Friday, November 13, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Mandalorian' - The Mandalorian Questions His Creed After Meeting New Allies in 'Chapter 11: The Heiress'

Disney+'s The Mandalorian - Episode 2.03 "Chapter 11: The Heiress"

The Mandalorian braves high seas and meets unexpected allies.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Disney+'s The Mandalorian.

"Chapter 11: The Heiress" was written by Jon Favreau and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard

Din Djarin was rescued by the Mandalorian. He swore himself to the creed. And now, he finds himself questioning his understanding of this way of life. He has never allowed any living thing to remove his helmet. He has never shared his face with another person since first putting this armor on. It is sacred to him. He is always grateful whenever he sees this armor. It means he has found allies who will help him on his mission to reunite the Child with the mysterious Jedi. And yet, he knows just how sacrilegious it is for them to remove their helmets. It is offensive to him. It means these people aren't worthy of wearing this armor. The people he finds on Trask though present him with a new perspective of the people who saved him all those years ago. At first, he believes they have appropriated this culture by wearing the armor just like Cobb Vanth did in the premiere. In reality, Bo-Katan and her allies were born on Mandalore. They recognize Mando as having come from a specific sect of their kind. They are a special religious order that treats this more seriously than the rest of the population does. It's confusing to Mando. He has always felt a deep understanding with the people who brought him structure and purpose. In the post-Empire world, he has been given a mission. That direction is vital to his stability. It also means he can't allow anything to distract him. His ship is falling apart though. He doesn't know if any Mandalorians are still out there or if they will be willing to help him. He can always make deals with people in order to get whatever he needs in this world. He is a man of his word. That bond is sacred to him as well. Striking these deals allows his people to survive. They are always targeted though. People take advantage of his practical nature. It's miraculous whenever more Mandalorians arrive to save the day. But again, Mando doesn't recognize the creed the way Bo-Katan practices it. She changes the terms of their deal in the middle of the attack on the ship. Mando believed that they were simply going after the weapons aboard. In reality, Bo-Katan wanted to take control of the entire ship and learn about what happened to the darksaber that Moff Gideon now wields. It's clear that she has a personal vendetta. She needs to bring salvation and prosperity back to Mandalore. That is important to her. She welcomes Mando's support as well. She sees a brave and noble fighter. One who will throw himself into battle despite her breaking their deal. He needs to find the Jedi though. He has to do all of this because it's the only thing that can guide him to the next stage of his journey. That is the only thing he can focus on though. He can't deal with the existential crisis all of this will produce within him. He has to protect the Child no matter what. He has to care for the foundling the way he was cared for in his youth. Bigger things are happening though in this world. Moff wants the Empire to rise once more. He has crossed paths with several Mandalorian now who have complicated his plans. Mando is given a lead for where to find a Jedi. Ahsoka Tano may not be able to provide him with any more clarity that he seeks right now. That is a tragedy as well. He roams this world always looking for that purpose. He has found himself tasked with this specific mission. It is breaking him down. He most continue forward. He can't question it. This is the way. It is how he was raised. But these questions should linger as well. He doesn't know everything about the creed or the wars still being fought in this universe. He has done enough to survive and protect others. That's not an engaging or meaningful life though. It allows the show to highlight so many well produced action sequences. The special effects remain mesmerizing. But it's also fascinating to see Mando question himself in this way while pushing it all to the side to deal with another day. That could be frustrating. For the moment though, it's clear that the show is setting up some larger stakes while still maintaining its episodic storytelling impulses.