Fighting the powers of the Empire can’t be easy, but in this week’s episode of Andor, we see that it only takes a few snide comments to ignite confrontations and doubts of those around them. While many fans were hoping for some form of action, I’d argue that this episode was as exciting as the rest, just in a different way than we’re used to from the Star Wars universe.
Directed by Susanna White, we are introduced to the idea that action doesn’t have to come from blowing things up or killing the enemy, it can be simple, which is what makes the story more impactful. The dialogue in this episode is one of the best of the series so far. It informs us of how these characters will work together when physical conflict does appear.
Family Frustrations Arise
We open this episode back in the galaxy’s capital, Coruscant. After getting the slap that Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) rightfully deserved, we see him in the lowest of lows. Even though the former security officer doesn’t say much as his mother (Kathryn Hunter) berates him for losing his job, the heavy energy fills the room.
With little to no purpose, we know that Karn is desperate to find a way back to power, and that kind of desperation only makes Syril Karn a more formidable opponent, especially when his sights are set on finding Cassian.
The Karn household isn’t the only one that’s having family disputes. While we didn’t get to see the dinner party at Mon Mothma’s home, we were introduced to more conflict. While the trio of Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), Perrin Fertha (Alastair Mackenzie), and their daughter Lieda Mothma (Bronte Carmichael) is just trying to enjoy breakfast, there are definitive sides taking place.
Leida questions her mother about her Senate relations and criticizes her for caring too much about her public image. Caught off guard by her daughter siding with her husband, she leaves the room feeling more nervous about her mission than before.
Will the two families be able to reconcile their disagreements, or in common Star Wars fashion, will they be pulled apart by their beliefs?
Training and the Waiting Game
Over the past few episodes, we’ve seen Cassian and the little group of rebels plan their attack on the Imperial Garrison to steal the massive payroll inside. But now, it’s time to rehearse. I understand that many fans wanted to see the plan go into action during this week’s installment, but based on previous episodes, Andor doesn’t tell its story like that.
To ensure everything goes right, the group prepares, rehearses, and quizzes each other. This is unlike anything we’ve seen from previous Star Wars content. We’re so used to witnessing characters rush into situations without much preparation, that it’s unusual to see the pace slowed down like this.
Amid downtime, Nemik (Alex Lawther) and Cassian discuss the political ramifications of oppression and the freedom that rebellion gives. Cassian talks around the issue while trying not to bring too much attention to himself. Nemik’s character also reminded many fans of another philosopher that continuously inspired Cassian.
Only The Truth Can Save Them
Nemik isn’t the only one to inquire about Cassian’s thoughts. Throughout the episode, Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) follows Cassian’s every step, not straying away from asking uncomfortable questions. And on the eve of their mission, everything comes to a head. After searching Cassian’s things, he finds the kyber crystal that Luthen gave to Cassian as collateral.
In a turn of events, Cassian decides to tell the truth instead of furthering the tension within the group. He knows that they have been apprehensive about his presence, so to remedy the problem, he opens up. He’s only fighting with them because he’s getting paid, not for morals or to free himself, just for the financial benefit, but they shouldn’t judge him for it. As Cassian points out, they’re all afraid of what’s to come,
To take a risk like this…Of course I’m afraid. But there’s a difference between fear and losing your nerve. You want out of this? Make a choice. Don’t use me as an excuse.”Cassian Andor, Andor: Episode 5
The group continues with Cassian’s words in their mind. There’s no doubt that within all the tension and misunderstandings they’ve had, this is the first time they’ve been truthful with each other.
Finally, at the Garrison’s base on Aldhani, the only thing the group of rebels can do is wait for their mission to begin. Underneath the night sky and the previous disagreement looming over them, we are shocked once again as Skeen takes initiative to bridge any disputes they’ve had.
Showing his softer sides, Skeen explains that his brother was inadvertently killed by the Empire. His brother was a farmer, and after the Empire came in and flooded his land, there was nothing left for him. The only salvation was in death. Cassian is moved by his story, attentively listening, and even asking what kind of farmer Skeen’s brother was.
This is what makes the rebels different from everyone else we’ve seen in this episode. While all the other groups were facing tension and arguments within their inner circles, none of them took the time to sit and understand one another. But the rebels do. They know just how important their job is, and conflict will only lead them to failure.
Now that the truth is out, and they’ve shared their reasoning to be here, they can finally band together and bring justice against the Empire.
What will happen when the rebels infiltrate the Garrison? Will anyone be injured, or worse, killed during the battle? Just like Luthen is impatiently waiting for an update on the rebel group, so are we.
Tune into a new episode of Andor next Wednesday at 12:00 am PST on Disney+ to find out! In the meantime, catch up on last week’s episode here!
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