Is There Anything Andor's Syril Karn Can Do To Keep His Mother Out Of His Private Box?

Spoilers ahead through episode 9 of "Andor."

Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) is a weasel, a creep, and probably an incel. He's also right about Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). Both of those things make it very hard to root for him, despite what a fantastic job Soller is doing of selling this character to us. That said, we do feel sorry for him. His mother is an overbearing, passive-aggressive monster. 

Eedy Karn is so over the top in her irritating manner that you have to be grateful to the incredible Kathryn Hunter (the first woman to play Shakespeare's King Lear professionally, by the way) for making her truly awful but very intriguing. Frankly, I can't imagine anyone else in the role. I'd probably want to fast-forward through the scenes, to be perfectly honest. Hunter is a powerful presence, and I just want to make sure that is said before I start ripping Eedy apart. 

In episode 9, Syril has gotten a promotion at the job his uncle Harlo got for him. (Feel free to speculate on who he actually is because many on social media think he might be Luthen Rael for some reason.) Not that his mom really cares outside of how it reflects on her. She brightens up when Syril tells her that, but before that, all she does is give him crap in a way that makes you want to claw your own skin off.

Familial pressure

Poor pathetic Syril is back in her house, eating her blue cereal and milk, getting a daily earful about what a disappointment he is. He never calls, he never writes. His clothing makes him look like he's trying too hard. He's ungrateful. She does everything for him, makes him two meals a day, worries about him, and what if she had died from the stress of him being such a bad son and neglecting her, huh? What if she'd just died, and then where would he be? She calls him "a shadow of a son, a tenant, a stranger." 

I feel a punch building in my fist. Not that this excuses Syril's behavior (again, he is right about Cassian Andor), but a mother like this can mess you up. You can never do or be enough. If you fail, it's all about how it reflects on her. If you succeed (as he does with his promotion), it's because of her. Do something she doesn't like, and it's guilt trip central on Coruscant. Do something good ... well, here's more cereal. Yum, I guess?

You watch this woman take Syril down, go through his things, and constantly berate him, and you can understand why he's so desperate to find approval outside of the house. You can see why he "has ways of knowing" that she's looked in his private box. He's probably had to hide anything that wouldn't have met her strict standards for his entire life. Every second at home is a lesson about how to wear your clothing, how to speak, how to sit correctly, and how to act. It's almost as if she is challenging him to stand up to her. Of course, with someone like that, you cannot win.

'A shadow of a son, a tenant, a stranger'

So no, there is no way Syril can keep Mommy out of his private box or his private life. Not unless he leaves the job Uncle Harlo got him and finds a way to work for or with Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), who he is clearly in love with and absolutely stalking. Otherwise, he'll remain forever infantilized, sitting in the same seat at the table that he's probably sat at since he was a little boy, being told to sit up straight, or he'll make his mommy angry. Until the man learns to have a backbone, this is where he'll slump, eating his blue cereal. 

Of course, someone like Syril Karn will let it simmer underneath everything, this anger at his mother. So, when he does finally find his backbone (if it ever happens), it will likely explode in the worst way, taking out someone who doesn't deserve it or hurting someone he didn't intend to. He'll screw it up as he screwed up his work on Fennix. With no release valve or sanctuary from critique at home, it will build and build until he takes himself and other people down out in some awful and probably embarrassing way. 

Looking at his mother doesn't excuse Syril from his behavior. It just allows us to understand him better. It does make one wonder how Eedy got to be this way though, and who Uncle Harlo is to her. Is there maybe another reason for her attention to every little detail? With three episodes left, it will be interesting to see if we get that reveal. 

In the meantime, at least Syril gets to have more breakfast, the worm. 

"Andor" is currently streaming through episode 9 on Disney+.