Last week, Din and Bo-Katan made their way to the Living Water within the Mines of Mandalore. While Bo spied a Mythosaur beneath the waves, Din didn’t notice the mythical beast. What this could mean for the future of Mandalore and Bo-Katan’s efforts to retake the planet is anyone’s guess now.
This episode also takes a sizeable detour to explore some under-represented aspects of the New Republic and life on Coruscant in the absence of the Empire. Our pal Dr. Pershing from Moff Gideon’s remnant Empire is back, and he’s been granted amnesty by the New Republic.
After Din awakens from his Living Waters plunge, Bo-Katan asks him if he saw anything under the surface. He says he didn’t expect it to be so deep but saw nothing beyond the chasm he fell into. Bo notes that the Living Waters weren’t so deep before the Purge, but Empire bombs caused seismic shifts and connected the ancient pool to underground lakes and rivers.
The pair beat a hasty retreat from Mandalore and board Bo-Katan’s Gauntlet fighter. They’re met with heavy resistance from TIE Interceptors, likely servants of the Imperial Enclave that still operates on the fringes of the galaxy. Bo rushes Din back to Kalevala, so he can jetpack down to his N1 fighter and offer her some fire support.
After a tense battle, the pair barely manages to escape Kalevala. TIE bombers reduce Bo’s castle to rubble, and the Mandalorian warlord swears vengeance on anyone who would dare destroy her home – again. These poor Mandalorians just can’t catch a break.
We cut to Coruscant, which is doing great after the war. The New Republic isn’t headquartered here–audiences will remember that the galaxy’s new government is actually headquartered on Hosnian Prime, a planet that the First Order will eventually destroy with Starkiller Base. Still, Coruscant is one of the most populous planets in the galaxy, and it’s home to the Republic’s new amnesty program.
Dr. Pershing, the eugenicist who helped Moff Gideon harvest Grogu’s blood, has been granted amnesty and given a low-paying tech job. He still has dreams of completing his cloning research, though, and chafes against the mundane life the Republic has given him. This section of the episode is interesting because it attempts to endear audiences to a cloner who worked for a totalitarian government and to somehow paint the Republic’s efforts to rehabilitate former Imperial agents as something sinister.
Perhaps this is the show’s way of portraying the world through the eyes of a fascist who now finds himself living in a democratic society, viewing his treatment as anything short of spectacular as a gross injustice. Whatever the case, it’s fascinating to see how dismissive The Mandalorian is of the New Republic, presenting its upper crust as out-of-touch elites who see no distinction between the Republic and the Empire.
Moral ickiness notwithstanding, Dr. Pershing is the protagonist of the middle chunk of the episode. He falls in with another amnesty program member, Elia Kane, who also served with him on Moff Gideon’s ship. Kane convinces Pershing that his research is important enough to help the Republic, so they break the rules and go to a depot where the Republic breaks down old Imperial salvage.
There, Pershing assembles a mobile lab he could use to complete his research. Before he can restart his eugenics program, though, the New Republic gets the drop on the pair and arrests Pershing for breaking the guidelines of the amnesty program. Kane reveals herself as a double agent, overseeing Pershing’s “re-education” and taking his lab supplies for herself.
We learn that Moff Gideon has escaped New Republic custody, and Kane cranks up the voltage on a machine meant to rehabilitate Pershing’s mind. As Pershing fries, Kane gives the audience an evil smile, showing how evil always manages to creep back into the forefront of the Star Wars universe.
Meanwhile, Din and Bo reach the Mandalorian covert and inform the warriors that Din is no longer an apostate. They’re surprised, but he brought proof: a vial of water from the Mines of Mandalore.
The Armorer pours the liquid into her crucible and sees it creating the tell-tale shimmering green effect that only water from Mandalore can. Convinced, she tells Din Djarin that, by the Creed, he is once again Mandalorian and welcome to stay with his brothers and sisters in the covert. To everyone’s surprise, she remarks that Bo-Katan has also been redeemed by the tenets of the Way and is free to stay.
Bo-Katan seems briefly hesitant to join these extreme Mandalorians, but upon seeing the crest of the Mythosaur on the wall above the Armorer, she seems to have a change of heart. Perhaps Bo will work together with Din’s covert to retake Mandalore? After all, seeing the living legend of the Mythosaur in the Living Waters could have reignited an ancient passion in Bo-Katan and given her the drive to reclaim her ancestral homeland.