After a legendary score of Imperial credits on Aldhani, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) just wants to escape his problems and live out his days in peace. But we know that’s not going to happen, and the deadly victory he helped achieve with a group of rebels has immediate ripple effects throughout the galaxy.
The episode kicks off with sad Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) and his sad bowl of galactic cocoa puffs as his mother (Kathryn Hunter) nags him about his fall from grace and his “desperate” appearance. Specifically, she notices the alterations made to make Syril’s shirt collar higher up his neck. We then cut to ISB officer Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) getting her crisp off-white Imperial tunic (with a high collar) ready for the day.
But luckily for Syril, Uncle Harlow pulled a few strings and got him a job pushing buttons in a cubicle. Nothing but the best for our sad boy.
Back to Dedra, she sees the attack on Aldhani as the perfect opportunity to further her investigation into rebel attacks across the galaxy and prove her hypothesis that they are coordinated, not random. She’s Imperial but you can’t help but root for her, especially when her work enemy Blevin (Ben Bailey Smith) calls out her behavior in front of everyone as “against protocol.” But her perseverance and bending of the rules are praised and rewarded, and Blevin is punished for being distracted.
Elsewhere on Coruscant, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and her husband Perrin (Alastair Mackenzie) are hosting a glamorous party at their home. As if her home life wasn’t stressful enough, Mon has realized that Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) orchestrated the attack on Aldhani. She confronts him during an unplanned stop at his antique shop.
During the party, Perrin schmoozes with wealthy and influential guests while Mon catches up with an old friend from Chandrila, Tay Kolma (Ben Miles). The breadth of Mon’s political prowess is on full display as she tests his trustworthiness while maintaining her respectable image as a loyal member of the Empire. Mon has successfully passed herself off as merely an “irritation” for the powers that be, not a rebel. So even if they’re suspicious, they are missing what she’s really up to. For now.
Cassian cannot escape his past in Star Wars: Andor Episode 7
Though Cassian doesn’t appear until the second half of the episode, his post-Aldhani journey shows just how much he can’t catch a break. Making a questionable move, Cassian heads back to Ferrix to try to convince Maarva (Fiona Shaw) to leave the planet with him and start over. But Ferrix isn’t how Cassian left it. Corporate security has been replaced with squads of stormtroopers, and everyone blames Cassian. Maarva reveals she was inspired by the Aldhani attack to join the rebellion against the Empire even as Cassian insists it was just a robbery.
Even with Nemik’s manifesto, Cassian still hasn’t embraced the rebel cause. Still, the exchange with Maarva prompts a flashback to the death of Cassian’s father Clem (Gary Beadle) at the hands of stormtroopers. In this scene, Clem isn’t the one throwing rocks at stormtroopers; he’s the one trying to stop others from doing so. And Cassian watches him get shot and hanged for it.
This scene is short, but it illustrates why Cassian is reluctant to join the cause: stepping out of line can lead to nothing but suffering and possibly death.
But Cassian soon realizes that no matter where he goes, he can’t escape the Empire and its (literal) chokehold. Escaping to a sunny beach resort on the planet Niamos, Cassian wakes up in a luxurious suite with a woman in his bed. But a quick walk to a nearby shop for food sees him once again in Imperial clutches — this time being choked by an Imperial K-2 droid. Yes, the same type of unit he’ll eventually befriend by the time of Rogue One. He’s then sentenced to six years in prison — increased from six months because of the Aldhani attack — for crimes he didn’t commit, just because he was near disorderly activity.
Obviously, Cassian isn’t going to be in prison for six years because the series is set only five years before Rogue One. He’s going to get out eventually, and I can’t wait to see how he does it.
The episode ends on an excellent cliffhanger and another turning point for the season. Even though Cassian isn’t being hunted for his actions on Aldhani, he and every other character throughout the galaxy is feeling the aftershocks. He may have gained a shipload of credits, but the attack inspired the Empire to tighten its grip, further emflaming rebellious hearts that just aren’t going to take it anymore.
Star Wars: Andor episodes 1-7 are streaming now on Disney+.