‘The Acolyte’ Episode 7 Recap

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Editor’s note: The below recap contains spoilers for the Acolyte Episode 7.


The Big Picture

  • The Acolyte
    ‘s penultimate episode finally reveals what happened on Brendok.
  • Episode 7 sets the stage for the finale next week, laying the groundwork for how Osha and Mae might react to the truth.
  • The episode, entitled “Choice,” introduces quite a few new concepts into the Star Wars mythos.


With its penultimate episode, The Acolyte has finally revealed what really happened on Brendok, and spoiler alert: it wasn’t entirely Mae’s fault (Amandla Stenberg) like the Jedi led us to believe. “Choice,” penned by Charmaine DeGraté, Jen Richards, and Jasmyne Flournoy, and directed by Kogonada, takes audiences back to Brendok sixteen years ago. While it does retread some of the moments witnessed in Episode 3, “Choice” presents the events from the Jedi’s point of view, which paints them out to be the true villains of the series. Mae’s quest for vengeance seems rightfully earned and Osha’s potential to fall to “the dark side,” should she learn the truth, is entirely justified.

The High Republic era of storytelling has really been defined by the overreach of the Jedi throughout the galaxy, and here we see it on display in live-action. Episode 7 opens rather quietly with Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae), Master Indara (Carrie-Anne Moss) and her Padawan Torbin (Dean-Charles Chapman), and Kelnacca (Joonas Suotamo) taking readings and samples from the flora and fauna of Brendok as they conduct field research for the Jedi Order.


Later that evening, as they gather around the campfire to eat Nuna legs (much to Torbin’s dismay), Indara speaks about the reasoning behind their weeks-long mission on Brendok. Nearly 100 years ago, after the “Great Hyperspace Disaster,” Brendok was reportedly left lifeless. Now, however, the planet seems to be thriving again, and it seems as though there’s even evidence of sentient life. Torbin seems unenthused about the mission, particularly because his only focus is getting back home to Coruscant. It seems as though Torbin has been left in the dark about their exact reasoning for being on Brendok, and Sol explains that they’re looking for a vergence, essentially a high concentration of the Force, which could’ve created life on the planet. A discovery like this would be huge for the Jedi, which is why their mission is so vital.



Sol Has a Padawan Problem in ‘The Acolyte’ Episode 7

The Jedi continue their field research the following morning, and Indara and Sol discuss the fact that Torbin is too distracted to truly appreciate what they’re attempting to do on Brendok. During this conversation, Indara makes a glib comment about Sol’s reaction to Torbin’s attitude about their mission, noting that this is why he doesn’t have a Padawan of his own. This seemingly throwaway comment essentially becomes the driving force behind why Brendok turns into a tragedy. Sol is so blinded by his desire to have a Padawan of his own that he is willing to defy the Jedi Order to steal one for himself.


Shortly after this exchange, Sol and the rest of the team split up, and this is where he first finds eight-year-old Osha (LaurenBrady) and Mae (LeahBrady) playing with butterflies in the forest. Sol attempts to make contact with Indara to let her know that they aren’t alone on Brendok, but his message doesn’t seem to go through, so he follows the girls and their mother Koril (MargaritaLevieva) back to the coven’s fortified homebase. When he can’t get in through official means (see: the front door), Sol decides to scale the building—and a mountain—to get inside so he can continue spying on the girls. While we are all aware of the fact that the Jedi are snatching up babies around the galaxy, the lengths that Sol goes to just to observe the twins is alarming, to say the least. When he does reunite with the rest of the Jedi, Sol is convinced that the girls are in danger and that they need to intercede before the “Ascension” he overheard them talking about.


For the majority of the episode, Indara seems to be the most level-headed and sensible of the four Jedi on Brendok. When Sol brings all of this to her attention, she suggests that she make contact with the witches on her own. There are roughly fifty women and two children: if something goes wrong, she could theoretically handle it on her own. But Sol isn’t having it. He is convinced that they should go in as a team, which is a suggestion that is fueled purely by self-interest. They deduce that the coven is occupying an old mining site, which presents them with the opportunity to break into the building via an old elevator shaft. And while the Jedi have been doing a lot of breaking and entering this episode, the coven is ready for them when they show up to crash the Ascension, just as we saw in Episode 3.


