Andor: One Way Out
November 9, 2022 1:30 AM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

A rare opportunity opens up for Cassian and his allies. To ensure the future of the Rebellion, Mon Mothma brokers a deal with a veryhigh cost.
posted by EndsOfInvention (102 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I refreshed Disney Plus constantly, waiting for the show to drop; I was that excited.

And it absolutely didn’t disappoint. Not one bit. I punched the air with joy several times.

That said, what this episode will leave me with is the existential horror faced by Mon, Lonni and Luthen, who’re faced with some really stark choices.

Also, I thought I had figured out what the subject of the final two-parter would be, the raid on Spellhaus, but I have no idea now. The show has wrongfooted me so expertly and delightfully all throughout the season, that I’m really not going to indulge in predictions. I’ll just enjoy seeing the various storylines play out.
posted by Kattullus at 1:58 AM on November 9, 2022 [10 favorites]


It is very much coming down to "exactly what shitty choices do you have to make for a successful rebellion" isn't it?

I knew they'd escape in the end but the scenes of the prisoners battling to make it up out of the first workshop room was incredibly tense. I too punched the air when they broke out and started taking over.

I'm also wondering what the final two episodes will focus on. We've had two extremely good pay-offs so far (the heist and prison break), I'm very excited for whatever the final one is.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:29 AM on November 9, 2022 [3 favorites]


I had thought this would be an episode where we saw Andor and Mon and maybe others escape their circumstances, at least temporarily. The prison escape was thrilling, but the relief feels temporary now, knowing what Mon and Luthen and Lonni face; and even Andor and Melshi, running on an alien moon towards what? Does anyone know how to swim the waters they are in?

Who is the new guy watching Maarva's place?

No idea what comes next.
posted by nubs at 2:52 AM on November 9, 2022 [3 favorites]


Who is the new guy watching Maarva's place?

ISB, presumably, since this was mentioned in last week’s episode.
posted by andrewdoull at 3:10 AM on November 9, 2022 [3 favorites]


Stellan Skarsgård's speech on the hell he's created for himself was beautiful and chillingly familiar. I've never heard anything quite like it although I've thought about the implications of situations like his. Who would expect a Star Wars TV show to methodically bring together so many plot points, competing interests, character arcs, and emotional beats to set up such a unique and compelling monologue. And it wasn't even the episode's A story! (if anyone's familiar with similar or better examples of his slow burn, deep cover, cold, realpolitik, violent revolutionary intelligence arc let me know)

I wasn't keeping up with any of the secondary material or fan commentary online so I had no idea how long this season was. After episode six I thought it could successfully end on episode seven or eight. After eight I felt like it would be over after ten episodes. This has been the ideal experience I think: I got two very satisfying finales and now I find out there are two more episodes?!?
posted by Hume at 5:23 AM on November 9, 2022 [13 favorites]


Luthen says he took a vow "15 years ago", which would have been the last year of the Clone War. Could he have been some hapless civilian in Jedi HQ during Order 66?
posted by orrnyereg at 5:31 AM on November 9, 2022 [6 favorites]


ISB, presumably, since this was mentioned in last week’s episode

This is what I get for dealing with my insomnia by watching Andor in the middle of the night.

This has been the ideal experience I think: I got two very satisfying finales and now I find out there are two more episodes?!?

Feeling like we're going back to Ferrix the more I think on it; that's where most of the pieces are in play. But this show leans one way and goes another on me quite a bit.
posted by nubs at 6:03 AM on November 9, 2022


Bland liberalism show: If you see a boot coming down on someone’s neck, GO VOTE to get the boot away.

Andor: Shoot the boot’s owner in the face.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:05 PM on November 9, 2022 [21 favorites]


Diego Luna called out Andy Serkis' acting on Twitter, but in this episode alone he could have equally called out O'Reilly or Skarsgård (or himself!). And Richard Dillane as Davo Sculdun gives a delicious cameo with just the right amount of raffish braggadocio and political nous, with sterling support from Ben Miles as Tay Kolma; plus the convincing desperation of Robert Emms as Lonni Jung.

That monologue at the end: excellent writing by Beau Willimon! "I've made my mind a sunless space" - plus half a dozen other bleak, brilliant lines. Who knew Star Wars could aspire to the heights of Greek tragedy and actually get lines worthy of it?
posted by domdib at 12:08 PM on November 9, 2022 [25 favorites]


(if anyone's familiar with similar or better examples of his slow burn, deep cover, cold, realpolitik, violent revolutionary intelligence arc let me know)

AMCs Rubicon comes to mind. Starts very slow but ratchets up the tension exponentially with every episode. The show revolves around an intelligence analyst uncovering a vast conspiracy. Got unfortunately cancelled after 1 Season, but well worth the watch.

Continue to be very impressed by Andor, which against all odds is the best thing ive seen all year.
posted by Megustalations at 12:15 PM on November 9, 2022 [2 favorites]


Impossible choices, compromises and sacrifices, consequences and no turning back - this is epic drama. I struggle to find superlatives to do it justice.

Gasped when O'Reilly's face dropped at the indecent proposal. Air punched when Serkis bellowed "attack". Shivered when Skarsgård delivered his chilling response. Diego Luna did fine work as always, but every thread of this is taut and beautifully tuned.
posted by Molesome at 12:35 PM on November 9, 2022 [4 favorites]


"And what do you sacrifice?"
"Calm. Kindness. Kinship. Love. I've given up all chance at inner peace. I've made my mind a sunless space. I share my dreams with ghosts. I wake up every day to an equation I wrote 15 years ago from which there's only one conclusion: I'm damned for what I do. My anger, my ego, my unwillingness to yield, my eagerness to fight, they've set me on a path from which there is no escape. I yearned to be a saviour against injustice without contemplating the cost and by the time I looked down, there was no longer any ground beneath my feet. What is my- what is my sacrifice? I am condemed to use the tools of my enemy to defeat them. I burn my decency for someone else's future. I burn my life for a sunrise I know I'll never see. And the ego that started this fight will never have a mirror, or an audience, or the light of gratitude. So what do I sacrifice? Everything!"
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:58 PM on November 9, 2022 [56 favorites]


Andor has done urban police raid gone wrong and heist movie, and we were building towards prison break; I wasn't expecting Le Carré-style grim spy angst. Poor Loni; he is the spy who wants to 'come in from the cold', but can't. The Rebellion needs its mole.

