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Andor: Episode 8 Review

Episode 8 of Andor is as close as we’ve come to a filler episode yet. Cassian’s capture brings the plot grinding to a halt as we’re repeatedly shown the miserable reality of being under the Empire’s thumb.

The portrayal of that tyranny is very well realised, and performances are all still spot on, but the slowdown takes away all of the tension built up over the course of the previous episode. It’s just a shame that we don’t really learn anything new over the course of the 45 minutes that we didn’t know already.

Andor: Episode 8 Review Image

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With Cassian’s fun in the sun firmly cut short, he spends almost all of episode 8 in captivity – seemingly not able to escape the clutches of the Empire or his rebel destiny whichever way he turns.

Nakina 5 isn’t a place full of hope. A thoroughly oppressive prison planet laced with signature Imperial white hallways, the only dash of color comes from the black Imperial uniforms that dominate each room while their prisoners are left to blend into nothingness.

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It’s a subtle but clever way of representing how little the Empire thinks of the general population, and how, if they had it their way, the whole of the galaxy would silently and invisibly just obey. It’s a fairly bleak location at the heart of an episode more interested in further driving home the cruelty of the Empire than moving the plot along significantly.

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Andy Serkis Is A Fantastic Surprise Addition To The Cast This Time Around And Convinces As The Shift Leader Of Cassian’s Work Group.

His attempts to turn the prison’s hard labor into a game of sorts is yet another reflection of people in power pitting the masses against one another in an effort to make them ignore the people actually putting them in a bad place. It’s got shades of Squid Game to it, as regular people are made to compete in order to avoid a punishment that far outweighs the reward.

It’s a brilliant depiction of both the failings of the industrial prison system and class division, all in one impressively concise scene.

Andor himself doesn’t necessarily have a lot to do on the surface level here, but the way in which he eventually joins forces with his workmates may well turn out to be a key character development as he learns that working together is the key to defeating the Empire. You can feel his disdain for the Imperials growing after his wrongful imprisonment – maybe a signifier that he still feels resentment towards them on a personal level rather than a galaxy-wide one at this point. It’s a trend that may well continue as more and more people fall foul to Imperial tyranny. But, at this stage of his story, it doesn’t feel like we’re getting the development of his character yet that I’d hoped for.

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Unfortunately, the scenes at yet another one of Mon Mothma’s many, many parties do fall flat a little this time around. We don’t really learn much that we didn’t know already and it just feels like an extension of last week’s conversations.

The only real thing we glean from them is that Mothma’s associations with other diplomats are raising slightly higher suspicions from her own daughter. It does add a little texture to proceedings, but this isn’t a party that warrants being cut back to repeatedly, especially when there isn’t exactly a breakneck speed in need of offsetting this time around.

After nearly 45 minutes of doom and gloom, however, we are rewarded near the end with the reintroduction to Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera. It’s always a treat to see two great actors face off against one another, and Whitaker and Stellan Skarsgaard do not disappoint as motives are put into question. Crucially though, it may mean that Rogue One’s Bor Gullet may not be far away. Fingers crossed we get to see those big, gloopy mind-reading tentacles again soon.

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Cassian Andor hits his lowest point as the series also hits its. Episode 8 is more concerned with repeatedly showing how bad the Empire is than moving the plot along to any great extent.
There are some fantastic depictions of oppression, hopelessness, and how the very few in power control the masses, but in truth, nothing we didn’t already know came in this episode.
We spend far too little time with too many characters to really gain a deeper understanding of them, and no real sense of where we’re going from here. Let’s hope next week’s episode picks things back up and returns to the stakes and tension that were sorely missed in this one.


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