With the focus shifted to the Jedi in “Choice,” The Acolyte finally reveals what Torbin saw when Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) crawled into his mind, essentially isolating him inside his own head and speaking to his fears and desires. She offers to help him escape from the planet, and the Jedi, and return home to Coruscant. The scene feels very scary, especially with how Kogonada directs the moment, but it’s not something wholly sinister. After all, the Jedi are known for playing “mind tricks,” which is really just manipulation. Here, Mother Aniseya seems to be trying to make a point and lead Torbin to his own conclusions. Between this and the ensuing violence, it is no wonder that Torbin took the Barash Vow.

Back on the Jedi’s ship, we see the tail end of a tense moment between Master and Padawan, with Sol arriving to speak with Indara about the connection he feels towards Osha. Indara is quick to dissuade Sol of the notion that she might become a Jedi because she’s too old, but Sol is convinced that she’s destined to become his Padawan. There’s something so unsettling about Sol’s motivations throughout the episode, but at least Indara seems to be picking up on this quickly forming attachment. Sol continues to paint the coven out to be a threat to the twins’ safety, this time by focusing on the ceremonial marking that Mae acquired during the Ascension. Once again, Indara shoots down his spiraling thoughts by reminding him that ceremonial markings are widespread throughout the galaxy. There’s nothing inherently malevolent about them. As their conversation draws to a close, Indara delivers a killer line: “Don’t confuse what Osha wants with what you want.”


What Exactly Are the Twins in ‘The Acolyte’?

The following morning, Mother Koril brings the twins to the Jedi for their agreed-upon tests. This time, we get to see Mae’s failed testing, as well as Sol’s realization that the twins have clearly been instructed to fail on purpose. He asks to try something different with Osha, which is what played out in Episode 3, with him tricking her into revealing that she was told to fail. After Osha passes the test with flying colors, Sol does his best to really hype up the Jedi and drive home why Osha should break with the coven and go with them back to Coruscant.


Once Osha is gone, Indara calls Sol out for trying to coach Osha into leaving her family, but her words of reason go unheard. She also insists that they should wait for the Jedi Council’s response to receiving the girls’ test results and bloodwork before they make any hasty decisions, but Sol is getting antsy. The Council has already said no to sanctioning them to bring the twins back to Coruscant, and they have been instructed not to try to take them away from the coven. Indara notes that—in stark contrast to what they’ve been doing on Brendok—the Jedi Order thinks they have already done too much to interfere with the coven. Indara, once again, delivers a fatal blow in the form of words: “Do not change this girl’s destiny because you have formed an emotional attachment.”

Torbin arrives shortly thereafter with the twins’ blood work, which reveals that they have ridiculously high M-counts, and they’re not actually twins. They’re more than twins: they are the same person split into two. The episode doesn’t take a lot of time to unpack what this might mean to the larger Star Wars universe, but it is such an exciting addition that it’s bound to have wider-reaching implications. Torbin hastily takes this revelation as proof of the vergence, and the only thing standing between him and a one-way ticket back home to Coruscant. Without giving anyone time to process what the twins’ blood work could really mean, Torbin takes off to conclude their fieldwork on his own. It’s exactly the kind of hasty, poor thinking one might expect from a Padawan, but Sol takes off after Torbin too, and it’s clear he’s not trying to stop him.


Mae-Ho Aniseya Is Innocent in ‘The Acolyte’ Episode 7

Back among the coven, Mother Koril instructs Mae to “get mad” in an effort to stop the Jedi, which seems to imply that their connection to the Thread is made strong by emotions. Where Mother Aniseya seems like the level-headed of the two, Koril is raring for a fight, and the twins seem to have inherited both of their temperaments there. The two spar briefly to test Mae’s readiness for the arrival of the Jedi, because Mother Koril is convinced that they will return, and when they do—they plan to attack.


Episode 7 finally exonerates Mae of the murder of her family, but it does reveal that she is entirely at fault for the fire that destroyed their home. Embracing her anger, as we saw glimpses of in Episode 3 from Osha’s perspective, fueled a hasty decision to snatch up a wall lantern to burn Osha’s book, which led to an entirely unintended electrical fire that eventually blew up the old mining site. Mae is pretty immediately horrified by her mistake, but once the fire starts to spread (and the Jedi arrive), there’s no turning back.

