Wednesday, October 5, 2022

REVIEW: 'Andor' - Cassian's Team Grows Nervous Before the Heist as the Rebellion Is Personal for Everyone in 'The Axe Forgets'

Disney+'s Andor - Episode 1.05 "The Axe Forgets"

Cassian must carefully navigate the distrust inherent in being the new member of a secret operation.

"The Axe Forgets" was written by Dan Gilroy and directed by Susanna White

Everyone has their own reason for rebellion. The Empire has taken so much away from countless systems across the galaxy. The opposition is disorganized. The only possibility of gaining strength is by attacking in a seemingly random order. One person may be able to catch on to the strategy. Not everyone has the foresight to acknowledge the rising discontent. Those forces are at work across the galaxy. That's clear throughout the many different locations the show has to touch base on every week. This is more than Cassian Andor's journey through the rebellion. He's one player. He's one cog in a much larger system. Of course, his journey is more central and fascinating at the moment. Right now, he is being paid to be a member of the heist on Aldhani. That's the only reason why he is there. The other members aren't unified in their animosity towards the Empire. They each have different reasons for being on the team. Nemik has a manifesto he wants to write about the ideals and technology lost because of the Empire's oppression. Skeen's brother was killed as a result of the Empire refusing to see and respect his humanity. The members of this team are nervous about Cassian joining them. They don't trust him because they don't know anything about him. He is living under an alias too. Their fears are valid. This was a decision forced onto the unit. It was the only way Luthen would allow it to move forward. They have such a small window to pull off this heist. It will be destructive to the Empire should they succeed. Right now, they are waiting and hoping all their preparation has paid off. Cassian had to learn everything quickly. And yet, an operation like this relies on trust. No one has that with Cassian. They are just forced to accept his presence. He's needed. He provides valuable skills. He has insights into the mission that may prove useful during the actual event. It's too early to say. He makes his opinions known. He still conceals what matters to him. That includes the stone with great sentimental value to Luthen. It's only in ultimately revealing his true motives that the team starts to understand Cassian. That has to be good enough. It's the night before the heist. They have no time to change course now. They've gone through with the signals. Only one path now awaits them. It will all occur the following day. People are looking for reasons to be nervous. They are eager to fight back. It's daunting to take on the Empire at this scale. It's such a massive entity that has made its presence known all across the galaxy. This rebellion is small. They remain mighty. Plus, they too have allies eager to help them everywhere they go. Of course, they must also conceal their true nature. It's all a very delicate balance. One they hope works.

All of this could be seen as nothing more than yet another episode waiting for the big moments to occur. That does explain the plot to a broad extent. That's most annoying when it comes to the supporting characters who aren't on Aldhani right now. They don't have much plot utility. Luthen is aware of what is going to happen. He's just as nervous. He can't do anything to help. Meanwhile, Mon Mothma must keep up appearances even though that creates a rift within her family. That behavior matters to her while her daughter complains about how destructive that narcissism is. Mothma is fighting for something greater. In the process, she could lose everything she holds dear. Those are the stakes of this conflict. Elsewhere, Meero is the only Imperial supervisor who sees the potential for a disorganized rebellion to come together to topple the Empire. She doesn't lack for imagination. She just has to assemble the evidence to present to her superior. She needs that good will. She has to establish that trust because she wasn't believed the first time she spoke on it. The stakes are different on the opposing sides of this conflict. The Empire believes everyone remains completely loyal to what it stands for. And yet, Lieutenant Gorn has become disillusioned with the Empire because he lost everything as a result of their authoritarian drives. He commands this garrison. He has so much to lose should the heist be successful. He actively helps make it happen because it's worth it to attack the Empire in this way. It's what needs to be done to prove to these pompous individuals that they aren't all-powerful. They have their weaknesses. They have to be aware of these threats. They come from a genuine place as well. It's not people rebelling against the Empire for no reason. People have lost and suffered under this rule. That motivates each of them to take action. They all have different reasons. In the field though, they stand as one. They hope to make the galaxy a better place. One that celebrates the individuality of known existence. Meanwhile, others are simply plotting for the next way they can continue to exert the dark influence of the Empire. Syril is told to search for his next job instead of lingering on what Cassian did. He can't ignore the past. That may strengthen his resolve. He has the awareness of how dangerous this one individual can be. Meanwhile, the resistance fighters believe in a world that was once better than the Empire. They hold onto those ideals believing they can make it a reality once more. They don't have to rely on the grace and resolve of the Empire. They should aspire for more. They aren't far removed from that reality either. They simply have to organize in the hopes of overpowering the threat that terrorizes so many planets and civilizations. They have that hope. Now, they just need to follow through on the actions. Trust forms even amongst people who don't really know each other. That's powerful and inspiring long before the actual heist takes place.