(And there is so much straight out of Le Carré in that scene. Luthen feeding Loni low-level intelligence to establish his credibility? That's the "chicken feed" that Source Merlin is passing to The Circus in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Luthen's sacrifice of Kreeger and his group to solidify Loni's position? Right out of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.)
posted by Major Clanger at 1:48 PM on November 9, 2022 [19 favorites]


What. A. Show. How do they keep doing it? The prison break was phenomenally tense even though we knew he’d get out. Every little detail so practiced. Not a second wasted.
posted by adrianhon at 2:05 PM on November 9, 2022 [8 favorites]


I like x-wings, but how much more powerful is it to watch rebels fight with thrown wrenches instead of x-wings?
posted by Sauce Trough at 3:23 PM on November 9, 2022 [23 favorites]


Just imagine if, really any of of the movies were to this standard.

The prequels needed to be doing this sort of thing, culminating in Rogue One.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:23 PM on November 9, 2022 [10 favorites]


also loved how the final boss was the PA creep with the voice modulator.
posted by Sauce Trough at 3:27 PM on November 9, 2022 [2 favorites]


Because the text is good and the performance great, here's the video clip of Luthen.
posted by nubs at 4:24 PM on November 9, 2022 [6 favorites]


The prequels needed to be doing this sort of thing, culminating in Rogue One.

Last time I watched the prequels, I had the thought that it's basically House of Cards. But instead of following Palpatine, we spend all our time with the rubes he's manipulating. The problem wasn't Trade Federation politicking, but not having enough of it. (Plus, of course, the writing).

Now we have Beau Willimon writing Star Wars and I'd like to nominate him for the prequel remakes. He even knows how to write a prequel favorite where the entire scene is people sitting on couches talking.
posted by Gary at 4:40 PM on November 9, 2022 [6 favorites]


here's the video clip of Luthen

My god, the rhythm of the speech, the way it builds, the way it starts out emotionless and becomes more pained as he remembers what he's lost. The acting is understated, no sadness or self-pity. It's poetry.
posted by PlusDistance at 5:52 PM on November 9, 2022 [4 favorites]


It's poetry

Nothing has ever gone wrong comparing Star Wars to poetry.

I kid because I am still in awe of that speech; never thought I would see something like it in Star Wars.
posted by nubs at 6:18 PM on November 9, 2022


also loved how the final boss was the PA creep with the voice modulator.

Did he remind anyone else of Nathan Fielder?
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:28 PM on November 9, 2022 [5 favorites]


Kino! Luthen! Mon Mothma! All about sacrifice here. All about being denied that promised land. Damn.
posted by rodlymight at 6:36 PM on November 9, 2022 [1 favorite]


"I've made my mind a sunless space" instantly became one of my favorite lines from the franchise. Ever.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:54 PM on November 9, 2022 [11 favorites]


The whole sequence where you realize that Kino can't swim. Gutting.
posted by suelac at 8:54 PM on November 9, 2022 [17 favorites]




HOW is this show this good.
posted by azarbayejani at 9:39 PM on November 9, 2022 [6 favorites]


The Polygon piece on the prison is excellent, thanks suelac. One quote from Sanne Wohlenberg that sums things up: “As Tony always says, we’re in the kitchen not in the restaurant.”
posted by domdib at 10:30 PM on November 9, 2022 [3 favorites]


Luthen says he took a vow "15 years ago", which would have been the last year of the Clone War. Could he have been some hapless civilian in Jedi HQ during Order 66?

We know he had a kyber crystal for some reason, and gave it to Andor. It's possible the story about its construction isn't truthful -- or at least its history as an old artifact isn't -- and that its real origin came from tearing apart his old saber.

Admittedly, his costuming in this episode was mostly black, which seems to be exclusive to the Sith wardrobe. And there's only one person who knows his every move, and the scope of his network: Kleya. She knows about the heist, she knows about the plan to kill Andor. She is clearly ambitious and angry at Luthen's apparent mismanagement of the situation.

Theorycrafting whether Luthen might be Jedi or Sith is fun, but my money is on both. He is a Jedi who has begun adopting the ways of the Sith, plotting revenge in secret, with only one person fully in the know. So it seems the Rule of Two is in effect.

I am condemed to use the tools of my enemy to defeat them.
posted by pwnguin at 11:10 PM on November 9, 2022 [7 favorites]


I've made my mind a sunless space

This was the moment for me that the series went from the best Stars Wars show in the canon to just flat out some of the best TV I've seen in years, regardless of genre. The writing, the deep character development, the acting, the set design, the pacing... it's just all top notch. I'm just kind of stunned, like, where did this come from? This tweet says it best for me:

@KevKoeser:
everyone else writing a Disney+ Star Wars show: “the thesis of my show is I played with action figures as a kid and now I get to make my favorite characters do cool things :)”

Tony Gilroy: “the one way out of fascist rule is armed revolution”
posted by gwint at 11:41 PM on November 9, 2022 [48 favorites]


I concur with all the praise. Best TV series in a long time.

Maybe I am reading too much in to it, or perhaps this is an obvious point, but during the prison break I was struck by the similarities between the prison uniforms (white with orange detailing) and the rebel pilots flight suits used in subsequent events (orange with white detailing). Is that deliberate? Probably not, but I like the continuity, and to think that some of the pilots we see in the original trilogy or rogue one were incarcerated here.
posted by chill at 1:18 AM on November 10, 2022 [9 favorites]


I loved almost everything about the prison break, but I was unable to believe the prison was close enough to land for any of the prisoners to swim to safety. That's the whole entire point of putting a prison in the middle of the ocean.

