TV Review / Recap: Bo-Katan and Grogu Both Advance in Their Status in “The Mandalorian” – “The Foundling”

Ever since Ahsoka Tano revealed that young Grogu escaped the Jedi Temple in the aftermath of Order 66 during the second-season episode “The Jedi,” fans of The Mandalorian have been wondering who exactly it was that helped him escape.

In today’s new episode “Chapter 20 – The Foundling,” we get the answer to that question– and it’s someone that not many people would have predicted.

But “The Foundling” begins on the unnamed planet where the new Mandalorian covert has been set up, and where the members of the sect known as the Children of the Watch are training in “The Way.” Flamethrowers fly and vibroblades clash until Din Djarin (voiced by Pedro Pascal) decides that it’s time for Grogu to begin his Mandalorian training, as well. The little green guy is equipped with a paintball wrist-dart launcher and put up against Ragnar (Wesley Kimmel), and does a poor job of it until Din encourages him to let loose with his abilities. Then it’s a hop, skip, and a jump until Grogu comes out on top, but as Ragnar sulks about his loss he is suddenly carried away by an enormous raptor– in this case meaning both “bird of prey” and “scary-ass dinosaur” (maybe it’s time to relocate that covert again, guys). Paz Vizsla (Jon Favreau) and some other Mandos spring into action to rescue poor Ragnar, but their jetpacks run out of fuel and they’re forced to rely on Bo-Katan Kryze’s (Katee Sackhoff) ship the Gauntlet. But Grogu is made to stay behind and bond with the Armorer (Emily Swallow), and while she’s crafting some new armor for the titular Foundling, he flashes back to his final day at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.

In the flashback, we see an even baby-er Grogu cowering behind some Jedi protectors as clone troopers blast their way through hallway doors. Then he’s whisked away into an elevator and up toward the biggest and most welcome surprise of the episode: the Jedi Master Kelleran Beq (played by none other than Jar Jar Binks himself, Ahmed Best) who was introduced for Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge kid-focused game show. Beq fights his way out of the temple and through the crowded Coruscant cityscape on a speeder, then into a Naboo ship that’s waiting on a platform, which they use to blast off into space and away from the deadly Jedi Purge. This is a thrilling sequence, both on its own and for those who have wished any kind of redemption on Ahmed Best as a Star Wars actor, which he has certainly achieved in this episode. I also wonder if this might actually be a set up to a spin-off of some sort, either in live-action or animated formats, detailing the adventures of Kelleran Beq and Grogu between the events of the prequels and The Mandalorian.

Regardless, back in the “present” (the period set about six or seven years after Return of the Jedi) there’s another fun action scene in which Bo-Katan and Din help rescue Ragnar, who is confirmed to be Paz Vizsla’s son, from the raptors. They return back to the covert with the boy, plus the raptor’s young, who become Foundlings themselves, much like several of our heroes, and Bo-Katan is rewarded with a shiny new pauldron by the Armorer. Bo chooses the Mythosaur, and tells the Armorer that she saw one in real life on Mandalore, news that the Armorer seems rather suspiciously nonplussed about. And that’s where the episode ends, with Bo-Katan further indoctrinated into the Children of the Watch, and Grogu having taken another couple steps (and what adorable puppet steps they are) toward becoming a Mandalorian. “The Foundling” is a fun episode, though short to the point of almost feeling slight. And its best segment– and the one that sent a chill of excitement down my spine– was undoubtedly the flashback to the Jedi Purge on Coruscant and the nearly 25-years-in-the-making star turn of Ahmed Best as a heroic Jedi Master. It’s a moment where I could almost entire the entire Star Wars fan base cheering out in joy for a performer who always deserved better, both on-screen and off, than what he had gotten previously.

New episodes of The Mandalorian are released Wednesdays, exclusively via Disney+.

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Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.