Baby Yoda terrorizes a frog lady named Frog Lady because he needs to feed his addiction, apparently — (The Mandalorian, Chapter 10: The Passenger)
Okay, so Chapter 10 of The Mandalorian, titled The Passenger, released this week, adding another solid episode to this collection of space adventures. Written by Jon Favreau and directed by Peyton Reed, a guy who has become pretty serviceable at directing blockbuster-level scripts, it featured a fun mix of weirdly uncreative creatures, excellent action, great horror elements, and a running gag that paints one of our leads as a fucking menace. There, I said it. Baby Yoda is no longer cute. He’s a troublemaking shit who now seems to have developed either a massive appetite for frogs or an addiction to something inside them.
SPOILERS FOR THE EPISODE WHERE BABY YODA ENDANGERS A BLOODLINE AS A FUNNY BIT.
The episode is about Din Djarin giving Frog Lady, a female frog-person, a ride to another planet where she will lead him to more Mandalorians and also hatch her eggs and save her bloodline. During the journey, Djarin has a run-in with New Republic X-wing cops. He proceeds to crash-land on an ice planet that probably isn’t Hoth but could be Rhen Var, an ice planet known for housing the tomb of a no-longer-relevant expanded universe Jedi character, but more importantly known for appearing in Star Wars: Battlefront (2004) with two of the best maps in the game. It’s probably not Rhen Var.
Now, the trouble starts before Din Djarin and Frog Lady (That is her fucking name, as listed on IMDb. Fucking “Frog Lady”) even board his ship, the Razor Crest. Baby Yoda clocks the tank of frog eggs immediately and you’re supposed to recognize the callback to Season 1 when he was eating regular, non-humanoid frogs and it was cute. Stupid me, I thought it was just a funny callback and didn’t think that they would give Baby Yoda an appetite for humanoid frogs or like, an addiction to frog venom but I guess I was fucking wrong.
So once they’re on their way, Din Djarin catches Baby Yoda eating frog eggs out of the tank, rightfully stops his adopted wizard child by telling him to not eat any of them, and then goes to bed. Just like that. He doesn’t even stop to think, “Hey, maybe my stupid kid is hungry and I should feed him.” Nah, fuck that. He just goes to bed and expects his telekinetic child to not open the bedroom door and eat more eggs.
Once they’ve crash-landed, Frog Lady reminds Djarin and the audience of the stakes: her bloodline will die if they don’t get these eggs to their destination, pronto. Baby Yoda, meanwhile, sits with a tray of food in his lap and completely ignores it, choosing instead to stare at the eggs. He is a fiend with an addiction, and while that’s not Din Djarin’s fault as a parent, it’s definitely his fault that he’s not doing more about it. Clearly, frogs in this universe are either hypnotically delicious or they contain some kind of addictive substance, maybe a kind of space venom, and Djarin could really be doing more to make sure his son doesn’t get hooked.
Frog Lady finds a hot spring and empties her jar of eggs into it. Djarin, concerned for her safety, loads them back into the jar. Baby Yoda, clearly in need of a fix, tries desperately to eat another egg before being stopped. Frog Lady has got to be concerned because he is actively jeopardizing her mission but it’s framed as a comedy beat. Ha ha, so funny, right? So funny that this ugly-but-cute motherfucker is eating your family legacy. Anyway, Baby Yoda walks ten yards away to pout, finds a bunch of Aliens-esque sacks, and then just, reaches right in. Maybe he can get a snack inside this creepy pod. He doesn’t pull out a face-hugger but instead a spider, which is in no way better. He eats it like it’s a Nestle Crunch bar, and then panics when it turns out that he woke up literally a billion spiders. Crazy, I know, that his addiction that he’s developed as a baby is causing a lot of trouble for the people who have to watch him. It should be noted that despite claims that they go everywhere together, Din Djarin generally does a really shitty job of watching this kid.
