After last episode’s epic conclusion, we needed a buffer episode to process the aftermath of the rebels’ Aldhani heist and to give lead Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) time to decide his next move, even though we know he ultimately chooses to stick with the rebellion and really has no other prospects (He’s a wanted man that’s proven himself valuable to the rebel alliance).
Episode 7 “Announcement” serves as that buffer episode. Hopefully Episodes 8 and 9 won’t also be buffer episodes.
See my initial thoughts on this episode down below. This written review will go more in depth.
With enough credits to start fresh, Cassian returns to Ferrix (the setting of the first three episodes) to try to convince Maarva (Fiona Shaw), his adopted mother, to leave the planet to start a new life with him outside of Imperial oppression. However, Cassian’s actions on Aldhani changed the galaxy by giving people hope that they can stand up to the Empire, while also clamping down the Empire’s fist everywhere in order to severely deter rebellion. It is because of this that Maarva concludes that no place will be free of Imperial oppression and thus she decides to stay on Ferrix. Without direction or peace, Cassian flees to the beach of a planet where he is arrested and sentenced to six years in prison for essentially doing nothing, which sets the stage for Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård) to break him out presumably next episode when he needs his services again.
Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), the Imperial Security Bureau officer who was scolded last episode by attempting to circumvent red tape, gets a win this episode for precisely doing just that, as the Empire is willing to do all that it can figure out the rebels’ plans. The Aldhani incident has prompted the Imperial Senate to give special powers to the ISB to proceed completely unfettered with their investigations.
We also check in with Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), who gets a desk job with the help of his uncle. He still clearly has an itch to catch Cassian, and I still think that he would be much better suited as an Imperial. He did everything correctly when he tried to hunt down Cassian as an officer of the Preox-Morlana Authority, that organization was just woefully ill-equipped to execute their mission. I’ve seen some theories that he might join the rebellion, but I don’t think that would suite him; he is obsessed with maintaining order and catching those that disrupt it, which is the opposite of the rebellion’s agenda.
The real star of this episode is Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), who has a brilliant scene in which she tries to convince an old friend to help her free up her funds by appointing him the head of a charitable organization. She will presumably use this to funnel money to the rebellion and this scene is just balanced so well. Neither Mothma nor her friend reveal their true intentions other than their dislike of the Empire, and the conversation is held assuming they’re being watched; their outward expressions betray what they are actually saying. It took a while to get going, but I think Mothma’s arc in this show is finally starting to work.
As a whole, this episode isn’t very exciting, but it does have a lot of really good character- and world-building moments. As a buffer episode, it also does what it’s supposed to by letting us catch our breath. However, with these episodes being around 50 minutes long, next episode really needs to pick up steam.
“Star Wars: Andor” Season 1: Episode 7 “Announcement” gets a 7/10