The Empire and the Rebellion both converge on Ferrix to be the first to capture Cassian in thrilling season finale “Rix Road.”
The death of Cassian’s (Diego Luna) adoptive mother Maarva (Fiona Shaw) in “Daughter of Ferrix” ends up becoming a turning point for the people of Ferrix and the Rebellion. Maarva’s funeral, held in the center of “Rix Road,” brings the people of Ferrix together as they unite against the Empire’s forces.
On his way to Ferrix, Cassian finally listens to Karis’ (Alex Lawther) Rebellion manifesto, a relic from the Aldhani heist. Karis’ words about both the effects of the Empire and how the Rebellion must continue to try and chip away at its tyranny are powerful. Upon his arrival, Cassian has a nice reunion with ally Brasso (Joplin Sibtain). Though Brasso has had a smaller presence for much of the season, he really shines in the last few episodes. He previously helped to take care of Maarva and B2EMO (Dave Chapman) and helps Cassian and the people of Ferrix in this episode. Brasso tells Cassian about Bix’s (Adria Arjona) capture and helps Cassian to plan a rescue.
As Dedra (Denise Gough) has the ISB prepare to contain the Rix Road area to trap Cassian during the funeral, the Rebellion has its own plan. Luthen (Stellan Skarsgard) and Vel (Faye Marsay) arrive to try and get to Cassian before the Empire does. Vel has a tense reunion with Cinta (Varada Sethu), who is more interested in the mission than greeting her. While the strained interaction makes sense in universe, it’s a bit disappointing as someone who wanted to see the two of them work together more as both a team and couple.
Both the ISB’s and the Rebellion’s plans are moved up when the funeral procession starts up earlier than expected. The funeral is a somber moment that brings the whole town together into the street. Cassian uses the distraction to sneak into where Bix is being held and the intercutting between the two events is effective. The funeral really becomes impactful when B2EMO projects a pre-recorded hologram of Maarva that addresses the crowd. Maarva talks about how she wishes that she had begun fighting sooner and implores everyone else to wake up and start fighting the Empire. Though the delivery of the message is unconventional, Maarva’s last words are still moving.
When the Empire tries to stop the recording, knocking over B2EMO in the process, a full-blown riot breaks out. The citizens of Ferrix defend themselves against the onslaught, and the Empire responds with both physical brutality and shooting into the crowd. The best moment of the sequence is when Brasso attacks the ISB with the brick that contains Maarva’s ashes. The rousing sequence is well done and continues the series’ parallels to real world protests of tyranny.
Cassian uses the distraction to rescue Bix from ISB captivity and soon after they meet up with Brasso and the rest of their allies in the shipyard. After an emotional goodbye, Cassian tells them he’s not going with them and promises to find them soon. It’s a relief that all of them can get out of Ferrix unscathed, which will hopefully open the door for a great reunion next season. Instead of escaping with his friends, Cassian confronts Luthen on his ship. Cassian gives Luthen an ultimatum, kill him or bring him into the Rebellion. It’s a satisfying ending that shows how far Cassian has come since the beginning of the series, while setting the stage for Cassian’s official induction into the Rebellion next season.
Elsewhere in the episode, Syril (Kyle Soller) rescues Dedra during the riot and share a moment in the aftermath. This interaction, much like their previous ones, is unsettling and it remains to be seen where this dynamic is heading. Meanwhile, Mon (Genevieve O’Reilly) falsely accuses Perrin (Alastair Mckenzie) of gambling and tells him that the only way to get out of the debt is to arrange a marriage for Leida (Bronte Carmichael). Of course, it’s a sad outcome but an unfortunate price that Mon must pay to help fund the Rebellion.
The season’s final gut-punch comes in the post-credit scene for “Rix Road.” A quick shot reveals that the machines that Cassian and the prisoners were forced to assemble in Narkina 5 were parts of the lasers for the in-construction Death Star. While it was a likely conclusion, it makes Cassian’s eventual demise at the hands of the Death Star as ironic as it is tragic. The first season of Andor was a thrilling and thought-provoking journey from start to finish. Though it may be a while until we see season two, I have faith that the next half of Cassian’s story will be just as compelling as the first.
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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