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'The Acolyte' Episode 5: Revenge of the Grillz

By Mike Redmond | TV | June 26, 2024 |

By Mike Redmond | TV | June 26, 2024 |


If you click on these The Acolyte recaps with the intention of skimming a few paragraphs and dipping to avoid spoilers, go ahead and dip now because we are going to hit the ground running. It’s spoilers from the jump. You’ve been warned!

In my recap for the season premiere, you may recall that I made the following declaration:

If The Acolyte makes the bold and incredible decision to turn freaking Jason Mendoza into a Sith lord, I will have no choice but to declare it the greatest show in television history.

I’m not a fan of hyperbole whether positive or negative, but a Redmond always pays his debt. Folks, welcome to the greatest show in television history.

In an absolutely butt-wild episode that made good on Leslye Headland’s promise to make sure The Acolyte’s lightsaber game is on par with The Phantom Menace, Manny Jacinto’s Qimir is revealed as Mae’s badass Sith master. Darth Grillz if you nasty. (I did not coin that name, by the way, but it gets my vote over Darth Teeth, which I also enjoyed. Thank you, Twitter.) And, yes, our boy is a Sith. He comes right out and says it, which will make the sad nerds who pissed their pants over Ki-Adi-Mundi’s birthday cry even harder. Even before this latest episode, they’ve been extremely hung up on him saying the Sith have been extinct for a millennium in The Phantom Menace and applying strict canon rules that George Lucas famously gave zero f*cks about. Not to mention, George’s hand-picked and highly devout protege, Dave Filoni, signs off on every episode of this show. The guy who everyone wants to take over Kathleen Kennedy’s job is at the wheel, and if he doesn’t have a problem, neither should the micro-dongs of YouTube.

Anyway, let’s put a sock in this conehead business: Even if Sol (Lee Jung-jae) makes it back to the Jedi Council — which is a huge if right now — and walks directly up to Ki-Adi-Mundi’s stupid tall face and says, “Hey, dome-nubbin, the Sith are back,” that changes nothing.

Leslye Headland has already said that The Acolyte will explore how the Jedi went from the height of their power to becoming impotent monks who get steamrolled by Darth Sidious working right under their noses. Part of that process is already playing out with Vernestra Rwoh (Rebecca Henderson) who is demonstrating a propensity for cover-ups and hiding information to protect the Jedi Order’s reputation. She’s all about presenting the Jedi as infallible, and their hubris is on display. Plus, we’re starting to get glimpses of outright corruption. All of which could explain Ki-Adi-Mundi downplaying a Sith threat in The Phantom Menace even if he does find out about Darth Grillz. Not for nothing, the guy also doubted Count Dooku was a Sith in Attack of the Clones. So, either Ki-Adi-Mundi is extremely devoted to never admitting the Sith are around, or he’s a moron. Take your pick.

Now, on to the big question: What the hell did Sol do?!


Let’s actually recap for a hot second: Before revealing himself as Mae’s master, Qimir tears through all of the Jedi with badass ease, and boy, does he love using his helmet to block lightsabers. In fairness, it’s a sick move, and I would do it every single chance I get. Think of it as the Molotov cocktail of Jedi fighting.

When I say Qimir tore through the Jedi, I’m not kidding around and neither he is. Jecki Lon (Dafne Keen) is shockingly mowed down. Sweet himbo Yord (Charlie Barnett) gets his neck snapped. Literally everyone is dead except for Osha, Mae, and a very pissed Sol. We see a brutality in him that’s as kickass as it is concerning. That juxtaposition is highlighted by Qimir, who repeatedly taunts Sol with cryptic phrases. Two in particular stand out:

1. Before Qimir reveals his identity, Sol asks what kind of master hides his face from his pupil. Qimir’s response: “You tell me.” Just before this, Qimir also asked Sol if he remembers him, which is no doubt related.

2. After Jecki and Yord are murdered, Qimir taunts Sol by saying he’s learned how to control his darkness. He then asks the Jedi master, “What have you done with yours?”

The Acolyte has been beautifully stacking mysteries, and this episode pulled off an excellent change-out by solving the question of Mae’s master and replacing it with Sol’s secret. Last week, he told Osha he would “explain everything,” and it sure sounds like our boy did some shit. Or is still doing some shit.

Mike Drops:

— Clearly, we have to address the key takeaway from this episode: Manny Jacinto’s arms. Jesus mother of God. Easily the most sexual thing ever shown in this entire franchise, and that’s including Andor taking a space shower after space sex. Horndogs ate well this week.

— The second most important topic: Is Sol’s Qimir’s master? The Sith operate by The Rule of Two, which means someone trained Qimir and that person may not have been usurped yet. In fact, finding an acolyte (Like the name of the show!) may very well be a significant part of that process as there always needs to be a master and an apprentice.

— Osha dropped a line about how her mother, Aniseya, could get in people’s heads similar to how Qimir was clouding the Jedi’s thoughts while fighting them. At first, this seemed like one final headfake to make everyone second guess Qimir being Mae’s master, but there could be a larger implication here. Just something that caught my attention.

— Yes, I’ve seen the theories about Qimir’s true identity. No comment.

— If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of this show. The action this week was goddamn top notch. That said, not loving the Parent Trap maneuver. Maybe because I’ve been watching Fringe with my kids and we’re in the thick of the Fauxlivia business, but also, we’re dealing with laser sword wizards who can sense people’s energies. Not my favorite shenanigans, but it looks like Bazil and Pip are about to blow up Mae’s spot real quick.

— Condolences to all the Jecki Lon fans out there. This show did you dirty. There’s no other way to put it, but your girl gave as good as she got. Every single second of this episode wiped the floor with Ahsoka. Hang those heads high.