The Expanse (S02E07) “The Seventh Man”


This week’s episode begins The Expanse’s next major story arc, in earnest. The focus shifts to Ganymede where Episode 6, “Paradigm Shift” ended, with Bobbie Draper lying on the Ganymede ground, and everyone wondering, what happened? And, who started it? Earth, Mars and the Belt all believe it is someone else who is responsible. Ganymede is the farm planet, responsible for feeding colonists, in particular. So, the destruction of the mirror is critical. Plus, this incident severely damaged facilities on the largest moon of Jupiter.

The reviewcap begins here:

Lovely red snowflakes float delicately around, settling on Bobbie Draper’s (Frankie Adams) faceplate. She’s floating in and out of consciousness. Martian Marines arrive and note that she’s critical and there is a leak in her suit (through which blood is escaping and forming blood flakes). They inject her and use a quick release to blow her armor off.

blood flake - The Expanse (S02E07) "The Seventh Man"

Avasarala (Shohreh Agdashloo), the UN Secretary General Sorrento and Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) discuss the action which needs to be taken in response to the attack on Ganymede. Avasarala recommends that they convene a peace counsel. Errinwright, always the hawk, wants to aggressively make a point, but Avasarala is opposed to this, because she knows that Earth has greater numbers. She convinces the Secretary General that they can get the Security Counsel to agree to this since they saved Earth from Eros. The Secretary General asks why Avasarala never ran for office. She replies “I like getting shit done.” That’s Avasarala to a tee.

On Tycho, refugee ships from Ganymede are arriving. Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman) and Drummer (Cara Gee) look on as they dock. Drummer finishes a call with Anderson Dawes (Jared Harris), who has come to Tycho. Anderson Dawes tells the Ganymede refugees that they are welcome on Ceres. Naomi (Dominique Tipper) and Holden (Steven Strait) discuss his motivation. Holden notes that Dawes “shook them down” but Naomi says that all that money got put back into the neighborhoods. It’s clear they see the Belter issue differently. Amos (Wes Chatham) is handing food out and a woman is grabbing more than one. Amos shoves her and her child cries. This has a significant impact on Amos.

Gunny is in a med bay on the Scirocco. Lt. Commissioner Thorsen (Cle Bennett) is trying to get her statement and tells her that she is the only survivor of the devastation. She mentally recreates the events and realizes there was a seventh runner. Told that Sutton died, as well, Gunny needs sedation because she becomes so upset she starts to bleed again.

Amos visits Cortazar (Carlos Gonzalez-Vio) to discuss the modification made to him. Cortazar explains that he did it voluntarily because it made him feel calm and quieted his internal storm. He suspects that Amos has guilt over his mother, although Amos clarifies that it’s really Lydia. Cortazar is fixated on the protomolecule’s potential, and he points out that Amos should stomp out the embers of the humanity that Cortazar feels Amos still has. He offers to help Amos.

Fred Johnson addresses the Belters. Fred is selling that they have a ticket to the table, and they need to send a representative to the peace talks. He suggests Anderson Dawes, who accepts. However, Anderson does not believe that they should concede anything to Earth. He discusses that Belters share, but Earthers “possess” and view Belters as animals. He doesn’t trust them. Johnson says that Earth is motivated to stomp out the threat, but Dawes is not convinced. Holden steps in to try to convince Dawes. He says he doesn’t believe that the people who did the Eros experiment were aligned with any group. Dawes has this amazing habit of looking like he agrees with his opponent, but pointing out their flaws while flaming the passions of the group he is addressing. It’s why he’s so powerful. He guts Holden by saying that he’s an idealist. Fred wants to return the nukes, using them gets the same results, therefore, the nukes are useless. Dawes asks Naomi if she thinks it’s over, and she says she hopes it is.

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Holden says that he thinks Dawes and Johnson don’t agree. Naomi points out that all the Belters saw were two Earthers telling the Belt what to do. Holden tells Naomi that everyone is telling him he needs to pick as side. Naomi again illustrates that she doesn’t think Holden can relate to what the Belters have gone through.

