A good Star Wars TV series does not need action scenes.
That could very well be the motto of Andor and especially its fifth episode. The previous part ended with Cassian joining a band of fighters who were preparing a strike against an Imperial base. That strike did not come in the fifth episode either, we saw only more preparation.
But this slow pace has paid off. The audience was given more information about the setting, the conflict and those involved. We have learned much more about the motivation of individual characters, from the ex-criminal to the turncoat Imperial officer.
Andor is not rushing anywhere. It is building the stage, so that when it finally comes to shooting, it won’t be just a random firefight. The audience is going to be invested in it, because they will know those involved.
Many People, Short Timeframe?
The slow pace still could be criticised to a degree, however. For one reason: some of the plotlines effectively stand still. All the Imperial officers, Mon Mothma or Luthen appear perhaps once per episode, enough to remind the audience of their existence but not enough to move their own agenda forward.
This is caused primarily by the amount of those secondary characters and the actually rather short duration of every episode. While the nominal length is around 45 minutes, the episodes are actually nearly ten minutes shorter because both end and opening credits run surprisingly long. (Andor‘s opening logo, which appears ridiculously slowly, may very well be the weakest point of the entire series.)
Slightly longer episodes would possibly allow a little more screentime for the supporting characters in every episode. On the other hand it is a fact that Cassian’s story remains the most important one, and it is good that the show has not lost itself in showing too many different points of view at the expense of forgetting its protagonist. Nonetheless, the secondary characters are interesting and many viewers surely find themselves wishing for more from them.
But the show at least reassures us that we are going to get it, sooner or later. The long-expected action can be expected to explode in the next episode, and we can probably look forward to seeing the Imperial investigators and senators getting their moments in the spotlight as well.
Andor continues to be a delightful Star Wars show that offers something different from the run-of-the-mill Rebels-vs-Empire cliché.