But looking back at Episode 8, the prisons are indeed in sight of land. There's a dozen of them that look more like they're sitting in a lake than out in the middle of an ocean. So I guess we have to assume they're built offshore for the hydroelectric power or to extract some natural resource rather than for security reasons. In Star Wars, you can put a city in a cloud if the only goal is a building nobody can walk away from.

I wish I'd realized that sooner so my brain wasn't nitpicking during that incredible overhead shot of the inmates swimming away. It deserves to be in the company of some of the great shots from the Star Wars films -- and it's not the only one this series has given us.

The whole sequence where you realize that Kino can't swim. Gutting.

I wanted so badly to see one of the faces from Level 2 Day Shift grab Kino and jump in with him to help him swim.
posted by straight at 1:23 AM on November 10, 2022 [13 favorites]


They should show this at union meetings.
posted by dogstoevski at 1:32 AM on November 10, 2022 [27 favorites]


Just the pure physicality of the uprising - like people have said, it’s so much more satisfying than pew pew CGI. The prisoners tossing each other makeshift weapons as soon as the guard’s back is turned, scrambling onto the tables, clambering up the lift - you felt every moment.
posted by adrianhon at 1:40 AM on November 10, 2022 [8 favorites]


“If we can fight half as hard as we’ve been working, we’ll be home in no time.” 😭
posted by adrianhon at 2:20 AM on November 10, 2022 [20 favorites]


"I'm damned for what I do... I burn my life for a sunrise I know I'll never see."

The thing that came to mind when he gave this speech was the Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in Serenity:

"I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin... I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done."
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:32 AM on November 10, 2022 [7 favorites]


“I can’t swim” was a very powerful line and perfectly delivered.
posted by chill at 2:41 AM on November 10, 2022 [7 favorites]


I suspect Luthen's speech and Skarsgård's delivery are going to be revered by future SF fans as highly as Rutger Hauer's "Tears in Rain" in Blade Runner. A sensational moment in a sensational series. Can't believe I was in two minds over whether to stick with it at the end of episode 1.
posted by rory at 3:52 AM on November 10, 2022 [12 favorites]


Adding to the pile of praise for this show. When they announced this series years ago, I was completely uninterested. I didn't care anything about the Andor character.

I am ALL IN now. This show is riveting and grips me by the stomach every episode.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:31 AM on November 10, 2022 [7 favorites]


Theorycrafting whether Luthen might be Jedi or Sith is fun, but my money is on both.

In his monologue he says he shares his plans with ghosts. Maybe I'm being too literal but I think force ghosts are advising him. Do force ghosts ever appear to non-force users?
posted by Hume at 5:07 AM on November 10, 2022


At this point in the timeline Qui-Gon is the only one who is able to force-ghost, and he’s only been appearing to Obi-Wan for a few years. (And I’m firmly in the Luthen Is Not A Jedi camp, it’s not gonna happen).
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:16 AM on November 10, 2022 [6 favorites]


I really don't want Luthen to have anything to do with Jedi. I love that this show is relatively removed from all of that. It makes for much stronger world-building.

I also really, really want Kino to have been helped along by other prisoners, maybe taking turns to make sure he made it to shore. But I feel like if he had, he would have been with Andor at the end. :(
posted by synecdoche at 5:19 AM on November 10, 2022 [9 favorites]


One of the things I loved about the prison break was the sheer *confusion* of it. A man demands that Kino speaks louder; men are trampled underfoot whilst others, grinning furiously, rise to bludgeon guards. Kino has no idea (at first) what to say on the loudspeaker, and is surprised to realize that his inability to swim has doomed him. Prisoners race past a closet full of hidden guards - but those guards aren’t planning a cunning counter-attack, they’re just panicked and desperate. The whole thing seems like such a clever microcosm of so many moments of crisis or revolution, when the hard truth is that *no one* really knows what’s going on.

Also: I kind of like that Kino couldn’t swim. He’s charismatic, and caring in his way, but he’s also deeply, deeply complicit in the evil of Narkina 5. He can find moral redemption, but a happy ending? Not for him, any more than for Luthen.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 5:35 AM on November 10, 2022 [10 favorites]


From the "oral history" link above -

it flips the tables where Andor becomes [Stellan Skarsgård’s] Luthen. He’s the one recruiting this guy. (...) And it made sense by the end of it, that the guy who had been a leader on the floor of his factory room should also be the leader of the breakout. Andor is smart enough to realize that this is a guy who always has authority and that people will trust and, and so rather than getting on the PA, he recognizes, if we really want to succeed, it’s got to be Kino.
posted by rebent at 5:43 AM on November 10, 2022 [4 favorites]


Watching this the day after the midterm elections was illuminating: the glimmer of hope, the reality of the long dark road still ahead, coming to terms with what must be done, acknowledging what has been lost.
posted by briank at 6:44 AM on November 10, 2022 [4 favorites]


but he’s also deeply, deeply complicit in the evil of Narkina 5

Is he? I don't mean this dismissively, it's an interesting observation (and I don't love him quite as much as others seem to), but he was a fellow prisoner who did not administer punishment, but urged co-operation with a view to avoiding torture and getting himself and others quietly to their release dates. I don't mean to over-apologise for his zeal, but I also don't see him an any way complicit on the same level as the guards. I might need to go back and watch his induction episode with Andor, when he was shown at his most domineering. I found it really interesting that by the last episode Andor was haranguing him across the hall about the number of guards, understanding that Kino was just another prisoner who would ultimately never move against him, despite all his shouting.
posted by distorte at 6:46 AM on November 10, 2022 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I totally saw Kino as someone trying to keep his charges safe by encouraging discipline, under the belief that if they all focussed on the task in hand they would one say get their freedom. When he finally accepted that a different fate awaited them, he did everything he could to get them out.
posted by chill at 8:15 AM on November 10, 2022 [21 favorites]


Maybe I am reading too much in to it, or perhaps this is an obvious point, but during the prison break I was struck by the similarities between the prison uniforms (white with orange detailing) and the rebel pilots flight suits used in subsequent events (orange with white detailing). Is that deliberate?

from that keen oral history article that suelac posted:
We developed a fabric that had this wonderful, papery, disposable quality to it, so you got the sense that they were thrown away at the end of the day, then the prisoners were sterilized, and they got issued new uniforms. But we also leaned heavily into that world of ’70s graphics with some of the design that you see down the sleeves and the flashes of orange. The guards would always be able to see where the prisoners were because of the flashing orange and so had a practical origin. We liked the sense of alarm of orange in a white space, but it’s also a color that is very much part of the Star Wars color palette.
posted by Sauce Trough at 8:24 AM on November 10, 2022 [7 favorites]


On rewatch, I'm struck by the visual echoes between the blockade runner boarding scene in Star Wars and the prison break scene. Lots of people who are strangers to us die but the camera stokes empathy by pausing for a number of close-up shots of anxious faces as the tension builds.

