Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Andor S1E5 "The Axe Forgets"

Go To
But the tree remembers.

"The pace of repression outstrips our ability to understand it. And that is the real trick of the Imperial thought machine. It's easier to hide behind forty atrocities than a single incident."

On Aldhani, Cassian navigates the distrust of his fellow rebels as the group (comprised of the leader, Vel, and its members the stoic Cinta, the gruff Skeen, the soldierlike Taramyn, the repentant Imperial lieutenant Gorn, and the idealistic Nemik) finalizes preparations. The plan is for the theft to occur while the garrison is distracted by the Eye, a cosmic festival celebrated by the Imperial-displaced Aldhani natives who travel there. Cassian wins some trust by admitting he is a mercenary.

Meanwhile, the Empire takes over Ferrix and aims to reestablish authority and Dedra Meero begins to suspect a connection between the various thefts of Imperial equipment. On Coruscant, Syril Karn's belittling mother Eedy plans to call in a favor from a prominent uncle so Syril can get another job; Mon Mothma navigates Imperial surveillance as she sets up a new charity; Luthen Rael awaits news of the heist.


  • Ambiguously Gay: Skeen says Cinta is "already sharin' a blanket" while we see her and Vel exiting a hut. Later, Cassian attempts to flirt a little with Cinta, and Vel pointedly inserts herself between the two and tells him he can dress his own wound.
  • Authority in Name Only: Captain Tigo requests permission from Blevin to be called Prefect after being put in charge of Ferrix, even lampshading it won't actually increase his power or salary. Blevin on his part doesn't care if Tigo started wearing a ball gown as long as he establishes order on Ferrix.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Mon Mothma and Perrin are shown to be pretty distant with each other, mainly due to Perrin being more an Upper-Class Twit who chooses not to help Mon Mothma when she needs it.
  • Benevolent Boss: In a break from most Imperials, Dedra Meero treats her aide with respect and tells him to take the night off rather than stay with her. In turn, her aide figures out that she doesn't entirely believe the lies about the thieving being accidental, and stays with her instead, with the two deciding to even out the workload between them and then head off.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Downplayed, Skeen checks out Andor's gear and notices that his blaster has a corporate tag on it, giving him a slight clue as to who "Clem" really is.
  • Briar Patching: Gorn orders his men to carry out extra, overdue work during the opening of the Eye. The men ask if he could postpone it a bit so they could go see the spectacle. He "generously relents" and gives them the time off, while implying there will be nonspecific consequences if the work isn't done by the new due date. This guarantees that almost all his men will be away from the vault during the heist—even those not interested in the Eye will go because no soldier would give up their time off to do extra work on their own—while ingratiating the men to him if he should end up staying behind as a mole and not saddling him with a reputation as a soft touch.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The source of the episode's title is Skeen saying "The axe forgets, but the tree remembers", referring to how the Empire hurts so many people it forgets about them.
  • Call-Forward: Nemik says that it's easier for the Empire to hide behind forty atrocities than a single incident. As it would happen years later, the beginning of the end for the Empire would happen not after two decades of constant degradation into a totalitarian and tyrannical regime, but when the Empire commits planetary genocide on Alderaan.
  • Calling Out for Not Calling: Syril's mother calls him out for never inviting her to visit. He says he gave her an open invitation but she didn't see that as a real invitation.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: The episode is titled "The Axe Forgets", alluding to the proverb (and theme of the episode) "the axe forgets, but the tree remembers".
  • Day of the Jackboot: The Imperial takeover of Ferrix is in full swing by the time of this episode. Imperial officers are marching through the streets and commandeering buildings at will.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title comes from the proverb "The axe forgets, but the tree remembers," which is said in the episode.
    • It can refer to how the Empire hurt so many people, including the team members, without blinking an eye, and how the individual resentments that arose from this helped give rise to the Rebellion.
    • It can also refer to how Syril continues obsessing over Cassian for ruining his life while Cassian probably doesn't even know who he is.
  • Foreshadowing: Skeen mentions that "Clem" having a kyber crystal worth 30,000 credits is a hint to his true personality during the heist in "The Eye".
  • Internal Reveal: The rest of the team finds out that "Clem" is being paid to participate in the heist rather than being a committed rebel, which the audience had known since Cassian escaped. Nemik, who genuinely believed from the start that "Clem" was a true-hearted rebel, looks crestfallen.
  • A Million is a Statistic: Nemik says it's easier for the Empire to hide behind forty atrocities than a single incident.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Inverted with Cassian and Cinta. Cassian attempts to flirt with Cinta by complimenting her medic skills, not knowing that she's already in a relationship with Vel. If you look carefully, she is seen trying to hold back a laugh when he tells her "you're a healer".
  • Mole in Charge: Lieutenant Gorn, the rebels' spy within the Aldhani garrison, also appears to be its de facto commander, and is seen issuing orders that will draw forces away from the hangar and make the impending heist easier to perform.
  • Nepotism: Invoked. Syril's mother, intuiting that his career's ended in utter disaster, calls in a favor with a highly-placed uncle to try and land him a position somewhere else.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: After his evasive answers garner distrust from the others, especially Skeen, Cassian is forced to admit that he's Only in It for the Money.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX:
    • The blue and purple cereal Syril's mother feeds him in this episode literally just consists of the "bluple" pieces picked out of a limited edition of Trix cereal created to promote Trolls: World Tour in 2020.
    • Nemik's "navigation device" is a barely-modified Polaroid camera.
  • Out of Focus: Whereas the second, third, and fourth episodes had Luthen Rael prominently featured, here he takes a backseat in the B-plot, only appearing near the end of the episode, which focuses mainly on Cassian and Vel's cell planning their heist, Mon Mothma's life as an Imperial Senator, Syril Karn dealing with unemployment, and Dedra Meero's continued work at the ISB.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Nemik goes on a political rant about the Empire and is even writing a manifesto.
  • Tattooed Crook: Skeen's tattoos indicate that he served time in an Imperial prison and was part of a gang.
  • That's What I Would Do: Musing on the recent thefts of Imperial technology across her sectors, Dedra and her aide note that they're too random to be connected... but if she was stealing resources for a rebellion, she'd make sure they seemed too random to be connected, too.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Mon Mothma's daughter berates her for focusing more on her job (specifically her being so intent on getting media attention) than her family.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Nemik, the most idealistic and politically motivated member of the group.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Gorn joined the Rebels after his lover, an Aldhani local, died. It's not confirmed how she died but we know the Aldhani people were forcibly displaced by the Empire...
    • Skeen claims to have joined the Rebels after the Empire took the family farm and flooded it, driving his brother to suicide.


Video Example(s):


Nemik's Ideals

Cassian's young, idealistic new teammate talks about how he's writing a manifesto in defiance of the Empire's barrage of atrocities.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / ManifestoMakingMalcontent

Media sources: