All roads lead to Ferrix. After last week’s exciting prison break, Andor 1×11 takes a necessary breather to set up its finale. As Cassian and Melshi sneak their way off Narkina 5, the folks back on Ferrix mourn Marvaa amidst growing tension in the town. “Daughter of Ferrix” may not be as action-packed as “One Way Out,” but it moves the right pieces to deliver on the show’s rising rebellion.
Marvaa’s death is the inciting incident to gather all our main characters on Ferrix. The episode acts as a game of telephone in that regard, as each faction of the story learns of Marvaa’s death, believing her funeral the way they’ll finally catch Cassian.
Because of that, Cassian takes a step back in the story here, and I think that’s the right call. The escape from the prison was three episodes of high tension with an emotional ending. Level-setting after that only makes sense and the logistics of getting off Narkina 5 don’t take long to figure out. That leaves the rest of the episode to the political players.
ISB negotiates with the people of Ferrix on funeral arrangements for Marvaa. Not only does this give us insight into Ferrix traditions — the dead are cremated and their ashes poured into bricks that will soon turn into a wall, their town literally built by its people — but it also serves as a reminder of ISB’s control of the planet. Just like with the Aldhani people during the heist arc, people’s lives and traditions are being disrupted by the Empire’s presence. A group of people having to compromise on their own traditions is a surefire way to spark a rebellion.
Luthen is all about compromise. His fantastic speech last week about sacrificing everything for a rebellion he won’t live through carries through to this week. Saw Gerrera, in a bit of ironic timing, has decided he’ll join the raid on Spellhaus. Luthen weighs his options and tells Saw to stand down. It’s another great scene between these two powerhouse actors, leading into the episode’s biggest action sequence.
Every episode it seems Luthen gives us another reason to think he’s cool. Randomly caught by an ISB ship, Luthen makes his escape from the enemy ship’s tractor beam, turning his seemingly innocuous transport ship into one fit for battle. It’s a stunning but quick fight sequence. The more grounded reality of Andor makes fills this short moment with so much tension — not even the movies will have you that much on the edge of your seat.
Something Andor does extremely well is turning simple conversations into high drama and tension. Every scene with Mon Mothma is rife with hairpin triggers; that’s what happens when you’re deep undercover. Her scenes this week are short but they do give more insight into her reluctance to take up Davo Sculdun’s offer to introduce her daughter to his son. However, Leida loves tradition; it won’t just be an introduction and that scares Mon Mothma the most.
Genevieve O’Reilly does so much by doing so little. The way she keeps her terror just under the surface of her primp and proper Senate attire is remarkable. Mon Mothma knows how to play the long game, but that doesn’t mean it’s not taking a toll. I loved the subtle guilt on Vel’s face when Mon mentions that Aldhani has caused her accounts to be frozen. The price of rebellion is that there will be casualties — Leida’s future arranged marriage is one of them, Mon Mothma’s funds another. So far Luthen is the only one who understands that price.
Death will always cut deep, but Marvaa’s is a hard one. She’s been a prominent figure in the town for years, and at one point was the president of the Daughters of Ferrix. It’s not just B2’s grief, but the town’s as well. It’s not just that Cassian wasn’t there, it’s that just as he’s broken free he’s trapped again by life’s tragic inevitabilities.
But these are the things that will ultimately put him on his path to rebellion. He’s already halfway there. The injustice he experienced on Narkina 5 plus Marvaa’s belief in the rebellion will ring in his ears for years to come. A nice visual parallel closes out the episode — as Cassian takes in his grief, he’s looking out across the ocean. The beach on Scarif is the culmination of Cassian’s rebellion, and here, on the beach of the vacation planet he ran off to, he’s making a decision.
Feature image courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.
Andor 1x11 "Daughter of Ferrix" Review - 8/10