The Acolyte Hits a Few Major Reveals in “Night”


Okay, but they really do need to explain the lightsaber shortage issue.

Recap

Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae) with lightsaber drawn in Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, season one, "Night"
Image: Disney+

Osha wakes to find Mae’s master fighting all the Jedi in the forest. They are all dropping like flies, and Yord gets injured. He tells Osha to run and she listens, with the Sith following. Sol finds them, asks who the Sith is, and admits that he finds him familiar. They begin to fight as Yord takes Osha back to the ship. Mae runs into Jecki; they begin to duel as Jecki tries to arrest her. Yord talks to Osha about how the Sith can get in your head, something that Osha admits her mother could do to Jedi.

Jecki finally defeats Mae, but the Sith appears and they duel. Mae runs way and the Sith follows. When he accuses her of being weak and nearly strikes her down, Sol intervenes and Jecki arrives as well. The two of them fight the Sith as Osha gets contact from Mae and knows that they need to go back. She turns on her light to attract the moth creatures and heads back with Yord. Jecki manages to get the Sith’s helmet off right as he stabs her multiple times in turn. Jecki falls and reveals the Sith to be none other than Qimir.

Qimir grabs Mae by the throat and taunts Sol for attempting to attack when his back is turned. Sol discards his saber and asks what he wants. Qimir insists that he wants freedom to use his power how he likes, and to have a pupil, but Mae betrayed him. Yord goes to attack Qimir and recognizes him when he sees his face. Qimir kills Yord. Sol and Qimir begin a hand-to-hand fight, but when Sol gets the upper hand and nearly executes Qimir with his lightsaber, Osha stops him. She attaches part of PIP to Qimir so that its bright light will call the moth creatures. They carry him away.

Osha asks Sol why Qimir said she shouldn’t trust him. He promises to explain, but Mae comes back and stuns him. She takes Osha away to have a talk, but the two argue about what happened and what they’ve each done. Mae begs Osha to choose her this time, thinking Osha has been brainwashed by the Jedi. Osha tells Mae that she’s a criminal, so Mae knocks her out, cuts her own hair, and takes Osha’s clothes, pretending to be her. She finds Sol, who asks where her sister is. She claims that her sister is gone. They leave together. Qimir finds Osha, healing her wound and covering her with a blanket.

Commentary

Jedi Padawan Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen) in Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, "Night," standing at the ready with her lightsaber
Image: Disney+

Called it.

The bare arms made it even more obvious, which is genuinely funny. If you enjoy shouting “Those are Jason Mendoza’s arms!” at the TV, anyway.

And for my next trick: I don’t think any of this quite played out the way we saw it. If the point is to channel Rashomon, and we’ve clearly got combating points of view all over the place, I think the confusion in this episode is a piece of that. And I think that red dust all over the ground has something to do with it. Qimir is great at poisons and alchemy, right? The choice to showcase that dust—which seems to come from nowhere—and also depict it following that path he used to shove everyone out of the way? (Which he also didn’t need to do, since his whole plan was clearly to run into the woods to make the ground harder for a large group to fight on?) That’s sus.

The sudden death matches are also pretty suspect, given that we’ve got three episodes left, and so was Sol’s anger: He’s the Jedi Master of Feelings, as we’ve already seen, but the fact that Osha had to remind him to back down in that situation feels like more than just emotional manipulation on Qimir’s part. I think everyone was under the influence of something for the majority of this episode. Whether it affected their moods, their abilities, or their perception, I couldn’t say, but I’m not trusting anything that just happened as the full story.

Also, Sol absolutely knows that Mae swapped places with her sister. Osha used to be his Padawan; he knows her more deeply through the Force and would be able to recognize her. He pointedly asked “Where is your sister?” instead of “Where is Mae?” You can’t just cut your hair and fool this man. Please.

The fight choreography continues to be a high point for this show, and I was so happy to see someone finally use terrain when fighting a group to their advantage. Heading into a densely forested area to prevent being easily surrounding on all sides! Using the trees as their own forms of shielding because no one wants to accidentally cut one down in the midst of a duel! (Also, they gave Jecki an Ahsoka moment with her double green blades—I shrieked.) I’m still curious as to what exactly was happening to the lightsabers when they shorted, though. A lot of things can cause that outage. It was unclear if it was environmental, perceptual, or if use of the Force was interfering.

This was another half-episode, and I really wish they glued it together into one. It took us way too long to reach that reveal; not having a week between the parts would have helped. (Though I stand by my previous complaint that the most preferable way to unfold this would have taken much longer over seasons of television.)

But the thing that tweaks at me the most is continuing to mess with the relationship between Osha and Mae due to both characters never once bothering to say “Wait, this is what I thought happened—what do you think happened?” There is enough time in this scene that I just don’t buy it never coming up. It’s a very common television problem, but you can write things in such a way that it’s easier to believe no one is arriving at the obvious. Even if I still wish folks would stop doing it altogether.

Also, why do people keep using arguments like “You’re a criminal!” in dialogue like this? Osha’s upset because she thinks her sister murdered their whole family and then a few more Jedi—I don’t think crime is the primary issue here.

On Qimir’s end we’ve got some good stuff, though. How often has a Sith popped up with “Look, I’m pissed that you won’t let me practice my dark arts over in the corner, and that’s the reason you’ve all got to die”? He’s presenting it as a philosophy issue, or even a form of religious persecution. This doesn’t mean we should give the dark side a shot, but it’s fun to see a different form of narrative manipulation from the Sith. You’re just being so unfair to him, y’all. He made his own helmet and everything.

How is the sister-swap going to pay off? Hopefully we’ll get a longer episode next week to find out.

Spanners and Sabers

Yord Fandar (Charlie Barnett) and Osha (Amandla Stenberg) speaking in a dark forest in Lucasfilm's THE ACOLYTE, season one, "Night."
Image: Disney+
  • Qimir doesn’t want to take off his helmet so Sol can read his thoughts? Are we… are we literally Magneto-ing all Sith now? They use the helmets because it makes them less susceptible to Jedi mind stuff? That’s ridiculous, and I will laugh frequently about it if this is a thing they commit to.
  • The way Yord says “You” and Qimir says “Surprise”—they’re about to launch an entire ship on a two-word exchange, and I am here for it.
  • I know this was not the point, but when Mae cut her locs with the lightsaber, all I could think about was how she’d probably smell like burning hair for a while, and that would be a pretty big giveaway.
  • Also funny to probably only me: When this show started and I realized Stenberg was playing twins, I thought “Oh, it’s the Star Wars version of The Parent Trap.” And then Mae proceeds to cut her hair to look like her sister… just like in The Parent Trap.
  • Bazil saved PIP! Lil guys gotta stick together in this great big universe.

We’ll tune back in to Galactic Parent Trap next week! icon-paragraph-end



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