In season 3 episode 2 of The Mandalorian, Djarin and Grogu’s adventure takes them to the most haunting and ominous area they’ve come across yet.
I have to admit that I was surprised by episode 2 of The Mandalorian ’s season 3. After last week saw the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) spend some time helping out an old friend on what felt like the television equivalent of a sidequest, I fully expected what had been established as the season’s primary objective to be left until at least episode 8. But, this week’s episode, “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore”, has made it obvious that there are big plans for this batch of episodes, as we seem to have already arrived at Din Djarin’s final destination.
The episode, helmed by first-time Mandalorian director Rachel Morrison, sees Djarin and Grogu arrive at the fabled Mines of Mandalore, where he hopes to bathe in the living waters to regain his status as Mandalorian. The Mines are the real star of the episode, drenched in an ominous atmosphere that feels completely different from anything else we’ve seen up to this point. The creatures that dwell here are genuinely unsettling, and the episode even indulges in some jump scares to ensure that the viewer knows just how terrifying this place is. Everything about this place feels like it’s been ripped straight out of the climax of an adventure game, and so it makes it even more surprising the show is using it so early in the season.
One area where this episode really shines is how it uses the brilliant cast of strong characters it has at its disposal. In some ways, it feels cut up into segments, each focusing on a particular character. There’s the opening, which reintroduces mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris). Sedaris is, as always, brilliant in the role, with her and Djarin’s light-hearted banter serving as a nice contrast to the rest of the episode, which is filled to the brim with doom and gloom. Her scene, where she helps Djarin find a droid that can determine how hospitable Mandalore is, is a fantastic opener for the episode, stuffed with the witty dialogue we’ve come to expect from any scene involving Peli.
Unsurprisingly, Grogu continues to be my favourite character in the show, and the segment devoted to him is as great as you’d expect. It sees the child having to act independently, something we’ve rarely ever seen him do, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see him succeed in his mini-mission. At this point, I essentially care for Grogu as much as I reckon I’d care for my own child, so you can only imagine just how proud of him I was. It’s a reminder of just how much his character’s grown since the show’s premiere, as well as a testament to just how much he loves the man who’s essentially become his father. Looking ahead, I can only imagine we’ll see more of Grogu on his own as the season progresses, especially as he becomes more powerful and has more control over his abilities.
The final segment of the episode focuses on Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), who it seems is going to be a major player in this season. Her character continues to be incredibly intriguing, almost entirely because of her Mandalorian heritage and the dynamic she has with Djarin. The Mandalorians themselves are an absolutely fascinating aspect of the show that has surprisingly gone mostly unexplored, and the repeated appearances of Bo-Katan and the introduction of areas such as the Mines seem to confirm that this season will tackle some of the biggest questions to do with the Mandalorian culture.
All in all, episode 2 of season 3 of The Mandalorian is another strong instalment in what’s shaping up to be a great season of television. The Mines of Mandalore might be one of the show’s strongest settings yet, and the ending of the episode suggests that there’s even more to it than what we’ve seen so far. I am somewhat stunned that they’ve decided to reveal it so early, but if anything, it makes me even more excited for what they’ve got planned to come. Wherever the show decides to take us next, I know that I’ll be along for the ride.
The Mandalorian ‘s Season 3 Episode 2 is now streaming on Disney Plus. Read all our reviews of The Mandalorian Season 3!