The Heiress (2020)

Posted on January 2, 2021 in 3 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: The Mandalorian

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The Heiress (2020)
The Heiress (2020)

Main cast: Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Misty Rosas (The Frog Lady), Mercedes Varnado (Koska Reeves), Katee Sackhoff (Bo-Katan Kryze), Simon Kassianides (Axe Woves), and Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon)
Director: Bryce Dallas Howard

When The Heiress opens, Mandy, Baby, and the Frog Lady have finally arrived at Trask, the destination where the Frog Buddy, the Frog Lady’s husband, and probably a bunch of Mandies await them. Just imagine, if Mandy had been a more careful pilot, the previous episode needn’t have happened, and… oops, of course, there is some kind of malfunction. Seriously, this show is like a tabletop RPG game run by someone that thinks it ain’t happening unless every minute is filled with random encounters and hazard elements. That, or perhaps more accurately, Jon Favreau has a story, but this story is thin enough that he needs to pad out the script as much as possible.

Just for posterity, let me bring up the rumor that the script of this episode was the one that allegedly set Pedro Pascal off. He had been chaffing under the fact that his face was always hidden under the mask, which resulted in not many people knowing that he is the star of the show—a fact that catapulted Gina Carano and Baby Yoda to fame while everyone was like, “Pedro…. what?” Now, we have another female celebrity, this time from wrestling instead of MMA, showing up and worse, Sasha Banks, under her actress name Mercedes Varnado, plays a Mandalorian that doesn’t have to hide her face. Yes, it turns out that Mandy’s “mask on all the time” thing is restricted to his particular Mandalorian sect. As a result, when Mr Pascal got the script, he started getting flashbacks to how his star was eclipsed by Ms Carano. Oh no, it’s happening all over again!

Unfortunately for Mr Pascal, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni want his character to remain masked throughout, as a homage to those masked cowboys or samurais in those old films that show up in a besieged town to save the day before vanishing again. Worse, apparently he also received the action figure of his character, and he removed the mask of that toy. Oops, the face didn’t resemble his, and worse, it’s ugly. To him, this meant that his face never mattered in this show—he doesn’t matter, he’s only a walking tool while his co-stars will be the one hogging the glory. Double, triple, quadruple ouch there.

Still, all seems fine now as Mr Pascal probably realizes that, in the end, a paycheck is still a paycheck. It does make for some interesting week of drama though, as YouTube channels that capitalized on Star Wars drama beat that horse to death, with the drama scaling increasingly exaggerated heights each time it is brought up.

As for the episode itself, well, I have some mixed feelings.

Mandy is clearly undergoing a character arc that parallels Luke Skywalker’s: as the show continues, it’s pretty clear that he’s wading into depths that he’s increasingly out of. As this episode will reveal, his Mandalorian sect, the Watch, is one that is considered radical by other sects—they attempt to follow some idealistic old traditions that included never taking off their mask, one that other sects don’t follow at all. The insularity of the sect also explains why Mandy is so ignorant of things that seem to be ubiquitous and well-known in the Star Wars canon: he doesn’t even know what a Jedi is, for heaven’s sake.

Hence, it explains why Mandy’s greatest strengths lie in his ability to pilot a ship—just like Luke. He’s a better killer than Luke at this stage of their journey, although this makes sense because he’s, you know, a bounty hunter.

However, the line between unfamiliar with things and being outright gullible is often crossed when it comes to Mandy. In this episode, once again, he walks into a trap without much effort on his enemies’ part. Given that the episodes all take part in one continuous time frame, I wish Mandy will stop being so much of a Wil E Coyote. If the main character slips up once a while, that’s fine, but when he slips up every freaking time the episode needs an excuse to pad things up, we are entering protagonist character assassination here.

In this case, Mandy slips up so the Mandalorians he is searching for—led by a female, naturally, as girl power and what not in the current year—can come to his rescue. Ms Varnado is actually pretty good here as she only has to flick her hair and strut most of the time. Katee Sackhoff plays the character that leads this blue color-coded team of Mandalorians, and of course, she does a good job with her character.

Because they are lacking one member for the raid they are planning, and nobody has responded to their LFG in ages, they basically coerce him into tagging along as they raid a ship for weapons. Mandy plays his part as the DPS, and for his effort, they tell him to search for a female Jedi in the next episode. I’m not going to lie, I cringe when I hear the name of that Jedi character because she’s been built up to be a Mary Sue of cringe-inducing levels. Who knows, maybe this show will have more restraint than that blasted cartoon.

As for this episode, well, the raid part is pretty fun, although much of the suspense is killed by the fact that it’s a ship full of Storm Troopers, which we all know by now can’t hit anything even at point blank. That’s pretty much it. So far, three episodes in, this show seems to be shaping up to be commercials to sell Baby Yoda toys and a platform for female wrestlers and MMA pros to launch their acting careers. Hopefully, one day the folks behind this show will remember to throw the title character a bone.