Andor (Season 1), Episode 9: Recap, Review, & Ending, Explained

Andor Season 1 Episode 9 ending-explained

Andor (Season 1), Episode 9: The tone of Tony Gilroy’s Andor is getting darker and more nuanced with each episode, and the latest installment of the show ups the ante in meaningful ways. Episode 9 of the show, titled Nobody is Listening!, highlights the hopelessness that permeates against the backdrop of the Empire’s escalating fascism. Imperial methods of torture and subjugation are being redefined, introducing fresh strains of cruelty in the ways in which they aim to uphold their corrupt rule. Innocent people end up paying the price, while rebels find themselves in tight spots that are impossible to escape. 

Before we dive in, please note that there are SPOILERS AHEAD for Episode 9 of Andor. 

Andor (Season 1), Episode 9: Recap & Plot Synopsis 

The Birth Of New Torture Methods 


The episode opens with Bix (Adria Arjona) being interrogated by a ruthless Dedra (Denise Gough), wherein the latter asks her about The Buyer (Stellan Skarsgard). Bix does her best to evade Dedra’s questioning but soon realizes that she will not be believed no matter what she says. After Bix refuses to answer questions about Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) last known whereabouts, Dedra introduces her to Dr. Gorst and the new torture method the Empire has devised to break rebel forces.


Gorst explains that the Empire had chanced upon a sentient alien race named Dizon Fray, who was hostile towards the Empire’s efforts at colonization. To subdue them by any means, the Empire massacred their entire race and publicized the incident to evoke public fear. Taking things a step further, the Empire modified the screams of the dying Dizonites, which mostly comprised of children, into a sonic torture method that deeply traumatizes the listener. Bix is exposed to the same fate, and she is left shaken after repeated listens, which provides Dedra the perfect window to question her about The Buyer and Cassian.


The fact that people like Bix are being subjected to such cruel torture methods is testimony to the Empire’s overarching evil, which has now abandoned any pretense of being grounded by a moral compass. Throughout the episode, the Empire actively dehumanizes those under their rule and exploits their perceived weaknesses to their favor. There is no hesitation, no moral quandary that comes back to haunt them. These are depraved fascists committed to creating a powerful regime, no matter the cost.


The Death Of Democracy 

The existence of the Empire, which is authoritarian by nature, does not leave much space for democratization. However, the existence of the Senate ensured that the Empire was held accountable to some extent, even though this charade was performative. Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) tries her best to appeal a motion against Palpatine’s Public Resentencing Directive and urges the rest of the Senate to oppose such blatant disregard of public laws and citizen rights. However, her words fall on deaf ears. Most of the members of the Senate are complacent about the Empire’s growing fascism, as it does not inconvenience their everyday lives and still upholds their socio-economic status. As a result of this, Mon’s plea for the Senate to band together against this directive is dismissed, as people are too busy serving their own personal interests. 

The Promise Of Freedom Is A Lie

Back in Narkina 5, Cassian and his teammates continue working labor-intensive shifts to meet the prison system’s capitalistic expectations. Most of them seem to have accepted that they are cogs in the machine, and the best they can do in this scenario is put their head down and follow orders until their sentences are completed. Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) is driven by this hope, as he only has 217 shifts before he can be free. However, a rumor circulating around the prison complex changes everything and exposes the bitter truth about the lies surrounding freedom in a fascist regime.


According to the rumor, something terrible occurred on Level 2 of the complex. No one is sure what happened, as people are too scared to speak up and communicate honestly with the other inmates. Cassian naturally wants to know more about this incident, as he secretly tries to identify loopholes in the prison system. After observing the guards for days, Cassian realizes that security is most lax when a new inmate is brought to the workroom, as the elevators do not seem to be electronically charged. This provides a chance to escape, but Cassian needs more information before hatching a full-fledged escape plan. 

After Ulaf collapses while working due to sickness, Loy requests a medic and asks Cassian to stay back to help Ulaf. The medic, another inmate, arrives and says that he cannot help Ulaf as the man has had a stroke. Instead of helping him survive, he can only make sure that he dies painlessly, as that is precisely what he has been told to do. As if things were not already unbearably cruel, the inmate reveals that no one ever leaves Narkina 5. One of the inmates from Level 4, who was reportedly released after his sentence was completed, was brought back to Level 2 by mistake—fearing that the truth would start a riot, the guards fried everyone on Level 2. 

Andor (Season 1), Episode 9: Review And Ending, Explained 

Andor Season 1 Episode 9 ending-explained

The reveal of the fate of the inmates in Narkina 5 exposes the extent of the Empire’s depravity. The promise of freedom is a lie, as no one, no matter how closely they follow the rules, will ever make it out of the prison complex. Their lives will always be dedicated to fulfilling the Empire’s every whim, and their individual or collective voices do not even matter. Just as Cassian points out, nobody is actually listening, as they are too busy treating the inmates like pawns in a tremendous capitalistic machine. Their lives, names, dreams, and hopes do not matter. On realizing the true nature of their situation, Loy undergoes a massive shift — he decides to tell Cassian about the number of guards on each level, which means that he is now ready to earn his freedom by escaping — an idea he was not even open to when he was first introduced.


Andor continues to explore the minutiae of a system that is rigged from start to finish, leaving no space for the oppressed to exercise their fundamental rights. There are people like Vel (Faye Marsey) who are born into rich families but choose to forsake their wealth in an attempt to make a real difference for freedom. However, the choice is not as easy as it seems: Mon, who is revealed to be Vel’s cousin, reminds her that she needs to keep up appearances to evade suspicion. Although Vel is a rebel at heart, she needs to act like a spoilt, rich girl to maintain a charade of complacency, especially now that the Empire is more alert than ever.


On the other end of the spectrum, people like Bix are simply trying to make a living by smuggling Imperial units for some extra cash. These small subversions count as acts of rebellion, but she never intended to oppose the Empire head-on. At the same time, she is no snitch and does her best to protect Cassian from the Empire, even when the people of Ferrix suffer after his escape. This is the true nature of the Empire: no matter what you do, whether you are a rebel or happen to know one, whether you’re a renegade leader or just a shop owner, the Empire will crush you if it wants to. Nobody is safe, and their cruelty knows no bounds, which makes the need for a rebellion all the more crucial.


The Empire, which consists of shrewd ladder-climbers like Dedra and pathetic wimps like Syril Karn, and everyone in between, will continue to do anything to establish their dominance. They are willing to exploit a person’s love for a mother or a child and hit where it hurts the hardest, no matter how many massacres are required to meet their ends. At Narkina 5, Loy learns the harsh truth, and the Level 2 incident is a wake-up call for him, which urges him to take a stand for himself finally. Now, he and Cassian will try to escape, working together to defeat a system so smug and complacent in its power. Will they succeed? We will have to wait for the final episode to drop next Wednesday.


Where to watch Andor (Season 1), Episode 9
Debopriyaa Dutta

An intersection of hope and hell. Wildly passionate about poetry and cinema, maddened by the idea of beauty.