Episode 6 of Andor starts with Cassian and the team preparing to storm the Imperial outpost. They’re biding their time, waiting for the Dhani to show and begin their ritual before striking. The Empire look down on them, believing they’re easily distracted and not at all a threat to them.
Taramyn gets a radio going, communicating with Vel back at base as they don their disguises and prepare to head to the base. Interestingly, Taramyn was actually a stormtrooper before joining this resistance, which explains why he likes giving orders. His arrival though didn’t go down too tell with Cinta, especially as her whole family were slaughtered by troopers in the past.
Lieutenant Gorn learns that the Dhani are approaching, and the soldiers are requested to given them a warm welcome. And by warm, the watch the Dhani carefully. Gorn stays with Cassian and the others, who join the ranks and head into the base.
As one would expect, Taramyn has experience with this as the quartet wait, while Vel sneaks in from the water.
After a touch and go inspection from Jayhorn, the man in charge, Cinta and Vel make their move. The group sneak in and attempt to get access to the payroll vault but there’s a problem. Jayhold can’t get into it. Apparently the only access is through a code from the air base and it’s done remotely.
Vel calls his bluff, claiming that everyone will die – including his wife and son -if he doesn’t play ball. Time is of the essence and using Jayhold as a hostage, they head down and take control of the bridge And the base.
However, they only have 14 minutes to get into the vault before their window out of there is gone. Cinta stays behind with the hostages, while Jayhold is escorted with the group through to the hangar in order to grab the ship, which is obviously their ticket out of there.
It turns out Jayhold was bluffing, as the group get access to the payroll. Unfortunately, they didn’t count on the Empire hacking into their radio channel and infiltrating their signal. Although in retrospect that’s a very obvious flaw in their plan they should have figured out, especially using an ex-Imperial radio!
The base is plunged into darkness to try and disorientate the Imperial soldiers, who have now figured out that all of this was a big ruse. A big fight breaks out between the two sides, with Andor scrambling aboard the ship to try and fly out of there. TIE Fighters are ready to be deployed, Taramyn is downed, while the group rush out and fly through their narrow window, stars glittering brilliantly in the sky.
However, on the way Nemik is badly injured when some of the packages smash into his legs and crush him. Vel gives the guy a med-spike to calm him down, while Skeen and Vel join Andor as he flies through to safety. They’ve done it!
They manage to make it through, while Cinta casually walks away from the base. The rest of the group manage to find a remote doctor who begins working on Nemik. While they do, Skeen and Andor talk outside. The cargo they have is worth 80 million and he suggests they enact a ruse together and split the money, 40 million each.
As he continues on, Andor suddenly pulls a gun and shoots him dead. Unfortunately it occurs right as Nemik dies too. Asa result, Andor heads in and bargains with Vel, telling her he wants a air cut of credits and will leave with them now. Andor is rattled a little by Nemik wanting him to have his manifesto but he reluctantly takes it all the same and leaves.
Meanwhile, news of what happened on Aldhani spreads across to Coruscant and the Empire. The two have very different reactions. While Luthen chuckles, the Imperials prepare to hit back. And hit hard.
The Episode Review
After much build-up we get a really strong episode of Andor that finally gets Star Wars. I’ve said before that this is the sort of show crying out for more than one episode a week and I can’t help but feel on a second watch through, this is going to feel much stronger as a binge-watch.
With all things considered though, there’s a lot to like with this one, even if parts of the plan are hopelessly contrived and a little foolhardy. I’m not sure why the group didn’t expect their ex-Imperial radio to be infiltrated but that seems like an obvious thing to try and overcome, especially the effort they went into to act like Imperial soldiers.
What’s particularly alluring about this series though is how the Empire aren’t just portrayed as outright evil. We see men and women with dreams and goals, and the fact that Taramyn was handled better than Finn was in the sequel trilogy, speaks volumes about the character writing here. It’s not perfect, and it does have its flaws, but unlike the travesty of Obi-Wan Kenobi, this is actually a show you can look forward to every week!