Recap: ‘The Acolyte’ Episode 6 Loses All Momentum

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 3, 2024 (Last updated: 3 days ago)
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The Acolyte Episode 6 Recap - A Real Loss Of Momentum
The Acolyte | Image via Disney+

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

2.5

Summary

The Acolyte loses a lot of momentum in Episode 6, which has some intriguing dialogue and visual clues – and a stellar performance from Lee Jung-jae – but raises more questions than it answers.

It’s difficult to know what to make of The Acolyte Episode 6, “Teach / Corrupt”, since very little happens in it but it’s full of leading dialogue, subtle visual cues, recurring motifs, and hints that’ll probably reveal their importance somewhere down the line.

It has been a bit of a reprieve not having to comb through reams of insane fanboy bellyaching about this installment. But sometimes you have to wonder if that indicates a weaker outing that takes fewer chances. Who knows? Either way, I mostly found it curious as opposed to actively entertaining, though Lee Jung-jae deserves some credit for a very good, understated performance. Check out that lip quiver!

This episode is mostly divided into two inverted master-pupil pairings – Osha and Qimir/The Stranger, and Mae and Master Sol. Let’s start with the former.

Are Osha and the Stranger on Ahch-To?

Osha wakes up to discover she has been taken away by Qimir to what is labeled as an “unknown planet” but looks a lot like Ahch-To from The Last Jedi.

However, it’s more likely to be Bal’demnic, an ocean planet described by good old Wookiepedia thusly:

It was mostly of interest to cartographers, xenobiologists, and fisherfolk, until knowledge of the planet’s rich deposits of cortosis ore fell into the hands of Sith Lords Darth Tenebrous and Darth Plagueis.

Given Qimir repairs his cortosis helmet here, and – at least according to some Legends sources – both Tenebrous and Plagueis were feasibly alive at the time, this makes a lot of sense and is quite exciting for the potential directions it allows The Acolyte to go in, Sith-wise.

Was Qimir Vernestra’s Apprentice?

The Acolyte Episode 6 Recap - A Real Loss Of Momentum

The Acolyte | Image via Disney+

“Teach / Corrupt” hints at Qimir’s backstory, both visually and in dialogue. He mentions he used to be a Jedi, and he has a very obvious curvy scar on his back that the camera lingers over a couple of times. This episode also makes a point of revealing that Master Vernestra Rwoh uses a whip lightsaber. She also pulls some telling faces when she and another bookish Jedi named Mog go to Khofar to investigate the deaths of Sol’s team and he deduces that a fallen Jedi of extreme skill must have been responsible.

Sometimes these things write themselves.

So, I think Qimir was once Vernestra’s apprentice, and she whipped him in the back, either after he turned to the Dark Side or before, precipitating his change of heart. This, you’ll notice, is very similar to the radicalization of Mae, with the Jedi having obviously done something awful on Brendok, too. The theme is clear enough – the enemies of the Jedi seem to be created by the Jedi’s own hubris and misuse of power.

Osha’s Flirtations With the Dark Side Are Rubbish

One thing I’m not keen on in this plot thread is how reiterative it feels of Rey and Kylo Ren’s arc through the sequel trilogy. Does Disney not have any new ideas for stories about pretty young female characters that don’t involve being swayed to the Dark Side by very handsome Sith lords?

I’m mainly getting this from Osha trying on Qimir’s cool-looking cortosis helmet at the end of the episode, breathing like Darth Vader while the camera shifts to first-person as she peers out of the narrow eye slit, which might not mean much in the grand scheme of things. But it’s just a pretty ham-handed way of exploring the twin dynamic, which hasn’t been handled well since the beginning if we’re being honest.

Why Can’t Master Sol Sense Mae’s Presence?

The Acolyte Episode 6 Recap - A Real Loss Of Momentum

The Acolyte | Image via Disney+

Speaking of the twins, Mae spends the entirety of this episode with Master Sol, impersonating Osha. It doesn’t seem like Sol has figured out the deception and that Bazil has to tell him about the Parent Trap scheme, but he eventually figures it out and stuns her.

I think Sol could tell that it was Mae, and was just letting things play out to see how they went. Although, to be fair, there’s also an argument that he couldn’t tell because he’s grieving so intensely due to the loss of his team on Khofar and the responsibility he feels for whatever happened to Osha and Mae on Brendok.

By the end of Episode 6, Sol seems ready to tell Mae the whole truth about that particular event, which makes me think Episode 7 will be a flashback. And it’s about time, too. After easily the most action-packed installment in Episode 5, enough momentum has been lost now that it makes sense to spend half an hour unpacking that mystery, especially since it has been dragged out for so long.


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