The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 2 Review

By Melody McCune

Happy Boonta Eve™ to all who celebrate! The Mandalorian’s™ second episode of the season, “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore,” cranks up the action and wastes no time getting Mando™ to the Living Waters™ for redemption bath time. First off, I appreciate that the writers would rather make room for other exciting storylines instead of spending three episodes featuring Mando’s struggle through the mines. Let’s keep it moving, people.

On that note, there’s no narrative stagnation here, nor is there any shortage of Grogu™ putting his newly honed skills to the test. The creative team deserves raises for their work on Grogu this season. He feels more lifelike than ever before, not only in his movements but his speech. Even his expressions look real. I’m curious to see if his Force capabilities will blossom further in season 3.


Boonta Eve

We open with a shot of Mos Eisley™ during Boonta Eve. Peli Motto™ and her crew are hard at work. Amy Sedaris makes any scene infinitely better, and that’s objectively a fact. Mando and Grogu arrive, with the former asking Peli if she has a memory circuit so he can repair IG-11™. Peli claims that nobody makes that part anymore. She attempts to foist her droid, R5-D4™, upon Mando.

However, Mando needs a droid that can test the atmosphere on Mandalore™. Is R5-D4 up to the task? Regardless, it’s Boonta Eve. So, in the spirit of the holiday, Mando reluctantly takes R5-D4 with him. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during Boonta Eve. The Jawas™ would make fun drinking buddies.


To Mandalore

Mando, Grogu, and R5-D4 arrive at Mandalore. Mando gives his son a history lesson. Well, a lesson regarding his personal history. Mando never grew up on Mandalore. He spent his formative years and beyond on Concordia™, the moon situated next to the desolate Mandalorian homeworld. When our trio lands on the planet, it appears to be as ruinous as Bo-Katan Kryze™ warned in last week’s episode.

Next, Mando asks R5-D4 to take an air sample before allowing Grogu to exit the ship. After some time passes, the droid doesn’t respond, forcing Mando to track it down within a deep chasm.


The Civic Center

Mando finds himself in the famed Civic Center of Sundari™, with the equally famed Mines of Mandalore™ and Living Waters surging beneath. The dilapidated state of the Civic Center is reminiscent of the underground old New York City in Futurama. Or maybe I just really want to rewatch Futurama. Anyway, Mando encounters a few fearsome beasts, ogre-like creatures called Alamites™, resorting to use of his Darksaber™ to protect himself. I’ll never get over how cool it looks when in action.

When he re-emerges with R5-D4, Mando reminds him to do his job. The droid tests the atmosphere, concluding that it’s breathable for our favorite little green guy. Thus, Grogu accompanies his father into the Civic Center. Once more unto the breach!


Exploration Leads to Kidnapping

While exploring the cavernous depths below, Mando and Grogu come into contact with the alien life dwelling within. Unfortunately, one of said aliens operates a giant crab-esque metal machine. This creature kidnaps Mando and holds him captive in a metal cage while essentially roasting him over a fire. Think of a witch boiling children in her cauldron. The alien weakens Mando significantly.

When the creature’s back is turned, Grogu tries to utilize the Force to free his dad, but to no avail. Mando feebly urges Grogu to find Bo-Katan. Grogu does as he’s told but encounters one of the Alamites while en route to the ship to fetch Bo-Katan. He implements his Jedi™ training with Luke Skywalker™ and sends the Alamite flying. That’s my precious boy.


Get Help

Grogu finds Bo-Katan sulking in her massive castle on Kalevala™. When she realizes Mando’s in trouble, she hops into Grogu’s ship without hesitation. Bo-Katan and Grogu wander through the Civic Center together, searching for Mando. They stumble upon more Alamites, but Bo-Katan makes quick work of them like the badass she is. When they find Mando, our duo contends with his captor, who shocks Bo-Katan repeatedly. She clambers to her feet and reaches for the Darksaber — the one weapon for which she pines. Admittedly, she does look pretty cool wielding it.

After a bit of battling, Bo-Katan plunges the Darksaber into the alien’s cyclops eye, killing it. She and Grogu free Mando. Success!


“I’m not going with you.”

Mando slowly regains his strength as Bo-Katan cooks pog soup™ for him, a Mandalorian™ cuisine staple. Mando confirms that Bo-Katan was right all along about the planet. It’s not cursed, it’s simply ruined. Bo-Katan asks Mando to leave Mandalore with her, but he refuses, citing that he must bathe in the Living Waters to be redeemed. Bo-Katan, ever the atheist, doesn’t believe in that or uphold anything from their Creed. Mando decides to continue on his journey to the Mines of Mandalore, with Bo-Katan reluctantly accompanying him.

While they walk, Bo-Katan peels back the curtain ever so slightly regarding her childhood on Mandalore as bona fide royalty. Her father died defending their homeworld and the throne she stood to inherit. She and Mando share a brief moment of mutual melancholy, as Mando claims he would’ve liked to have met her father.


It’s Bath Time

Eventually, the trio makes it to the actual Mines of Mandalore. Mando wastes no time preparing for his bath in the Living Waters while Bo-Katan reads from a commemorative plaque about the mines’ history. He removes his weaponry before stepping to the waters. While reciting the Mandalore Creed, something in the water instantly pulls Mando under. Bo-Katan dives after him.

She finds Mando at the bottom, with whatever pulled him under nowhere to be found. That is, until Bo-Katan and Mando begin their journey upward. We see what’s called a Mythosaur™, a creature of unimaginably large proportions, lurking in the water. Once they’re topside, Bo-Katan manages to get Mando breathing again. After all, you can’t make Grogu an orphan. That would be a vastly different show.


“Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore” is a marked improvement from the season premiere. While last week’s outing felt like warm comfort food, this week served up a heaping helping of high-stakes action, intricately choreographed fight sequences, and stunning visuals. I feel like we’re exploring this new world alongside Mando and Grogu, especially given the creativity that goes into beings like the Alamites, the Mythosaur, and Mando’s crabby captor. There’s still so much to learn about our favorite galaxy far, far away. I love that.

Additionally, I love the complex dynamics of Mando and Bo-Katan’s relationship. Their differing views on the ways of the Mandalorian and upholding their Creed make for an intriguing thematic exploration. Bo-Katan, who was steeped in their culture, would rather abandon it, finding it all suffocating. Meanwhile, Mando, who grew up as an outsider, desperately longs for purpose and clings tightly to an elusive sense of belonging. Or whatever.

Do you think Mando and Bo-Katan will have to battle the Mythosaur? What other trials await them on Mandalore? Share your thoughts with other Star Wars fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!