In “Day,” ‘The Acolyte’ Makes Some Baffling Choices

Despite a cliffhanger ending, the characters make some head scratching decisions.

So, after last week’s episode of The Acolyte, where we learned at least part of the backstory of Mae and Osha, I was sure we’d get the rebuttal. That is to say, we’d get Act 2 of Rashomon and see the events from Mae’s point of view, and see how (in her opinion) the Jedi poisoned her sister with their treachery, destroyed her coven, and then let Osha fall to her death.

So it was a bit disappointing that we didn’t get that this week. Instead, both Mae and a team of Jedi led by Sol are racing to get to Kelnacca and either warn him or kill him. And, as chases go, it was okay. Structurally, the episode reminded me of Ahsoka, specifically when they crash on the planet with witchy Stonehenge. There was an episode-long chase that really could have been done in ten minutes, and it ended with a cliffhanger.

The most interesting things this week happened at the start and at the end. Sol reports his findings to Jedi Master Vernestra: that Mae is still alive, and that she has obviously had training in the Force, but from who? It wasn’t a Jedi. Sol insists on telling the Jedi High Council, but Vernestra puts the brakes on that. If they tell the High Council about this, the Council will tell the Senate, and they’ll start poking around the affairs of the Jedi and asking questions. And we can’t have that, can we? Better that a team goes to warn Kelnacca, since he’s not responding to their warnings.

I’m frankly more intrigued by why Vernestra doesn’t want the Jedi Council or the Senate poking around. What exactly are they covering up? Is it still related to the massacre of the coven? Is that just the tip of the iceberg?

Vernestra tells Sol that he’s not going — his personal history with Mae makes him too emotional to deal with this rationally. (Which, honestly, is a good point. If Mae is trying to kill four Jedi and Sol is one of them, better to not Instacart him right to her.) But, Sol prevails. He knows what Mae wants. He saw how she softened when she found out Osha was still alive. If he leads a team with Osha, there’s a chance Mae will surrender without further bloodshed.

Osha, meanwhile, is quite happy to let the Jedi handle it. She found out her sister is still alive, and also a murderer, on the same day. She doesn’t trust her reactions, to the point where she tells himbo Jedi Yord to “take the shot” if she falters again.

Meanwhile, Qimir is leading Mae to Kelnacca’s location while they discuss the mysterious Master they both serve. They’ve never seen his face, yet they know enough to be afraid of him. Mae still has to kill a Jedi without using a weapon, as per his order. It’s her Final Lesson.

The Jedi have no luck finding the Wookiee in the town he was stationed in. The locals said he up and walked into the dark, scary woods about a year ago, and no one has heard from him since. Fortunately, the Jedi brought the MVP of the episode: Bazil the Tracker.

(Is this what the kids are talking about with their “rodent boyfriend summer”? I am hip to the youths of today. This is why I recap Star Wars shows.) Bazil sniffs one of the Wookiee’s rags and darts off into the forest with the Jedi trailing behind.

Across the forest, Mae makes Qimir take a break before she makes the final push to Kelnacca’s lair. As Qirim is out looking for water, he hears Mae scream in terror. He races back, only to get caught in a trap and ends up hanging upside-down by his ankle.

You see, Mae has had a change of heart. Osha being alive changes everything. Mae doesn’t need to kill a Jedi without a weapon anymore. She’s going to surrender to Kelnacca and turn herself in. She doesn’t need The Master anymore.

Which… what? Literally five minutes ago, you were talking about how scary The Master was and how you couldn’t leave. Is this a thing for Mae? Last week she decided (seemingly on a whim) to burn down the coven rather than let Osha leave.

As she enters Kelnacca’s clearing, she practically trips over Bazil. The Jedi are close. She goes inside to surrender herself, only to find…

…that Kelnacca is dead, a lightsaber wound gashed across his chest.

Mae immediately knows that “he was here.” The Master has come to check up on her. She turns to leave, but that is just when the Jedi enter the clearing. They’re about to enter the house, when Sol senses a presence. He turns and sees a dark-robed figure descend behind Osha. Osha turns and sees The Master approach, staring her down. His helmet makes him look a lot like the Mouth of Sauron.

Who wore it better?

As he gets to Osha, he ignites his red lightsaber. Sol tells her to run, the Jedi all draw their sabers and charge. With a flick of his finger, the Master force-pushes Osha out of the way. He then sends all the Jedi flying back with a force push and a cloud of dust.

And, frustratingly, that’s where the episode ends.

I read the internet, so I know that there are plenty of trolls all angry about a new Star Wars show, review bombing it on Rotten Tomatoes because a Black woman has a lightsaber. And I have ignored them and enjoyed the first three episodes. But this one was a dud. The race to Kelnacca didn’t pan out and should’ve been the first act of the episode. Will the fight scene with the Master be entertaining? Probably, but it would’ve been nice to have a small inkling of why he’s so frightening to Qimir and Mae. Perhaps show him fighting Kelnacca?

So, while it’s good to meet The Master, the pacing this week was off, as were the character motivations. Mae is suddenly going to surrender to the Jedi because Osha is alive? Osha was going to pass on a chance to save her sister? The Master knew Mae would falter and just suddenly came out of hiding after taking so many precautions to stay hidden? Too many baffling script choices to keep the tension going.

And also, you had a Wookiee Jedi, and he had a whopping three minutes of screen time over three episodes? Come on! You had a Wookiee Jedi and Trinity as a Jedi and you barely use them?

Will they course correct next week? I certainly hope so. There was so much intrigue and potential after last week’s flashback, and none of that paid off. Hopefully, we’ll get back on track, because this was my least favorite episode so far.

Rating: 2 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

Latest articles

Related articles

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

So, after last week's episode of The Acolyte, where we learned at least part of the backstory of Mae and Osha, I was sure we'd get the rebuttal. That is to say, we'd get Act 2 of Rashomon and see the events from Mae's...In "Day," 'The Acolyte' Makes Some Baffling Choices