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Novel Gorshkov
Novel Gorshkov

[S1E9] Rogue Element

Dead Cells, by Motion Twin, is a promising attempt at combining two genres I thought had no business being together: Metroidvania and roguelike. Turns out I may have to rethink my prior assumptions and beliefs. Dead Cells delivers a new type of experience that aims to find the middle ground between two seemingly contradictory genres.

[S1E9] Rogue Element

As a preface, this is a different experience from other Metroidvanias (think games like Hollow Knight and most Metroid games). The elements of the sub-genre are: abilities that can unlock new areas, interconnection in the world, and an emphasis on exploration. However, the roguelike elements make a huge difference.

A series of symbols, or Glyphs, can be spotted in various places throughout the show, usually seen on background scenery or objects where events significant to that episode take place, They have been used on promotional posters and online content. Each glyph shows a natural element, generally with some unnatural change that is easy to miss at the first look.

So Dream's back in Dreamland, but he's weak from his century of captivity, and his kingdom is in shambles. Worse, his tools are missing, and without them he's unable to repair a ceiling in his dilapidated library, let alone travel to Earth and hunt down the rogue dreams and nightmares that have escaped his realm.

While all this has been going down, Dream has been coaching Rose in controlling her powers, and it all builds up to Dream and Rose visiting Jed in his dream. With Rose at his side, Dream confronts Gault and summons her back to his realm, where she belongs. And while Dream deals with his rogue nightmare, Rose squeezes any information she can out of Jed regarding his current whereabouts. Before the dream abruptly ends, she's able to get a few bits of information: the names Barnaby, Clarice, and Homeland.

On at least one occasion, Archer even says "that's so me", bringing in an element of a self-reference and meta-humour which is classic Archer- a trademark way of giving depth to the characters and the jokes.

Andor episode 9 does a fantastic job of setting up multiple reasons that, when isolated, may seem inconsequential and unlikely to turn Loy against the Empire. However, when combining each element, Loy's character switch makes perfect sense. Firstly, the episode introduces whispers of some trouble within the other wings of Narkina 5's massive facility. At first, much like Andor episode 8, Kino is unshaken in his dedication to getting out of the prison, simply telling his men to focus on the shifts as they come rather than worrying about other levels. After this came a scene in which Kino is somewhat interrogated by Cassian himself, with Andor wanting to know everything Kino does about the prison's security. Once again, Kino does not waver, though not without Cassian insisting upon him his own beliefs about the Empire's complacency in their control which lends itself to Andor episode 9's title: "Nobody's Listening!"

The final element of the episode which ties all of these events together is the unfortunate passing of one of Kino's men: Ulaf. After the stress of the high-intensity work of Andor's Imperial labor camp causes the elderly Ulaf to suffer a stroke, the facility's doctor euthanizes him, to the distress of Kino who wanted to help Ulaf live out his remaining 40 shifts so that he could be free, which is also Kino's driving motivation. The doctor then says that Ulaf is lucky, and cites the incident on level 2 of the prison that was hinted at earlier as reasoning, also stating that Kino will want to keep his men in line. It is then that Kino asks what happened, to which the doctor states the Empire simply recycled a prisoner from one level whose sentence had ended to another floor, before killing every single man on the level after word got out of this. Kino realizes his worst fears are coming true, that no one is escaping the prison, and decides to aid Cassian and Melshi, another Rogue One character, in escaping Narkina 5 themselves.

While all of these elements introduced in Andor episode 9 make Kino Loy's switch make sense in terms of his character, the twist has a deeper meaning that makes it even better. The reasoning for this is that the twist ties into the themes that have been intrinsic to the show as a whole up to this point, as well as the themes of the Star Wars franchise overall. Firstly, when concerning Andor, Loy's character switch exemplifies exactly what Luthen spoke to Mon Mothma about in an earlier episode. Luthen explained that his reasoning for organizing the Aldhani heist was not just to earn money, but to force the Empire into tightening its dominance and control over the galaxy. This all came in Andor episode 7, in which Luthen states that forcing the Empire's hand like this, despite causing people of the galaxy to suffer, will lead to more unrest and therefore rebellion from citizens of the Empire. This is perfectly encapsulated by Kino, whose inevitable rebellion against the Empire on Narkina 5 is a direct result of their overwhelming control and injustice. 041b061a72

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