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The Ending Of The Mandalorian Episode Two Explained

The Mandalorian declared its intention to hit its audience with twists and turns aplenty with its first episode alone, and episode 2 — titled "The Child" — effectively doubled down on that notion. Its final act had our jaws on the floor, and we're champing at the bit to unpack all of its implications. Before we do, however — and just in case you somehow missed the title of this article — please be advised that spoilers for episode 2 of The Mandalorian follow. 

The episode has our hero (Pedro Pascal) at last escaping Arvala-7 with his would-be target, but everything has changed; with the revelation that said target is an infant (and a member of the same mysterious race of the Jedi Master Yoda), the Mandalorian's life has grown infinitely more complicated. After lulling the audience into a false sense of security with fifteen solid minutes of a seemingly-unrelated fetch quest for the Mandalorian's ship parts (which had been scavenged by Jawas), the episode answers the question we were naturally led to ask after the pilot in shocking fashion: is the baby Force-sensitive, like Yoda? 

If you listened closely during the climactic scene, you could hear The Mandalorian's creator Jon Favreau laughing his face off — because of course it is, and he chose to reveal it in the most sweeping, epic moment in an otherwise very small and quiet episode. During an attempt to secure an egg from a ferocious horned beast with which he hopes to barter with the Jawas for his ship parts, the baby uses the Force to save the Mandalorian as he grimly stares down death at the hooves of said beast with naught but a knife; this completely shifts the narrative's paradigm, and it's quite unclear if the Mandalorian himself understands what has just happened.

The Mandalorian's ignorance as a wild card

There's a particularly sneaky bit of exposition in the dialogue between the Mandalorian and Kuiil (Nick Nolte) just before the final ship repair montage: when Kuiil asks if the baby was injured, the Mandalorian replies no, at least not physically. Kuiil then asks the Mandalorian to explain what happened again, that he doesn't understand, and the Mandalorian tellingly replies that he doesn't know, either. 

The two never explicitly state it, but the Mandalorian has apparently told Kuiil how he retrieved the egg with the last-minute miracle the baby provided by suddenly displaying its Force abilities. We the audience, of course, know exactly what happened and what it means — but if the Mandalorian is telling Kuiil the truth, then the bounty hunter doesn't know what the Force is, and he has no idea what the baby is capable of and why. That's a pretty big deal, and it could have a massive impact on the bounty hunter's actions going forward. The final scene has him flying through open space with no sense of exactly where he's going, or what he intends to do when he gets there.

It's more reasonable than it seems at first blush that the Mandalorian would be ignorant of the Force. Consider: it's twenty-five years before the ultimate fall of the Jedi Knights and the rise of the First Order, we're following a man living in the Outer Rim, and we know for a fact that he is an orphan. Even fellow Outer Rim dweller Luke Skywalker was completely ignorant of anything related to the Force until Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi came along, so there's no reason to think that the Mandalorian would be any more knowledgeable on the matter.

The Mandalorian is also... well, Mandalorian, so he probably has very little formal education beyond his tactical and combat training. If you were saved by an indescribable feat of supernatural power that can only be described as miraculous, you'd probably be a little shook, and you may even reassess your priorities. It's the classic bounty hunter conflict trope: the Mandalorian has now learned a little too much about his target, and it looks like he'll be faced with a serious moral quandary as a result.

The Mandalorian's moral fork in the road

We also shouldn't forget that there is practically an entire phalanx of bounty hunters looking for the little Force-sensitive tyke. The Mandalorian has successfully completed the most difficult part of the task — removing the target from its secured bunker — and it has suddenly become much, much easier for these scoundrels to take the baby for themselves. The only thing now standing between the infant and its many pursuers is the Mandalorian, who should probably get used to having a giant target on his back. 

None of his options at this point are particularly attractive. Is the lure of Beskar steel too much for the Mandalorian, versus the obvious moral issue presented by handing the baby over to an emissary of the Empire? Is his life worth going rogue, and protecting the tyke at all costs?

We can see that the Mandalorian operates according to a code of honor and respect. That Beskar steel, though, represents not cash, but a piece of his religion; a sacred item that not only provides him with personal enrichment, but the opportunity to help his people in a profound way. For that matter, if you ask us, it remains suspiciously convenient that the Client (Werner Herzog) presented the Mandalorian with exactly this form of payment at a time that the bounty hunter was shown to be particularly desperate for work. 

Heading into the third episode, the Mandalorian is certainly between a rock and a hard place — and it's being painfully illustrated for him that, as the Client stated when he took the job, bounty hunting is indeed a complicated profession.

New episodes of The Mandalorian drop on Disney+ every Friday at 12:00 AM Eastern time.