Thorsen is interviewing Bobbie and he takes a sense-enhancing pill and tells Bobbie the interview is being recorded. He asks her to tell what happened again. Gunny doesn’t understand why the UN only sent seven men which is way less than their full garrison. She remembers that she saw a drone. Thorsen says they’ll look into it. He repeats that she saw seven UN Marines. They were charging the Martian Marines. The comms went dead, and she saw fighting in orbit. She’s convinced that Earth wants war.

Dawes visits Holden and Naomi. He asks if they got ANYTHING which would help the Belters. Dawes says don’t get distracted by good or bad, because that is confusing. Dawes explains that everyone is motivated when they do stuff. Holden doesn’t trust Dawes so he kicks him off the ship. Dawes says that Holden reminds him of someone – he’s just missing the hat. (Ahhhhh, poor, dear, departed Miller). Dawes says Belters will never unify under Fred. And, because of the Nauvoo, his days on Tycho are numbered. Afterwards, Holden assures Naomi that they HAVE to be on the same side.

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Bobbie is trying to rehabilitate and she’s frustrated. She takes a walk and sees her suit. A chaplain, Capt. Martens (Peter Outerbridge) approaches her and tells her they can get her a new suit. She’s disrespectful, until she realizes who he is. He explains who he is and asks her what happened. She mentions the drone again, and he says they have no record of a drone and wonders why it’s so important to her. She says she can’t remember and he says they can help with that.

Dawes finally catches up with Drummer. He calls her Mali (little one), and she says he no longer gets to call her that. He tells her they should get a drink and discuss Fred Johnson’s secret weapon. He strongly suspects they have something, but he doesn’t know what it is.

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Bobbie takes one of the sense-enhancing, memory-enhancing pills. She remembers that there were six UNs running, with a seventh pulling up the rear. She remembers that the seventh man was firing on the UNs and that the seventh man wasn’t wearing a suit. Martens says that’s enough and to stop the interrogation.

Johnson says that Cortazar says he’s getting new data and there is more protomolecule out there. Holden says that it’ll start all over, but Johnson said it’ll never happen again.

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Dawes hunts Diogo (Andrew Rotilio) down and repeats what he’s heard of Diogo’s exploits. Dawes says it’s hard to believe that you can make a difference and Diogo is listening.

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Bobbie wakes up from the session, and releases the cast on her arm. While down checking out her uniform, he basically tells Bobbie what her testimony will be, but Bobbie disagrees with what he says she saw. Gunny is frustrated and she swears at Thorsen. She apologizes and Thorsen let’s her know that she’s going to Earth to testify, and that things are tense.

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Holden wakes up and slips out of the room to go check on Cortazar. BUT, he’s gone. Dawes and a crew including Diogo are seen walking Cortazar out. Holden tells Johnson that Cortazar is gone and all of his data too. They see a ship override the launch. Holden tells Alex (Cas Anvar) and Naomi to go after the ship that launched without authorization. The ship takes evasive maneuvers, and they fire to disable the ship. Alex is convinced they need to board because he’s worried they will kill Cortazar. But, it’s not him. It’s Diogo, who is very happy that he deceived them.

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Grade: A-

This episode is intriguing, but very subtle and it’s possible some viewers may miss clues being left as to what is happening on Ganymede. They also should wonder what Mars is doing with the information taken from Bobbie while she was enhanced. It should seem clear that she is not lying, but they don’t seem to want to pay attention. Or, are they? What does Dawes want with Cortazar? That was an interesting move to spirit Cortazar away. Where’s Amos? Amos is fascinated by Cortazar and his lack of emotion. It seems he’s conflicted over the possibility of getting rid of feelings of guilt. Amos doesn’t seem to trust his sense of people. Dawes is very clever in determining that Holden (and by extension Naomi) and Johnson have something that they are not sharing or willing to use against the Earth. It raises a question. Did Drummer tell Dawes about Cortazar? If so, that’s a very deep betrayal of Johnson. The special effects are just stunning. The blood flakes were an amazing touch and so very unique. The chase of the ship from the station was exciting and realistic. Next episode will likely focus more on Ganymede and on the outcome of Bobbie’s visit to Earth.