Andor: “Rix Road”

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 season 1 finale, Episode 12: “Rix Road”.

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Plot Summary

As night falls on Ferrix, Salman Paak’s son Wilmon is creating an explosive device at their yard. Dedra Meero arrives on Ferrix and makes her way to the hotel. Captain Tigo offers her dinner, but she chooses to walk the streets in disguise with Corv. Xanwan meets Brasso as he finished his shift, telling him that Cassian was in contact and that now he knows about Maarva’s death, he’s planning to return for the funeral. Xanwan is later speaking in the bar with Nurchi and lets slip that he thinks Cassian may return, but that pair agree not to tell anyone.

As Mon Mothma and Perrin leave a party, the pair get into an argument in their airspeeder, with mon saying that she has been made aware that Perrin has started gambling again, which he denies. Unbeknownst to them, their driver Kloris is secretly listening in on their argument.

Vel arrives on Ferrix and makes her way to Cinta’s accommodation. Cinta finally arrives and explains that she missed their agreed meeting as she is aware that an ISB operative is watching the Andor household, whose superior arrived, so she had to follow them. They correctly guess that the ISB are planning to capture Cassian, and decide they will have to get there first to kill him.

Back in the city, Cassian visits the brick made from his stepfather Clem’s ashes and remembers their time together. He then sneaks into Bix’s yard, where he finds Pegla looking after the place until they can sell it. Pegla tells him of Bix’s arrest. As Cassian sees out the night in a ship in the scrapyard, he listens to Nemik’s manifesto.

“There will be times when the struggle seems impossible. I know this already. Alone, unsure, dwarfed by the scale of the enemy. Remember this. Freedom is a pure idea. It occurs spontaneously and without instruction. Random acts of insurrection are occurring constantly throughout the galaxy. There are whole armies, battalions that have no idea that they’ve already enlisted in the cause. Remember that the frontier of the Rebellion is everywhere. And even the smallest act of insurrection pushes our lines forward. And then remember this. The Imperial need for control is so desperate because it is so unnatural. Tyranny requires constant effort. It breaks, it leaks. Authority is brittle. Oppression is the mask of fear. Remember that. And know this, the day will come when all these skirmishes and battles, these moments of defiance will have flooded the bank of the Empire’s authority and then there will be one too many. One single thing will break the siege. Remember this. Try.”

The next morning, Captain Tigo is going over the plans with Meero, whose only amendment is that the snipers are removed as she wants cassian alive.

In ISB Headquarters, Kloris fills Blevin in on Mon Mothma and Perrin’s argument. Lagret, who is passing by, stops and informs Blevin that he is missing the end of the Kreegyr mission. Blevin arrives just in time to hear confirmation that Kreegyr and his entire unit were killed. Meero, who is communicating in from Ferrix, is unhappy that no prisoners were taken, but Partagaz tells her that this was to please the Emperor following Aldhani.

On Ferrix, Luthen, who has arrived and landed well outside the town, makes his way in via speederbike. Corv, who is watching over the Andor residence sees Brasso emerge, but then realises that they have been tricked and it is a decoy rather than Brasso. The real Brasso meets Cassian and Pegla in an underground tunnel. Cassian feels guilty for having left, and that his last time with Maarva was an argument, but Brasso tells him that it was never seen that way and passes Maarva’s final message to him, which describes him as the first spark in the fire and an unstoppable force for good. Cassian is determined to rescue Bix, so Brasso agrees to deal with the funeral while Cassian does so. Andor makes his way out of the tunnels and to a vantagepoint on top of one of the buildings, but Nurchi notices Pegla leaving the building. 

Syril Karn and Linus Mosk arrive on Ferrix and make their way into the town in disguise. Luthen Rael has made it into town and meets with Vel, who warns him that Meero is here. The pair are about to go to meet with Cinta, when the Time Grappler begins banging his block, representing the (earlier than agreed) start of Maarva’s funeral. Musicians begin playing and lead a procession (much larger than agreed) through the town to Rix Road, where the Imperials are hastily blocking the road with riot control troopers. As the procession continues, the crowd swells with mourners, including the Daughters of Ferrix, Xanwan, Wilmon (who is carrying his explosive), Cinta and Corv. From his vantage point, Andor spots Rael. Nurchi finds Corv and tells him that he knows where Cassian is. The pair stage a fight and arrest, allowing Corv to take Nurchi to the hotel, where he points out Cassian’s hiding spot. Meero, Corv and a pair of Death troopers make their way there, but Cassian has already fled back into the sewers, from which he has taken a route that brings him out into the hotel.

As the procession reaches the Imperial blockade, Brasso (who is carrying Maarva’s brick) and B2 take pride of place. B2 begins playing a holorecording that Maarva had made for the funeral. As he speech goes on, she states that the Empire is changing life on Ferrix, calling them a disease. Captain Tigo reacts to the way the speech is going, attempting to cover B2’s holoprojector just as Maarva’s message urges Ferrix to fight them Empire.

“Fight the Empire!”

