While a community griefs the loss of one of their own, others make their way to Ferrix to lay a trap in the penultimate episode of Andor.
I have made no secret that I have struggled to get into this show. I am still struggling, even though I certainly appreciate what it is doing. “Daughter of Ferrix” is a measured setup for a big finale in Ferrix or towards some loose threads going into season two.
Back to the Beginning
Keef/Cassian’s life has been reset, and he will no doubt have to change his name again. But in this episode, the work is put in to establish his history with Melshi that will carry through to Rogue One. Against all odds, the two have made it swimming from the prison, through the night, and climbing a cliff barefoot. They make it off the planet with the help of two charming aliens, and miraculously, his money (and Nemmik’s manifesto) are still where he left them in the hotel.
His story does not take up much time in this episode, and we see very little of the main character as everyone else prepares for the potential appearance of the title character at his mother’s funeral. One of the first calls Cassian makes is to Ferrix after he’s released to check on his mother when his friend gives him the somber news. Surprisingly, both men would make the mistake of speaking and giving real names. There is no mention of Paak or his son, and if they did hang him, the former is a missed opportunity to get a sense of the mood in the community, but perhaps we will find out in the finale.
But Cassian now has received the news, and what he decides to do with it will affect his life and the people from his second home, Ferrix. There is a gamble a prequel show like Andor takes when we know the main character survives: it relies on whether viewers feel connected to everyone else on-screen, which is a mixed bag for me.
They did a great job with Lieutenant Gorn from the Aldhani arc. But I felt nothing for Nemik, and his death was the most predictable (the way it happened was the surprise), so that moment didn’t hit the emotional beat the writer and director intended for me. Kino Loy was a fully developed character with a compelling arc by the time we said goodbye; however, we did not spend enough time with any other prisoners, so I could care less when they started dying.
I have no attachment to any of the characters on Ferrix and none of the Imperials or even Luthen. And I am not a particular fan of his right hand, Kleya, who desperately needs more to do to keep from becoming a repetitive story beat. The only people I care about outside Cassian and Mon Mothma are Vel and Cinta, who will be in the crosshair at Ferrix in the finale.
And I also realized that I might be in the minority of feeling very detached from the characters in the show, but the rotating cast around Cassian makes things challenging to invest in the wake of another reset.
Through A Droid’s Lens
One of the things that Disney Star Wars has understood well is to humanize droids as much as possible. Lucasfilm trademarked the word “droids” early in 1977 and has sold a lot of merchandise off of droid toys, and part of that has to do with the human traits assigned to them.
When we cut to Ferrix for the first time in this episode, we see through a droid’s lens. With the faint subject matter discussing someone’s death, the writers have done a pretty good job establishing so much that you realize right away they are talking about Maarva, and the droid is B2EMO. B2 is grieving and does not know how to process the loss. But giving droids human emotions to make them more relatable works here and is consistent with how Ferrix acts as a community. Brasso treats B2 like he is a relative of Maarva, asking if he wants the room to say goodbye.
B2 refuses to accept what he has lost, even as he watches Maarva’s body bag carried away by the Daughters of Ferrix. We still don’t know what that group is even though it is the episode’s title, but the “Daughter” refers to Maarva, whose death is the connective tissue. But off-screen deaths still bother me for the main characters, especially when they happen to women. They have an emotional impact, but it also robs that character of some agency when their death is just the catalyst for another final act in the show. I do not know the solution, and there is speculation that the town is faking her death (that would be antithetical to the show’s tone and an odd way to end the season), but Fiona Shaw made the most of her screen time.
Also, did someone really put their drink on top of that poor droid?
Two Ships Passing in the Night
Dedra takes another backseat in this episode, and we focus on undercover ISB Agent Corv, who looks incredibly suspicious at a bar/restaurant across from Maarva’s place. He is feeding the ISB information about the coming and goings of people but doesn’t even realize that he is trying to probe a Rebel spy for more details. Luckily, Cinta is more reserved in spying and does not give Corv any information.
There has been an undertone of not understanding the culture and the world you inhabit having consequences. What will be the consequences for the ISB next episode?
