After the intense Aldhani garrison infiltration, Andor takes a breath and explores the political repercussions of the attack.
This episode opens with Andor fans’ favorite sad boy antagonist, Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), who’s stuck staring out the window of his mother’s house, moping. He sits down for breakfast–another bowl of cereal with another helping of blue milk–wearing a brown suit his mother, Eedy (Kathryn Hunter), criticizes. It’s the day of his big interview his uncle helped him land. Syril catches sight of news playing on a screen nearby, and he learns of the attack on Aldhani. I’m sure he’ll normally respond to this (that sure is some sarcasm).
The Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) meets to discuss Aldhani and what to do about it. The head of the ISB informs them that Emperor Palpatine has put the ISB in charge, and they’ll be inflicting serious consequences on anyone who commits a crime against the Empire. Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) is unhappy, privately telling her assistant that the ISB is treating Aldhani like a robbery instead of an “announcement” (where the episode gets its title). Later, Dedra puts in an order for two years’ worth of data on Imperial naval bases and repair facilities in every system to look for missing equipment. It seems she’s still after information on Cassian’s (Diego Luna) stolen starpath unit.
Elsewhere, Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård) listens in on a radio to news of Aldhani when Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) visits him. She once again pretends to be shopping for a gift for her husband, but she’s come on rebel business to ask about whether Aldhani was his doing. Mon is furious, thinking they were building a network, but not toward something as drastic as an attack. Luthen insists on forcing the Empire’s hand and accepting the consequences.
Syril’s interview is for a job at the Bureau of Standards, whose headquarters looks like the bleakest and most uniform office building imaginable. With sub-sectors such as “Weights and Gauges,” “Redundancy,” and “Verification,” it’s sure to be a fun time (more sarcasm). The interviewer asks about Morlana One and Syril can’t help it–he vocalizes his moral crusade against Cassian’s killing of the guards and how he himself was wrongly punished for pursuing the crime. The interviewer says they can get on the process of clearing Syril’s name. After all, a job opening (and empty cubicle) is waiting for Syril in the certainly-exciting sector of “fuel purity.”
Luthen’s assistant Kleya (Elizabeth Dulau) meets with Vel (Faye Marsay) from the rebel outfit to discuss the aftermath of the garrison attack. We don’t learn too much more than we already know, except the bombshell at the end of their conversation: Kleya wants Vel to kill Cassian to tie up loose ends.
Cassian returns to Ferrix to try to convince his mother, Maarva (Fiona Shaw), to leave with him, but he’s ultimately unsuccessful. She chastises him for being there, but lies and agrees to leave Ferrix first thing the next morning. Cassian visits Bix (Adria Arjona) in the meantime, but she gives him a cold welcome. When Cassian returns home, his mother lets him know she won’t be coming. She’s decided to stay, despite the Imperial takeover of Ferrix, because of the rebellion. The news of Aldhani inspired her, and despite Cassian’s insistence that Aldhani was simply a robbery, she’s equally insistent on staying on Ferrix in support of the rebellion. The two must part ways.
Mon has been hinting to Luthen about bringing someone else on to help move money, and we finally meet him at a dinner party: Tay Kolma (Ben Miles). He and Mon have a private conversation, where he suggests his increasingly-radical politics lean toward the rebellion. She admits she needs his help with the rebellion herself. She needs him to clandestinely dip into her family accounts because people are keeping too close an eye on her. She tells him she’s starting a charity program, but it’s clear to all of us what she’s really up to.
Back at the ISB, Dedra narrows in on her target. The leader of the ISB questions Blevin (Ben Bailey Smith), Dedra’s harshest rival. Blevin wishes to lodge a charge against Dedra for overreaching in her quest for information. She admits she used an emergency law to access information without permission but presents her case so convincingly that their boss commends her and gives her the Ferrix assignment. It’s a tight and very well-written scene that helps bring Dedra’s hard work into the light.
Elsewhere on the planet Niamos, a woman wakes up in bed and calls out for someone named “Keef.” Cut to Cassian in the bathroom, pretending to shower but actually stealing. The city Cassian finds himself in seems like a resort town full of tourists. As he minds his business, walking to the store, he’s mistaken by a stormtrooper as someone in cahoots with some other men on the run. He’s arrested and sent to a court, given outrageous charges, and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Oddly enough, he isn’t recognized for his prior crimes on Morlana One.
Syril is all set in his new job, reading numbers off a screen. He looks up as the camera cuts farther and farther away, showing a sea of identical cubicles. Although I joke about him, it’s worth remembering he still threatens the rebellion’s push to overthrow the Empire. As pathetic as the show frames him, he is an aid to the fascism that has the galaxy in a continual headlock.
After the big Aldhani garrison episode, it was time to take a step back and inspect the radically-changing political landscape. This is a Cassian-lite episode, which helps to further the political strategies of other characters. Seeing Syril sink, Dedra rise, Maarva embraces the rebellion, and Mon finally makes major moves for herself are all welcome advancements for these characters.