Major spoilers below for those who haven't yet watched The Mandalorian's latest episode, "The Tragedy."
Dank farrick! The Mandalorian Season 2 just keeps delivering the hits, both literally and figuratively. While Chapter 14 wasn't exactly filled with plot exposition, especially when compared to Ahsoka Tano's mythos-expanding introduction, the episode was filled with action and cute Baby Yoda noises, and also solved a big Season 1 mystery by bringing back Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. vet Ming-Na Wen as the assassin Fennec Shand. Plus, we finally got a formal introduction of Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, who was first teased in the Season 2 premiere, even though it was somewhat frustratingly left open to speculation.
In any case, the characters' returns were highly welcomed, but as awesome as those reveals were, it probably would have been that much more enjoyable had The Mandalorian not immediately spoiled things in the recap that automatically plays ahead of the episodes. But before we get into that, let's talk more about how those returns tied up one of the biggest dangling plot threads from Season 1.
Fennec And Boba Fett Are Back!
Ming-Na Wen's Fennec seemed like she would be a long-lasting foil for Mando to deal with when she was introduced in Season 1's "The Gunslinger," but the episode quite rudely appeared to kill her off when she was shot in the stomach by Jake Cannavale's bounty hunter Toro Calican. Of course, that incident was capped off with a then-mysterious character (who was immediately speculated to be Boba Fett) and hinted at Fennec's potential return in the future.
That future finally arrived, and viewers were all the better for it, with Fennec and Boba Fett teaming up to take out a surprisingly large squad of Stormtroopers after finding Mando on the planet Tython. (Though I wonder how in Moff Gideon's name all of those Stormtroopers fit into their respective ships without having everyone smooshed together like sardines.) And three cheers, because it looks like they'll definitely be returning in Chapter 15, since Boba Fett promised to fulfill their part of the agreement after he retook possession of his his iconic Beskar armor that Star Wars fans know oh so well. Here's hoping neither neither Fennec nor Boba are left for dead by the end of that installment.
How Did Ming-Na Wen's Fennec Shand Survive From Season 1?
Honestly, The Mandalorian could have explained away Fennec's "death" in any number of ways, and I wouldn't have been surprised if she told Mando that Tatooine's sand particles were discovered to feature wound-healing properties. But that particular mumbo-jumbo wasn't employed here, as Fennec gave Boba Fett the credit for saving her life in quite an interesting way that is fully supported by Star Wars lore.
Fennec showed Mando that she apparently no longer has a proper human stomach; the handy-dandy surgeon Boba Fett apparently replaced her organic organs with electronic components. (I can't tell if I'm happy or disappointed that she didn't go into a long spiel about how her digestive system works.) As implausible as that all might seem, all we have to do is look back to the end of The Empire Strikes Back for precedent. After Darth Vader lopped off one of Luke Skywalker's hands, Mark Hamill's Jedi protagonist had his limb replaced by a cybernetic hand. It's not a one-to-one comparison to Fennec's stomach, since that's a whole other set of anatomical problems, but this is a universe where biotech is the norm, so I buy it.
How Did The Mandalorian Spoil Fennec's Return?
While I generally appreciate TV series' pre-episode recaps that help viewers remember past moments that will once again become relevant, there's a line to be drawn. The Mandalorian Season 2 has kept secrecy a number one priority, to the point that none of the episodes were released for review, and previews have been as bare bones as can be. So it was rather baffling when "The Tragedy" recap sequence IMMEDIATELY started off by showing the Season 1 moment when the unseen Boba Fett approached Fennec's body on the ground. Why did that have to be the FIRST MOMENT?
Considering we hadn't seen hair nor hide of Ming-Na Wen's deadly character since her fate was temporarily sealed in Season 1, her return later in the episode would have been truly shocking had the recap not tipped its hat so obviously. It would have been one thing had Fennec's non-death been teased more briefly later in the recap, so that fans who skip past that section could have made it into the episode unscathed. But no, the very first image that anyone who watches "The Tragedy" sees automatically gives away the biggest shock. Well, I guess Moff Gideon's Dark Troopers kidnapping Grogu was the biggest shock, but you know what I mean.
With hopefully more skillfully crafted recap sequences coming in the future, The Mandalorian has two episodes left in Season 2. New eps drop on Disney+ every Friday at 3:01 a.m. ET. While waiting to see what happens next, be sure to stay current with our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 TV guide to see what new and returning shows are popping up soon.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.