Andor Episode 9 Review - The Empire's cruelty and malice on full display
The eighth episode of the show directed by Toby Haynes starts off with Dedra Meero and her integration of Bix Caleen on the whereabouts of Cassian Andor .
Star Wars fans are familiar with the Empire's treatment of prisoners but previous entries in the franchise could not adequately showcase the terrifying nature of the torture their prisoners endure be it physical or psychological. Mainly due to the family-friendly nature of the franchise but this series rectifies this by testing the boundaries of what a Star Wars show can and can't do.
The interrogation scene involving Bix Caleen, where the interrogator explains the origin of the torture technique they are about to use on her is terrifying and brings into perspective the cold and calculating nature of the Empire.
Denise Gough as Dedra Meero is exceptional and possibly one of the best villains introduced in the history of the franchise, she has a sense of purpose and truly supports the Empire and the methods they use to enforce its authority.
She isn't an evil mastermind like the emperor or as intimidating and fierce as Darth Vader but instead is a bully, someone who when they have the upper hand enjoys hurting people and throwing around their authority but when you take away that advantage you can see their fear.
Seeing such a villain in Star Wars is refreshing. It is something that Rogue One tried to do with Ben Mendelsohn's portrayal of Orson Krennic but couldn't pull off.
Meanwhile, on Narkina 5, Andor hold's on to hope and plans his escape with a little bit of help from his fellow prisoners, Kino Loy played by an excellent Andy Serkis does not approve and instead tells them to keep working and finish their term.
But this all changes in the end when they learn the true nature of Narkina 5 and terror sets in.
In the last episode, we saw the hopelessness and apathy among the prisoners, this time we see them, especially the ones on Andor's team communicate more and help each other, with some actively helping him with his plans of escape.
This is a great way to showcase Andor's natural leadership qualities as well as his ingenuity in tough situations.
By the end of the episode, we see the prisoners, especially Kino Loy who had been indifferent to Andor's plan come to the slow realization that escape is the only way to survive.
This set's up a prison escape in the next episode and something that I am genuinely looking forward to thanks to the quality of the show so far.
The first nine episodes of Andor are streaming of Disney+, with anew episode every Wednesday.