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Andor: Season 1: Episode 7: Announcement

What is it ? : The meeting of the heads of the Imperial Security Bureau on Coruscant, called because of the robbery on Aldhani is led by Wulf Yularen, who reveals sweeping new powers being claims by Emperor Palpatine to deal with this. In a later meeting led by Major Partagaz, Blevin complains about Grandi's overreach of power into his sector, expecting her to be penalised for disobeying rules. She reveals that she thinks there is an overall plan to minor crimes, which ignore the borders that the Empire has made between sectors, and that these lines on a map are hindering investigations, and she is congratulated by Partagaz for taking the initiative in the investigation and allowed to present her data the next day as well as being given control of the Sector in question.
Syril Karn attends his first day at his new job at the Fuel Purity Department, where he is a tiny part of the massive administration, sitting in one booth among many thousands, he tells his supervisor that he plans on getting his record cleared, and the supervisor wipes the records as he doesn't want someone in his department having been fired previously.
Mon Mothma meets with Luthen Rael outraged about the chaos and alert the robbery on Aldhani has caused, and he tells her that it sends a message. She returns home and at the party organised she meets with an old friend who works for the banking guild, he reveals that he probably shouldn't stay in touch with her, since she is a known moderate and his politics are getting more extreme against the Empire. She confidentially tells him that her image is false, and her politics are more extreme than his, asking him to head a charitable guild she intends to set up, which will appear to be part of her moderate policies, but in reality will channel money to things possibly more extreme than he would normally support.
Vel Sartha meets with Luthens aide Kleya Marki, who reveals Andors real identity, and sends Vel to eliminate him as he knows Luthen and Vel's identities.
Andor arrives back on Ferrix and visits his adopted mother, asking her to prepare to leave with him, he slips away to visit his friend Bix, who still carries the wounds she received during his escape from the world. She tells him many blame him for the Imperial occupation, which is permanent this time. He remembers when he was younger, with his adoptive father seeing Clone Troopers coming to the world, and the locals hurling stones at them, only for the troopers to open fire and his father was killed. He repays Bix what he owes her and asks her to let Luthen know that they should just forget each other exist, before returning to his mother.
But his mother refuses to leave Ferrix, planning to become part of the Rebellion against the Empire, inspired by the events on Aldhani, as if those people can strike against the Empire, anyone can. As he leaves, she asks him to forget his search for his sister, as she's sure no one else made it off Kenari, so his search is pointless.
Andor is later seen on the world of Niamos, a holiday world, but while getting food he witnesses Beach Troopers catching some criminals, and because of the way he is acting he is arrested by a KX Security droid, and sentenced to years in prison for actions against the Empire.

High Points : We're back into the slow boil episodes, but there are a bunch of excellent scenes here, especially those within the Imperial Security Bureau, and those with Luthen and Mon Mothma. The political intrigue we are seeing is absolutely excellent, and I would watch the hell out of so much more of this, and I would love to see these two sides, with Major Partagaz and Luthen Rael coming face to face, as the quality of acting from Stellan Skarsgård and Anton Lesser is spectacularly good.

Low Points : The weak part of the episode is Andor himself, while the idea of the criminal actions he was performing on Aldhani becoming part of Rebel legend and inspiring his own adoptive mother to Rebellion is an interesting one, this is only moments of the time we spend with him, and while I thought we were going to get all the world building performed on Ferrix put to good use as hides out from the Empire. Instead very little of it is used, and although is seems likely we'll return once again, at the moment all that worldbuilding is still a total waste of time storywise.
But worse is the ending. While the Empire is bad, we all kind of get that, but we've never seen is as a somewhere which has a large prison population, especially when Andor is visiting what appears to be space-Florida, a holiday world. It seems unlikely that they would be jailing potentially affluent tourists.
I suppose there's a certain irony that he's now being jailed for a crime which he didn't commit, when he's actually responsible for the most famous crime in the galaxy at the time.
But his arrest just seems to be to give him a dislike of the Empire, pushing him into the Rebellion, where the episode already showed us them killing his adoptive father, which seems to me to be a little more motivational than just a miscarriage of justice.

So what do you really think ? : The tension continues to be high, and the series is fantastically acted and looks gorgeous, but remains slow, and seems to not realise what are the most interesting parts of the story.
So far I'd watch the hell out of an Imperial Security Bureau series, or a Luthen Rael seres, but Andor remains underwhelming.

Final Words : At a guess, we've another return to Ferrix, where we'll see continued changes as the Rebellion forms there, but of course leading to tragedy and pushing Andor towards joining the Rebellion. But before that, I'm guessing that Vel will break Andor out of prison to stop him being interrogated and revealing her and Luthen's identities, and he'll need to convince her he never betrayed them.

Score : 8.5/10

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