In “Teach/Corrupt,” The Acolyte Builds to a Revelation…

But will the payoff be worth the wait?

One thing I’ve noticed about the recent Star Wars shows on Disney+ has been the wonkiness of the pacing. It was a problem in The Mandalorian Season 3, it was a major problem in Ahsoka, and it’s rearing its head now in The Acolyte. 

Since Episode 3, “Destiny,” when we saw Mae starting the fire that destroyed her coven of space witches, they’ve hinted at the flip side of this story. Jedi were drinking poison rather than talking about it. Kelnacca and Indara both took postings on remote planets to isolate themselves. Qimir all but accused Sol of perfidy by asking what darkness he was hiding. Mae accused Osha of letting the Jedi brainwash the truth out of her. It’s been a constant drip drip drip of hints.

Well, finally, FINALLY, they are going to reveal all! Totally!

Just next week.


The problem here is that when you build up something like this, you really have to deliver the goods. If you’ve spent 6 episodes out of 8 hinting that the Jedi did something terrible, it’d better be on a level of “Anakin slaughtering younglings” terrible. Otherwise, it just feels like a cheat.

So while there was a lot of interesting stuff going on this week, it felt like a lot of filler until we get to those revelations next week. Hopefully.

At the end of last week, Mae engineered a switcheroo, chopping off her braids with a lightsaber to get onto Sol’s ship and leaving an unconscious Osha with the Master. Sol didn’t notice, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt by thinking that he’s too consumed with grief over the loss of his Padawan and his entire team. He even full-on hugs Mae and doesn’t realize it’s a different person.

Qimir, however, knows that it’s Osha, and spirits her off to his secret hideout planet. The planet is technically “unknown,” but it looks a lot like the kind of place that a hermit Luke Skywalker would pick to hide out. (There’s even a cute little aquatic waterfowl that looks a lot like a puffin with a prehensile beak/trunk)

Hello, Build-A-Bear Workshop?

Qimir attempts to entice Mae to the Dark Side (and also, straight up entice her with some skinny dipping).  And Qimir isn’t doing a hard Darth Vader/Palpatine pitch; he’s pretty chill about everything. He tells her she can leave — just swim over to his ship. He lets her handle his lightsaber. (No, not like that. Get your minds out of the gutter.) He just wants to practice the Force and have a pupil. (“The power of two,” he says.) The subconscious emotions of fear and anger are more powerful, and the Jedi are afraid of them.

Osha protests that that leads to the Dark Side. Qimir wonders if that is why the Jedi “threw her away.” This is what finally provokes Osha, who ignited his lightsaber and swings it at his head. She finally admits that she didn’t leave the Jedi Order of her own volition — she failed. It seems that Osha also has a great deal of anger inside her; she just carries it better than her sister. Qimir admits he made a “mistake” when he thought Mae was after more than just revenge. It seems that he may have found a better candidate after all. He’s happy to patch up his Mouth of Sauron helmet while she thinks about it. The helmet, by the way, is made of cortosis, a nifty material that is resistant to lightsaber strikes and is also blocks out the senses, like the Jedi training helmets that make you rely on the Force.

Back on the ship, Mae is still subject to her conflicting motivations. She’s about to stab Sol on bridge, but he obliviously storms past her to go reset the communications relays. (The ship is conveniently suffering from power and comms disruptions. Because we have to pause for dramatic reasons, that’s why.) She does a hard reset on Pip before she can rat him out, but Bazil isn’t so easily fooled. And thank goodness. Sol stuns her, and then takes off before the Jedi rescue party can show up.

Why is Sol so eager to avoid the Jedi? Well, with Mae subdued, Sol is going to tell her everything. At the same time, Osha puts on Qimir’s cortosis helmet (and that really sounds like a lost King Crimson album title). She is about to slip into the sensory deprivation state, and be guided by the force, when the credits roll.

So, this is a breather episode, between the hard-driving combat of last week and what promises to be the shocking revelations of next week. But, even taking that into consideration, there wasn’t a lot happening. Once again, Mae is fumbling with her motivations — do you want to kill Sol or not? Do you want your sister back or not? Make up your mind! If there is supposed to be some grand internal struggle, I’m not getting it. She just seems flip and indecisive.

I did think that the tact Qimir takes in his attempt to seduce Osha to the Dark Side was clever. If he had pulled a Vader move, Osha would’ve run away screaming, but now, she’s willing to reopen herself to the force. Sol is about to unburden his soul to Mae. Will this make Mae and Osha switch places? Possibly, but I’d like to think that Osha is stronger than that.

Hopefully next week, in the penultimate episode, we find out what this tragedy was really all about. But, as any Jedi knows, it can be hard to stick the landing.

Episode Rating: 3 out of 5

Victor Catano
Victor Catano
Victor Catano lives in New York City with his adorable pughuaua, Danerys. When not writing, he works in live theater as a stage manager, production manager, and chaos coordinator. His hobbies include coffee, Broadway musicals, and complaining about the NY Mets and Philadelphia Eagles. Follow him on BlueSky and Instagram at @vgcatano and find his books on Amazon

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One thing I've noticed about the recent Star Wars shows on Disney+ has been the wonkiness of the pacing. It was a problem in The Mandalorian Season 3, it was a major problem in Ahsoka, and it's rearing its head now in The Acolyte.  Since Episode...In "Teach/Corrupt," The Acolyte Builds to a Revelation...