‘Mandalorian’ Season 3, Episode 4 recap: The Foundling
Last week’s episode was a fun one for all our lore-lovers out there. From Mandalorian Foundling training to Order 66, this chapter was called The Foundling but you might find yourself asking “which one?”
The episode opens with the Children of the Watch as they train — including the foundlings. Din Djarin encourages Grogu to begin his own combat training by dueling with a young foundling — Ragnar — who has already taken his oath and earned his helmet. Grogu dons a dart pack and surprises his overconfident opponent with a few evasive leaps and sharpshooting that earns him a 3-2 victory.
I don’t love that Grogu abandoned his Jedi training but continues to use the Force. His trauma, his youth, and now his violent upbringing sound like a real invitation for the Dark Side. But hey, that’s just me.
Ragnar walks off his defeat but is attacked and captured by a pterosaur. A few Mandalorians, including Din, fly off with their jet packs to follow the creature to its nest, but they run out of fuel. Luckily, Bo-Katan Kryze followed in her ship, found the nest of the creature, and returned to the group to create a plan: a team will fly within range of the nest, then scale the mountain on foot so as not to alert the pterosaur to their arrival. They don’t want to just attack because they risk hurting Ragnar and I guess they’re just hoping he won’t be eaten before they arrive at first light the next day.
That evening, Bo-Katan asks Din how they eat in front of one another. He explains that they do not. When the food arrives, they go off somewhere private to remove their helmets and eat. As the leader of the war party, however, Bo-Katan gets the honor of remaining by the fire.
This was an interesting moment. Normally meals – and especially campfires — are times when we come together, share stories, and make plans. For the Mandalorians, and definitely for Bo-Katan, meals seem quite lonely.
Their plan pays off, however, and they scale the mountain the next morning, finding three baby pterosaurs waiting for breakfast. The parent arrives and regurgitates a live Ragnar who will need therapy for whatever he went through in the night. The pterosaur grabs Ragnar in a taloned foot and Ragnar’s father in his maw and takes flight, luring the Mandalorians away from the nest. After a high speed aerial chase, the group is able to save Ragnar and his father – and the pterosaur is eaten by the crocodile-like creature we saw in the season premiere.
Meanwhile, the Armorer forges Grogu’s first piece of armor. As she does, she teaches him about why the forge is sacred to the Mandalorians: “It is the heart of Mandalorian culture. Just as we shape the Mandalorian steel, we shape ourselves. We all begin as raw ore. We refine ourselves through trials and adversity. The forge can reveal weaknesses.”
As she speaks, Grogu begins to remember his escape during Order 66, thanks to the efforts of Jedi Master Kelleren Beq (a character in the childrens’ game show Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge, portrayed by Ahmed Best — better known as the actor who played none other than Jar Jar Binks). While the Jedi Temple was attacked and the Jedi are slaughtered before Grogu’s eyes, Master Beq managed to rescue Grogu and escape from clone troopers on Coruscant.
The Mandalorians return successfully and Bo-Katan receives more respect from the covert. The Armorer replaces Bo-Katan’s lost pauldron, forging a mythosaur for her instead of a matching Nite Owl symbol. The Armorer answers Bo-Katan’s questions and disclosure about seeing the mythosaur — a meaningful symbol, whether a vision, as the Armorer first assumed, or real, as Bo-Katan insists.
In the final moments, it is revealed that the party returned with a surprise: the three pterosaur hatchlings. Perhaps they intend to ride them, just as their ancestors rode the mythosaur!
Will Bo-Katan join the Children of the Watch? Will she enlist them in her endeavors to regain her throne and unite the Mandalorian people? Will Grogu become some kind of bounty hunter Sith? We shall see!