‘Andor’ Season 1, Episode 7-8 Review
The following review contains spoilers for Episode 7 and 8 of Andor. For a review of last week’s episode, click here.
Andor starts off the second half of the season strong. Our characters deal with the after effects of the Aldhani, new legislation is put into effect in order to curb rebel enthusiasm. Prison sentences are extended, taxes levied if there’s rebel activity on a planet. We get to continue to see the opulence of Coruscant and we get to return to the downtrodden Ferrix. We also get to travel to a couple new planets, one housing Saw Guerrera’s () rebel organization. All in all, with how many characters are in play, to see the balance they’re maintaining with the story telling, and ensuring everyone gets the same attention with the storytelling. My one main complaint about how the story has progressed so far, is it’s very widely split for a story titled after a character. These episodes do better, but it needs to continue.
Syril Karn () manages to get past his mother’s critiques and finds a job with the Bureau of Standards. That doesn’t detract from him still investigating where Cassian Andor might be, and he’s called in by Dedra Meero (). She was able to work with Major Partagaz and convince him to give her the sector for Ferrix. She had to do some backend management on her own, but was able to provide the resources to back herself up, and is able to present those reports to Col. Yularen himself (). Meero asks him for more details on his work tracking down Andor on Ferrix. Specifically, she’s looking for details on Luthen, seeing if Karn can identify him, who she’s named Axis. Karn says he could identify him by his voice, but that’s not good enough, and Dedra sends him back to the Bureau, ordering him to forget about Cassian Andor (Diego Luna).
Mon Mothma () comes to visit Luthen () in his den of antiquities, and confronts him about Aldhani. He refuses to admit anything, and sends Kleya Marki () off to give Vel Sartha() her next marching orders: take out Andor. He and Kleya then come to a clash when Bix Caldeen () calls in, asking for help to find Cassian because his mother is sick. Kleya convinces Luthen to close the frequency because it’s too dangerous. He does, and Kleya’s proven to be right when the tower is surrounded, and the owner questioned. Caldeen is spotted and arrested, where she is pulled into the hotel, and is set to be interrogated by Meero.
Luthen travels to Segra Milo, to sell shields to Guerrera, who refuses because Luthen’s price is to work with others. Luthen tells him until they all work together, they are never going to be enough to do any real damage to the Empire. On Ferrix, Cinta () and Vel reunite, and we get further confirmation of their relationship as they discuss duties to the rebellion, and to themselves. Cinta reminds Vel she will always put the needs of the rebellion first. Cinta stays behind to monitor their only lead for Andor’s whereabouts, while Vel heads off for the next mission.
Mothma and Tay Kolma () meet at a lovely party for schmoozing, and Mothma brings Kolma in as the head of her new charity, which she should be able to funnel more money through without getting noticed by the several ISB agents who are monitoring her. That proves to be harder than they imagined, but they manage to make it work, while looking obvious like they’re having an affair. The scenes Mothma has when we first meet Kolma are impressive. Mothma is chilling, and clearly knows how to manipulate the people around her, including Perrin (), who we learn was the top of his class when he and Mothma got married.
Our last character to talk about is of course, our main character himself Andor! Andor returns to Ferrix to try and get his mom to leave with him so he can take of her, but she refuses. She wants to be apart of the rebellion, Aldhani has inspired her. She doesn’t leave, and Andor takes off after reuniting with Caldeen, apologizing in his own way and giving her credits to pay off all his debts. Andor takes off to Niamos after experiencing flashbacks seeing Clem, his dad get shot by clone troopers marching through Ferrix. He heads out on a walk to the store, and comes across rebel activity. He continues as he was, and is walking normally, but because he was coming from the same direction, he’s targeted, and arrested.
What was a six month sentence originally, is now 6 years due to Aldhani. Andor is sentenced to a prison labor camp on Narkina 5, where he’s instructed by Kino Loy (Andy Serkis). Beau Willimon’s script allows us visualize the infamous labor camps we’ve only heard so much about. Most scripts would have skipped over it, but Willimon uses a careful hand so that he can tackle a modern problem within the Star Wars universe. It’s uncomfortable, but its a good visualization into the little guys the Empire is taking advantage of. There’s a time jump, and we see a suicide on screen. Andor looks like he’s settling into the routine and they’re succeeding at not seeing the insane punishment they get the first day Andor is there.
Andor is an incredible show that’s actually giving us a comparison for real world issues happening on here. It’s allowing for conversation to happen between people while still being focused on telling their own story. To have an explicitly queer relationship on screen, and being able to know them as characters is a great step forward. The character dynamics, and how many poignant moments occur, for so many individual characters is unheard of. Tony Gilroy has developed the show exquisitely. While I stand by my critique of the show needing more Andor because it’s titled as such, I love seeing O’Reilly onscreen as Mon Mothma. She is incredible, and lovely, and makes me want more stories about Mon Mothma which I never thought I’d say. – Katie Rentschler
Andor Airs New Episodes Every Wednesday on Disney+
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