We have finally arrived at the moment of truth. Andor has been building up its last three episodes to this, and the result is a satisfying heist that shows that the Rebellion, as we see it in Star Wars: A New Hope, will need more solid foundations. If it wants to be taken seriously, of course. The heist and the character interactions are all very well-done, but at the same time, the show takes one step further and two back. So we end up being basically at the beginning with a Cassian Andor whose reluctance to do anything is becoming quite annoying.
Like the two previous episodes, Episode 6 is directed by Susanna White and written by Dan Gilroy. The episode takes us to the final stage of the heist on the Imperial payroll, and it is all done with production values that are definitely movie quality level. It is really impressive to see how a show can put money in the right places and really take us to another world. Sell us on a fantasy that is quite out there and still believable enough to make us care about what is happening on screen.
A lot has been said about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. That show boasts being the most expensive show ever made, and yet, the rejection it has caused among the Tolkien fandom and outside of it tells us that great production values don’t make a great story. You need good characters, motivations, and at least a bit of internal logic so that every plot point feels like it has some weight behind it. Rings of Power has none of that, and Andor might have a lot less money, but it has enough character to leave you on the edge of your seat for a couple of minutes.
The episode consists of the entire heist from beginning to end; we only jump from that point of view for a brief moment toward the end. This is a great decision as it lets us focus on the situation at hand and raises the tension throughout the entire episode. Things go bad, and some others go very well. Nevertheless, the entire behind-the-scenes team should be proud of the result. It might not be the most amazing episode of television in recent memory, but it is good enough to be way above the standard.
However, while the entire heist is pretty cool and the final result is satisfying, the characterization of our main character seems to be going in circles. It is a shame that Cassian Andor is still the least interesting character in the entire series. The character moves forward and then back constantly, and it seems like it could be so much better if he just moved forward, even just a bit at a time. You can feel that after what has happened in this episode, he could be moved somehow.
We are already in the middle of the season, and yes, it has been pretty good so far, but this three-episode arc structure that the show has been taking on so far will probably change in the latter half. Why? Well, because Andor needs to finally move up inside the rebels and because his character development needs to take a turn, and these mini-arcs have not done the job. It is very nice to see that we’re getting these beginnings on screen, but the show needs to focus on the characters at least for a bit and leave the world-building for some other time. Balancing both would be the ideal scenario.
The rest of the minor characters do a good job in this episode. Vel and Gorn especially stand out, as the story asks a lot out of their characters. They are fine, and we hope we can see more of these actors in the future. Sadly, the predictable happens with many of them, so it becomes a game where it is hard to get to know these people when you know they are not going to be around for long. The writers also know this, so the characters themselves end up being a lot more shallow than usual.
The episode ends in a way that tells us that the next episode will definitely have a different focus. We have already done quite a bit of exploration when it comes to dealing with the groundwork, but there is so much more than that in the creation of a rebellion. Mon Mothman’s character has been walking around for the last couple of episodes, but she has done so little. Maybe it is time to get an entire episode focused on her and the politics in the capital. They have proved they can execute a strike, but they need more allies than ever to build this thing up.
Episode 6 gives a great closure to the heist arc and sets the stage for a new angle to be taken. The story needs to focus now on other things but also give Cassian Andor, the titular character of the show, a bit more protagonism and development. We’re here because Cassian is a very cool and relatable character. We need to go in that direction at some point.