Whoever coached the body language of the Imperial prison guards did great. They are haughty but slouched, their gait is half strut and half shamble, their eyes dart, their brows are permanently furrowed, they always lead with their guns and their cattle prods, like they are clinging to them.
posted by Sauce Trough at 8:35 AM on November 10, 2022 [5 favorites]


I also really, really want Kino to have been helped along by other prisoners, maybe taking turns to make sure he made it to shore. But I feel like if he had, he would have been with Andor at the end.

The great thing is with an ending like that is we're all free to imagine what happened to Kino; I'm sure there was a group that couldn't swim. Maybe they figured something out and got away. Maybe they barricaded themselves in and made the Imperials fight their way back into the prison.

But what makes the moment interesting is that Andor often gets pulled away from these situations and connections - Maarva lifted him off his home planet; Luthen took him away from Ferrix; here, he's just knocked into the water. Andor often seems to not really be in control of where he's going (with the exception of the ending of the Aldhani heist, where he took the initiative) or how his time with certain people ends, but while he's with them he makes a difference.
posted by nubs at 10:52 AM on November 10, 2022 [13 favorites]


The only thing I could think about was, “Isn’t there anyone, ANYONE, on the platform who could tell Kino about this?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:02 AM on November 10, 2022 [5 favorites]


I mean, they're onsies that appear to be made out of paper. Best case scenario they're tyvek -- that indestructible stuff Fedex envenlopes are made of, which is water porous but at least won't dissolve in water.
posted by pwnguin at 11:08 AM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]


On Kino's culpability.. We've talked about parallels between Andor's Empire and Nazi Germany's concentration work camps. In this analogy Kino is a kapo. Most attention to Nazi kapos after the war is to the ones who used their power to harm fellow prisoners. Kino isn't shown doing that. But he's still a kapo.
posted by Nelson at 11:29 AM on November 10, 2022 [7 favorites]


Nelson - yeah, that was my thinking. I also assume that, although we don’t see it on screen, Kino must have done something to demonstrate his trustworthiness to the guards. That can’t have been good.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 11:34 AM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]


I'm going to be the bummer here and say this episode fell a little flat to me. The sixth episode, the culmination of the heist, was so fantastically executed and tense. I was hoping the culmination of the prison break would be equally interesting but it didn't quite reach that level.

The big difference is that the heist part of the show gave us so many well realized characters. Cassian's the main character, sure, but there's everyone else too. Vel is an ongoing character, Cinta is fascinating, Skeen is a center of conflict, and Nemik, poor Nemik, too pure to live. Also Taramyn and Gorn, which weren't as well characterized but were memorable.

The only characters in the prison we know are Cassian, Kino, and Ulaf. Ulaf's only role here is to die. Kino's got a fair amount going but I could have done with a few more characters. Some of the other prisoners are also well characterized but only with very limited writing, no names, little dialog, just a lot of well filmed meaningful looks. In the end it felt a little more like a typical Star Wars action sequence and less like the personal character study that has made Andor so great.

Also compared to episode 6 I'm now way more invested in the other parts of this story. I miss Dedra and Syril! Luthen was great, that speech was terrific. But all in all I wanted more of those storylines and a little less prison break. I still liked the episode though! Good TV!
posted by Nelson at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2022 [3 favorites]


I miss Dedra and Syril! Luthen was great, that speech was terrific. But all in all I wanted more of those storylines and a little less prison break.

I'm amazed at how short the episode was - which maybe makes sense, as all of the tension and catharsis was around the escape - but I wanted some time to see everyone else! Dedra is barely in this, and I'm not sure what to read (if anything) into her brief appearance, and then leaving the room while Lonni is talking to Pendergast - I'm guessing they just wanted to give Lonni a bit more screen time and focus before his meeting, and right now Dedra draws audience attention.

I need to know what's up with Karn. He's out there...waiting. Watching. Looking through his private box. Right now, he feels incredibly compelling because I have no clue what he might do next.
posted by nubs at 11:51 AM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]


I love this discussion of Kino and his moral complicity because I don't think there's an easy answer to the question of whether a person trapped in a fascist system and doing what they need to do to survive can emerge unstained.

I think this show is about deconstructing the myth that dark times what sift out the heroes from the villains. This is not the story of pure, upright people fighting against corruption; it's the story of people who, in their pursuit of something good, are necessarily tainted by the systems they operate in and the things they must do to pursue that good. Kino wants to earn out his sentence (which is good), so he loudly and forcefully maintains the order that the prison has imposed on the prisoners. Luthen sends his allies to die to protect his source within the ISB, and it is implied that is not the darkest choice he has made in support of his cause. Lonni, similarly, has to go in to work every day at the ISB knowing what he knows and believing what he believes; he has to further the plans of the Empire in order to work against the Empire. (This is Mother Night, if you have not seen it.) Mon Mothma has to be seen as an ineffective bleeding-heart Senator in order to retain her position and act without suspicion as to her true aims.

Even Meero, who is a true believer with no problem torturing people to death, wants something good: to stop people stealing military equipment from the government. I think the difference here is not necessarily what the various characters won't do but what their intentions are as they do it, and that what makes a villain is how satisfying they find that, or not. A villain in this show is someone who thinks their good intentions will excuse the evil that they do, where our protagonists (not heroes) are those who are not sure the evil that they do can be justified. Some hero's journey this is.

I love it.

(I also thought that the prison break was the birth of the Rebel army, and noted the parallels to the opening of A New Hope.)
posted by gauche at 12:02 PM on November 10, 2022 [20 favorites]


The Defector, on just how good Andor is.
posted by suelac at 12:27 PM on November 10, 2022 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure what to read (if anything) into her brief appearance, and then leaving the room while Lonni is talking to Pendergast - I'm guessing they just wanted to give Lonni a bit more screen time and focus before his meeting, and right now Dedra draws audience attention.

As soon as she did that turn and exited the office I figured that she had marked Lonni as a double agent and needed to go do some secret police research to make that case. With all the chicken feed that Lonni's been pipelining into ISB, there is gonna be a long paper trail on him and I bet Meero is going to be all up in that paper trail.

And Partagaz was strangely quietly acquiescent to Lonni's counsel. Partagaz would challenge you to defend your stance if you told him that milkshakes are delicious or that Tattooine is warn. Yet he's all murmuring "yeah let's do that" to Lonni.

I think that Lonni is headed for the shit list and Krieger's bunch will get ambushed and maybe that will save Lonni, but maybe not.

I need to know what's up with Karn. He's out there...waiting. Watching. Looking through his private box. Right now, he feels incredibly compelling because I have no clue what he might do next.

Oh yeah I feel you. Fun to speculate on! Someone pointed out that Karn might be a vulnerability for Meero, she has intervened with his employer on his behalf and they have met secretly. I wonder if Karn will become a weapon in Luthen's hands, something he can use to destroy Meero now that she's on his radar? I wonder if there are stolen Imperial components in Karn's secret box? I wonder if stolen imperial components could be made to appear in Karn's secret box?

and holy shit, the fact that Karn has a secret box that his mother has snooped around in ... in two lines of dialogue the show infantilizes Karn and gives him more menace simultaneously ... just real tight writing there.

and double holy shit I am really interested to see Mon Mothma's next move. "Do I marry my daughter into a family of gauche mercantiles to further the Rebellion?" is not a storyline I'd ever imagined I'd see in Star Wars.
posted by Sauce Trough at 12:52 PM on November 10, 2022 [7 favorites]


but he’s also deeply, deeply complicit in the evil of Narkina 5

I can't think of a single thing Keno said or did that wasn't an attempt to keep someone from being torture zapped or advice about trying to cope until your sentence is up. It was in his interest to get newbies up to speed as fast as possible, but it was just as much or more in the newbie's interest.

I suppose every exhortation to work harder is increasing the chance of somebody else getting tortured, but he didn't ever seem to be doing any scapegoating to target one person or group for punishment in order to spare everybody else. I'll bet there were bosses who put all the newest people who didn't know what they were doing at one table.
posted by straight at 1:34 PM on November 10, 2022 [5 favorites]


An interesting interview with Tony Gilroy in Variety. Excerpt:
In Val and Cinta, I do believe that you have created the first full-fledged, same-sex couple in live-action “Star Wars” history. What was the conversation with Lucasfilm about that?

Man, really, it was a gesture. There wasn’t any controversy at all. From the very beginning, no one ever said we couldn’t do it and no one ever said, “Oh, God, please do it.” Our whole attitude is it’s just another relationship. I mean, it’s one of the least complicated relationships in the show, if you consider Dedra and Cyril, or Cyril and Eedy, or Perrin and Mon Mothma, their marriage. We did not want it to be performative in any way. There’s things we can’t do — I mean, we have standards and practices. We can’t have sex. There’s a level of violence that we can’t have. There’s limits on what we can do. We can’t do some things that we would want to do. But within that, we’re cool.

It sounds like you weren’t aware that you were making a small bit of history there.

Not really, no. In the blur of the whole thing, it just was like, Oh, this is really cool. I was a little bit naive about that.

So you can’t show sex, but you certainly imply it — the show opens in a brothel, and there’s a post-coital scene in Episode 2.

I wrote that as a challenge. I wrote the first three episodes before we hit the writers’ room. We were still tiptoeing into the relationship with Disney. Is it going to be just a development thing or are we really going to do this? So I definitely was like, “Hey, man, this is what I want to do. Can you take this?” There’s a little bit of a challenge about it.

One tweet that went pretty viral said “Andor” was “fiercely anti-cop” and “anti prison-industrial complex.” The show is about revolution against an oppressive regime — these things are certainly there. But how does it work out in your head?

I have my politics, my worldview, which is probably leaks out into my work in different ways. But I don’t start with an agenda for a show like this. My agenda is the characters. I’ve been reading history for the last 20 years. I’m an old white guy. What do we do? We listen to history podcasts. There’s a great revolutions podcast. I mean, I’ve been studying the Russian revolution for 15 years. All these books that are here in this room.

So revolution, oppression, slavery, imperialism, colonialism — they go back 3,000 years. And a show like this, the great thing is you don’t have to be contemporary. You can drop the needle from any place. You want to do the Haitian revolution for a minute? You want to do the Russian revolution for a minute? I’m cherry picking everything that I know about all those topics, and if anything lands contemporaneously, it’s just like the mirror. It’s not a sneaky answer, either. I’m not trying to make a commentary on contemporary politics. It’s funny watching — because I have seen some of the stuff — people try to twist themselves to get on either side of the conversation. To me, that’s why this turned out to be such a great place for me to be right now, because I can talk about anything and not get in trouble.
posted by Kattullus at 2:08 PM on November 10, 2022 [14 favorites]


Perhaps the best bit of the interview for me is this, regarding how deeply involved in the lore Gilroy is:

When it comes to the history of my five years [for the show] — that’s my board. I know the canonical incidents that pertain to my people. When it comes to ships or props or weapons or sometimes planets if we’re not making them up, I’m deeply involved in that. But then the art department will sneak in all that crap into Luthen’s gallery — that, I had no idea.

