Andor Episode 6 Pays Off The Heist And Hints At The Future

There will be spoilers for "Andor" Episode VI – "The Eye"

The sixth episode of "Andor," "The Eye," reaches a stunning conclusion for the heist that the series has been building toward. Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and the ragtag group of rebels make their way into the Imperial facility on Aldhani during the celebration and celestial event known as The Eye. Their goal? To make off with millions of Imperial credits to take to bankroll the nascent rebellion under the cover of the celestial light show. As with any high-stakes operation with many moving parts, things go wrong. People are lost and others left behind and Cassian Andor is left to wonder what it is he really believes in.

For Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), the mastermind and bankroll behind this operation, all he can do is wait tensely for word that things have gone well and won't connect back to him.

A number of options

Near the beginning of the episode, Commandant Jayhold Beehaz (Stanley Townsend) remarks to the visiting Imperial engineer of the Aldhani, 

"The best way to steer them as we'd like is to offer alternatives. You put a number of options on the table and they're so wrapped up in choosing, they fail to notice you've given them nothing they thought they wanted at the start." 

But this sentiment may serve as the underlying theme for Cassian and his slow descent into the Rebellion under Luthen Rael's care. This constant idea of a number of options being presented to characters where they have to pick but not get what they want is prevalent for all of the characters here. This is the choice that mars Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) at the end. He's made it through and he's left with two options: to stay the course or to climb a little further out of his own personal hell. Whether he's telling the truth or not, whether he's testing Cassian or on the level, it costs him his life, and he's given nothing he wanted.

Watching every single character make decisions about what they want out of the bad options in front of them is fascinating, and it's a stark contrast to the life of the Imperial fatcats who struggle with the choice between beating their kid for not wearing an Imperial shirt or not. The differences between the people fighting against oppression and the oppressors is striking.

This is what makes Mon Mothma so interesting, ultimately. She had the life of the fatcat and is forced to pretend to choose among the banal, but still chooses to fight against the oppression on behalf of others. At the end of this episode, Cassian is left with a choice and he tries to play both sides. He frees Vel Sartha (Fay Marsay) from Skeen's double-cross but does not double-cross her himself. He takes what's owed to him and escapes. With him, he carries the manifesto Nemik (Alex Lawther) wrote, who insisted that it be given to Cassian upon his death.

What will he choose next with that option before him?

Paying off the context

In the last two episodes, we've seen an increasing focus on how the heist will play out and how the escape could successfully work and this episode paid off all of that context beautifully. Although we had no idea what it would look like for "The Eye" to crescendo and close, the escape to get through it was as stunning as we could have imagined it. In fact, there's one shot of The Eye with a TIE Fighter pilot getting into their ship in silhouette that is absolutely breathtaking and tells the story of the stakes in one beautiful shot.

Naturally, the heist doesn't go according to plan, though, and we can see how it breaks and what holes there were in it as they cracked open. It allows us to invest in the story and participate with interest as it all falls apart for Cassian and the rest of the crew.

It also has all the classic hallmarks of a World War II movie. I keep referencing "The Dirty Dozen" for this arc, but that's really what it feels like. There are scenes of Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson fitting in with the Nazis that have the same tension they have here, and then the ultimate sacrifices on the way out feel very much like how some of that glorious dozen met their end in that film.

Details to watch out for

The biggest name drop of things to come this episode came in the brief scene of Mon Mothma speaking to the Senate at the end of the episode. She is working to free the Ghormani people from the oppressive boot of the Empire because they had the audacity to ask for basic human rights.

This foreshadows the future for the character.

In an episode of "Star Wars Rebels", we learn that the Ghorman Massacre is one of the chief motivating factors that drives Mon Mothma from the Imperial Senate and her family, and into hiding with the Rebellion. She broadcasts widely, with the help of the Rebels crew, "I name the Emperor himself for ordering the brutal attacks on the people of Ghorman. Their peaceful world is one of countless systems helpless under his oppressive rule. This massacre is proof that our self-appointed Emperor is little more than a lying executioner."

Strong words, but nothing she could say so boldly on the floor of the Senate, which itself seemed empty as people heard the news of Aldhani.

There were some other great details from classic moments in "Star Wars" that are beginning to feel commonplace in "Andor," specifically the interiors of the TIE Fighters. Their launch hangars feel right out of the video games, too.

Where to next?

This episode brought a satisfying conclusion to the Aldhani arc and leaves us wondering where these characters are going to be heading in the next phase of the show. We've reached the midway point and Luthen is delighted that his plan seems to have worked when he receives word. Will he be so happy when he learns that Cassian has bailed with his credits after the mission ended and went sideways?

How much longer will Mon Mothma be able to stand in the senate once the Imperial Security Bureau starts cracking down even harder? (Spoiler alert: it happens two years before the Battle of Yavin, about three years from this moment.)

It was understandable that we didn't see Syrill Karn in this episode, but it would have made for a nice bookend for us to see him somehow, despite not having any personal connection to the events of Aldhani. They've leveled the playing field for the next arc and it's going to be exciting to see where it goes, especially with how solid the writing and filmmaking has been on the show from the very start.