Star Wars: Andor is back again this week with Episode 8, “Narkina 5.” After the unfortunate series of events at the end of last week, Cassian finds himself in an undesirable situation, to say the least. Now he’s faced with an obscenely long prison sentence in an unsettlingly clean prison and several groups that would much rather he be silenced. The Empire is also hot on his heels (even though he’s already in their prison). There were some exciting new characters this week as well, but Syril Karn is also back, which is rarely a good thing.
Following Cassian’s wrongful arrest at the end of the last episode, "Narkina 5" begins with him and several other prisoners of varying levels of guilt being loaded onto shuttles. Despite Cassian’s protests that he’s only a tourist, he gets shoved into a shuttle and taken away. I will say, I found it a tad strange that the prisoners were forced to go barefoot. Granted, it makes sense in the context of the episode, but I didn’t need to see dirty prisoner feet on a Wednesday afternoon. They also zoom in on the feet multiple times, which was a bit weird. (On the other hand, if you have a foot fetish, then by all means...) Aside from Cassian’s barefoot prison fun time, the rest of the episode pushes the plot forward with some exciting new additions.
This week's continuation of the ISB plot means more time with the moustache legend himself, Yularen. He wasn’t in here much, but hopefully, he’ll stick around for the rest of the season. Yularen isn’t the only character to make a return this week because Saw Gerrera is back baby! Forest Whitaker returns as the hardcore rebel leader (looking less crippled than he does in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story set just a few years later), and he is just as extreme as ever. We see him negotiating with Luthen over some parts, and they even mention the Separatists (I thought Anakin killed all of them ages ago, but I guess he missed some). Another exciting addition this week was Andy Serkis just randomly appearing. He’s in the role of Cassian’s prison room leader and makes it very clear that his prison time is almost done (which means he’s probably going to die soon). All these returns and additions make having more Syril content somewhat bearable.
My least favorite character in all of fiction is back again this week, and it looks like a new job hasn’t changed his personality (unfortunately). He’s still trying to track down Cassian, which has attracted the attention of the ISB. He gets brought in for questioning by Meero, who’s taken over the case. This led to the only good thing about having Syril back this week: watching Meero verbally destroy him. She says that Syril is a waste of her time (as well as mine), and that he needs to stop. Obviously, the teacher’s pet gets angry, and he throws a tiny tantrum, but who cares, Meero didn’t, and she proceeds to walk away. If every time Syril appears on screen ends with him being berated, I think I’d be fine having him in every episode.
"Narkina 5" builds tension and excitement for the rest of the season. With Cassian in prison, the Empire hot on his heels, and the return of some fan-favorite characters, shit’s getting real. With only four episodes remaining, I’m on the edge of my seat to see how this all ends.
Have you seen Episode 8 of Andor? What did you think? Did you also guess it was Saw Gerrera after seeing that one alien trooper? Let us know in the comments below, and we can all discuss why Syril deserves to get insulted every time he’s on screen.