“Daughter of Ferrix” expertly ties together Andor‘s ongoing storylines and themes and set up what will presumably be a dynamite finale next week.
This recap of Andor season 1, episode 11, “Daughter of Ferrix”, contains spoilers.
“The calm before the storm” is obviously a trite idiom at this point, but it’s so often so relevant that one can’t help using it. The penultimate episode of Andor is a bit like that, at least in comparison to Episode 10, which hinged on an action-packed prison escape and delivered towering moments of catharsis in the form of both action and anti-Imperial monologues. “Daughter of Ferrix” doesn’t have much action and doesn’t have any monologues, but it’s as potent an encapsulation of the show’s themes as any episode before it.
Andor season 1, episode 11 recap
It turns out, you see, that both Imperial extraction and revolutionary fervour both have the same human cost. The end goals – tyrannical control versus personal liberty – and the means of achieving them are distinct, but the books are always balanced in blood.
This episode begins with the death of Cassian’s adoptive mother Maarva, and ends with Cassian finally learning about it, but the whole thing revolves around the loss. It wasn’t a choice for Cassian – on the contrary, it was actually a choice for Maarva, who, emboldened by burgeoning rebellion, chose to remain on Ferrix when she could have fled. But it’s still a price he himself must pay. He should have been there to protect her, and he wasn’t. He should return to pay his respects, and as an Imperial fugitive, he can’t.
The weight of Maarva’s demise hangs over the entire episode. B2EMO takes it as a pet might, pulling that old sci-fi (and sometimes fantasy) trick of a non-human being imbued with pure humanity. Dedra was treating Maarva as bait, and suspects Cassian will return for the funeral. So, too, does Vel, and Cinta is still waiting on Ferrix to greet him. Even Syril’s old colleague lets him know that Cassian might be coming back to town to grieve his mother.
It’s obvious that he will, since Andor has spent eleven long episodes laying the groundwork for him to do so at the worst possible time, with so many people looking for him that if we didn’t already know he survives it’d be impossible to imagine how he might. But the journey to that final – at least until Season 2 – nexus has been fraught with trauma and compromise, and loss of various other kinds. Whenever Andor arrives back home, he’ll scarcely recognise anyone out to get him, and perhaps not even himself.
Consider Bix, completely broken by the Empire’s torture. Consider, elsewhere, Mon Mothma, quietly resigned to marrying her daughter Leida off to the son of a grubby financier to preserve the rebellion’s funding (Genevieve O’Reilly is spectacular here). Consider Luthen trying to justify the lives of thirty men, even to an anarchist revolutionary like Saw Gerera. Consider Cassian, having finally escaped from prison after being arrested for nothing, calling home to pass a message on to his mother that she’ll be proud of him, only to be told she died in his absence.
The most superficially Star Wars thing that happens in “Daughter of Ferrix” is Luthen’s ship escaping from the tractor beam of an Imperial cruiser thanks to Bond-style suite of hidden weapons and gizmos. But the most quintessentially Star Wars thing that happens is that solidarity and loss continue to be the driving forces of a revolution; that the spirit continues to endure even in the worst of circumstances.
- Andor season 2, episode 12 preview.
- Andor season 1 ending explained. (Will go live once the episode airs.)