Welcome to my weekly review of Andor, where I will be walking us through each episode and giving my thoughts on the show. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at the final part of the 3-episode premiere, Episode 3: “Reckoning”.
In a series of flashbacks shown through the episode, Kassa enters the crashed spaceship and begins looking around, before trying to destroy the systems. Maarva, B2EMO and Clem arrive to scavenge from the ship, but find Kassa. Bee reports that a Republic frigate is approaching. Expecting the Republic to kill Kassa if the find him due to the death of a Republic officer, Maarva sedates kassa and the trio take him with them to their ship. Kassa comes around as they take off and watches as the ship takes him off planet.
Cassian goes to see Brasso at work, telling him that if all goes to plan, he will be leaving that day but will leave the money he owes Brasso with Maarva, who he asks Brasso to look after. He then makes his way to the meeting spot. Luthen Rael arrives in the city and makes his way into town. Bix joins him and they discuss the Pre-Mor bulletin. Bix directs Rael to Cassian’s meeting place. The Corporate Tactical Forces arrive at Ferrix and make their way down to the planet in 3 Mobile Tac-Pods, dropping the teams off. B2EMO returns to Maarva’s house.
Karn and his Tactical Forces Team arrive at Maarva’s and force their way inside, claiming to have a warrant for Cassian. The corpos begin scouring the house for sign of Cassian and find Bee. Unaware that the Corpos are there, Cassian contacts Bee on his communicator, which Karn and the corpos overhear, while Mosk is able to trace the signal to Cassian’s location. Karn leaves 2 corpos with Maarva and the rest head to the meeting spot, with East Team planning to secure the site as they are closer. One of Cassian and Bix’s friends notices the corpos and they go to warn Bix that they are after Cassian. Bix goes to warn him, despite Timm trying to stop her, and she realises that Timm is the one who gave the corpos the lead.
Rael arrives at the meeting point. He and Cassian size each other up, and Rael becomes interested in how Cassian was able to infiltrate the Imperials to get the item. Cassian’s answer impresses Rael, who admits he knows a lot about Cassian. Rael tells Cassian that he wants him to come with him.
“Don’t you wanna fight these bastards for real?”
The locals begin banging on metal to alert the rest of the city that corpos are on the move. Many businesses close up while member join in the signal, which even Brasso and the scrappers hear. Cassian and Rael also hear the signal. Rael realises that Cassian is carrying a comlink and destroys it, and the pair realis that the East Team of corpos have arrived. Cassian admits that their arrival has compromised his exit plan, but Rael has his own, they just need to get into town where they can use a speeder to get back to Rael’s ship. Rael detonates some explosives that he had placed by the doors the East Team are at, and in a firefight with the corpos, Rael and Cassian take 3 of them out and escape towards town, though they are forced to leave behind the item Rael had come to purchase.
As Bix rushes to warn Cassian, she runs into a team of corpos, who catch and cuff her. Timm arrives and notices that their heavy treatment of her has caused her a head injury, but when he advanced towards the Team, they fatally shoot him. The shooter is sent to bring the Tac-Pod around for air support, while the rest make their way to join with Karn’s team, leaving Bix cuffed to the wall next to Timm’s body.
“That’s what a reckoning sounds like.”
The surviving member of East Team radios in that there are 2 heavily armed suspects heading towards town, so Mosk has the group set up an ambush, with the North team making their way from where they left Bix and the 2 corpos left at Maarva’s re-joining the group. However, aware of the corpos, Cassian and Rael manage to themselves ambush Karn in his spot. Held at gunpoint, Karn divulges how many corpos there are. Rael tells Cassian to kill Karn.
The corpo sent back to the Tac-Pod in the salvage yard takes off, but in his rush does not realise that Basso has attached heavy scrap to the pod, which causes it to loose control and crash. The explosion leads Mosk to believe there are more than just the 2 suspects, and that they are under siege. One of the corpos arriving on the scene finds Karn bound and gagged. As he frees Karn, a speeder shoots away and all the corpos open fire on it, causing it to crash. However as they close in on the crashed speeder, Cassian and Rael shoot away on a speeder bike, and Rael causes the first speeder to explode, incapacitating the corpos that were close.
