REVIEW: ‘Andor,’ Episode 11 — “Daughter of Ferrix”

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Andor Episode 11 - But Why Tho

With its past three episodes covering the horrors the Empire is capable of and the escape from Narkina 5Andor Episode 11 takes a slower & sadder approach. “Daughter of Ferrix” opens with the news that Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw) has died, drawing in the interest of several interested parties including Rebel and Imperial forces alike. Cassian (Diego Luna), having just escaped from Narkina 5, finds himself at a crossroads. Meanwhile, Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) once again approaches Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) about an upcoming Rebel mission.

This episode is largely meant to set up pieces for the Season 1 finale, and it manages to do so with brevity. Cassian will more than likely head back to Ferrix for his mother’s funeral, which will not only draw Rael’s attention but that of Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) and Syril Karn (Kyle Soller). All three have been hunting him for quite some time, and this is just the event to draw him into their crosshairs. And the importance of Rael’s mission was emphasized in a previous episode. No matter what goes down next week, the stage has been set for a barn burner of a finale.

I remain split on Maarva’s death, particularly the fact that it happened on screen. On the one hand, it adds to the tragedy that Cassian wasn’t there to be with her when she passed, and the other residents of Ferrix have a unique custom regarding the dead that speaks to the resilient spirit Maarva had. On the other, having the death off-screen doesn’t quite have the punch that showrunner Tony Gilroy was going for. Seeing Maarva in her last moments would have really driven the tragedy home, at least from where I stand.

The reactions to her death end up carrying the majority of the emotional weight, and once again Luna shows how great of a physical actor he is. When he receives the news, he just stands there in shock, a multitude of emotions dancing behind his eyes. Fear, regret, anger, loss – it’s all there, and it hits without him having to say a single word. The other heartbreaking moment comes at the beginning of the episode, where the droid B2EMO (Dave Chapman) says that he wants to stay with Maarva. Droids have always been one of the more underrepresented aspects of the Star Wars franchise, but every so often there’s a reminder that they can be just as complex as flesh and blood characters. Chapman’s whirring, halting voice being tinged with sadness is such a reminder.

The real standout of the episode is Skarsgard as Rael, who continues to deliver an excellent performance. When Rael confronts Gerrera about the sacrifice they need to make, he once again delivers a speech about fighting for the greater good. And even though it’s a compelling speech, Gerrera looks fairly uncomfortable. Let me repeat that: the man who was deemed “too extreme” for the Rebel Alliance is questioning Rael’s actions. Skarsgard and Whitaker play off of each other extremely well, and I’m hoping that they have even more scenes in Season 2. Rael is also the center of a space battle, which director Benjamin Caron stages with expert precision. Using his spy skills he manages to distract an Imperial patrol while planning his escape, and not once did I feel any form of tension. That’s how good he is. His ship turns out to be packing enough weapons to give a Star Destroyer some trouble!

Andor Episode 11 serves as a slow and somber set-up for the upcoming season finale, with Stellan Skarsgard once again proving to be the series MVP. If said finale sticks the landing – and I have faith that it will – this will definitely cement Andor as one of the best Star Wars shows to come out of Disney+.

The Season 1 finale of Andor airs next Wednesday on Disney+.


Andor Episode 11 — "Daughter of Ferrix"
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Andor Episode 11 serves as a slow and somber set-up for the upcoming season finale, with Stellan Skarsgard once again proving to be the series MVP. If said finale sticks the landing – and I have faith that it will – this will definitely cement Andor as one of the best Star Wars shows to come out of Disney+.

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