Enjoyable, but it doesn't feel as though we've moved any further on in these characters stories, apart from answering questions from the past.
BY ELLIOT LINES MARCH 23, 2023
After an episode that took us away from Din and Grogu (where Grogu was almost non-existent), Chapter 20: The Foundling brings us back from Coruscant to the the Mandalorians. A much more focused episode, that sees how Din, Grogu and Bo-Katan will all fit in to this group, but begs the question halfway through the season, where are we heading?
Din Djarin wants Grogu to start Mandalorian combat training, and after first being discounted he wins his training fight. His opponent Ragnar Vizsla is captured by a Shriek-hawk, leading Bo-Katan to gather a hunting party, including Ragnar's father Paz Vizsla, to find the foundling. While the Armourer is forging a new piece of armour for Grogu, flashes of his past and the Jedi rescue come back to his mind revealing it was Master Jedi Kelleran Beq that saved him. After an over eager attempt to by Paz to rescue his son, Bo-Katan and Din rescue the boy, kill the Shriek-hawk and capture it's chicks, earning the respect of the whole clan. As the Armourer is replacing part of Bo-Katans armour, Bo reveals her encounter with the Mythosaur, but the Armourer doesn't seem fazed.
Up until this point, each episode seems to have served a purpose going forward, this episode of The Mandalorian seems to be lacking in that. Other than the mid-episode flashback (will come back to this later), there is not much more movement for these characters. Din Djarin plays a bit part in the episode, wanting Grogu to learn the combat ways of the Mandalorian, which by all accounts creates an interesting looking combat win for Grogu. Learning that Grogu is to learn these ways is interesting, and creates a change of scene to see him alone with the Armourer. Bo-Katan revealing the encounter of the Mythosaur was a surprise, but the fact that the Armourer basically called bulls**t on her claim means that we have no more knowledge as to what this will lead to, and Bo-Katan seems all the more confused.
Something that was clarified however, and has been on fans minds since the start of this journey, was the rescue of Grogu during the time of 'Order 66'. Up until now it has never been clear how he escaped, but this flashback takes us to the Jedi Temple in this time and sees that Master Jedi Keleran Beq was the one to save him. This is an interesting and welcome return to the Star Wars universe for this actor Ahmed Best, who is most known for his role than none other than Jar Jar Binks, one of the most controversial characters to date (but one of my favourite as a child).
So far, throughout all the seasons, the CGI quality has not been called into question, this episode however felt different. There are moments when the Mandalorians are chasing down the Shriek-hawk that these jetpack chase scenes felt choppy. At first I was able to overlook this, but when the speeder chase scene in the flashback was noticeably (and considerably so) in front of a green screen, you may even question the budget for this episode.
Even though I will always love spending time in this world, it's nice to see where something is going. Chapter 20: The Foundling certainly is enjoyable, but it doesn't feel as though we've moved any further on in these characters stories, apart from answering questions from the past.