Andor Episode 10 “One Way Out” Spoilers Ahead
Episode 10 of Andor is an astonishing 46 minutes of television that combines well-crafted action with impactful performances, weaved together by the themes of sacrifice. The director, Toby Haynes, crafts this episode harmoniously with a near-perfect script from Beau Willimon. I don’t mean to hyperbolize, but it’s hard not to after watching something so affecting as “One Way Out,” especially after following up “Nobody’s Listening!”
While offering hope of what rebellion can actually accomplish when a group of people rises against their oppressors, it never tries to separate that hope from the cold reality of what it will take for that hope to thrive again.
There is a cost for rebellion. This reality permeates every frame of this episode. Whether you’re on ground level like Cinta or operating from the heights of power like Mon Mothma, there’s a price to pay. In Andor Episode 10, “One Way Out,” Mon meets Davo Sculdun to broker a deal to funnel finances discreetly. Davo is willing to offer his services; however, the payment for service won’t be made with credits but with Leida’s (Mon’s daughter’s) future.
Due to Chandrila tradition, she’s at the age to begin courtship to marry when she’s fifteen. Strained relationship or not, Mon refuses the offer for the sake of her daughter’s happiness. Though The Rebellion is desperate for credits, some lines can’t be crossed for her. Hopefully, the Aldhani credits can begin to bankroll The Rebellion soon because I have a bad feeling that Davo’s offer may still linger during the last two episodes of the season. Until then, Mon Mothma is mother of the year for defending her daughter’s future like that.
Over the course of the season, there’s been the sense that something wasn’t all that it seemed with the ISB officers. I’ll admit, for a while, I was under the impression that Dedra Meero was a double agent for The Rebellion. Though I was wrong about her, it was confirmed in “One Way Out” that there has been a spy within the ISB for The Rebellion who has worked their way up through the ranks for years — Lonni. What’s brilliant about this reveal is that he’s been in the background the whole time, not drawing attention to himself in previous episodes, which is exactly how you want a spy to operate. He’s been groomed by Luthen to be in an advantageous position for the sake of the cause.
However, after becoming a father, Lonni starts to second-guess everything and looks to get out of the fight. His stakes have changed; he’s thinking for himself and his daughter. As he tries to end his association, Luthen gives an impassioned speech that there will always be sacrifice involved. The fight they’re in seals their fate, but it’s for the sake of the future of others.
Lonni may not live to see his daughter grow up, but he plays a key role in securing a better future for her to live in. Now that the audience knows who Lonni is, I fear that his cold feet are going to lead to his demise fairly soon. (I’m getting to Luthen’s speech, I promise!)
From the moment Cassian stepped foot on Narkina 5, we’ve been anticipating how he was going to get off the floating Imperial factory. After two episodes of build-up, the payoff comes in the form of a prison break. Once Kino accepts the truth that none of them are getting out by serving their sentence, he and Cassian hatch a plan to take control of Narkina 5 and escape.
Not only do they succeed in taking control over their sector, but they’re also able to take full control of the factory in a tense, well-choreographed sequence; this leads into one of two great rousing speeches courtesy of Kino.
The way Andy Serkis brings out so much passion and conviction in his speech, the fury on his face, and the intensity of his gaze is a testament to his skill as an actor. In Andor Episode 10, “One Way Out,” Serkis reminds me of his work as Caesar in the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy (without the mo-cap suit); he’s able to rally those perceived as helpless in the fight for freedom against a weak yet formidable presence. As he and Cassian escape and the prisoners jump into the water towards freedom, Kino confesses to Cassian that he can’t swim. Though we don’t see him jump in the water, we don’t know if Kino survives the escape. In case this is the last we see of Kino, I am comfortable saying that Andy Serkis in Andor has done more for Star Wars than he did as Supreme Leader Snoke in the sequel trilogy.
Kino’s speech to his fellow inmates parallels Luthen’s speech to Lonni beautifully as a foreboding reminder of where the path of rebellion leads. As Lonni questions what Luthen had to sacrifice for The Rebellion, Luthen vehemently describes how he has sacrificed everything in order to see The Rebellion through for as long as he has.
He’s given up his morality and empathy in order to make the tough calls for the sake of freedom. Luthen has given himself for The Rebellion, knowing the road he’s on will lead to his death. There’s never been safety in the choices he’s made and will continue to make. Like Luthen and Kino, once you start on this path, there is but one way out; there’s no turning back. Again, Stellan Skarsgård flexes his acting chops in this scene that’s worthy of an Emmy. Get you a man who can sing ABBA by day and manipulate a person to stay a Rebel spy by night.
Once you start the fight, you never stop fighting. Cassian has been in survival mode for a while, but he’s been in this fight since he was nine years old, as he later tells Jyn in Rogue One.
There is one way out for Cassian, the dramatic irony the audience is reminded of week-to-week. The path that he’s been on since Kenari will end on Scarif. More Rebels die for the sake of the cause than those who live to see The Empire defeated once and for all. Luke Skywalker may never learn the names of Luthen Rael, Kino Loy, or Cassian Andor, but nothing he does will happen without their decision to follow a path with one way out.