Episode 8 of Andor starts with Cassian Andor in big trouble. He’s manhandled by the Shoretropers and taken to a planet called Narkina 5. This planet is home to an Imperial factory facility and given he’s fit enough to work, he – along with numerous other new prisoners – are tasked with back-breaking manual labour. Unfortunately, there’s no chance of escape either.
Cassian meets a number of different people, including his supervisor Kino, who echoes the Empire’s demands. Not only is the work hard, but they also have a “sprint segment” which sees them forced to work harder and faster, with the least productive table disciplined badly.
Meanwhile, Syril continues to work his desk job but he’s taken away from that by Lieutenant Meero. She’s noted he’s been looking at all the different queries he’s put in about Cassian Andor. Syril admits he’s been using the limited resources he has at his disposal to figure out where Andor is and to clear his own name.
Meero takes this to the Imperial group and suggests Andor could be part of this rebel group. She’s convinced that this is the best lead they have, and begins to work with Syril to learn more. He points out that Andor had an organized group of accomplices working with him, including Luthen. Syril does his best but before Meero leaves, he points out he was a great supervisor and did his job diligently. He wants his old role back but Meero is in no mood to bargain. She warns him not to raise the alarm again.
Meanwhile, Mon continues to wine and dine, as she learns from Tay and the others that the new P.O.R.D legislation has been passed, which of course means everyone’s sentences have been doubled thanks to the rebel activity.
The tightening of security across the Galaxy leads Luthen to make a big decision. He admits to Kleya he’s not slipping, but he’s been hiding for too long. As a result, he decides to head off for Segra Milo. Interestingly, he meets Saw Gerrera, Forrest Whittaker’s character from Rogue One. “Oppression breeds rebellion.” He reminds Saw, leaving things on an ominous note.
The Episode Review
So Andor bows out this week’s episode with another slow, laborious chapter and in many ways, this whole Narkina ordeal with Andor is reminiscent of the book Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson. For those unaware of that, Han and Chewbacca spend almost the entirety of the book stuck working in a spice mine.
Andor has been great from a worldbuilding perspective, and learning more about how the Empire operates and all the intricate parts of the great Empire machine is absolutely fascinating to watch. However, it also comes at the expense of urgency, which is sorely lacking in this series.
We’re over halfway through now and aside from the assault on Aldhani, very little has actually happened with the plot. Andor is not exactly lighting the room up with his charisma and it speaks volumes hat Andy Serkihs’ character, Kino, is the one who steals the spotlight through all of Andor’s scenes.
This isn’t a bad show and Andor certainly gets props for at least trying to do something different in the Star Wars universe, but there’s a difference between a slow burn and a slow, laborious slog, and right now Andor is slipping into the latter.