By Ben Konuch
“They’ll trust nothing. Just like you’re doing now.”
Episode 11 is the beginning of the end for “Andor”, as the overarching feeling of the inevitability of defeat and sacrifice grows stronger. The news of Maarva’s death hits all of our characters hard and leaves a dark cloud hanging over Ferrix which Dedra wishes to exploit. She believes allowing the people of Ferrix to hold the funeral ceremony for Maarva will be their best bet at flushing out Andor, and ironically, this is the exact same mindset that Luthen has when he finds out as well.
As episode 11 pivots to other plotlines, the audience is left to grapple with the heart-wrenching news of Maarva’s off-screen death, that a woman who was so committed to her ideals and so devoted to making a change, passed away before she could ever see that change made. Is this how all rebellion will end, snuffed out without an impact?
Mon Mothma is also being crushed by the weight of her financial pressure, and the chance to escape it for the price of arranging her daughter’s marriage to a gangster’s son. The noose of the Empire is tightening around her, and she has to make a choice. Sacrifice her own peace and the possible life of her daughter, or face being found out for the spy and the rebel that she is. This leads to an unexpectedly heartfelt discussion with Vel about each of their sacrifices and their concern for what the future holds.
The greatest conflict of episode 11 comes when Luthen receives a message from Saw Gerrera that the Partisans will help one of the rebel cells led by a revolutionary named Kreegyr in their attack on the planet Spellhaus, which Luthen begged them for a few episodes prior. But Luthen knows that the ISB has caught on to this raid, and is forced to warn off Gerrara by revealing that he’s sending these men to their deaths. Over thirty lives sacrificed for the cause, and Gerrara is angry, accusatory, and suddenly even distrustful of Luthen. We see how paranoia eats away at the rebels in such a dangerous time as this, and the way that Gerrara slowly realizes the scope of Luthen’s reach. “You have contacts everywhere, don’t you?” he asks in stunned shock, leading to a furious accusation that Luthen has been spying on him as well.
Luthen doesn’t have an answer that Gerrara will accept. Instead, he offers him the choice. Warn the rebels on their attack and save thirty soldiers, or let the ISB take them down to fatten their arrogance, to make them believe that they’re untouchable? Luthen shows Gerrara that warning them will make them as distrustful as Gerrara has just become of Luthen, showing that fear and paranoia is another weapon that rebels can control, but in the case of Spelhaus, that paranoia would be far too catastrophic for future efforts. They have to lose the battle to win the war, and Gerrara calls it “for the greater good.” When Luthen responds with indifference to call it whatever he wants, Gerrara retorts with “Let’s call it war.” Because they’re not making tiny surgical strikes against garrisons anymore, they’re at war. And war requires sacrifice.
Meanwhile, Cassian is finally able to escape Narkina 5 and make his way back to the planet where he was captured in order to retrieve his belongings, and it’s here that he hears about Maarva’s death. We see the pain, the heartbreak and the guilt at not being there all wash over Cassian’s face, and at that moment we see how Dedra and Luthen were both right; Cassian left Maarva once, he won’t leave her this time. And so, despite the danger, Cassian heads back to where it all began on a scrapyard world called Ferrix as Kreegyr prepares to head towards his death. Rebellion will either be forced to bloom in the face of crushing opposition, or evil will suffocate Cassian and Ferrix with indifferent capitulation.
I give “Andor” episode 11 an 8.5/10.
“Andor” is now streaming on Disney+
Ben Konuch is a sophomore Strategic Communication student and an A&E writer for Cedars. He enjoys getting sucked into good stories, playing video games and hanging out with crazy MuKappa friends.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm