Mandalorian Episode 3’s Most Controversial Choice is Actually Its Best Decision
Bo-Katan's character is nothing like it used to be, but that's for the best.
The Mandalorian Season 3 is veering from the formula that made it so great, abandoning the “mission of the episode” model for a more meandering form that, in Episode 3, is willing to spend 45 minutes focusing on two tertiary characters’ assimilation into Republic society. Episode 3 was divisive for this deviation, but another character choice has sparked more debate.
But when you zoom out and look at The Mandalorian’s story as a whole outside of the controversial episode, it all becomes very clear not only why it changed, but also why it’s genius.
Episode 3’s framing device focused on Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze escaping Mandalore after a brush with a Mythosaur. They were going to go back to Bo-Katan’s sad concrete castle where she (apparently) broods on the throne all day, but the castle is blown up just before they land. The only place Din can think to bring them is the Children of the Watch covert run by The Armorer. He had to go there anyway to get officially forgiven, after all, and he knows that’s a safe place for any Mandalorians, even ones who take off their helmets.
On the way down, Din reminds her that it may be best for her to keep her helmet on, and after the conversation they had in the Mines of Mandalore, she’s willing to comply. But when they land, The Armorer drops a bombshell: because Bo-Katan immersed herself in the Living Waters and hasn’t taken her helmet off since, she’s actually technically met all the specifications to be a member of what she previously called a “zealous cult.”
This choice sparked a lot of debate because Bo-Katan’s character was never accepting of the Children of the Watch, and she was previously antagonistic towards Din Djarin because he wields the Darksaber. But Bo-Katan is not a static character. She lost her fleet and bonded with Din after saving him in the Mines — her mind is slowly opening up.
Other fans were dismayed at the possibility of never seeing her face again, but that’s overlooking the fact The Armorer says she’s free to leave whenever she wants. Bo-Katan may not remain a member of the Children of the Watch, but she is living among them for a time, acknowledging her own biases and judgements. The episode may be called “The Convert,” but Bo-Katan probably won’t have a sudden crisis of faith, she’s just trying to be a good guest.
This choice was actually a genius move for Bo-Katan’s character. Mando is destined to unite the Mandalorians, and a key part of that is finding a compromise between the more mainstream Mandalorians and the Children of the Watch. Bo-Katan, the previous poster child of demonizing the Watch, is the perfect choice for the leader of a coalition between the two, and the first step of that is introducing how harmless they actually are. It’s not compatible with Bo-Katan’s original character, but that’s not who she is anymore.
The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3 is now streaming on Disney+.