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The Acolyte

Night (The Acolyte - S01E05) - Live Action Series

Series: The Acolyte

Title: Night

Season: One

Episode: 5

Original Air Date: June 25th, 2024

Runtime: 31 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

Why risk discovery? Well, I did wear a mask!  SPOILERS.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The good news first! This is yet another ultra short episode! Even though the writer of episode 4 said last week on X that episode 5 would be longer it is actually just as short. Does the writer not know these things? I am confused! Excluding the recap and credits this is just 27 minutes! I guess we have to be grateful for that! The other good news is that this episode is about 50% combat and therefore lighter on plot than even the other episodes. The bad news is they still managed to cram a lot of stupid things into this episode. The sole highlights here are Jedi Master Sol and Not Ezra Miller, Manny Jacinto is certainly a good actor and even the lousy dialogue he got can't really change that.

Jecki is telling Mae her miranda rights

As expected Smilo Ren does short work with all of the unnamed Jedi redshirts, they all die swiftly. His helmet is made of some super new never seen before alloy that can disrupt lightsabers, you simply can't ignite them for a few seconds if the saber hits the helmet. Now why did Vader never have that? Or anyone else ever again really???? Sol wants Yord to take all "civilians" (he really does say that) to safety, so Yord and Osha make their way to the ship while Smilo is killing folks left and right.

She probably wasn't angry enough... bye bye Jecki.

Mae is still hiding in the hut, doing nothing. After the dust has somewhat settled Jecki finds her and wants to arrest her... okay... now what does Mae do? Short recap: last week Mae decided that she wants to surrender herself to the Jedi, tell them everything and hope for leniency. So of course Mae does not resist arrest and lets Jecki handcuff her? Well, think again... I am beginning to believe that either The Acolyte was written by people with bipolar disorders or that this is a super smart and super deep meta commentary on how idiotic the sequels were when Rian Johnson completely ignored what Abrams did only for Abrams to do the same with Johnson's movie. This is the Disney+ version of that. The sad truth however is much more mundane probably, the people writing this are stupid and hacks. So Mae resists Jecki, fights her, but since Mae is the most useless villain ever even Lil Jecki bests her and overpowers her. But then Smilo Ren shows up and Jecki fights him like a ferret on steroids. But of course Smilo is better than her but instead of killing her he just runs away... okay. It seems Smilo attended the Dr Evil Sith Academy.

The ONE person everyone guessed Smilo Ren would be...

Mae meanwhile managed to free herself, i.e. she manages to escape. Yord and Osha wander through the dark forest when Osha says they must return because Smilo will kill Sol and all the others... no kidding? Really? How come Yord does not sense anything when Osha does? Then again, Yord is the most useless Jedi ever. Anyway, after some attempted creature horror with the lame space moths that are now all about in the night Yord agrees and the two make their way back to the carnage. Why did they ever leave in the first place?

Bye bye Yord, you will not be missed

Sol and Jecki chase after Smilo and confront him. The three fight. For plot reasons Jecki gets to fight Smilo alone for a while, and while she does manage to knock off his mask she is still no match for him and Smilo skewers her really well, and to make sure she is extra dead he skewers her not once, not twice, but three times. Unless it's all just a flesh wound and next week Jecki will do cartwheels again, this is modern Star Wars after all. But the episode makes it look as if Jecki is now dead as a doornail. And the identity of Smilo Ren is finally revealed.... and sadly, the writers of this show chose to go for the super obvious route. So obvious that people called it out right after the second episode. In fact, it is SO obvious that many people wanted to give Headland some benefit of the doubt and assumed she's smarter than that and that it cannot be THAT obvious. Only there is no twist, no trap door, what you see is what you get... so Smilo Ren is none other than Not Ezra Miller, aka Qimir, but Not Ezra Miller is a much better name. Played by Manny Jacinto. So the bad villain is a random nobody and not even associated with the lesbian space witches. Apparently. Anyway, Mae gets involved and Smilo is very disappointed in her. He force pulls her and threatens to kill her (yes, yes PLEAAAASE).

The Jedi are too dumb for their own good

But just then Yord and Osha return... just in time for Smilo to easily overpower Yord and to snap his neck. This was probably the best scene in the episode. Good riddance. While Charlie Barnett was ok his character was the epitome of stupid, dumb and presumptious. So now all the Jedi but Sol are dead. Who will explain that to the High Council I wonder...

More schizophrenic things about to happen in 3... 2... 1...

