Last week’s episode, “Chapter 10: The Passenger,” was a bit of a drag. However, “Chapter 11: The Heiress” was a spectacular, action-packed episode that left me wanting more and quickly made up for last week’s disappointment.
Mando (Pedro Pascal), the Child and the Frog Lady (Misty Rosas) finally reach Trask, where they crash land into the ocean port, making for an eventful opening. Soon after, Frog Lady and her husband, Frog Man (John Cameron), have an adorable reunion that’ll make anyone’s heart melt. As promised, he directs Mando to intel for finding the other Mandalorians.
Mando and the Child board a trawler boat with Quarrens, but they’re quickly double-crossed. The Quarrens toss the Child’s carriage into the water to be swallowed by a monster called a mamacore, which prompts Mando to dive in after him. The Quarrens trap Mando in the water to kill him and steal his priceless armor, much like the gangsters from “Chapter 9.”
Fortunately, three Mandalorians come to their rescue, saving Mando and the Child from certain death. I was initially concerned that Mando’s sea adventure would drag out over the episode like “Chapter 10,” but the scene was quick and had more energy than anticipated.
The savior Mandalorians aren’t ordinary bounty hunters. They’re Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides), Koska Reeves (WWE star Sasha Banks) and the eponymous heiress Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), making her live-action debut after appearing in the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels.” Both series occurred chronologically before the original movie trilogy, so Bo-Katan hasn’t surfaced in nearly 30 years in the “Star Wars” timeline. Though I’m unfamiliar with Bo-Katan's history, as I haven’t seen “The Clone Wars” or all of “Rebels,” I was excited to see her and her squad interact with Mando in the rest of the episode.
Once the Quarrens are dead and the Child is safe, Mando is surprised when Bo-Katan and her crew take off their helmets to introduce themselves. The way of life that Mando learned forbids him to remove his helmet, but Bo-Katan reveals that Mando was raised by an extremist group of Mandalorians called the Death Watch, hunters that broke from modern Mandalorian customs to revert to the ancient ways of Mandalore. This comes as quite a shock for Mando, but he thanks them for their help and flies back to shore with the Child, leaving them on the boat.
Upon returning to Trask, Mando encounters the brother of a Quarren crewmate from the ship, but Bo-Katan’s squad drops in and helps Mando finish them off. In return for information on finding the Jedi, Mando must help them commandeer an Imperial freighter filled with weapons that Bo-Katan plans on using to take back control of Mandalore. She used to rule the planet but it faced turmoil when the Empire took over the galaxy.
Before helping the other warriors, Mando leaves the Child under the care of the Frog Lady and Frog Man. In a humorous callback to the previous episode, the Child stares at the canister of eggs again, but this time, a baby tadpole hatches — and the Child doesn’t eat it. I was wart of “The Heiress” becoming repetitive, but this moment made for another cute scene.
Mando, Bo-Katan, Koska and Axe easily infiltrate the freighter, where they defeat hordes of Stormtroopers and take control of the armory. At that point, the Captain (Titus Welliver) contacts Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) to request backup. Viewers will remember Gideon from the season 1 finale, where he survived his ship crashing and possessed the Darksaber, an ancient Mandalorian weapon that Bo-Katan desires. Gideon declines to give his support, knowing it’ll be too late to help, so the Captain begins to plummet the ship into the ocean.
The four Mandalorians make their way to the cockpit but Bo-Katan is unable to get information on the Darksaber from the Captain before he kills himself in the name of the Empire. Bo-Katan holds up her end of the bargain and tells Mando to head to the city of Calodan on the planet Corvus. There he’ll find former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, another character from “The Clone Wars” primed to make her live-action debut, which is sure to excite fans far and wide.
Mando leaves Bo-Katan’s squad and picks up the Child from the Frogs, who had one of their babies. The Child is sad to leave, like a puppy leaving behind its toy, and Mando gives one of his quality dad lines: “OK, kid. Come on, it’s time to go.” They hop on the barely composed Razor Crest and continue their journey.
“Chapter 11: The Heiress” was one of my favorites. Part of that is probably because Bryce Dallas Howard directed “Chapter 11” and I was a big fan of her work in “Chapter 4: Sanctuary.” My only complaint is that “Chapter 11” was shorter — only 35 minutes — than the other episodes thus far in the season.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the franchise connections, even without knowing the entire backstory, and the action on display throughout the episode kept me on the edge of my seat. I don’t know what will happen next, but I can’t wait to find out.
Contact Michael Russo at email@example.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.