Some find Star Wars Andor boring. I’m celebrating the way episode 5 allows the characters to take the stage

After the great action finale of episode three, Andor is taking it easy again for the second time in a row. Of course, in a film and television universe that is synonymous with entertainment and escapism, this does not meet with unqualified approval everywhere. Some find the approach of a quiet, character-centric thriller rather boring, wanting a higher frequency of action.

I understand it perfectly … even if now I intend to undo an unflattering comparison. Because insisting on more Rambazamba here is a bit like wishing Michael Mann’s Heat was more like one of the latest Fast and Furious films (which, to avoid misleading impressions, of perfect guilty pleasure films far better than their reputation). Obviously, the mission, for which we are now preparing for two missions, must also deliver the next episode in terms of tension and escalation. But after the third episode of this season, there’s no doubt it will. And with Star Wars Andor now giving a lot of space to characters, the stakes are even higher.

I think it’s fair to say that Karn develops an unhealthy obsession with Cassian.

In the meantime, I’m no longer surprised that the rebel troop plays and talks to each other in an insanely natural way, how balanced and authentic the troop Cassian Andor is supposed to help seem. Because the show has already shown that it draws plastic characters with small script and dialogue details and multi-faceted acting. But what impresses me is how equally the other party has their own perspective moments.

It begins with Syril Karn, the reunion who is now looking for work and who escaped Cassian’s fingers in episode three. She now she has to take advice on her attitude of hers from her mother who she disapproves of: “You might as well carry a sign that says ‘I promise to disappoint you'” which elicited a wicked laugh. Soon after, the wonderful actress – whose name I haven’t been able to find out yet – got a fair bit of parental wisdom when she says that an “open invitation” isn’t an invitation at all. We see Karn as a tired boy chewing his muesli, who could never satisfy his demanding, disapproving but not unloving mother, and we understand a little why, despite his unfitness to be a tyrant, he still ventured into this Street.

God these sets! Andor delivers when it comes to equipment.

Even on the side of Star Stasi, it is with great pleasure that Dedra Meero looks over her shoulder, who, so close to the regime, seems not to notice what she is doing while “she is just doing her job”. Andor dares to give her a nice dash of humanity while she works overtime with her assistant. Fascinating is the mix of careerism and deluded sense of duty that we are able to observe closely from the imperial intelligence.

In direct opposition there is a band of rebels who are put to the test by the arrival of the new in the form of Cassian. As a budding warrior philosopher, Nemik has some excellent monologues that underscore the disappointment he later feels when Cassian is forced to confess that he’s only there for the money. In the hands of lesser writers and actors, it might have seemed easy, but you can tell Nemik has ideas. He really looks like a smart guy and not just what less smart people think he is. The German translation disappoints him a bit: “Soon they will see, a surprise from above is never as shocking as one from below” is replaced by the translation of “below” with “vom Boden aus” to the subtext of the robbed class struggle, which is a bit of a shame.

Dedra is serious, but without being portrayed as evil, which twirls the mustache. I await the confrontation.

The interactions between Cassian and Skeen (Eben Moss-Bachrach, whom I always like to see) are also well done, laying the foundations for a faithful friendship or a bitter rivalry. That balance within the group was a nice focus of the episode, and from Taramyn to Cita, the rest of them gained a lot of profile as well. And the fact that Luthen (Skarsgard), who is so hardened undercover, is slowly getting sick as well is an interesting point, which adds to the tension ahead of the next episode.

With beautiful character design, a compelling cast, wonderful gear, and impeccable effect work, Andor has now become the highlight of my television week.

More on Star Wars Andor

Forget The Mandalorian, Star Wars Andor is finally a good TV

Andor doesn’t feel like Star Wars. And I love it!

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