*Warning: the following article contains spoilers for episode eleven of Andor*
Andor continues to rule, unsurprisingly. After an exciting prison break last week, the episode calms down for a bit (until it ends with the most exciting chase scene I’ve seen in this show yet) and delivers an emotional gut punch. Cassian (Diego Luna) and Melshi (Duncan Pow) are on the run from the Empire and look to go back to Niamos, where Andor was initially caught. However, he doesn’t know that Maarva (Fiona Shaw), his adoptive mother, has passed away on Ferrix.
There, B2EMO (Dave Chapman) struggles to grapple with Maarva’s death and attempts to convince Brasso (Joplin Sibtain) to stay inside her home. I wished we had more scenes with Maarva in the show because her death didn’t hit as hard as the filmmakers envisioned it. Shaw is a terrific performer and brought her A-game to the role, but her character was severely underdeveloped throughout the series. It may have benefited for the show to cut down on Mon Mothma’s (Genevieve O’Reilly) redundant dinner table conversations for more development with Maarva, but alas.
However, Mothma’s arc in this episode is much more riveting than in the last three. She shares an impeccable scene with Vel (Faye Marsay) after revealing that she plans to marry off her daughter to gain money from a shady Chandrilan businessperson, as she has lost a tremendous amount of money. Vel is also paranoid about Luthen Rael’s (Stellan Skarsgård) whereabouts after Maarva’s death. Therefore, he is telling Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) not to go through the attack on Spellhaus with Anto Kreegyr, as the ISB is setting a trap.
Finally, Whitaker has time to shine through two riveting dialogue scenes with no Bor Gullet in sight. The terrific tension between the two Rebels makes the scene so investing, and their dynamic is one of the show’s most exciting aspects. I would’ve wished for more Saw and Luthen, but I believe we’ll see more in the second season. For now, however, it brilliantly sets the table for what’s to come, one of the most exciting and tension-filled storylines in Star Wars history.
The episode’s sole action sequence is also one cinematic marvel — a terrific chase scene between Luther’s small Haulcraft and TIE fighters. When I tell you that I was on the edge of my seat during the entire sequence and backflipped in my head as he took down two TIE fighters by flipping his ship while a laser beam shot out of his Haulcraft, oh my god. What a way to establish suspense by having Luthen confront an Imperial patrol and immediately release it as he destroys part of their ship and escapes. It doesn’t last long, but it looks so amazing.
We hadn’t seen Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) in a while, but he’s determined to find Cassian and bring him to Ferrix for Maarva’s funeral. Will we see a final confrontation between Karn and Andor in the finale? Who knows, but he’s definitely up to something after talking to Sergeant Linus Mosk (Alex Ferns), who confirmed Maarva’s death. Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) also seems interested in the funeral because she knows that if it is held, Andor might show up. They could catch him and potentially reveal the identity of “Axis,” who Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) is still trying to protect.
On Niamos, Andor learns of Maarva’s death and part ways with Melshi, who is determined to expose what the Empire has done on Narkina-5. Who knows if we will see Melshi again, but it seems that Andor will not have a choice but to go back to Ferrix for Maarva’s funeral. With Karn and Meero potentially clashing again, Luthen on his way back to Coruscant, with Kleya (Elizabeth Dulau) knowing of Maarva’s passing, everything seems to come together for next week’s finale. From the looks of it, it’ll be pretty explosive and lead up to the next season, which, by all accounts, will be a masterpiece. Of course, I don’t want to jump the gun, but Andor has been incredible from the first episode to now, even with minor flaws. Here’s hoping the finale brings everything together while making us look forward to the next season of Cassian’s journey.
The eleventh episode of Andor is now available to stream on Disney+.