Short Version (TL;DR): Cassian and fellow prisoners put their escape plan into action. They overpower guards, free other inmates, and everyone except one prisoner makes a break for freedom. Mon Mothma meets with Davo Sculdun and is forced to consider a risky deal involving her teenage daughter Leida to fund the rebellion. A double agent within the Imperial Security Bureau warns Luthen of impending danger and expresses a desire to leave the ISB. Speaking of the ISB, one of their agents is on Ferrix — monitoring Cassian’s adoptive mother Maarva, whose health continues to decline.
As the guards take Ulaf’s (Christopher Fairbank) body away, Cassian (Diego Luna) knows the only chance to escape is when a new prisoner is introduced in the next day or two. Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) still isn’t sold on the idea of escaping Narkina 5, and the other prisoners are terrified after the slaughter on Level 2. Cassian reminds Kino, “Power doesn’t panic” — the officers murdered over 100 men out of fear that word would leak that prisoners were being shuffled to different facilities after they completed their sentences. Since his arrival at the Empire-run prison, Cassian has noticed how weak the officers really are and how they struggle to keep everything in order. Of course, the guards could always fry every single prisoner in the facility at any time, but Cassian doesn’t care. “I’d rather die trying to take them down than give them what they want,” he tells Kino.
The next day, the prisoners continue to work their shift while setting their plan into motion. Cassian goes to the restroom during his break and saws through a water pipe, shorting out the electrified floors. Officers arrive with a new prisoner, but they’re running behind and are oblivious to what’s going on. As Birnok (Rasaq Kukoyi) gets into position, Xaul (Josef Davies), and Ham (Clemens Schick) start a fight to distract the guards — which gives Cassian time to break the lift while Birnok attacks the guards. All hell breaks loose as the prisoners throw the equipment they’ve been forced to build at the guards. The two officers can kill a few inmates with their blasters, but they’re overwhelmed by the large mass of men.
Prisoners spill out into the halls like a wave as they liberate the other floors. Cassian and Kino make their way to the command center, manned by the prison announcer and two goons. Realizing they are in over their heads, the cowards agree to shut down the prison’s floors and its power supply. With some encouragement from Cassian, Kino takes the mic and makes a soul-stirring speech, telling the prisoners they’re in charge now. If everyone fights half as hard as they work, freedom is within reach.
The prisoners make a mad dash for the exit as they chant “one way out,” while the guards cower and hide. They dive off the edge and into the sea — Kino is the only one who hangs back, as he reveals to Cassian he can’t swim. It’s a cruel twist and before Cassian can do anything to help, he’s pushed over the edge. Andy Serkis played the hell out of this character, and his performance is one of the highlights of this season. Which makes it heartbreaking to see Kino accept the fact he’ll be trapped in this island prison, all while watching everyone swim to freedom. Later in the episode, Cassian and Melshi (Duncan Pow) make it to shore and find themselves on a beach.
A Deal With The Devil
Back on Coruscant, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) reluctantly agrees to go along with Tay Kolma’s (Ben Miles) plan to speak with wealthy Chandrilan Davo Sculdun (Richard Dillane). He arrives at her apartment, impressed with her lavish lifestyle. The trio sit far apart from each other as they carefully discuss the situation, as if they know they’re being monitored. He offers to create an account for Mon’s “charity” to avoid the Empire’s banking regulations — making it easier for Mon to funnel money to the rebellion.
Davo doesn’t want any money in exchange for his services. He claims to have changed his ways and mentions the importance of adhering to Chandrillan tradition. Instead, Davo wants a return invitation so he can introduce his 14-year-old son to Mon’s 13-year-old daughter Leida. Chandrillans tend to marry in their teens, which is what Mon did with her husband Perrin when she was 15. It’s obvious Mon is miserable in her marriage to Perrin and doesn’t want Leida to suffer a similar fate. Also, Leida is already convinced Mon cares more about her image than her own daughter — an arranged marriage will only make things worse. Horrified, Mon rejects the deal, but Davo reminds her that their positions make decisions for them, and she should think about it.
Kleya (Elizabeth Dulau) comes to Luthen’s (Stellan Skarsgård) store with news of strange markings left around the city. A mysterious contact wants a face-to-face meeting with Luthen, but she fears it could be a trap. Naturally, Luthen ignores Kleya’s concerns.
In the lower levels of Coruscant, the mystery contact turns out to be Imperial Security Bureau Supervisor Lonni Jung (Robert Emms), working as a double agent. Lonnie uses an earpiece to speak with Luthen as he’s on the elevator. Luthen congratulates him on the birth of his daughter, a cold reminder of what Lonnie could lose. Lonnie arranged the meeting to warn Luthen about Dedre Meero — of how close she is to discovering his identity and her attempts to link him to the Aldhani heist. He reveals the ISB knows about the upcoming raid on the Spellhaus power station and that Dedra is setting a trap for Kreegyr’s rebel cell. Luthen is more amused by Dedra’s efforts than threatened, and claims she’s wasting her time. He also denies any involvement in the Aldhani heist (lies!). When it comes to the Spellhaus raid, Luthen is willing to sacrifice 50 rebels to keep the ISB from learning about Lonnie.
There’s another reason why Lonnie wanted to meet with Luthen: he wants to leave the ISB. He can’t live with the pressure of living a double life anymore now that he’s a father. Luthen tells Lonnie he’s trapped — the ISB isn’t going to let him go, and neither will Luthen. Frustrated with Luthen’s disinterest, Lonnie asks him what he has sacrificed for the rebellion, prompting this epic speech.
“Calm. Kindness. Kinship. Love,” Luthen says. “I’ve given up all chance of inner peace. I’ve made my mind a sunless space. I share my dreams with ghosts.”
He started his campaign against the Empire 15 years ago and knows he will never live to see Palpatine’s reign come to an end, nor will he receive any recognition for his efforts. He has sacrificed his future and his humanity to ensure the rest of the galaxy is free. The two men go their separate ways with their arrangement intact, knowing they will continue to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
Back on Ferrix
Not much is going on, but we do get an update on Cassian’s adoptive mother Maarva (Fiona Shaw). Her health continues to decline, and she refuses to take her medication since it messes with her appetite. Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu) is still on the lookout for Cassian, but she’s not the only one. She notices an unidentified figure watching Maarva — who looks like Corv (Noof Ousellam) from the ISB. With the rebels and the Imperials in close proximity to one another, Maarva couldn’t be in more danger.
Episode 11 of “Andor” will be available to stream on Wednesday, November 16th.