Andor Episode 10 Offers Only One Way Out

There will be spoilers for "Andor" Episode X – "One Way Out"

The tenth episode of "Andor," titled "One Way Out," focuses heavily on the end of Cassian Andor's prison escape and brings us to the end of another arc of this show. Cassian (Diego Luna) finally convinces fellow prisoner Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) to help them break out. Loy signaled that his mind might have changed at the end of the last episode when it was revealed to the pair of them that no one would escape the prison. The time they were told they had until release was a sham and instead of being let go, they would be transferred to another work facility until their death. 

Naturally, no one took this very well and they decided they could make a plan work. Though Loy finds Cassian's plan to be lacking, he agrees that they can't wait any longer. They work to escape while the rest of the galaxy struggles in their own way. For Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly), the price of funding the Rebellion might seem high as the gangster offering to help her wants only one thing in return: an introduction between his son and Mon's daughter for the potential of a traditional Chandrillan marriage. For the folks on Ferrix, Marva (Fiona Shaw) finds her condition worsening. Things seem to be going well for the Imperial Security Bureau as far as intercepting the imminent Rebel attack on Spellhaus, but they don't realize they have a double agent in their midst. This agent makes contact with Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) and begs him to allow him to stop leading a double life, but Luthen refuses in the most dramatic fashion possible. He needs all the help he can get.


Every main character in this episode is forced to weigh their own sense of worth and sacrifice, and its fascinating to watch. Even the ISB double agent goes through this reckoning, no longer willing to remain in the demanding double life he's in. But for Cassian, in the prison, he's forced to look at his life on a balance sheet. Does he risk his life to escape and taste freedom once again? Or does he live his life knowing he's nothing more than a forced-labor cog in the Imperial War Machine? He makes his choice, as do so many others in the show.

For Mon Mothma, she's given a terrible choice. The slimy "banker" that is presented before her asks only one thing in return for moving her money around so she can spend it on the nascent rebellion with a free hand: her daughter in a potential arranged marriage with the gangster's son. When he chides her to think about it, she says no. "That's the first untrue thing you've said," he tells her. And he's right. She has to consider it. And she hates herself for it.

For Luthen, he has to make peace with the decisions he made to lift the Rebellion into a force strong enough to fight the Empire. He lays bare everything he's given up and will continue to give up in the pursuit of his cause. He even tells the agent that he's gladly giving up the fifty Rebels of Anto Kreegyr's at Spellhaus in order to protect the identity of his spy inside the ISB.

All of them have to grapple with things they're willing to sacrifice and it's a fascinating thread that ties them all together.

The power in a cut

There are editing cuts that say much more than any written word could, and in this episode, there might be one of my single favorite cuts in "Andor." It's a technique that I think is underused in cinema, where a character says something, and then there's a cut to the next scene, sequence, or even just shot that provides an answer. Rian Johnson utilized this to brilliant perfection in "The Last Jedi" and it's great to see it here. The shot in question?

After Luthen gives the last line of his monologue to his mole inside the ISB, "I need all the heroes I can get," there's a sharp cut.

We see Melshi and Cassian running along the shore, doing their best to find some way to get off the planet. It's as if the two of them are the answer to Luthen Rael's plea for heroes and it gives us some clue about what might happen next. Will Luthen catch up with Cassian and Melshi and give them another shot? It seems like a likely scenario based solely on the visual storytelling here.

The timeline

"One Way Out" offers insight into character backstories we hadn't known before in this episode. Knowing that we're 5 years from the Battle of Yavin, which means that means we're about 14 years after Palpatine declared himself Emperor, there were two interesting waypoints in the timeline that tell us interesting things.

First, Mon Mothma says that her daughter is just 13 years old. That makes her just a little bit younger than Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, born just a year or so after the formation of the first Galactic Empire. What does it say about Mon Mothma that she would bring a child into the Empire and do her work while raising her? Or was having a child with Perrin a way to keep up appearances? It's something worth pondering in any case.

The other moment we have to lean on is a line from Luthen. In his terrific monologue to close the episode, he talks about having to stare at an equation he solved fifteen years prior, and that decision has dictated the course of his life. Fifteen years prior puts him firmly in the waning years of the Clone Wars. Did he see what threat Palpatine and the Empire were becoming sooner than the Jedi had? It's also something interesting to ponder, what must have motivated Luthen to start his work before there even was an Empire. On the other hand, memory is squishy and he could have just been rounding up from Empire Day.

Other details to watch for

There was one really subtle connection to "Star Wars" I wanted to point out in this episode and it ties to the production design that unites the entire galaxy. The production design and set construction on this show have been nothing short of phenomenal and they have such keen attention to detail that fans of the "Star Wars" franchise are well rewarded.

When Kino and Cassian make their way into the control room on the prison's eighth level, Kino is chided to make a speech from the position of the "Voice of God." The microphone and design of this console match exactly the Death Star console that Han Solo uses to try to bluff his way out of the detention block when he and Luke are trying to rescue Princess Leia.

"Boring conversation anyway," he says, right before blasting it. Fortunately, Kino Loy finds a much more receptive audience.

The final accounting

Not enough can be said about the performances this episode. Particularly from Andy Serkis. His intensity and confusion as Kino Loy is palpable, and he's able to sell everything in this episode with a gravitas befitting his work as an actor and the "Star Wars" saga itself. Every actor puts themselves fully into the reality of the role and Tony Gilroy as showrunner has committed himself to ensure that reality gets on the page for them to work with in the first place.

That's really what sells the gravitas of the show. The escape was thrilling and a ripping adventure yarn. This, I think, might be the most "Star Wars" feeling of the episodes so far. But "Andor" is a thing unto itself, and as much as I wish it had more of those touchstones of "Star Wars", I'm really enjoying it being its own thing.

The big question I'm left with after this episode is how Cassian is going to make his arc toward fighting for the Rebellion and how he's going to get Luthen's target off his back. Especially since Luthen has proved to be the most ruthless of the rebel sympathizers.

Next week can't come soon enough.

New episodes of "Andor" air on Wednesdays on Disney+.