Bix is freed by her friends, who take her to safety. Maarva sits at home crying with Bee. Basso drinks alone in the bar. Karn is in a stunned daze as Mosk starts to help the corpos withdraw. Cassian and Rael speed across the wasteland to Rael’s ship, and Cassian watches from the back of the cockpit as the ship takes him off planet.
OK, now I fully understand the reason to premiere all 3 episodes together. After 2 episodes of slowly building, episode 3 delivered wonderfully! With the characters all fleshed out, it was time to put them in danger and let the action play a larger part.
They’ve made us understand and care for these characters, so now with the Corpos coming to Ferrix and getting involved with Cassian’s friends and family, we care about what is happening. We worry for Bee and Maarva as Karn hear’s Cassian’s communications, we very much worry for Bix as she is arrested and manhandled, and whether we were sympathetic with Timm or felt he got his just desserts, we all felt something for his death, even if it was just feeling sorry for Bix.
“You just walk in like you belong.”
I absolutely loved the scenes between Cassian and Luthen Rael in the meeting place, with the pair of them sizing each other up, before Rael turns his attention from the item to Cassian and then switching to reveal that he knows so much about Cassian and eventually asking him to go with him. It was a great escalation as the scenes went on, while the situation around them was also escalating as the corpos closed in. And then the action scene to end it was a great watch after such a long wait.
But by far my favourite bit of the episode was the moment during the corpos’ attempted ambush of Cassian and Rael. The townspeople all banging on metal to send a signal through the town was a great idea and had been going on so long in the background that we were used to it, but then as the action slowed down it was just that banging which remained, and we had a wonderful speech from Maarva (“Gets to you, doesn’t it? That’s what a reckoning sounds like. You want it to stop, but it just keeps coming. It’s when it stops, that’s when you’ll really want to start to fret.”) interspersed with the banging and the corpos getting in position and Basso by the Tac-Pod, which just builds the tension wonderfully, to the point that when the banging stops and everything goes silent, you almost find yourself not breathing as the tension reaches a high, and the destruction of the Tac-Pod right after leaves you wondering if the entire situation is about to explode… only for the ambushing Karn to find himself silently ambushed by Cassian and Rael. The moment of Cassian putting his blaster to Karn’s head was a moment of sheer relief after so much tension and it felt wonderful.
Finally, I just want to mention how I loved the cutting between timelines in this episode, as it led to some wonderful parallels. From Kassa and Cassian both meeting someone (Maarva and Rael respectively) who is about to change their life, and then the final moments of the both looking through the cockpit windows as the ship they are on takes off and takes them away from the planet they have been living on and into the next stage of their life. While the inclusion of uick cuts of Brasso, Maarva, Bee and Bix leave you wondering what possible repurcussions they could suffer, while also showing their worry for Cassian. Sometimes the pictures tell the story better than words ever could, and this ending was one of those cases.
So all in all a big thumbs up from me on the first arc of the story, though I feel like it could just as easily have been one long episode for the premiere rather than 3 shorter ones. The show is said to be made up of 4 arcs, so hopefully the quality is at least as good for them, but preferably each episode feeling complete in itself rather than part of a longer episode that had been cut into 3 to spread the show over a longer period and make people spend more money on their Disney+ subscription…
A few final thoughts from the show:
- This better not be the last we see of Bee! How do Lucasfilm keep making these droids so adorable?!
- Don’t be shocked to see Rael’s rules come back later in the season, with Cassian likely using them on a spying mission of his own
- We better get more explanation as to the Kenari flashbacks. Why is the group only kids? What was that ship that crashed and what was it carrying? Why did Maarva say the crew were Republic when they were wearing CIS insignia? Why do reports say it suffered an Imperial mining disaster when it already appears to have gone through hell during the Clone Wars?
Moments in Canon
- Though Maarv says that a Republic officer was killed, the personnel on the crashed ship all wore a patch that belonged to the Separatists
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Rebellions are built on hope….