Sol gets really angry now and manages to overpower Not Ezra Miller. He is about to strike when Osha protests... Not Ezra Miller makes fun of the Jedi rules (for once he is right), because the show would be over now and here if Sol just killed Smilo, he has more than enough reason. You see, Not Ezra Miller even tells Sol he is a Sith. So that should finally shut up all the people who deluded themselves into thinking The Acolyte would not have actual Sith... to not violate major movie canon. But who cares about that. So to recap. Sol knows Smilo is a Sith. Smilo also waxes poetic about just wanting his freedom (boohoohoo) and that he wants his version of a padawan like any good Jedi. An acolyte. And it's evident what this show is implying... the Jedi are the overbearing Force nannies that keep other folks from using the Force as they see fit. Which is of course something you can only write if you know nothing about a) Jedi and b) Star Wars and are c) a moron. Jedi do not care one bit about other people using the Force. They ONLY care when someone does verifiably evil acts, like using the dark side and killing people. Ahsoka was not forbidden from using the force and even using lightsabers when she left the order. Dooku was also never hunted down for leaving the order. The Jedi did not care about the Nightwitches... in short: the Jedi are not the Force super nannies that tell everyone else how to use it. But this is what this show is apparently going for.

Now they are using lightsabers to cut your hair... okay

Anyway, Osha comes up with the super genius plan of attaching Pip's head to Not Ezra Miller's back, Pip's head also doubles as a flashlight and previously we learned that the space moths are attracted to light. So they see the light, and promptly carry Smilo Ren away, think evil flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz .... Yes, this really happens. Okay! The most genius plan ever... allow the super evil Sith who just murdered seven Jedi to escape instead of apprehending him so the High Council can deal with him. Sol had him, Smilo was defeated... before Osha attracted the space moths who promptly carry him away. WHO WRITES THIS?????? Are all the writers of the show just morons?

Sleep, sweet princess!

Osha had stunned Mae with a blaster shot before the encounter with Not Ezra Miller... but just now Mae wakes up again and promptly uses her blaster on Sol and stuns him. Whatever... Osha goes after her and we see a tearful (or not) reunion between the two. Shutting down all stupid theories about Osha and Mae being just one person for good. This is not Fight Club. Mae wants to reconcile again now. Why she didn't surrender to Jecki before then will forever be Mae's secret. Whatever. Osha won't have none of that though and is still angry with Mae who started the fire and (from her point of view) killed the lesbian space witches. Mae merely says that Osha has been brainwashed by the Jedi. What she does NOT say is that she did NOT kill the witches, She doesn't even try to explain things, tell her side of the story or tries to reason with Osha. Instead she comes up with the most genius plan ever. She stuns Osha, cuts off her own long strands of hair (we finally know why they have basically the same hairstyle... the writing here is so lazy), puts on Osha's clothes and will now pretend to be Osha and rejoins Sol. Yes, we are really going there. I guess we will go through all the twin movie clichés in this show.

Sol does not care about his fallen friends, comrades or even his dead padawan and makes no effort to bury them or otherwise make sure they are not just lying in the forest as space wolf fodder. He doesn't even really mourn Jecki, his pupil, basically still a kid. And the one good bit of dialogue in this show even points it out when Sol is angry that Smilo killed but a child... and Smilo quips that Sol brought her here in the first place. Sol leaves their dead bodies were they are and returns with Fake Osha who will henceforth be dubbed Fosha to his ship. But oh... the space squirrel thingy tracks down Smilo Ren... oh.... wait... he's not following the evil monster at all, he just picks up Pip's head that lies on the forest floor and lets Smilo go his way. Yes, that is MUCH more important than tracking the bad guy who just murdered seven Jedi. Good space squirrel! He returns to the ship as well but he smells something is wrong... (Pip may also find out Fosha is Mae). Meanwhile Not Ezra Miller finds an unconscious Osha, talks some nonsense and then gently covers her with a cloak or so, so she won't freeze to death in a tropical forest. And the episode is over... thank you!

Okay, so this was probably the least terrible episode yet. But only because about half of it was just fighting, and the fighting was competent enough. I did like the lightsaber choreography. the brutal fight between Sol and Smilo and how Sol, after losing his lightsaber, goes all Kung Fu on him. That was well done, in my opinion. I also applaud the courage to kill everyone but Sol. I would have guessed before that at least Jecki will survive. But it seems Sol needs proper motivation and what better way to motivate a male character than to kill off a woman close to him... right? RIGHT? If a man had written this he would be accused of fridging Jecki, a term made famous by comic books were someone's wife was killed and stuffed in a fridge to properly motivate the hero. People hate this trope with a passion. But since a woman is behind it all it's probably ok. Anyway, goodbye Dafne Keen! May your career not be damaged by any of this! Also, the folks who were about to write steamy OshaxJecki fanfic need a new subject now.

