the bad guys are killed, leaves. Sure it is a nice change of perspective that he is a religious weirdo but so far it hasn't really changed anything. The main difference is that in Italo western the bad guys actually sometimes shot people during a fight.
Austin
Fri, Nov 27, 2020, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
I like how well Pascal emoted through a helmet and armor, when he learned maybe there was more to being a Mandalorian than “The Way”. It’s actually pretty deep, this idea of knowing your belief is right your whole life, and someone can come along with one small seed of doubt (such as taking their helmet off), and totally wreck what you were taught.
3.5/4 stars for me
Matt W
Sun, Nov 29, 2020, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Looooooong time reader, first time commenter.

I seriously flipped my shit when that helmet came off and it was Starbuck.

I flipped my shit EVEN MORE when she told Mando to go find Ahsoka, probably my favorite SW character of all time—certainly the best-developed non-human character.
Llamasaurus
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Everything Matt w wrote applies to me as well. One of the few bright spots about the Disney takeover was that SW:TCW (best SW product since the original trilogy) and Rebels were classified by Disney as canon. Bringing back a character with so much depth like Ahsoka Tano-- and even checking back in on Satine's younger sister Bo-Katan's seemingly quixotic quest to restore Mandalore-- has taken an already enjoyable show to a whole other level.
Jack2211
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Katee Sackhoff’s acting really took me out of the episode. She seemed like a cartoon character. I also found it odd that the camera focused on her like we should know who she is.

I found out after that, well, she was playing a cartoon character (I’ve never watched Clone Wars apart from one or two early episodes).

The episode was fine, but like most this season, it felt like it was doing a lot of setup/easter egg revealing work. It all came together in the end, I think, but I’m not a fan generally of having to do homework to get an episode.
The Emissary
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 10:57am (UTC -5)
@Jack2211

Well, the series has Dave Filoni as a co-creator, so it has many, many references to his previous animated series (The Clone Wars and Rebels), which are regarded as actual contributions to the SW canon.

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