Andor Season 1 Episode 4 Recap, Theories, and Thoughts

Star Wars has made me care about it again! After the disappointment of The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, I was about ready to leave that galaxy far, far away in my review mirror. Alas, because I’m a simpleton and easy to please, all it took was three solid Andor episodes to bring me back to the fold. Is this the very definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

At any rate, I can’t wait to dive into Episode 4 of Tony Gilroy’s Andor, this one titled “Aldhani,” and see what adventures our dramatic hero gets into next. Let’s do this!

What Happened in Andor Season 1 Episode 4

Our boys Cassian and Luthen Rael chill on a spaceship. As the former mends his wounded arm, the latter launches the craft into hyperspace. Luthen then makes his pitch: “I want you to do something truly special,” he says. “To put a real stick in the eye of the Empire … and get paid for it.”

Cassian rolls his eyes. “I wondered who you were — Alliance, Sep, guerrilla, Partisan Front.” They’re all the same.

“Better to spit in their food and run,” Luthen asks patiently.

Cassian explains that he fought before in Mimban (which, Wookiepeedia notes, occurred during the Clone Wars) and was all in on the battle until he realized “we were fighting ourselves.” He was one of 50 who survived.

“You were on the ground in Mimban for six months. You arrived as a cook and only survived because you ran,” Luthen states. Cassian is right about one thing: the Empire had the armies fighting each other. “Wouldn’t you rather give it all at once for something real than carve off useless pieces till there’s nothing left?” Then, the bomb: “I didn’t risk my ass for the Starpath unit. I came for you.”

There’s a reasonable amount of strong language in this show. I love it.

Luthen then gives Cassian his mission, should he choose to accept it: steal the quarterly payroll for an entire Imperial sector. Do it and survive and he will give the boy 200,000 credits.

We cut to Denise Gough’s Dedra Meero walking to the Imperial Security Bureau (located on Coruscant, I believe) where she happens on a Small Council presided by Celebrimbor — the one who will forge the One Ring! Ah, never mind, this is Partagaz, played by that one creepy guy from Game of Thrones. Stop with the crossovers.

During the meeting, we learn that the ISB functions as a “healthcare provider” in that it searches for a “disease” and “finds a solution.” Get it? Attention turns to the events of Ferrix, which draws interest from Dedra. (We also learn that Dedar knows the ISB manual by heart and is shocked when her by-the-book response to a question is quickly shot down.)

We cut to Aldhani, where our boys land, shave and come up with new names: Cassian will be Clem for the next five days. Luthen gives Cassian a downpayment: a Kuati Signet. Blue cyber. Sky stone. The ancient world. “Don’t take less than 50,000 for it … I want it back when this is over.”

A woman approaches the ship. Faye Marsay’s Vel Sartha. She’s none-too-happy to learn that Cassian is joining their mission. (Of note: we learn that Luthen plans to pay Vel 200,000 as well. He either really likes that number or is lying. Anyway, he convinces her to include Cassian because, well, he’s disposable. I love how these scenes aren’t punctuated with a goofy joke or snarky remark. At one point, Luthen actually yells at Vel, which helps us understand how important this mission is. Good stuff.

Back with Preox-Morlana, we see Syril, Chief Hyne, and Linus Mosk being reprimanded for their actions in the previous episode. The Ferrix Incident left the Morgana system under permanent Imperial authority. We see the wheels turning in Syril’s head. How does he come back from this? There’s a great beat later on where he wanders — alone — to his mother’s apartment. She gasps, slaps him, and then hugs him. Nuts.

Back on Aldhani, Cassian wanders through green mountains with Vel. She reveals the mission, should Cassian choose to accept it: they are attacking a local armory guarded by an Imperial garrison. Wtf, Cassian shouts. “I signed up to steal a payroll!” She also orders Cassian not to mention Luthen and to state that his joining the team was part of the plan all along. What is happening?

A pair of tie fighters interrupt the discussion. Badass.

Dedra’s interest in the whole Ferrix incident boils down to the missing sealed Imperial NS-9 Starpath unit. “That is our box from Steergard,” she says. “That gives us jurisdiction. We’re on the case.” A fellow IMP lieutenant, Blevin, refuses to grant her clearance to the incident as it occurred in his sector; he also believes she just wants the assignment to ascend the ladder, but Dedra is committed. She takes her plea to Partagaz. Later, the trio discusses the situation. Dedra thinks the theft of the Starpath represents evidence of a growing rebellion against the Empire. Partagaz states that they need more clear evidence and tells her to stay in her lane. Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen.

