REVIEW: ‘Andor,’ Episode 10 – “One Way Out”

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Andor Episode 10 - But why Tho

Andor Episode 10 finally gets to the long-awaited prison break that has been simmering over the past two episodes – and it was definitely worth the wait. “One Way Out” has Cassian (Diego Luna) planning to escape from the Imperial prison on Narkina 5. Despite the reluctance of his fellow prisoner Kino (Andy Serkis), Cassian is determined to escape – or die trying. Elsewhere, Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) makes contact with another Rebel ally, and Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) attempts to find another source of funding for the Rebellion.

Every major character in the Star Wars universe has had a moment that set them on the path to the people they’re meant to become. Luke Skywalker chooses to leave Tatooine after the death of his uncle and aunt, becoming a Jedi Knight. Din Djarin chose to spare the Force-sensitive child Grogu, and the two formed a bond in the process. Andor Episode 10 has Cassian deciding to fight back against the Empire, even though it may cost him his life. While he was previously content to sit on the sidelines and just steal enough to survive, prison has radicalized him. “I’d rather die trying to take them down than die giving them what they want,” Luna growls in the episode’s opening sequence, channeling the rage and desperation that’s been brewing in Cassian since his arrest.

That level of conviction is a recurring theme that writer Beau Willmon brings up throughout the episode. When Luthen’s ally asks him what he believes in, Luthen launches into a fiery speech that acknowledges the dark deeds he’s committed in the name of the Rebellion while also stressing his desire to see the Empire fall. Luthen has been one of the most interesting characters throughout Andor, mainly due to Skarsgard’s performance. He gives Luthen the passion of a true believer while underlying the shades of grey that lie within the Rebel/Imperial conflict. Similarly, O’Reilly continues to prove a master of the poker face as Mothma’s negotiations lead to a surprising – and rather unpleasant – twist. The show hasn’t shied away from showing how Motha’s dedication to the Rebellion has taken a toll on her family, and it only looks like that’ll continue throughout the series run.

But the real MVP of the episode is Serkis. Throughout the previous two episodes, his character was more than content to keep his head down and complete his work, thinking that running an efficient workforce would be enough to get him out. However, faced with the fact that he’s not getting out, Kino decides to help Cassian by rallying the other troopers. Serkis is well known for his motion capture work, but this episode reaffirms that he’s also a great actor when performing roles in the flesh. Not only does he get a chance to deliver his own impassioned speech but his facial expressions are a wonder to behold. From horror to desperation to resolve, you’ll immediately clue into what he’s feeling without him having to say a single word.

And as for the prison break, director Toby Haynes stages it with all the chaos and tension that one might expect. As Cassian frantically works to sabotage the systems that power the prison, the other prisoners start preparing to take down the guards. And even though the guards have blasters, the prisoners have sheer numbers & righteous rage on their side. It all leads to a final sequence that can only be described as the Star Wars version of The Shawshank Redemption – and like Shawshank, the ending is utterly triumphant.

Andor Episode 10 concludes the series’ latest story arc in fine form, also laying the final brick in its protagonist’s road to rebellion. In fact, the episode was so good that it could have served as the series finale! Which begs the question: what’s going to happen in the last two episodes?

New episodes of Andor will be available to stream Wednesdays on Disney+.


Andor Episode 10 — "One Way Out"
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

Andor Episode 10 concludes the series’ latest story arc in fine form, also laying the final brick in its protagonist’s road to rebellion. In fact, the episode was so good that it could have served as the series finale! Which begs the question: what’s going to happen in the last two episodes?

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