Ha! So much for all the people reading things into what's in the gallery and what it might mean for who Luthen is.
posted by nubs at 2:52 PM on November 10, 2022 [16 favorites]


And, I will note, I was on my way to becoming one of those people.
posted by nubs at 3:11 PM on November 10, 2022 [2 favorites]


What do we do? We listen to history podcasts. There’s a great revolutions podcast…

…You want to do the Haitian revolution for a minute? You want to do the Russian revolution for a minute?


Gilroy is totally talking about Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast (previously) The Haitian revolution mention is a giveaway.
posted by rodlymight at 3:18 PM on November 10, 2022 [5 favorites]


The only characters in the prison we know

Poor Melshi! Is he nothing to you?
posted by orrnyereg at 3:19 PM on November 10, 2022 [12 favorites]


Ha! So much for all the people reading things into what's in the gallery and what it might mean for who Luthen is.

Hey, just cos the Art Dept snuck that stuff in doesn't mean it's not sign-posting things about Luthen. They could be on the inside, man, trying to tell us the REAL DEAL

Theorycrafting whether Luthen might be Jedi or Sith is fun, but my money is on both. He is a Jedi who has begun adopting the ways of the Sith, plotting revenge in secret, with only one person fully in the know. So it seems the Rule of Two is in effect.

I would really prefer him not to be force-sensitive at all. My money is on him being linked to a Jedi somehow - possibly in love with / the father of a Jedi who fell in Order 66. That would fit nicely.
posted by coriolisdave at 3:25 PM on November 10, 2022 [4 favorites]


I'm really hoping Luthen has nothing to do with the Jedi, the Sith, or any of that, and just had the kyber crystal because he is a dealer in antiquities and artifacts. I don't want any Force stuff in my Andor, it's perfect without it.

I think Mon Mothma is going to marry her daughter off to that thug's son, and I think both her husband and her daughter are going to think it's the only good idea she's had all year, and I think it's going to destroy her. God, this show is SO GOOD.
posted by potrzebie at 5:57 PM on November 10, 2022 [21 favorites]


The prison break. That scene, when they've shut down the floor, and it's kind of working, but the guards still have guns and they don't, the guards have the high ground, prisoners are dying.

It is such a collective action. Every death is noted, but no one's death is highlighted as a special tragedy. There's no pandering camera shot on the one guy we thought would make it, a friend cradling his head or holding his hand. And no one's survival is due to their own heroism or skill or moral worth. It's just that some people get shot and some don't, but everyone is desperate enough to try. One way out.


Luthen's scene fooled me for a second, with his indifference to the deaths of fifty men. I thought they were deciding to slide him completely into villain territory, and then he gives that speech.


Re: Kino's complicity: You can clearly go either way on this, it's not a simple moral calculation. If they'd showed him ratting out other prisoners, or perhaps thwarting their plans himself, in the hope of stopping collective punishment, he'd be more complicit but it would still be morally complicated. They didn't do that (or imply he did it) so I'm definitely on the "making the best of a bad situation" side of things.
posted by mark k at 8:10 PM on November 10, 2022 [9 favorites]


The whole sequence where you realize that Kino can't swim. Gutting.

Seriously. The amazing part of it to me was the retroactive spin it puts on all of his earlier reluctance to get on board with Cassian's plan. All that frustrating time when you're sitting there thinking, "C'mon man! Cassian's right, you're never getting out of here unless you break out, get a clue!" ...and then actually, it turns out that when he finally did sign on with Cassian's rebellion, he was signing up for something he had to know would never save him. That there was this whole other layer to his reluctance that neither we nor Cassian ever knew about until the very end. I'm not gonna replay the episode to find the exact wording but there was a line Cassian told Kino, that he later repeated in his speech over the intercom, to the effect of "We can die fighting the bastards, or die giving them what they want." That line, the significance and weight it takes on after his "I can't swim" later, just, wow. I was as struck by that as I was by Luthen's speech at the end.

This show is so damn good.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:58 PM on November 10, 2022 [16 favorites]


...and then actually, it turns out that when he finally did sign on with Cassian's rebellion, he was signing up for something he had to know would never save him.

Kino is speedrunning Luthen. Burning his life for a sunrise he'll never see.
posted by Sauce Trough at 9:46 PM on November 10, 2022 [10 favorites]


I’ve been studying the Russian revolution for 15 years. All these books that are here in this room.

This is really interesting, because the Aldhani heist really brought to my mind Stalin and Lenin's bank heist to raise funds for the Bolsheviks in 1907. With Stalin, like all monsters, you have to ask how they became the people they did. Stephen Kotkin (IIRC) suggest that history, the flow of events in his life, are what made Stalin, turning him from the dashing young seminary student rebel in to the tyrant he became. Perhaps a similar fate would have awaited Andor, were it not for the events of Rogue One. Luther's fanaticism, justified only by what we know the empire becomes, certainly suggests it possible.
posted by chill at 12:59 AM on November 11, 2022 [8 favorites]


Luthen's fanaticism, justified only by what we know the empire becomes, certainly suggests it possible.

I see in Luthen an implicit criticism of the Jedi as we see them in Episodes 1-3, blinded as they apparently are by Yoda's insipid aphorisms about hate and the dangers of emotional attachment. It might be that a certain amount of fanaticism is what is called for, when facing a fascist system that has effectively divided and conquered anybody who might oppose it. In a sense, this is Popper's paradox of tolerance in action.
posted by gauche at 6:06 AM on November 11, 2022 [4 favorites]


> So revolution, oppression, slavery, imperialism, colonialism — they go back 3,000 years. And a show like this, the great thing is you don’t have to be contemporary. You can drop the needle from any place. You want to do the Haitian revolution for a minute? You want to do the Russian revolution for a minute? I’m cherry picking everything that I know about all those topics, and if anything lands contemporaneously, it’s just like the mirror.