Back on Luthen’s ship, our mysterious mercenary throws on a disguise and casually prepares for the next step in his master plan. (Or maybe this was just Stellan being Stellan unaware cameras were rolling.)

On Aldhani, we meet Vel’s crew: Skeen, Taramyn, Nemik, and Cinta, who name drop Saw Gerrera … which means we might get more Bor Gullet! Everyone is on edge about this mission. Cassian’s appearance only makes matters worse. He later meets Lieutenant Gorn, the contact at the garrison, who doesn’t like the new face added to the unit at the last second. He’s eager to get started, but you can tell this group is not exactly well versed in the art of war. They know the stakes. (The conversations in this show crackle with energy.)

Back on Coruscant, Luthen prepares for a visit from Senator Mon Mothma (a random side character from Return of the Jedi who continues to gain more significance via these spin-offs). His disguise is much more, ah, flamboyant than his typical demeanor. Apparently, he masquerades as a lavish shop owner who sells rare merchandise. And since Mon Mothma has a new driver, Luthen has to take the Senator into the back before he can switch to his normal persona. “If you can’t deliver I need to know.”

“I can’t pull funds the way I used to,” she says. Apparently, all eyes are on her. “I found someone who I think can help me.”

Hmm. Hopefully, it’s not Jimmy Smits again, because that dude dropped the ball big time in Obi-Wan.

Mon Mothma heads back to her apartment where she learns her assistant Perrin set up a dinner with the governor of Hanna, Ars Dangor, Sly Moore … all from the Vizier’s private chamber. “Shit,” she says. “I hate all of these people, and they hate me! They cut off shipping lanes that will leave people starving!”

Too late to cancel.

On Aldhani, Vel offers more details on the mission, which sounds like a suicide run to Cassian. They expect him to fly them out of there using nothing but a Rono (!), but the tie fighters have him spooked. “They’ll be on you in minutes!”

Here’s the kicker: once every three years, the Aldhanis gather in a valley to celebrate a celestial event they call Mak-ani bray Dhani. The Eye of Aldhani, which is the equivalent of a giant meteor shower. Thousands come for the event. It’s absolute chaos and the perfect cover for an escape.

“Let’s get to it,” Cassian states, knowing he probably doesn’t have a choice.

Later, the group chats beside a campfire. Cassian is presented with a detailed map of the garrison and an Aldhani phrase book, both of which he needs to memorize by morning. This isn’t going to be easy, especially for someone who just wants to eat some food.

End.

Andor Episode 4 Final Thoughts

I was remarking to a co-worker that there is an art to television storytelling. Done right, you get Breaking Bad. Done poorly and you get something along the lines of, well, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. TV shows span hours upon hours over years … showrunners must steadily feed their audience enough information to keep them invested without completely blowing their wad in the first five or six episodes. Characters must be compelling, with clear-cut motivations and personalities, albeit not in a manner that outshines the main protagonist. Action sequences must be concise without giving away the relatively meager budget afforded by most television productions. Multiple storylines are required, and each needs to be unique enough to hold our attention.

Yeah, it’s hard.

And yet, when placed in capable hands, a miracle like Andor comes along. While we’re only four episodes in, the storytelling, characters, dialogue, and overall production values easily outshine anything we’ve seen from Disney Star Wars thus far — even The Mandalorian, which is saying something.

I love the pacing and rhythm of conversations, which feel natural and are more reliant on sharp writing than punchy one-liners. And look, I’m all for jokes and lighthearted adventure, but I also like variety. In this day and age, nearly everything created in Hollywood feels like it was pulled from the same assembly line, which only makes productions like The Batman, Dune, Better Call Saul, Top Gun: Maverick, and Midnight Mass that much richer.

At this point, I’d add Andor to the batch of recent films/shows that have gone the extra mile to ensure top-quality entertainment. Yes, it’s still early, but it’s not like the show is suddenly going to change … maybe it doesn’t stick the landing … maybe later episodes aren’t as compelling … Such outcomes are possible, but not likely considering the amount of love and care that seems to go into every scene, shot and bit of dialogue. This is really great stuff.

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