*** Be warned that FULL SPOILERS ARE AHEAD, so if you haven’t watched this episode, don’t read this article. Trust me, you want to go into this one without spoilers. ***
So, yeah, WOW!
The Mandalorian returned today with another episode, leaving just two remaining this season, and from the looks of it, it’s going to be a long wait to see how the story this season concludes. In today’s episode, Chapter 14, we are on the edge of our seats the entire time, seeing things I never dreamt we’d see again just a year ago, as well as things I never imagined we’d see just a day ago, as well as things that have me insanely anxious for next Friday to come!
Let’s dive in to the review of Chapter 14, “The Tragedy.”
Din Djarin and Grogu travel in the Razor Crest to Tython, as Ahsoka Tano directed them. As they do, Djarin plays with Grogu and helps him use the Force to take the ball. Djarin is thrilled at this, and says that he’ll get Grogu to a Jedi who can train him, because he can’t. They arrive at the ancient ruins on Tython, and Mando puts the Child on the seeing stone. Grogu soon meditates through the Force, and as he does so, a blue force field surrounds him, preventing Djarin from getting to him. Just as this happens, Mando sees another ship approaching: the Slave I.
Since he cannot retrieve Grogu and escape, Djarin heads off to confront the strangers, intent on buying the Child time. Before long, however, Boba Fett approaches Djarin, saying that he’s not after the Child but the armor – his armor. He then reveals that Fennec Shand is perched with her sniper aimed at the kid, if Mando doesn’t comply. He agrees, removing his jet pack, while Fett and Shand lower their weapons. Fett says that if Djarin gives him the armor that he retrieved from Cobb Vanth, then Fett and Shand will ensure the Child’s protection.
But a transport of Imperial stormtroopers then arrives, causing the three bounty hunters to spring into action. Fett and Shand pick off the troopers, but then more arrive – just as Fett eyes the armor in the Razor Crest. Djarin, meanwhile, tries to retrieve the Child, but Grogu is still meditating. So instead, Djarin tries to buy him more time and protect him. As Shand appears pinned down by stormtroopers, Djarin comes to her aid and the two press the attack. Then Boba Fett appears, finally in his armor once again, and makes quick work of the others, including taking out the transports of fleeing troopers.
The victory, however, is short-lived. Moff Gideon’s cruiser appears in the atmosphere and fires, completely destroying the Razor Crest. Fett heads off to get his ship before it can be destroyed, and Djarin and Shand frantically rush back toward the Child. But Gideon deploys his Dark Troopers to get the kid, and they take Grogu just before Djarin can get there. Fett pursues the Dark Troopers in the Slave I, but Djarin orders him not to fire, not wanting to hurt the kid. Fett then sees the cruiser and can’t believe that the Empire has returned, and then Gideon’s ship jumps to hyperspace.
Later, Djarin sifts through the ruins of his ship, retrieving the kid’s ball and the beskar spear. Fett explains that his father was a foundling, so Mando agrees that the armor belongs to him. But the other two bounty hunters won’t leave; they agreed that, in exchange for the armor, they would ensure the Child’s safety, so until he is back with Djarin, they are in his debt. Together aboard the Slave I, the three head to Nevarro, where Djarin asks New Republic marshal Cara Dune for help. He needs the location of Mayfeld (a New Republic prisoner) to help track Gideon. Dune is initially reluctant, but then Djarin tells her that Gideon has the Child.
Aboard Gideon’s cruiser, the Moff goes to see the Child, who is using the Force to attack the stormtroopers in his cell. Gideon shows Grogu the darksaber, and then orders an encrypted message sent to Doctor Pershing that they have the asset. Gideon leaves as the Child is stunned and in binders, alone in his cell.
I’m not even sure where to begin here; what an episode!!
Let’s just start with the big return, though: BOBA FETT IS BACK! We knew that since the first episode of the season, when Djarin retrieved the iconic armor from Cobb Vanth, and then we saw Fett looking on at the very end. But Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni stretched that tease out across almost the whole season until just this moment, and I think it turned out for the better that way. When the little Disney+ intro included the scene of the mysterious figure approaching Fennec Shand’s body from last season, I wondered if we might get the resolution to that. And when the Slave I appeared, I knew for sure. Seeing Fett get his armor back, along with some incredible action sequences (both in the armor and out of it) was great. And Shand got some amazing moments too, kicking stormtrooper butt. Unlike the other appearances this season, however, it looks like these two will stick around in the final two episodes, as they’re going to help Mando retrieve the Child.
And speaking of the Child, obviously the big cliffhanger is that he is now in Imperial custody. I was worried this would happen, and when the subtitle was “The Tragedy,” I figured this is where it would go. But it’s still devastating to see. It’s not the first time that the Child is in the hands of the Empire, but this one hurts so much more. Then, it was just a bounty hunter and an asset. This time, it’s much more like a father and his son. Even the opening scene of the episode played this up, with Djarin ‘training’ Grogu and being so excited when he succeeded. There’s a new sense of desperation and tragedy this time around, and I really can’t wait to see where that leads us in the final two episodes, as Djarin surely will stop at nothing to ensure that Grogu is safe.
That means recruiting some allies to his cause, much like last season. Boba Fett and Fennec Shand are the first two, and we know that Djarin also wants Mayfeld. So I’m assuming that next week’s episode is about springing Mayfeld from the New Republic prison, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if Cara Dune winds up helping get the Child back as well (and she’s now working for the New Republic, so maybe she’ll have help too). Maybe Greef Karga? Maybe Bo-Katan? And, maybe most curiously, will anyone respond to Grogu’s call in reaching out with the Force? It will be interesting to see who winds up helping Djarin on this quest, but I’m pretty confident it will wind up seeing Djarin fight Gideon in lightsaber combat, Djarin using the beskar spear and Gideon the darksaber. But first, they have to find Gideon’s cruiser, and then infiltrate it.
That won’t be happening with the Razor Crest. The biggest surprise of the episode came when the ship was destroyed. We’ve seen it take serious damage before, but now it’s gone. Djarin just lost both his ship and his Child, which has to be devastating. It’ll be great to see the Slave I in action again, but Mando will need a new ship.
Though this episode was shorter, you never would be able to tell. There was a ton in it, and it was an action-packed throughout. Seeing Fett and Shand fight was awesome, and Djarin’s desperation to protect the Child added a level of emotion to it. This episode, directed by Robert Rodriguez, was fantastic. The show continues to blow away my expectations.
My grade: 10/10