"I take [history] and I file off the serial numbers and I turn it up to 11."[1,2] --GRRM
posted by kliuless at 7:21 AM on November 11, 2022 [1 favorite]


Aw yiss they gave Skarsgård something to chew on and it was great. Love that look he got, of him as a villain, he looked like a Sith lord or something. Operatic. Probably could have cut like 3 lines lol, but I liked it a lot. I would love it if they brought more over the top drama to Star Wars.

I'm pretty sad when these episodes end. I want more! A thing about this show I don't (hugbox enforcers, hide your eyes) is the use of little tiny checkins, like when they show Cinta pull a tarp off a speed bike and that's all she does in the episode. I really think doing it a lot has a bad effect and might contribute to the feelings a lot of people have of there being something kind of dissatisfying about the pacing or w/ev.

I do love prison breaks. This episode did it okay. The building of momentum and then the chaos is so fun. Loved the shot of the guards hiding in a little room. I think they did give short shrift to a couple problems, though this prison break was also a riot, so there wasn't really a plan. And so Kino cant even swim. And I loved the little shot of Andor fleeing across the sands while search planes fly around in the background. Outside of prison, things are still grim, there's still the shitty Empire, and life on the run, and for sure not all those people made it.

Cassian is not my favorite character on the show, but I do like the setup of this show where he goes around being a catalyst.

during the prison break I was struck by the similarities between the prison uniforms (white with orange detailing) and the rebel pilots flight suits used in subsequent events (orange with white detailing). Is that deliberate? Probably not

Yeah I thought the same thing! Even if it's not deliberate it's a great rhyme.
posted by fleacircus at 8:30 PM on November 13, 2022 [2 favorites]


A More Civilized Age - Andor ep 10
Today's episode of Andor is a tight, focused 43 minute exploration of revolutionary sacrifice in its many forms. And while I could not call this nearly three hour long episode of our show anything close to "tight," I do think it's one of our best yet.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:55 AM on November 14, 2022 [3 favorites]


That episode of A More Civilized Age obliquely brings up something I’ve been kinda wondering about. What actor plays the main guy in the prison command center? The voice over the loudspeaker is identified as Martin Ware, who’s the casting director. But that can’t be him playing the guy, right? What a weird role to cast yourself in, if so. But I can’t figure out from the credits and Wookiepedia doesn’t identify the actor either.
posted by Kattullus at 5:18 AM on November 14, 2022 [2 favorites]


I also looked that up and was confused. Maybe it was him, in a cameo (he's worked on other Star Wars stuff). They put Kino's voice through as obviously Andy Serkis' voice with the modulation, so maybe the Imperial announcer really is that guy.

And I just confirmed it I think?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:17 AM on November 14, 2022 [2 favorites]


Marvelous find! Thank you, EndsOfInvention!
posted by Kattullus at 6:31 AM on November 14, 2022


They should show this at union meetings.

Interview with Vanity Fair:

Andy Serkis: What I imagined of Kino's backstory, before he was in prison, was that he was a union leader. He's used to working as a foreman. I wanted him to come from a place where he was put in prison for, perhaps, standing up for workers' rights, and then put into a position of authority because that's what he does. He is a natural leader. But he really just wants to serve his time. He's got a family. He wants to get out and get back, and assumes that that's going to happen after his incarceration.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2022 [12 favorites]


> hugbox enforcers, hide your eyes

What are hugbox enforcers?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:55 PM on November 14, 2022


I had a moment wondering if this would be the moment Mon Mothma tells her husband and daughter what's going on, and asks her daughter if she wants to get married for the sake of the revolution. It's probably too risky, but would be an interesting scene.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:57 PM on November 14, 2022


In the spirit of my earlier comment about Nathan Fielder... does anyone else really wish that Mr. Mothma was played by Will Forte?
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:16 PM on November 14, 2022


Mon would be an absolute fool to read her family in on her machinations. Perrin would sell her out to the authorities in a heartbeat, and Leida would go straight to Dad. Not a chance.
posted by potrzebie at 9:21 PM on November 14, 2022 [7 favorites]


What are hugbox enforcers?

Hugbox: an online discussion where everyone agrees with everyone else (in this context: pretty much everyone here loves Andor). A hugbox enforcer would, I think, be annoyed by any dissenting opinions.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:52 AM on November 15, 2022 [2 favorites]


Ah, thank you for the explanation. I hadn’t heard “hug box” outside of autistic or animal uses before.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:13 AM on November 15, 2022


Wow, just echoing what everyone else is saying -- this is a fantastic show!

From Episode VII through The Mandalorian to Andor, my consistent takeaway has been that the "smaller" the story the better. I think this holds beyond just Star Wars, in that lots of properties seem to use fanservice and "raising the stakes" to make up for lazy writing, but in Star Wars particularly there's some really fantastic worldbuilding that gets lost when the story frantically jumps around like a coked-up Yoda.
posted by bjrubble at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2022 [5 favorites]


The podcast did make me think about one thing - Andor's decision not to kill the two guys left in the control room. I'm thinking it will be cause for regret because they will be able to connect Keef to Andor, but I'm also thinking it says something about his character; he certainly has no qualms about killing, but apparently he won't shoot someone he doesn't think is a threat.
posted by nubs at 8:04 PM on November 15, 2022 [3 favorites]


Is there a name for the prison design philosophy that gives the 3-man guard room an unlocked cabinet of 30 guns?
posted by rebent at 6:52 AM on November 16, 2022 [3 favorites]


I thought about that too, rebent, and I figure that the idea is that the they expect any riot to be contained to a workshop room, so guards could come in from elsewhere, grab guns and shoot the prisoners. The only place prisoners can go when the floor is electrified is on top of workbenches, so they’d be sitting ducks.
posted by Kattullus at 7:05 AM on November 16, 2022 [3 favorites]


Perfect episode. No notes. Honestly, I assume it'll all be downhill from here -- though hopefully in a gentle downward slope.

Ok, one note -- Luthen talks about damning himself for the cause in a way that does feel rather Jedi, or at least rather religious. And there's the lightsaber crystal, and the way this unassuming antiques collector spy is ALSO a total action hero, and most importantly the way he's constantly standing with his cloak billowing in the wind. I don't care if that's the art department's idea, the cloak is very Jedi!