When Torbin and Sol arrive, they discover that the doors have been locked, and they immediately jump to the worst conclusion: the witches have locked the girls inside! This is, of course, not the case. The coven has the doors locked to keep the Jedi out. Torbin and Sol once again do a B&E, and they confront Mother Aniseya and Mother Koril. Mother Aniseya is quick to call the Jedi out on their so-called “noble intentions,” and warns that they will only lead the Jedi to ruin. In an attempt to protect their coven, Mother Aniseya taps into her abilities and begins to transform into a mass of black smoke, but before she can do anything, Sol draws his lightsaber and stabs the smoke, which in turn, impales Mother Aniseya. Mae witnesses the entire tragedy, and she runs to her dying mother, who tells Sol: “I was going to let Osha go. It’s what she wants. She chose you.” Despite becoming a cold-blooded killer, Sol does seem (momentarily) horrified by his own actions, but those emotions aren’t enough to prevent what comes next.


Master Sol Is Definitely NOT a Good Guy on ‘The Acolyte’

Lee Jung-jae and Dean-Charles Chapman stand among the flames in The Acolyte
Image via Disney+

With Mother Aniseya gone, things descend into chaos. Mother Koril instructs Mae to run as the coven begins their counterattack on Sol and Torbin. Torbin deflects aerial attacks, while Koril and Sol embark on some epic hand-to-hand combat, since Sol won’t ignite his lightsaber again. Koril becomes incensed that Sol won’t fight her (a trait we’ve seen in Mae time and time again) so she decides to tap into the Thread to fight dirty. Sol and Torbin are taken entirely by surprise when their ally, Kelnacca, leaps into the fight against them. Koril has possessed a living being, which is insanely cool, but also terrifying. This lightsaber duel nearly rivals what was delivered in Episode 5, and entirely outshines the combat in the first pair of episodes. Torbin very nearly meets his end during this fight, and he walks away with a permanent reminder of just how badly the Jedi failed on Brendok.


Indara arrives to save the day, taking Kelnacca out and freeing him from Koril’s control. Unfortunately, whatever Indara does severs not only Koril’s connection to the Wookiee but the entire coven’s shared connection—killing them all. It’s a pretty grisly sight, but there’s nothing Indara can do about it except instruct Sol to find the twins and save them as the building is starting to succumb to the flames. This is where The Acolyte makes it clear that everyone’s new favorite Jedi Master is not the good guy. When he comes upon Mae and Osha standing on opposite sides of a broken bridge that’s getting ready to fall, he attempts to save both of them, before deciding that he only wants to save Osha. Surely, now that we know that Mae and Osha are essentially one and the same, this will have some sort of repercussion for Sol.


As the episode comes to an end, we get to see what happened on the Jedi vessel before Osha woke up in their care. Indara is rightfully angry with Torbin and Sol for jeopardizing their mission and causing the tragedy on Brendok, but she’s not angry enough to see them face any consequences for their actions. Sol is willing to face the judgment of the Jedi Order for defying orders and crossing lines, but Indara decides that it’s ultimately better for everyone if they sell the lie that Mae set a fire that killed everyone. She makes the value judgment that telling the truth would only ruin Osha’s life more than they have already ruined it by killing her entire family. Stealing children is one thing, but using a child as the scapegoat for your crimes is a pretty low blow, even for the Jedi. It’s almost as though Vernestra (Rebecca Henderson) framing Sol for the murders on Khofar is a bit of sweet karma.

With one episode left in Season 1, The Acolyte has a lot of ground to cover with its finale next week. While there are plenty of questions remaining, Episode 7 does an excellent job of tying up the loose ends left on Brendok and setting the stage for Osha and Mae to learn the truth about what happened to their family and, perhaps, the truth about themselves.


The Acolyte 2024 New Disney Plus Poster

The Acolyte

The truth is finally revealed about what really happened on Brendok in The Acolyte Episode 7.

Pros

  • Kogonada once again delivers his own unique vision to the Star Wars universe.
  • The events on Brendok are tied up very satisfactorily.
  • The Acolyte is unafraid to paint the Jedi out to be the bad guys.
Cons

  • As with most of the season, The Acolyte could do with longer episode runtimes.

The Acolyte is streaming now on Disney+, with new episodes releasing weekly each Tuesday.

WATCH ON DISNEY+

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