The latest episode of The Mandalorian saves its biggest reveal for the very end, and it might hold some important clues about where the series is ultimately heading.
This recap of The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 2, “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore” contains spoilers.
Mando’s whistlestop tour of familiar planets and faces continues apace in the opening scenes of “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore”, as he briefly returns to the Mos Eisley spaceport on Tatooine to check in with Peli Motto. Droid banter! Shifty Rodians! Peli’s abrasive, slightly underhanded attitude! It’s all here, present and correct, just how you’d expect.
You’ll recall that Mando, after the Season 3 premiere, is looking for that missing part that’ll help him rebuild IG-11 since he needs a dependable droid to help him explore the ruined surface of Mandalore. So, it makes sense he’d ask Peli to help him track one down, given her longstanding relationship with the Jawas and such. But she has a better offer: An astromech droid, R5-D4, who is supposedly built for adventure. However, long-time Star Wars fans will know that R5’s primary claim to fame is being the droid that purposely short-circuited in A New Hope so that Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen would purchase R2-D2 in its place. Peli even makes a little remark about it as he leaves with Mando and Grogu to descend into the titular Mines of Mandalore.
The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 2 Recap
Mandalore isn’t in a good state, though nothing that comes out of a “purge” ever is. The surface has been hammered, the magnetic field surrounding the planet is wrecked, and the once-great metropolises are collapsing in on themselves. But it’s not all bad. The air, contrary to popular belief, is breathable, lending some credence to Bo-Katan’s claims that the reputation currently surrounding the planet is mostly superstitious nonsense.
Some undesirables have moved in, though. When R5 toddles off to take some rock samples and analyze the air quality, he’s jumped by some club-wielding aliens that reminded me of the Morlocks from The Time Machine, and Mando has to fight them off by waving the Darksaber around like a baseball bat. Shortly after that, Mando is lured into a trap by a giant spider-like tank that we quickly learn is being piloted by what looks like a cyborg Geonosian. Grogu is left to fend for himself, and Mando implores her to go and get Bo-Katan, so he speeds off through a gauntlet of winged alligators to summon backup.
What are Alamites?
Bo-Katan gives us a name for the Morlock creatures — Alamites, who apparently used to live in the wastelands beyond Mandalorian cities. She’s a lot more comfortable with them than Mando was, that’s for sure, though as he explained to Grogu when they first arrived in the system, he grew up on one of the moons. Bo-Katan, as she also explains to Grogu, comes from a clan that once ruled the whole planet, so this stands to reason.
Plus, Bo-Katan is just a badass in general, and a good chunk of this episode is devoted to showcasing that. She easily offs the Alamites, and hacks up Mando’s captor without much fuss, including the entire spider-tank when the creature’s head scurries off and sneaks inside it — and, needless to say, she’s much more capable with the Darksaber than Mando is.
Bo-Katan, a bit obviously fed up with Mando’s general bumbling uselessness, offers to help him find the Living Waters and redeem himself. The funny thing here is that Mando is much more on board with the general philosophy of the Mandalorians than Bo-Katan is, despite the latter’s closer association with the Creed’s history and culture. “This is the Way,” Mando says when Bo-Katan mentions her father died defending Mandalore, which seems small consolation to her. When they reach the Living Waters, she reads aloud from a plaque that explains their significance, and how the mines were, supposedly, once the lairs of ancient Mythosaurs, a story that she smirks at while Mando symbolically removes his belt and cloak and prepares to submerge himself in the waters, his redemption finally at hand.
Of course, things go a bit wrong, and the bathing Mando is dragged beneath the surface of the water. Bo-Katan belly-flops in to drag him back to the surface, but as they’re ascending, she spots a gigantic creature hiding beneath the water.
What is the creature?
The creature Bo-Katan spots at the end of the episode is a Mythosaur, an ancient dragon-like creature thought to be extinct, which Mandalorians would once tame and ride into battle. The skull of the Mythosaur is central to Mandalorian iconography and tales of the beasts are crucial in Mandalorian legend.
In The Book of Boba-Fett, the Armorer mentioned a prophecy to Mando: “The songs of eons past foretold of the mythosaur rising up to herald a new age of Mandalore.” At the time she wrote it off since the creatures were believed to be extinct, but their reintroduction here means it might be coming to pass. And with it, there might be another Mandalorian Civil War over the mantle of leader, with the Darksaber at the conflict’s heart, and perhaps Bo-Katan and Din Djarin on opposing sides.
You can stream The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 2, “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore” exclusively on Disney+.