INTERLUDE: The “new” creatures introduced in this episode are maybe some of the laziest I’ve seen in Star Wars, and I have seen the original cut of New Hope wherein one of the aliens is an old Hollywood werewolf. Amy Sedaris plays cards with a literal giant bug named Dr. Mandible, which sounds like a 50’s B-movie character that wandered into the wrong studio. It would be one thing if he was an insect-like alien, which I’m positive the franchise has done before, but this is a literal insect with a literal insect name that you would expect in a parody sci-fi film. The spiders are based on concept art from Empire Strikes Back, and while I do appreciate an other-worldly design, they are literally just spiders with regular spider powers. They don’t even like, spit acid, which could have completed the Aliens reference. And finally, Frog Lady. She is a frog who is a lady. Like Dr. Mandible, she isn’t like an amphibious frog-like alien, such as the Gungans, or “Goonga’s” if you’re nasty, George Lucas. She’s just a frog lady named Frog Lady. I’m not someone who is always expecting top-notch alien design at every turn; you gotta draw the line somewhere. But there were multiple instances in one episode and it made that whole aspect feel phoned in.
So they defeat the spiders with the help of the X-wing cops from before and there’s one moment here in particular that stands out: Baby Yoda is attacked by a spider and Frog Lady saves him. Even though that little goblin definitely ate more than a few of her eggs and threatened her bloodline, she found it in her heart to save his life. One would argue that was completely the wrong choice.
They get back on track and Baby Yoda gives Frog Lady puppy dog eyes to try and get her to feed him her eggs out of pity. Puppy dog eyes. She literally covers the egg tank with her hands and holds it close to her out of fear of this fucking menace whose dad barely gives a shit. Imagine being trapped in a cockpit in space with those two. A telekinetic carnivorous toddler wants to munch on the last of your line to feed his addiction and his father, who is aware of this, takes a nap. Utterly terrifying.
So Frog Lady does the only thing she can do and holds the jar close to her in an effort to keep Baby Yoda from feasting but guess what? HE FUCKING HAS AN EGG ALREADY. He snatched one and hid it when no one was looking, and then they end the episode with him eating it like a psychopath. He doesn’t even smile when he does it. It’s not a treat for him. Not anymore.
So what have we learned from this episode other than “Jon Favreau, Peyton Reed, and everyone who gave script approval either didn’t consider what this horrifying running gag means or they all think it’s funny to jeopardize an entire bloodline via snacking”? We’ve learned that Baby Yoda is much more intelligent than we previously assumed, we learned that he may be addicted to frog venom or something else inside the space frogs, and we learned that Din Djarin is definitively a terrible parent.
Baby Yoda recognized those fucking eggs as frog eggs, unlocked and opened the canister, and even hid eggs to save for later. He’s clearly aware of what he’s doing. He’s smiled before in this show but he does not smile when he eats the frog eggs. He just consumes them and will not stop. If only he had an adult guardian who would keep an eye on him for his own good.
Din Djarin was already a bad parent for taking Baby Yoda with him into battle, like in the previous episode The Marshal when he fought a krayt dragon and just, brought the baby. But here, Baby Yoda clearly has an addiction and all Djarin does is say “Hey! No,” like he caught his dog peeing on the rug. He does this multiple times and sees that it doesn’t work, but decides it’s a good idea to take a little nap and just leave his fiending son with the one person who has his fix. Utterly wild, especially for a Star War.
I think the running gag might have actually landed if it wasn’t explicitly stated that Frog Lady is trying to save her bloodline. It goes from being a darkly humorous gag to a completely horrifying piece of character development. Baby Yoda, a menace, victimized a frog lady name Frog Lady and it’s clearly supposed to be the gag of the episode that everyone talks about at the proverbial water cooler. I don’t dare to say this is the last of it, either. I have a bad feeling about this gag in that it will probably continue in the next episode because we are not done with Frog Lady just yet.