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Andor: Season 1: Episode 4: Aldhani

What is it ? : Andor arrives with Luthen at the world of Aldhani, where Luthen offers him 200,000 credits to join a team which is going to steal the payroll of the entire Imperial Sector, and asks him to choose a cover name, which Andor decides on Clem.
While Andor waits inside the ship, Luthen speaks with Vel, the leader of the group, telling her that she must take Andor into her team, and she reluctantly agrees although there is only 3 days to go until the heist.
Meanwhile on Coruscant, a meeting of the leadership of the Imperial Security Bureau discusses the events on Fennix amongst other events, and one of the leadership, Blevin, is dispatched to deal with it, although another, Grandi, is interested in a power grab due to the involvement of the Starpath unit stolen from a shipyard under her influence. Her powergrab isn't successful though, and she is berated that she is late with reports, although the leader, Partagaz, does say she is capable of better.
Blevin arrives and speaks with Syril Karn, his boss, Hyne, and the squad leader, Linus Mosk, firing them all, and telling them that due to their actions the Pre-Mor Enforcement unit is being disbanded and the Empire is taking direct control of the system.
Meanwhile, we see Luthen getting changed in a hidden chamber on his ship, and he practices a different stance and range of poses, as he takes a new character. He arrives on Coruscant and becomes an antiques shop owner, and a customer arrives, Mon Mothma. He discusses a present for her partner, and he separates her through distraction from her driver. She tells him that the driver is new, as is most of her staff, as the Empire is now keeping tabs on her, so she won't be able to channel cash to him as easily for his activities. He expresses that he needs the money, or things cannot continue.
Syril Karn walks through the streets of a large city world, and arrives at an apartment, where he is slapped then hugged by his mother.
Mon Mothma arrives home, to find her partner arranging a dinner party where she must interact with various Imperial Dignitaries, something she is not keen on and the pair snap at each other.
Vel and Andor hike across the surface of Aldhani, where Vel tells him that the Empire has cleared the mountain settlements into the cities as labour, and they see Tie Fighter Patrols. When they arrive at her group, she introduces him, but the group is skeptical of a new team member they know nothing about this close to the heist, but she pressures them, and they wield and begin briefing Andor on their plan.
They intend to load the payroll onto a cargo ship, during a 3 yearly stellar event where they can lose pursuit, and the crowds will provide a distraction, giving him only the night to read up on the ship, the installation and the stellar event. . .

High Points : It continues to look absolutely amazing, the look of the city world where Syril goes, Coruscant, and Alhani are all different, and different from Ferrix. There continue to be crowd scenes, and this really looks expensive.
I must also continue to rave about Stellan Skarsgård, as he swaps from his Rebel agent role to his cover, the transformation is wonderful. He totally changes the way he stands, moves, speaks, his expressions, as well as more obviously changing clothes and wearing a wig. He becomes a different character, as actors obviously do all the time, but it's rare that we see a character becoming an different character. He continues to reveal depths to this character, that I desperately want to see more of.

Low Points : We're back to dead slow, as even though we're in the 4th episode it's still all set up. We're setting up the heist, we're setting up Mon Mothma's situation, we're setting up Syril being unemployed and living with his mum.
But virtually every character introduced in the first 3 episodes is now gone, Ferrix and all those plot lines left behind, so we can have more introduced. With now us having to remember a bunch of ISB staff, the people around Luthen and Mon Mothma, and the team Andor has become part of.
This show is becoming very crowded with people who may or may not be important, and may or may not return. I now know more characters around Cassian Andor (including childhood friends, team members, opponents, etc) than I do for Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he was in 6 movies and his own TV Series. I really question as to whether I really need to know about all these people.

So what do you really think ? : All of the side characters I mention above, all feel so inconsequential, and feel like they should have been cut to get to the storyline. 4 episodes in, and it feels like we've realistically had enough plot for 1 episode, Andor kills security agents looking for a friend, and has to go on the run and is put in contact with the Rebellion and inserted into one of their teams.
It's also strange how much they're not telling us. Andor is of interest to the Imperial Security Bureau due him stealing a Starpath from the shipyards at Steergard. This sounds interesting and quite exciting, that he infiltrated, single handedly as far as we know, an Imperial shipyard and managed to steal an extremely important and expensive piece of technology which can display Imperial traffic over an entire sector.
But that's all backstory, we've not seen that, we're not really told about it. It seems more important than much of what we've seen, and far more interesting.

Final Words : For all of my complaints, this show doesn't bore, and it keeps me entertained while it's on. But afterwards when I try to remember what actually happened, I find that I've watched a whole load of entertaining nothing and I wonder how long that can go on before I get bored.

Score : 8/10

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