Friday, July 5, 2024

Recap: The Acolyte Episode 6 — Teach/Corrupt

A slower, quieter episode after last week sees Osha & Qimir getting acquainted and Mae & Sol interacting

This episode opens with Osha waking in a mysterious dwelling on an unknown planet (though the islands and tempestuous seas remind me of both Atch-To in The Last Jedi and Endor from The Rise of Skywalker). All we get is UNKNOWN PLANET, which is strange for Star Wars, as they love their monoclime planets with weird names. There HAS to be a reason why this location is presented as a mystery, and I hope it pays off.

Unsure of her surroundings, Osha grabs a knife and ventures outside. She heads to the local Sith swimming hole to find Qimir taking a dip. He's an intelligent, calm presence, and he begins talking to her like a potential master. We learn that Qimir used to be a Jedi—he's mentioned before how badly he wants an acolyte, and he's still on this train. He believes in Osha's powers, and this piques her interest.

He tells her how there are more ways to harness the Force than the Jedi way, specifically by harnessing darker emotions like anger and fear (we've heard this before, and Yoda told us it's a definite no-no). Qimir is a fascinating figure in the Dark Side canon. He seems the most human as compared to the basically over-the-top cardboard bad guy cutouts of Darth Vader and Palpatine. In the Star Wars universe, the bad guys are seen as objectively bad. Qimir cuts a different path—he earnestly wants a more equitable student-teacher relationship. He even hands Osha a bowl of soup. Would Palpatine do that? (I honestly can't even imagine Palpatine eating, so no.)

Osha gets a taste of harnessing fear and anger when she attacks Qimir, but stops short of hurting him. He knows she's interested now.

Master Sol makes it back to the ship as the sole Jedi survivor of the massacre and send a distress call. Mae masquerading as Osha is with him. It's unclear what her endgame is right now, but at one point she approaches Sol with a knife before backing off.

Fortunately, Bazil still knows something is off. Also, I've realized why I like this little guy so much. He's like a cross between an Ewok and an Ugnaught—cute and furry but a very capable technical worker. Bazil manages to get Osha's droid Pip working again. Surely Osha will be over the moon that he rescued her beloved personal robot, right? Wrong. She resets him to factory setting like he's an old iPhone.

Finally, Bazil tells Sol what's up re: Osha/Mae and he stuns her before she tries to call for help again. When she wakes, she finds herself handcuffed to a bed. Sol confronts her, finally ready to talk to about what happened on Brendok 16 years ago. He says that's it's time to tell the High Council everything—to come clean. But will he? And why does he turn off the transponder? I have a feeling something really horrible happened back on Brendok, and this mystery is getting closer to being resolved.

The Jedi rescue team, led by Master Vernestra, arrive on Khofar to search for the fallen comrades, and they're unsure of what happened. We also get an incredible whip-lightsaber scene that's straight out of a video game. It's so cool.

Back on Khofar, Osha and Qimir continue talking as he's soldering his Venom Sith mask. He explains that his helmet isn't just armor—it's a special type of metal that blocks out everything but a person's thoughts and the Force. When Osha puts it on, the screen goes black—and the credits roll. What's going to happen?

It's a new concept, but this helmet harkens back to the blast shield mask Luke dons in A New Hope (combined with his Dagobah cave test, kinda). She'll be tested next week, and I'm very intrigued to see how she performs.

The Math

Baseline score: 7

Bonuses: Learning more about Qimir really showcases how perfectly cast Manny Jacinto is for his role; Mog the Jedi's Tilda Swinton haircut; Master Vernestra's whip lightsaber

Penalties: I could have lived without the jump-scare shot of dead Jecki (RIP!)

POSTED BY: Haley Zapal, new NoaF contributor and lawyer-turned-copywriter living in Atlanta, Georgia. A co-host of Hugo Award-winning podcast Hugo, Girl!, she posts on Instagram as @cestlahaley. She loves nautical fiction, Vidalia onions, and growing corn and giving them pun names like Anacorn Skywalker.