Warning: This article may contain spoilers from Andor Episode 9
There’s a prison break looming. Andor returned this week following last week’s episode, “Narkina 5”, which introduced us to Cassian’s (Diego Luna) prison of the same name. Here we were introduced to how Imperial incarceration operates. Thanks to StarWars.com, we know that Cassian has spent over thirty shifts at the prison so far, and Episode 9, “Nobody’s Listening!” picks up some time after that.
Over the time of his imprisonment, Cassian has already begun to make plans of escape, as seen from the earliest interactions he has with other prisoners in the beginning of the episode. Andor is seen carving into pipes in the bathroom stalls, counting guards, and observing their patterns. Of course, none of this is tolerated by shift supervisor Kino (Andy Serkis), who has a particular disdain for Cassian’s antics and Melshi (Duncan Pow), although the reasons behind that particular animosity are not quite yet clear.
Tension rises as word spreads to Cassian’s floor about an incident on Level Two of Narkina 5. Despite Kino’s attempts to diffuse the situation, anxiety rises, particularly for kind old Ulaf (Christopher Fairbank) who has been beat down by the labor and is now suffering poor health as a result.
Despite Cassian and Melshi’s best efforts, Kino refuses to participate in any anti-imprisonment discussions, to which Cassian exclaims the episode’s title, cementing the point that the Empire does not care about them nor do they consider them a threat, so why would they bother listening in on them?
Ultimately the truth is revealed when Ulaf tragically suffers a stroke and the prison doctor comes to pacify him. Level Two received a new inmate, but it was someone who had just been “released” on Level Four. The Empire is no longer releasing their prisoners. When Level Two discovered this, they were all killed. This, alongside Ulaf’s passing, pushed Kino over the edge, as he reveals to Cassian the number of guards per floor: 12.
Meanwhile, Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) has her own plans as she continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the ISB. After she interrogates Bix (Adira Arjona) on Ferrix in one of the best performed scenes in all of Star Wars, she once again crosses paths with Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) who has become a bit of a stalker. His obsession with finding Cassian Andor has led to an obsession with Dedra, which has clearly left an impact on her.
While there was no Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), his character’s presence is felt as the Empire hunts him and Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) meets with her cousin, who is revealed to be Vel (Faye Marsay). Stakes continue to rise in the Mothma household, as her failing attempts to rally the Senate converge with her own family’s distaste for her work life. With pressure creeping in from the Chandrilan banks, it looks like Mon may be nearing a breaking point.
Episode 9 across the board has some of the strongest performances of not only the series, but of the entire Star Wars saga. Including the aforementioned interaction between Bix and Dedra, Andy Serkis and Andy Serkis deliver such powerhouse performances in this episode. While there are many things to love about Andor, the already elevated storytelling rises even higher with performances that should be considered and nominated for awards.
With only three episodes left of Andor, I am eager to see the inevitable prison break next episode, but more importantly, I’m excited to see all of these paths converge in the finale, which I expect to be the reclamation of Ferrix. This series continues to elevate Star Wars content and I cannot wait to see what comes next.
What did you think of Episode 9 of Andor? What’re you most anticipating? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages.