Andor – After an excellent launch from the first episode, we launch into several well-dangled plot threads:
- Will Cassian be able to sell his device?
- Now that the Empire/Corporation is on his trail, what is going to happen?
- And what happens in these flashback scenes, which are clearly meant to show us something that is relatable to Cassian now?
Recap of Andor Episode 2
Opening with a flashback, the “hunting” party of children are on the move through the forest. It is clear that Cassian is among the youngest of them as they move through the forest. But in a very compelling image, young Cassian stops at the edge of a very big hole in the ground, as it shows that the planet is being mined, essentially striped of its resources.
But back in the current story, the town hears an end of day gong, an anvil like device being struck by two hammers. And as everyone begins to leave work, and close up their shops, Bix waves off Timm for that evening, promising that they will be together the next evening.
But as Timm is closing up shop, a communication comes through and, sure enough, the authorities are looking for a Kenari born dark haired man.
At home, we meet Maarva, Cassian’s mother-figure and she ain’t happy. We eventually learn the reason as B2EMO reads the communication that we saw on Timm’s screen earlier out loud. Officially, Cassian was born on Ferrix but a debate breaks out between them, as they start listing who knows the truth. Maarva is concerned about women that Cassian may have told and when Bix’s name is dropped, it is pretty clear that she is in the Kenari loop. But when B2EMO announces that Bix has been looking for him, Cassian heads out.
At the bar, Cassian and Bix meet up. At first, he tells her that he is willing to let her be the middle man in his transaction that he asked her to arrange but she explains it is too late, as the buyer is on the way already. But, all this is overseen by Timm, who misreads the situation and in an act of jealousy gives Cassian up to the authorities.
And those authorities are quick to bring in the woman that Cassian told he was a Kenari to, when he was at the brothel looking for his sister. That seems to be enough as Syril, who is ignoring orders and pressing forward on capturing Cassian. He meets with Sgt. Kostek, who turns out to be a hard-nosed frontline version of Syril himself, as they agree that the death of two Empire/Corporation people must be dealt with.
On Ferrix, Bix shows up at Timm’s and he begins to understand that he misread the situation. And after a romantic night, he is up early, wrestling with his guilt. When Bix asks him to cover for her and open the shop he agrees. And as the morning gongs are sounded, Cassian is working to get comms set up with B2EMO and preparing him to take care of Maarva when he leaves.
But in the next flashback, we see the hunting group arrive at the crash site. While most of the others hide and watch, the girl that Cassian admires bravely moves towards the ship, and fallen crew members that are outside of the ship. Eventually, after she has poked a couple of the crew, just as she is about to enter the ship, one of the bodies turns out to be alive, shooting her with his blaster.
The others in the hunting party then fire away with the staff/blowguns that they have all been carrying. The crew member falls when many darts strike him. As the others carry the body of the girl away, Cassian looks back at the ship.
Cassian manages to get a deal struck to quickly get off world that morning, as he is prepared to sell his treasured prize to Bix’s incoming buyer, who we see land and then board a shuttle, where he makes the mistake of sitting near the Talker, the guy on any public transportation that wants to chat you up.
But as he listen to that conversation, we witness Syril attempt to inspire the troops as they head down to Ferrix to attempt to capture Cassian. It is clear that he isn’t very good at it, emphasized only more when Sgt. Kostek attempts to rally some enthusiasm by leading some weak-willed clapping. But at this point, Syril seems to have made his decision and they are approaching the planet to search for their suspect.
Thoughts on Andor: Episode 2
This episode feels very much like the middle part of a story and it makes me wonder why Disney choose to release these three stories as separate parts. With the run times all linked together, it would have been a good sized film versus 3 episodes dropped all at once. They must be doing some experiments with their algorithm(s) and tracking viewing habits.
That said, the backstory we are getting on Cassian and his home world are very fascinating to me. In the midst of this episode we hear (and see) that Kenari was strip mined by the Empire/Corporation but then abandoned due to an accident. It wasn’t until that information landed that I realized we hadn’t seen any Kenari adults in the flashback scenes, and I assume that means the adults were made to be a labor force and didn’t survive.
And especially with the scenes in this episode, all the flashbacks have a very similar feel to this summer’s accidental streaming blockbuster, Prey, which I will still never understand why the Predator prequel never got a slot in the movie theaters before being released on Hulu. The combination of the language difference, children and young adult hunters and it colliding with space age technology is very interesting. Obviously, the two things were made in separate studios but it is interesting to see the similarities.
But, again, this episode feels like the middle part of a sandwich: you like what was before, you are interested in what this episode shows but it is really a set-up for what comes next, when it appears that Cassian Andor becomes a hunted man by the Empire/Corporation.
And that hunting party is both full of stereotypes and concern; Syril is that idealist bureaucrat who thinks everything is black or white and Sgt. Kostek is the seasoned soldier who views it as his job to treat everything as if it is black or white. When contrasted by the nuance that Syril’s commanding officer showed in episode 1, you just have an intense feeling that it isn’t going to go well when they land on Ferrix.