Andor Episode 9: Alliances

by 
 | November 5, 2022

Time is a constant force in the universe, and do you know what that means? Yep, another episode of Star Wars: Andor is out. Episode 9, titled "Nobody's Listening," shows us more of Cassian's life in prison with his BPFs (Best Prison Friends) whilst showcasing the levels of evil the Empire is willing to go to get what they want. Syril also makes another appearance, and I think that after this week, more people will be on my side in hating this character. Because damn, those are definitely some choices he be making.

Following last week, Cassian is still stuck in the barefoot prison. The difference this week is that he is now actively trying to get out. He’s asking his floor manager, Kino (Andy Serkis), how many guards are on each floor, he's trying to cut a pipe (for some reason), and he's planning how to get out with other prisoners. We start to see that scrappy rebel we all know and love instead of some victim who's just going along with it. Cassian also begins to form alliances with several prisoners whom he’s trying to convince to help him in his escape plan. At the end of the episode, he asks his floor manager again how many guards are on each floor, and due to some "unexpected" reveals, he finally changes his tune and gives an answer. You can’t blame the manager; the Empire has turned up its asshole level this time.

Cassian walks behind his floor manager in a prison corridor. Both of them have their hands behind their heads.
Smile and wave boys. (Lucasfilm)

Another focus of this episode is the cruelty of the Empire, and the showrunners are making sure you take notice. Right off the bat, we see Dedra torturing Bix with the screams of children dying on a constant loop (which was effective, to be fair). After the fun time torture session, one of the Imperial officers even asks with a smile on his face if he can hang one of the other people they tortured for information (just a tad sociopathic). The ISB is also planning to stage the death of an Imperial pilot whom they think might be a traitor. (They mention that they also tortured him the same way as Bix. The guy couldn’t catch a break.) And finally, we get the big reveal about the prison: that no one ever leaves. If one of the rooms finds out about this, they all get fried. This whole episode was just a giant advertisement for how the Empire are total dicks (I understand they’re space Nazis, but still, this episode was a bit overkill). Surprisingly though, they weren’t the creepiest part of this episode.

Closeup of a distraught Bix in a dark room wearing a headphones-like torture device on her head.
You want to listen to my mixtape. (Lucasfilm)

I know I’ve been dunking on Syril since I started writing these, calling him a teacher’s pet and a loser, amongst many other names, but I’ll admit, the character does his job. You’re not supposed to like him; he’s supposed to be the uptight Imperial dick that no one likes. But this week, the character moved into the creepy territory. The whole point of this rambling is that Syril has gone from teacher’s pet to full-blown stalker. After his encounter with Dedra last week, he’s been following her and waiting for her outside her workplace. Now I know that Dedra isn’t a saint—and right before this happened, we witnessed her being horrible to Bix—but even she doesn’t deserve this. I’m hoping Syril gets over this weird infatuation because I had to pause the episode three times when this scene came on, and I nearly died of cringe/disgust. Please, Syril, go back to the average loser I hate and can make easy jokes about.

Dedra Meero stands outside on a busy city walkway in the daytime with a look of annoyance and disgust at Syril Karn.
My face whenever Syril was on screen this week. (Lucasfilm)

"Nobody's Listening" is another engaging episode of Andor and sets up the conclusion of this prison fun time arc. The pieces are falling into place, and even if some of them are oddly shaped (I’m looking at you, Syril the Stalker), I’m still excited to see how the arc resolves next week.

Have you seen Episode 9 of Andor? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below, and let’s talk about how one of the prisoners with Cassian is actually in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I totally didn't find out on Twitter.

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