Movie & Television Show Reviews

Liberating Narkina 5 | “Star Wars: Andor” Season 1: Episode 10 “One Way Out” Review

I’ve been critical of how many setup episodes “Andor” needs in its arcs; the formula thus far has been two. And while I think its Aldhani arc could have been two episodes long, I can’t deny the fact that this show knows how to payoff its arcs.

See my initial thoughts below. This written review will go more in depth.

After learning that no one is leaving the prison complex of Narkina 5, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his shift leader, Kino Loy (Andy Serkis), agree that they need to get out of the complex, and their window to do so is closing quickly. The facility killed an entire floor previously when word got out that the Empire was resentencing prisoners, and the imperials know that the facility needs to beef up its security. Knowing that the inmate who died last episode will soon be replaced, Cassian and Kino organize their floor to take advantage of their opportunity to take the escorting guards by surprise, from which they first take control of their floor, then the rest of the facility.

Serkis gives a masterful monologue when his character addresses the entire facility from its control room, instructing and inspiring the rest of the prisoners in the facility to take action. It gave me chills; it’s the sort of breakout performance that I don’t expect from “Star Wars,” and it easily is one of the reasons why “Andor” is the best “Star Wars” we’ve gotten since perhaps “The Mandalorian” Season 1.

And just when I didn’t think it could get any better, Stellan Skarsgard, who plays the rebel operative Luthen, gives another breakout monologue that rivals Serkis’. Luthen is confronted this episode by a deep undercover double agent working for the Imperial Security Bureau, who is having a change of heart after his daughter was born, after which he asks Luthen what he has sacrificed. In no uncertain terms, Luthen admits he has sacrificed everything; he is well aware that he is fighting for a future he will not live to see, and his fight has cost him any chance of finding love, inner peace or happiness. He fully understands that the path he is on will destroy him, yet he persists.

“Andor” certainly has pacing issues as a whole. But I can’t deny that this episode is as close to a perfect episode of television that we can get from a “Star Wars” show. Its payoff of the Narkina 5 prison arc is wonderful, its monologues by Serkis and Skarsgard puts a show on a level we quite frankly haven’t seen from a “Star Wars” show, and it’s just perfectly balanced.

This episode made an already good show great. If you’ve been hesitant to pick this show up, this is a great time to jump in.

“Star Wars: Andor” Season 1: Episode 10 “One Way Out” gets a 10/10

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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