TV Review / Recap – “Star Wars: Andor” Prison Arc Reaches a Dramatic Climax in Episode 10 – “One Way Out”

Unbeknownst to me, Star Wars: Andor broke its three-episode-arcs pattern a few weeks ago in-between the heist story and the prison story, which meant the prison breakout happened a chapter later than I had originally anticipated. But I dare say the wait was absolutely worth it as the series maintains its deliberately paced slow-burn, then action-packed-payoff mentality in episode 10, aptly entitled “One Way Out.”

This episode begins immediately after last week’s installment left off, with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) still reeling from the death of Ulaf from a “massive stroke” and the realization that they may never get out of the Imperial penal system alive.

“One Way Out” continues with Cassian trying to break down Kino’s walls and enlist his assistance in the breakout plan, a strategy that kicks in fairly early on in the episode. Meanwhile, we check in on the Imperial Security Bureau, where Dedro Meero (Denise Gough) briefs Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) about the situation with the captured rebel ship. Partagaz plans an ambush on a rebel cell with the help of Supervisor Lonni Jung (Robert Emms), and we cut to Mon Mothma’s apartment at the Chandrilan Embassy, and a meeting between Mon (Genevieve O’Reilly), Tay Kolma (Ben Miles), and a crime boss from their homeworld named Davo Sculdun (Richard Dillane from Argo). Sculdun is more than happy to launder the rebellion’s money, but the steep price he asks in return is essentially for an arranged marriage between his teenage son and Mon Mothma’s daughter. Mon is having none of it and has Tay escort Davo out, but we– and Sculdun– can see that the wheels are turning. On Ferrix, we learn that Cassian’s adoptive mother Maarva is refusing to take her medicine, as representatives from both the Rebellion and the Empire watch on, observing her every move. The bulk of the remainder of the episode is focused on the escape from the factory facility on Narkina 5, which is a thrilling extended sequence that combines exhilaration with numerous harrowing moments as inmates meet their tragic ends as unavoidable casualties along the way. It’s great just sitting back and watching the action unfold in this long-awaited breakout, especially with an accomplished actor like Serkis leading the charge alongside Luna.

There’s a steady build of emotions like joy and anguish as we see the prisoners fight their way through guard after guard, deactivating the facility’s deadly electronic security measures so that other groups of workers can escape as well. We get a sense of Cassian’s burgeoning inspirational leadership abilities as he urges Kino to make a stirring announcement over the prison’s PA system, but the egress comes to a bittersweet end as we learn that the latter does not know how to swim, and then remember that the station is surrounded by miles of ocean. There’s a fantastic closing scene back in the sublevels of Coruscant with Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) basically telling poor ISB Agent Jung, who has turned out to be a rebel spy, that there’s no escape from the emerging war in which he’s found himself embroiled. Then we see Cassian and Melshi (Duncan Pow) fleeing into the night on Narkina 5. Any doubts I had about this prison arc disappeared as its outcome unfolded, and the poignant resolution felt all the more earned because of the time we’d spent in the facility with the various prisoners. But the scene in this episode that will really stick with me is that dramatically lit conversation between Luthen and Lonni in the bowels of the city-planet, and Rael’s impassioned speech about sacrifice in the service of freedom that he likely won’t live to see. This is what Andor is best at, as a narrative: highlighting what it means to be a rebel in a galaxy where it’s often easier to side with the oppressors or to simply abstain from action entirely. With only two episodes left in the season, I can’t help but wonder how showrunner Tony Gilroy and his creative team will continue to drive that point home while leading into the second and final batch of episodes.

New episodes of Star Wars: Andor are released Wednesdays, exclusively via Disney+.

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Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.