The Following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Episode 9 of ‘Andor.’ For a review of Episode 8, click here.
Andor is shaping up to have an incredible first television season, with the ninth episode filled with intense, emotional, and depressing moments. Right from the start, Andor strived to differentiate itself from the other Star Wars series released at this point. I would say it was successful because the slow-burn espionage thriller in the first season of the series ended up being so much different than what you’d expect a Star Wars show to be.
Case in point: these past two episodes have spent most of their runtime showing Cassian Andor in jail, subjected to dehumanizing labor practices while those close to him get tortured for information about him. Andor does as much world-building as The Mandalorian, only in the service of the characters instead of a big cameo or easter egg.
Most of episode 9 of Andor is filled with uncertainty, with Cassian growing accustomed to prison life while itching to escape. Mon Mothma, meanwhile, makes a bold move to get the funds she’s been trying to get all season. While Cassian’s story throughout the season has been engaging, Mothma’s has been somewhat stagnant and less interesting. It’s not the fault of Genevieve O’Reilly’s performance, as Mon Mothma carried the arc and made some of it engaging.
A surprise standout from the season that no one saw coming is Andy Serkis as Kino Loy, the leader of Cassian’s cell block. Serkis’ aggressive demeanor lets the actor shine in a Star Wars role that isn’t CGI, as Snoke felt like something of a waste in the sequel trilogy. Luna’s chemistry with Serkis makes everything in Narkina 5 feel engaging and intense. There’s a sense of rebellion in the air as Cassian inspires those around him to question the authority and find a way out.
The torture sequences feel particularly inspired on Bix Caleen’s side of things. Tony Gilroy has a knack for making up creative ways to make his characters suffer, and the audio-torturing device used on Bix scares viewers without ever letting them hear what she hears. Overall, episode 9 of Andor is filled with gloomy developments for every character. Well, almost every character. Unfortunately, there are some troubling developments for the imperial boot licker Syril Karn.
Syril Karn is promoted for his cooperation with the Empire while he continues developing his obsession for “justice.” For some reason, this also includes stalking his interrogator, who is leading the investigation on Andor. Dedra Meero is clearly troubled by his behavior, but she doesn’t discourage it for some odd reason. This plot development is unexpected, but I’m interested to see where it goes.
There are only three episodes left in the first season of Andor. It will be interesting to see what plot lines are resolved and which will carry over into the second season. Whatever happens, the absolutely tragic ending of episode 9 will undoubtedly play into an explosive episode 10. The seeds of rebellion are being planted, and Andor continues to be as engaging and well-written as ever. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Andor Airs New Episodes Every Wednesday on Disney+
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