But even though half of the episode was just fight scenes they still put so many dumb things in here.... Mae's character arc continues to make literally zero sense. So she's evil for 16 years and tried to kill her sister. Then she wanted nothing to do with that anymore, wanted to surrender herself to the Jedi, because now that she knows Osha lives all is different... but when Jecki wants to arrest her Mae does not say "I surrender", no she fights Jecki and tries to kill her. And later, when Mae and Osha have their proper reunion, she goes from "let's be space witch twins together" to knocking Osha out, assuming her identity, so she can probably kill Sol for the terrible crime he committed. And yes, it is hinted at several times in this episode how Sol and the other Jedi did something terrible all those years ago. I think the second flashback episode will be glorious. I think Leslye Headland may need to ignore social media for the next five years if she wants to have at least some happy thoughts.

I do not know if the writers tried to be funny in this episode, but some of the dialogue is once again pure cringe. I hate to say it. We get gems like:

Sol: Why risk discovery?
Smilo: Well, I did wear a mask!


This is the level of writing we get here.

What else... I believe The Acolyte is creeping into "so bad it's good again" territory with this episode. Things were so hilarious this week that it's almost worth watching. If you consider this a parody or satire. When Jecki went all space cop on Mae I laughed involuntarily. This is just pure cringe.  If you want to take Star Wars seriously stay away from this though. If you want character arcs that make sense stay away from this as well. If you want good acting and good dialogue stay away at all costs. The only good performances here are by Sol and Smilo Ren, everyone else is different degrees of painful. Sadly, Amandla Stenberg is still by far the worst actor in this. She is either flat and boring... or overemotes. Also, what on earth were the 180 million spent on? The soundstage forest looked so fake. They should have filmed on location maybe. Because the studio environment is not it. Not when you have 180 million to burn yet somehow this is still not enough money for CGI Yoda, the Wookiee death scene or on location shooting.

So what can we say? The fact Headland went for the super extreme obvious choice for Smilo Ren is super disappointing. I had SO wanted to hear space witch #1 say "I am your mother, Osha!". We were robbed of pure camp. We still get lots of camp, make no mistake, but this would have been a crowning achievement. So we get the boring choice literally everyone predicted the second Not Ezra Miller was introduced. It's never good when people see your big twist coming from lightyears away. Is this really the best and smartest thing Headland could come up with? Apparently yes. A random nobody who is not even a space witch. Yet knows all about how they died... maybe he was their cook? Butler? Underage sex toy? How else would he know? I do assume here that Mae didn't see the carnage either, if she did she did of course tell Smilo about it all. Or did Koril have an affair on the side and is not a lesbian but bisexual and ... PLOT TWIST... Smilo and Mae/Osha are half siblings? Let's hope we get at least an "I am your brother, Osha" scene... I also bet Headland thinks it's super deep she gave episodes 4 and 5 the titles "day" and "night. Only it makes little sense, other than that it's literally daytime in episode 4 and nighttime in episode 5.

Anyway, only three more episodes to go, so the pain will soon be over. Sol still has to tell Fosha his sob story of how they never really wanted to kill all the lesbian space witches but how it happened anyway. Then Fosha will probably murder Sol. And back on Coruscant no one will ever investigate why all of a sudden a Jedi Master, several knights and a padawan are suddenly gone. Because the Jedi are just stupid. Unless Sol is the sole (haha) Jedi with two brain cells and his Jedi senses will tell him that Fosha is Mae, also we have Chekhov's arm tattoo that Sol commented on when Osha wore a sleeveless top a few episodes ago. Mae won't have this tattoo. So if this show will not turn Sol into a complete moron he may find out he's actually with Mae now and will try to arrest her (but of course she still kills him). I do not care if Osha and Mae reconcile after all or if Fosha says she wants to rejoin the order (after killing Osha), so she can undermine them from the inside or if Mae is the mother of Darth Plagueis or Palpatine's future nanny or later in life had a sex (and race) change op and proclaimed that she is henceforth to be known as Sheev Palpatine (going full circle with Rey Skywalker). Just make it stop, please!

I would recommend you watch some old Muppet Show clips on YouTube instead. The compilation of all Bunsen Honeydew skits with Beaker is super fun and also better written than The Acolyte. If you love watching dashcam footage of car crashes on YouTube then you can give this episode a try. 2 Holocrons. Because it was involuntarily funny this week. And because the actual fight choreography was good and if you just watch the fight scenes and skip all dialogue it's actually pretty good! And Smilo hurling his lightsaber through the forest video game style (well, Vader did it first of course) in this episode was also fun. Too bad the episode also had dialogue. And acting. And was greenlit and made. Until next week then! I wonder what the title may be... "Noon" perhaps?

Added: June 26, 2024
Category: The Acolyte
Reviewer: Thomas
Score:
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