Tigo then upturns B2, which sparks the riot. As the riot intensifies, the Imperials are ordered to open fire and respond lethally, while Wilmon throws his explosive, which seriously damages the Imperial forces, but also sets off a nearby crate of detonators, adding to the chaos. During the riot, Xanwan is killed protecting a Daughter of Ferrix, while Brasso and Pegla get Wilmon and B2 to safety. Corv comes face to face with Cinta, who fatally stabs him, while a group of rioters get hold of Meero, who is saved by Karn. Meanwhile Cassian sneaks and fights his way through the hotel until he finds Bix, who he helps escape with him. 

Rael has made his way away from the violence and takes one last look back at the town before he leaves, the screams and blasterfire still clear from this distance. Vel and Cinta reunie and quickly pack everything in her accommodation, intending to leave. Pegla and Brasso prepare a ship, on which they have already loaded B2, Wilmon and Jezzi (one of the Daughters of Ferrix. As they are just about ready to leave, Cassian and Bix arrive. Cassian advises them on how best to escape Ferrix, and tells them that he can’t come with them, but will find them later. Cassian watches as they fly away.

On Coruscant, Mon, Leida and Perrin meet with Davo Sculdun, his wife and son.

Rael returns to his Fondor Haulcraft, where he is confronted by Cassian, who has him admit that he came to Ferrix to kill him. Andor gives Rael his blaster and, assuring hi that there is no trick, gives him an option: kill him or take him in. Rael decides the latter.

In a post-credits scene, the equipment that had been manufactured in the prison on Narkina 5 is seen being assembled by droids into part of a larger structure: the primary laser system of the Death Star.

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Wow! What an episode! While I don’t think the finale was perfect and I have a few issues (only small ones), on the whole I absolutely loved this episode and got everything that  was looking forward to.

So let me start with my issues, and I just feel that for a season finale, there were a lot of storylines that didn’t get closure. This entire thing started with Cassian looking for his sister, but it feels like that has been dropped altogether, which leaves me with questions—though I would be very up for a novel covering Cassian’s past and what happened to Kenari! It also felt like we could have done with a few extra minutes, just to give us confirmation that Vel and Cinta got away, as they don’t appear to have been leaving with Rael. And my final issues come to Syril Karn, who I desperately need to have a much more important role in season 2, as rescuing Dedra did not feel anywhere near sufficient for the time we have wasted on him since Blevin and the ISB took over on Ferrix. And carrying on from this, what was the point in bringing Mosk back to Ferrix? It feels like bringing him back should have resulted in him being killed during the riot, either by a local who recognised him from before, or ironically even being killed by a stormtrooper who mistook him for a rioter.

Anyway, that’s it for my negatives.

While I had those few issues, I thought that this was a great episode. The way everyone came together and all the notable characters from the first arc played their part was a great way to bring everything back on itself, while the use of the Time Grappler and the music leading the entire town in a funeral procession made Ferrix and the entire town feel like a character, so that as we were seeing nameless characters beaten and shot down, we already care even before we see Xanwan directly put himself in danger .

This episode had 2 speeches of note, with us hearing an excerpt from Nemik’s manifesto along with Maarva’s holoprojection. And honestly I’m so glad that both were done in this way. Hearing Nemik’s dictation again helped to bring everything full circle and remind us of those who we have lost along the way after impacting Cassian’s life, while hearing Maarva make the speech allowed us to once again see just how important she was to the community and meant that even after her death she was able to help the Rebellion as she had wanted to in life. I can’t wait to listen to both speeches again on repeat, as I found myself choked up even on first viewing.

Moving on to the Mon Mothma storyline, and I really enjoyed her argument with Perrin, and think that she has made up the accusations in the knowledge that her driver would be reporting to the ISB, as it starts making up an excuse for why money would be missing from her finances. But the big shock came at the end with her agreeing to an introduction between Leida and Stekan Sculdun. This is now a Mon Mothma  who is being forced to take more drastic measures, so expect to see her getting more involved in the Rebellion next season.

“Where would I get the money?”

“That’s the question that scares me the most.”

“Someone’s lying to you.”

“On that, we can agree.”

A few final thoughts from the show:

  • Will we see the escapees from Ferrix again next season? I almost thought that something would happen to them as they escaped, with all the people important to Cassian now on one ship that could be conveniently blown out of the sky. With Cassian now becoming part of the larger Rebellion, have we seen the last of Brasso, B2 and Bix? I hope not!
  • I couldn’t help find some amusement from Brasso using Maarva’s brick as a weapon—it’s probably exactly what she would have wanted!
  • While part of me would have loved to actually see a scene of Kreegyr and his men being wiped out, I like and understand the way that it was done in the show. Kreegyr’s cell and their attack on Spellhaus was not important to the story, it was simply there to show that Rael was willing to sacrifice them to keep his mole in place, while also showing that the ISB are to be feared

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Moments in Canon

  • This episode sees characters using the C.R.C. dating system, also called the Hosnian Reckoning, which places these events in the year 7972. While we as an audience are more familiar with the BBY/ABY dating, this would not make sense yet in universe as the dating event has not yet happened.

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What did you think of the episode?

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