What do you get when you combine money laundering, military espionage, and a prison break? Why Episode 10 of Star Wars: Andor, of course. Titled "One Way Out," this conclusion to the prison arc has it all. We finally see the borderline war crime of a prison get brought down by a little bit of water and an Emmy award-worthy speech. Similar to Episode 6, there wasn't a big focus on future plot points, but there were some developments. Another thing similar to Episode 6 is the complete lack of Syril, and that will always bring a smile to my face (especially after last week).
Serving as the conclusion to the current prison arc, the main focus of Episode 10 is Cassian and his friends' daring escape from the death floor prison. Picking up where last week left off, Cassian and the floor manager let the rest of the prisoners in their group know that they aren't being let out. Combined with the death of their friend last week, this is the perfect opportunity for them to escape. As the next day comes, the anxiety rises for the prisoners (and me), knowing that this is their only chance to break out. We also see why Cassian was trying to cut a pipe last week: turns out he was trying to flood the floor (I thought he was just a little bored, but I guess I was wrong). These smaller payoffs, combined with the increased anxiety levels, make this one of the season's best episodes. Just like in Episode 6, Episode 10 is a non-stop ride that doesn't slow down for a second, even when it takes slight detours to further other storylines.
Hooray, another episode with no Syril the stalker this week. Whilst not surprising, it always makes the episode better when I don't have to see the teacher's pet. What we do get more off is Mon Mothma trying to figure out a way to move her money around without getting caught. I haven't bought it up over the past few weeks, but Mon Mothma's money struggles have been ramping up. This week she meets with a less-than-legit banker to see if they can help. There's even a massive plus side: the banker doesn't want to get paid for helping out. He does want their children to get together, but I think that's a small price to pay. Especially because her daughter has been a bit of a brat this entire series.
The other advancing storyline this week involves Luthen and his network of spies. Do you remember the red-haired ISB officer who looked fun at parties? Well, turns out he might be fun because he's the reason Luthen knows so much about the Empire's plan. Thanks to the little meeting between the two, we also get one of the best speeches in Star Wars history from Luthen. And the funny thing is, this episode has two of those.
Since Andy Serkis joined the cast at the start of this prison arc, he's been one of my favourite things about Andor. Even when things have gotten a little slow, I was always excited for more. (Also, I just realised that I've just been calling his character "floor manager" most of the time. His name is Kino, by the way.) After his change of heart last week, Kino becomes a major player in the escape plan and even rallies the prisoners together. As this is probably the last time we'll see Andy Serkis in Andor (because, you know, the whole “I can't swim” thing), I just wanted to bring up how good of a job he's done these past few episodes. The acting in this series has been top-notch from the start, but Andy Serkis's performance has been on another level. From the subtle and not-so-subtle facial expression to his authoritative management style, he's been a joy to watch. This culminates in his speech to the entire prison, which was one of the best things I've seen, not just in Andor but in any television show this year.
Andor Episode 10 is a perfect conclusion to this prison arc and one of the best episodes yet. After a slow start to the arc, this episode brings it together and sends it out with a bang. With Cassian now out of prison, but stuck in Imperial territory, it's only a matter of time before everyone starts running into each other. With two episodes to go, it's going to get intense fast.
Have you seen Episode 10 of Andor? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments below, and we can talk about how Kino most definitely got out of prison even though he couldn't swim.