On the Imperial-lite side, Syril has a hilariously ridiculous conversation with former Seagent Linus Mosk, where he gets just enough information to be another problem in the finale. He takes what looks to be credits from his mother and is off to Ferrix. It is the one thread of this story that I continue to be perplexed by, and I have no idea what will happen to him. But I also hope Syril makes it out of season one, not because I like his character, but because he is a wild card that Dedra might not be able to control, and that sort of chaos makes for great conflict.
Mon Mothma speaks to Vel, and she does not know Vel’s involvement in Aldhani, which netted 80M credits. And Mothma is in a 400K credit deficit with a lifeboat from a controversial figure that would involve an arranged marriage of her daughter. Even though Vel does not tell her cousin the truth, you can tell that Vel is not a fan of Chandilian customs. But Mon Mothma’s situation is also partly her and Luthen’s fault because the Aldhani attack brought forth more Imperial scrutiny on everyone.
Mon Mothma has a choice to make but now so does Vel. Does she try and get some of those credits she stole to help her cousin and her family out? Or is it too risky, and Mon Mothma has to marry her daughter off to the Chandrilian gangster child?
I hope it is the latter. It would explain why Leida is no longer around during moments after this period. And her glares at her mother are starting to irritate me.
A Diverse Accent Pool Goes A Long Way
One of the great things about Diego Luna in Star Wars is having a lead with neither an American nor a British accent. As I mentioned in my post, 5 Curious Things About Accents in Star Wars, it is not great when you can tell the filming location from the casts of background characters. I know that Andor was filmed in the UK, and this criticism is for many Star Wars shows that film in specific locations. Here were have Star Wars UK; in The Mandalorian, it was Star Wars US. Spend the extra money and invest in diversifying your background characters with speaking parts. Rogue One had the most international cast yet seen in a Star Wars film. The live-action shows, specifically The Mandalorian, have faired poorly, making Star Wars seem smaller than the production scale would have us believe.
We do not always talk about this important part of diversity. And yes, there are many different types of dialects from the UK in this show which is also great, but it is region-heavy in casting in a way that pulls me out of the show sometimes. If it weren’t for the star being Diego Luna, this would be worst than The Mandalorian (RIP The Client and Werner Herzog’s commanding German accent).
Star Wars started with a bevy of British and American accents in 1977. Now it is a global franchise and should always strive to reflect that in more ways than ethnicity and gender.
What Will Happen to Anto Kreegyr?
Anto Kreegyr, a former Separatist and Rebel fighter, has been in the background for the past three episodes as a topic of conversation. In this episode, we finally see his face, which means he will have some part to play in the finale, and the consequences of Luthen’s decision will come to pass. If Bix does name Kreegyr as “Axis” and they take him down, does that mean Bix is no longer used to the ISB? And now that Luthen has attacked an Imperial ship and destroyed a handful of TIE Fighters with his space lasers, he will still be a target, even if Kreegyr takes the fall.
It is also not an either-or situation, and both men could die next episode. The only hesitancy I have in predicting Luthen’s death this soon is that he is the primary connection between Mon Mothma and Cassian Andor, who have yet to meet. He also deals directly with Saw, who seems picky about with who he will conduct business. It could open the door for Kleya to have more of a leadership role in the day-to-day operations of the Rebellion. And there is Bail Organa, who we have not seen but should be included in this story at some point.
There are workarounds to connect all the threads, and since there will be a second season, the writers have time. They have set up a good guessing game of who will die before the season ends while focusing on the morality of certain war-time decisions. Anto Kreegyr does not matter as much as what letting him and his men die represents.
I will take the little things where I can get them. And the little things in this show are practical aliens. We meet two Keredians when Cassian and Melshi try to make a run for it. The two fishermen catch the escapees in a net and joke about selling them; however, they are good people and recognize that Cassian and Melshi are also victims of the Empire. We see other Keredians fighting in Rogue One, so not surprising that Tony Gilroy would turn to his own Star Wars corner for aliens in this show.
The last episode will have to balance many plot points, and I hope the creative team does not end the season on a cliffhanger but instead focus on an ending that makes sense for this chapter in Andor’s life.