Last time, we saw the final preparations for the coming heist, where the crew will loot the payroll of the Empire and use it to help fund the rebellion. But will all of their carefully crafted plans come to pass? And can they trust Cassian, who revealed that he was recruited for the job mainly for the money?
Recap of Andor Episode 6: The Eye
The episode starts with the youngest member of the crew, Nemik, struggling. Will his sleepless night impact the crew and their work? Cassian assures him that he will be fine, that the adrenaline and excitement of the activities will kick in and help him overcome any nerves that they have. The crew seems to be ready and in place, awaiting a signal from Vel and Cinta, who have a different role to play in the heist.
But who are they robbing? Sure, it is ultimately the Empire but we also get our first look at the commanding officer of the base, as he gives a speech that is insulting to all the people of the plant Aldhani. I am not sure what you would call racism against a whole planet, but, man alive, this guy exhibits it.
But we soon discover that he is showing off, wanting to impress the officer onsite who is an engineer who will be in charge of building the new base right on the holy site for the Aldhanis, forcing them to do the labor that will be needed.
The crew is preparing. The men folk have cleverly joined in to the end of the line of the caravaning Aldhanis, acting as their escort. And eventually, we have the meet-up between the commander, who is escorted by his family for this ceremony and they exchange Aldhani gifts, as Lt. Gorn fails to translate some of the insults that are firing back and forth. As soon as the family leave, now accompanied by Cassian and his crew, the Aldhanis burn the gift the base commander has offered them.
Meanwhile Vel and Cinta have had a different path, working their way to the base underwater. Upon arriving, they hide what we later learn is a signal jamming device, set to go off and disrupt the communications for the base during the heist.
But when the time comes to offer the “Go!” command, Vel hesitates and seems unsure, before ultimately giving the signal. The heist is on!
The heist goes according to plan for a brief moment. The crew captures the family of the commander, using them as leverage to force him to do what they need him to do, mainly opening the Vault. But it takes a side turn when one of the other people that was with the family pulls his own gun. Threats are bouncing back and forth when Cinta, coming down from the tunnel she and Vel used to arrive shots the man. And, for the first time, the plan starts to go slightly off script.
Yet the plan is still pretty solid. Using the commander, they arrive to Vault and force the crew their to be their labor source, loading the stacks and stacks of credits into the ship. But when the communications start to fail, one intrepid soldier manages to grab just a snippet of the communications going on between the heist crew and they scramble some soldiers to intervene.
In the shoot out that follows, we have several key moments. Taramyn, who we learned earlier was a former storm trooper is killed in the firefight. Cassian, who was focused on getting the ship ready to leave is jumped and is losing an epic fight, when young Nemik makes a tough shot to kill Cassian’s attacker. Nemik, Vel and Skeen manage to give each other enough cover to make it to the ship, even as the commander of the base dies of a heart attack.
But as the ship takes off, it will face a trio of tie-fighters, which were scrambled from the air support base at the same time the communications crew signaled a group to check on the Vault.
The Eye is happening full blast, a gorgeous natural fireworks display but more importantly, the cover they need to get off the planet with the loot from their heist. Cassian must make an aggressive takeoff and Nemik is crushed in the cargo hold, as the loot slides abruptly, pinning him to where he cannot feel his legs. Vel is quick to give him an adrenaline shot and Nemik manages to coach Cassian through, as the Eye first disrupts the tie-fighters navigation before each of them wind up dying in the meteors as they burn across the sky.
Vel again hesitates. They always had a back-up contingency for an injury during the heist, but now that Nemik needs it, she seems unsure. Cassian demands the location and they head to get Nimek the care he needs.
But as Skeen and Cassian wait during Nemik’s surgery, Skeen basically reveals that he lied before. He ultimately just wants the money and offers to split the entire robbery haul with Cassian. But Cassian rather clearly rejects that offer, killing Skeen, then revealing that news to Vel, immediately after they learn that Nemik dies in surgery.
Cassian says he only wants the credits he was promised and then he wants to put this behind him. But Vel cannot let him and says that Nemik had asked, or rather demanded, that is something should happen to him that his manifesto must be given to Cassian.
As the episode closes we see the impact of the heist, as the Empire security group gathers and starts to think of what they can do in retaliation. And Mon Motha gives a speech that no one is listening to, as information about the rebel attack arrives, much to the joy of Luthen, who goes to the back room of his shop and proceeds to laugh; they have managed to pull off the Aldhani heist.
Thoughts on Andor Episode 6: The Eye
This episode is a pay-off for the build up of the last 2 episodes, plus adds some unexpected surprises. First off, the idea that any of the crew wouldn’t make it out alive hadn’t crossed my mind, so when Taramyn and Nemik both died, it was a grim reality that rebellions have to have casualties.
But even moreso, the reveal that Skeen was just a dirty thief, especially after last episode’s impassioned speeches really floored me. Cassian’s clear response was a bit unexpected as well but it triggering him wanting to be done with this job and crew makes sense.
But is he done? Now that the rebellion has these funds, how are they going to use them? We are halfway through the first season now and there isn’t an obvious answer to what happens from here.
And, shout out to the special effects team for this episode. They had the task of creating something that has moved the hearts and minds of the Aldhani people for centuries and the Eye that they created was spectacular. As moving as those images were, the images of the Aldhanis being moved to joy and tears by watching it were just as effective.