I understand why no one is excited about introducing space wizards into what is basically a perfect show already, but I would trust them with it. (It's plausible to me that a Jedi Shadow who survived the rise of the Empire would go under deep cover to try to take it down. And if he finds himself compromising in despicable ways to win, who is left of the Jedi to care?)
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:48 PM on November 16, 2022 [2 favorites]


Regarding the prison design:

There's no in-show evidence for this theory (or against it either, I suppose) but I am now imagining that this state of the art facility with the deadly floors was designed by Imperial officials relatively new to totalitarianism. It's a new high-tech thing, and they're very excited by it. Finally getting their chance to show off.

But shooting people is low tech. So when someone asks "what if the floors fail," they don't really think it through, and just sketch in a some places the guards can will pick up guns and shoot them. They never really expect it to happen, because that would mean their design was flawed, and they know it isn't.

Definitely going to be some root cause analysis in the Imperial bureaucracy later.
posted by mark k at 10:34 PM on November 16, 2022 [8 favorites]


I dunno: I worked for a while in quality management and systems analysis. If the Empire can’t get around to putting guardrails next to yawning chasms, I can’t see they are too dedicated to management reviews to improve conditions.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:52 AM on November 17, 2022 [8 favorites]


I was shocked that the balcony/elevators above the cell blocks had railings, to be honest.

I figure the multiple armory question just comes down to someone's idea of security - instead of marching around with guns, which might get misplaced, go off accidentally etc, the the guards can just grab them where they are needed.
posted by nubs at 8:56 AM on November 17, 2022 [3 favorites]


Just watched the episode again. I wonder how many episodes of TV can claim to have AT LEAST three scenes that could win an Emmy for the main actor: two of which are speeches that are amazing in different ways (one rising in tempo, rousing, compassionate; the other bleak and bitter as hell while at the same time shaped for a specific purpose); the third a three-person scene with dialogue working on AT LEAST two levels, cutting to brilliant wordless acting from Genevieve O'Reilly, which could ALSO win an Emmy (if such a thing existed) for best cameo from Richard Dillane! And these scenes almost make you forget how good Luna's scene with Serkis is at the start - not quite at the same emotional temperature, but even more existential in some ways. And the scene in the prison dormitory. Never mind the chaotic heroism of the prison break. Outstanding work!

P.S. A loopy thing I made from Luthen's speech.
posted by domdib at 10:58 AM on November 22, 2022 [2 favorites]


(if anyone's familiar with similar or better examples of his slow burn, deep cover, cold, realpolitik, violent revolutionary intelligence arc let me know)

More and more as the season as progressed, this series has reminded me of the novels of Alan Furst. You could call them spy novels, but that doesn't do them justice. They're stories of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances -- almost always in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s -- and depict, with amazingly lifelike atmosphere and sharp detail, the shadowy struggle against totalitarianism (both Nazi and Soviet) that shaped those decades. As in this show, Furst's characters seem human and multidimensional, operating from mixed motives and complicated emotions. And there's always a building sense of dread that the forces of evil are relentlessly advancing. I highly recommend them. Now that Le Carré has passed from the scene, I know of noone better working in this genre.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:12 PM on November 23, 2022 [9 favorites]


Artifice_Eternity, you are so right. I was reminded of something, but yeah, it's very Alan Furst. The mixed motives and the desperation and looming threat. It's all there.
posted by suelac at 7:58 PM on November 23, 2022 [2 favorites]


The grim presentation of the prison reminded me of Walter Mosely's short story "Angel's Island" in his collection Futureland; it's a similarly horrifying vision of total incarceration (with added injection drug packs) and has stayed with me for years.

Also, I can't think of a single bigger betrayal of everything I enjoyed about the first season than for Luthen - or anyone else we've met so far - to be a freaking Jedi or Sith or whatever. I can only hope Gilroy et al have fully committed to the idea that This Is Not That Story and stay focused on the midichlorian-deprived. I get why some folks are eagerly anticipating the bungling space wizards to show up somewhere, but there is just no place for them in this show that I can see. Please, scifi goddesses: may we never, ever hear the words Jedi or Sith in season 2.
posted by mediareport at 12:11 PM on November 26, 2022 [4 favorites]


> (if anyone's familiar with similar or better examples of his slow burn, deep cover, cold, realpolitik, violent revolutionary intelligence arc let me know)

This show reminds me of BBC “Tinker Tailor” or “The Americans” for spies/bureaucracy/cover/slow burn parts and “Carlos: The Jackal” miniseries for revolutionary (?) factional heist/terror/violence but I’m sure I’m missing something out there that integrates these strands better. 70s political thriller genre? (I havent seen)
posted by brendano at 9:42 PM on November 29, 2022


One show that came to mind for me was the old BBC spy series Sandbaggers.
posted by Kattullus at 2:12 AM on November 30, 2022 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed Polish alt-history thriller 1983:
A dark Polish thriller that imagines an alternative history where a terrorist bombing in 1983 dramatically altered the course of world events. Twenty years later, the USSR and Iron Curtain still exist, Al Gore is US president, and Poland is ruled by an authoritarian government. Naïve law student Kajetan and world-weary detective Anatol uncover a conspiracy that has been kept hidden for decades.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:52 AM on November 30, 2022 [3 favorites]


One show that came to mind for me was the old BBC spy series Sandbaggers

Oh, yes -- so good! I'm due to rewatch it.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:02 PM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]


Damn this show gives me the frisson chills on So. Many.Levels.


Stupid human fascists!Prison Needs more murderdroids!

Water prison escape flashbacks to Face/Off!

I think Mon Mothma is going to marry her daughter off to that thug's son, and I think both her husband and her daughter are going to think it's the only good idea she's had all year, and I think it's going to destroy her. God, this show is SO GOOD.

PREACH
posted by lalochezia at 8:23 PM on December 7, 2022


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