This Week’s ‘Andor’ Is a Masterclass in Character Arcs but Also Ripped My Heart in Two
Andor keeps proving my original statement right: It’s the best show Star Wars has given us. With each new week, we get to see as the series earns the moments that feel the most “Star Wars-y,” all while giving us a character-driven drama about rebellion, power, and the will of people to fight those abusing the status they’ve been given.
The show is a masterclass in not only character development but in acting, too. Every moment of desperation that we see in Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor is felt each moment he’s on screen. We can see the fear and determination to stop the Empire growing in him through each new episode.
Now that we’re barreling towards the end of season 1, we’re getting closure on storylines and exploring where season 2 is going to go. But the penultimate episode really chose to completely break our hearts and remind us what this battle against the Empire cost the Rebels.
**Spoilers for Andor lie ahead**
In the last half of Andor’s first season, we’ve gotten to explore Cassian’s desperation to get out of prison and get back to Maarva and his life. While the end of episode 10, titled “One Way Out,” left us bereft after the emotional high of the prison break, episode 11, titled “Daughter of Ferrix,” focused entirely on Cassian’s continued quest of getting home.
But it also gave us a look into Ferrix, their customs, and (most importantly) the love that Ferrix held for Fiona Shaw’s Maarva. The episode starts us off with the news of her death and what to do with her belongings. We see a blurry image and hear voices talking about what Cassian would want and what to do with her and how peaceful she looks, and we realize we’re seeing this all through B2EMO’s eyes. Which somehow hurts worse than if it was a human being having this emotional moment.
B2EMO is watching as the life he knew and the woman he loved is being prepared for her funeral and it’s then that we learn of Maarva’s death, reminding us that the last moments she shared with her son Cassian were the two talking about their love for one another but how he had to go and hide thanks to the Empire.
Not getting to say goodbye
Most of the eleventh episode is split between Ferrix preparing for the funeral of Maarva (and the Empire plotting to let them do so) and Cassian’s attempts with Melshi to get to freedom. While Cassian ends up successful and back on the planet he was hiding out on, he finally finds time to call Ferrix and ask them to let Maarva know that he’s safe.
The problem is that he’s told of her death and the Empire is, seemingly, counting on that. They want him to come to her funeral so they can catch him. It’s heartbreaking to know that Cassian didn’t get to say goodbye. Those who were there when she passed took care of everything and, for Cassian, he still clearly wanted her to know he was safe and well but he was stuck escaping from prison and missed the chance to say goodbye. It does make me worry that he’ll find a way to come back to Ferrix.
The women of Andor
This was an episode that was very much focused on the different women in Andor—where they are not only in the Rebellion but in their own personal lives and relationships, and what they are willing to sacrifice to fight against the Empire. For Cassian, he is thrust into this fight from the start and he doesn’t have a choice in the fight. And he’s okay with that but the women of the Rebellion in this series have chosen to fight back.
They’ve all made the choice to be with the Rebels and push back against the Emperor’s rule. For Mon Mothma, she’s given so much that she is in trouble and trying to find a way out. While we know where her status ends up in the fight for the Rebels, we’re seeing her prior to her position of leadership. Right now, she’s trying to find a way to hide the money she’s given to the Rebellion and she’s breaking in a way that is a vulnerable side to Mon Mothma we haven’t seen before.
On the flip side of Mon Mothma’s façade is Bix. Having been captured by the Empire on Ferrix, she’s been tortured and refused to give up those she worked with. She is at her end, broken and left sitting alone without anyone to know to come and get her.
We see her break multiple times in this one scene and it’s heart-wrenching to see the woman who was so connected to the Rebellion, and the one helping get Cassian connected, be this destroyed at the Empire’s hand.
On the ground in Ferrix, we still have Cinta, who is clearly giving information back to Vel. (If I do not get to see these two kiss before the end of this series, I am going to be angry.) But Cinta is doing the “Rebel” thing of pretending to just be a civilian and keeping her head down after Aldhani. And she’s doing so in a way that keeps her protected while still letting her have an ear open to what everyone is saying.
We haven’t gotten much from Cinta recently but seeing how she is now working and watching everything, I do think that she’s going to play a bigger role in the next episode with Maarva’s funeral.
For Vel, she is still away from Cinta but is working with her cousin Mon Mothma. In this episode, she gets a lot of information thrown at her but she also is using it to her advantage. She confronts Kleya Marki to see what she’s doing for Luthen and learns about Mon Mothma’s worries and why she’s talking to Tay. And getting to follow Vel from being in charge of a Rebel movement on Aldhani to now, using her status to her advantage, is fascinating to track.
There’s one episode left of Andor season 1 and my god am I worried about what is going to happen to everyone in the fight against the Empire.
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