Last time, Cassian Andor got thrown deep into the prison work colony of Narkina 5, while the Empire continued its hunt for him and his partner, whom they have named “Axis”. As the net tightens around his home world of Ferrix, what will happen to those he loves there? And is Cassian doomed to die as forced labor building parts for the Empire?
Recap of Andor Episode 9: Nobody’s Listening
The Empire has indeed closed its nets around Ferrix and in the midst of it, they are slowly capturing and dealing with Cassian’s friends and allies. After the owner of the junkyard is tortured, Bix is brought before Meero.
She has some discussion with Bix before handing her over to a specialist, who explains that they will torture her using the sounds of a sentient species that was massacred because they did not want the Empire to build a refueling station on their planet. When they were all killed, it was recorded and the sounds made a macabre chorus of agonized pleading, which the people of the Empire then took and used to make even more terrifying by isolating and amplifying the parts that are of the children of that species dying.
Meero warns Bix that the long lasting effects of the torture tend to be worse with multiple exposures.
Eventually, Bix caves and admits to being the go-between, helping Axis sell or buy stolen tech of the Empire. Meero ultimately keeps her alive because she is the only one who can identify Axis, having met with him in person several times.
On Coruscant, Mon Mothma is struggling as there seems to be no interest in her protestations against the gaining power that the Empire is accumulating and abusing. When a speech she gives falls flat, she dejectedly gets in her car to head home. But she seems stunned by the news that her cousin has arrived to visit.
And sure enough, the cousin turns out to be Vel, leader of the Aldhani heist that has created even more of the Empire’s tightening of its security and fists. The two of them have a discussion where Mothma encourages Vel to lay low and to not draw attention, especially when she deduces that Vel was a part of the Aldhani heist. Vel points out that they have both made an oath to a cause.
Mothma’s pledge is mainly about funds. But her case is being tested and her banker friend Tay points out that a rather large withdrawal / donation will eventually come into play. But Tay has a plan, even if Mothma dislikes it, as it involves getting funding from someone she seems to distrust: Davo Sculdun. Tay and Mothma argue, especially because part of Davo’s agreement to front her the funds involves meeting with her directly on Coruscant.
Coruscant is also where we see Syriel, who seems to only be able to tamp down his mother’s criticism and disdain when she finds out he got a promotion at his new job. But when Syriel hangs out around the offices so he can thank Meero, she is not at all pleased, essentially accusing him of stalking her. But Syriel just says that he wants what she wants: to capture Cassian Andor and to do it for the benefit of the Empire.
And Meero is well on her way to making that happen, as she uses a captured Rebel pilot and some trickery to try and create a trap to lure out “Axis”.
What about the titular character, who is now stuck on Narkina 5? We see him working through some plans and options for escape. He has a hidden blade in the restroom and seems to be slowly sawing through some kind of conduit during his bathroom breaks. And when they bring a new man into the unit, he and another prisoner discuss options and ideas on how to take over.
In the meantime, he and his team work away, mainly having to cover for the very old man on their team. But Ulaf is just a mere 40 shifts from the end of his sentence, so the team works incredibly hard to cover for him and try and help him get to the end.
But in the midst of that, something happens. One day in the holding tunnel between work and their cells, there is some kind of power surge, and, ultimately, they hear that something happened to all the workers on Level 2. At first, it is just rumors and Kino – the leader of their floor – tries hard to squash the rumors, and, most notably refusing to help answer some questions that Cassian has as he works to plot an escape.
Things come to a head when Ulaf falls ill. The team tries desperately to get him help and carry him to his cell but he falls. Ultimately, they call for a medic, who reveals to them a truth: no one is ever getting out of Narkina 5.
The incident on level 2 happened because they mistakenly took someone who had finished his sentence back to the same prison. When the prisoners found out and start to revolt, they were all killed. With Ulaf’s euthanized death in front of them and that stunning revelation, Kino starts to answer Cassian’s questions.
Is a prison break coming?
Thoughts on Andor Episode 9: Nobody’s Listening!
A jam packed episode that brings out a lot of threads that will prove to be interesting.
It is very interesting to see what happens when hope is taken away from the workers on Narkina 5. Cassian basically is biding his time but the others work hard and diligently, especially as they think they will be released when their sentences end. When Kino gets that news from the medic, you can see something in him changes and he will be a part of the rebellion, at least the one seeking to see people released from Narkina 5.
I am not sure what to make of the Vel revelation. She definitely had not given off the vibe of a spoiled rich girl running from her problems, even if Cinta used that as a insult last episode. It is interesting to see the tension among two members of a family that are each committed to a Rebellion in different ways. There is a tension even as they both want to see the downfall of the Rebellion. (And, boy howdy, it is going to stink when Mr. Mothma defends his lifestyle at the cost of ratting out his wife and her family.)
The Syriel scene with Meera was just bizarre. Was it meant to be fraught with sexual tension? I am genuinely not sure but it felt very, very odd and off. And I changed my mind completely on her. She won’t be a part of the Rebellion; she has too much invested in the Empire now at this point.
Finally, how are people NOT watching this show? It seems that it somehow got lost in the nerdosphere when HBO’s House of the Dragon and Amazon Prime’s Rings of Power came out around the same time. Andor is by far the best of these shows and I am worried that too many people may have ruled it out from the fatigue of having to excuse bad Star Wars movies. If you are a nerd and loving this show, please let the other nerds in your life know about it.