Thoughts on this episode: I always thought Drummer and Naomi had a “thing” and their interaction this episode confirmed this for me. Amos’s actions could have been considered brutal, but I think he had no choice. They don’t have enough crew to be paying attention to Monica and the Cameraman, so out they went and in the long run, Amos was being thoughtful in an odd sort of way. Melba’s actions are horrifying, and for the shallowest of reasons: Daddy issues. It’s a bit heartbreaking that just when Naomi is coming back, Holden is leaving – they sure are star-crossed, so to speak.
This episode of The Expanse had the most anxiety-producing final 10 minutes of any episode so far! And, the welcome return of a character SOME of us have been waiting for quite a while now. A continuing theme is loyalty in the face of extreme unknown and threatening circumstances.
Thoughts on the episode: We covered a huge amount of terrain in this episode! Errinwright’s angry diatribe 100% validates what Avasarala has been saying about “Bobblehead Gillis.” I actually now feel sorry for Errinwright, even though he is DESPICABLE. This reflects brilliant character development and writing. I rarely actually cry, but Cotyar’s farewell speech got to me, and I’m sad to see him go. I’m also sad to see the end of Katoa, Basia’s son. It’s hard to imagine much worse than experimentation on children, so it was very rewarding to see the end of Dr. Strickland. The eruption of the blue material on Venus portends a big shift in the show, and I’m really looking forward to that.
UPDATE: After the airing of this episode, it was announced that Syfy unfortunately will not be airing future seasons of The Expanse, if indeed they are made. This shocking announcement has sparked a fire in the fandom, and we are advised that Alcon Entertainment is working feverishly to restore the loss of funding from Syfy. Please see this post for actions you, the fan, can take to help save The Expanse. Thoughts on this episode: In a word, SHOCKING. I didn’t foresee Souther and all his crew being killed in a mutiny, nor did I foresee the launch of the hybrids. (It’s been a while since I read this novel, and I don’t remember how this all happened in the book – although I DO remember what is coming up NEXT episode. You won’t want to miss it!). It’s interesting to see Amos’s reaction to the hardening of Prax, and yet, although disturbed, Amos completely has Prax’s back. Holden was shocked and saddened that Naomi lived with her sadness at the loss of her son, Filip and that she never shared this circumstance with him. This show had a very interesting mix of military attitudes – loyalty, blind loyalty and responsibility for resisting illegal or unethical orders.
Thoughts on the episode: This was one of those quiet but really powerful episodes. Masterful, really. All of the characters were so faithful to how they have been developed. This video produced by Syfy discusses both the Roci maneuver is E03S02 and gives background on the Railgun action in this episode. http://www.syfy.com/theexpanse/videos/science-of-the-expanse-space-warfare I’m still unhappy with Mao, but he did display basic humanity. Too bad he didn’t EARLIER! It’s a darn good thing Souther is on Avasarala’s side and believes Cotyar.
Thoughts on this episode: As usual, a huge amount of material is crammed into this episode. I definitely had to watch more than once to get some of the subtle details. If you miss them, you can misinterpret what is happening, but the good news is that it becomes clear in any case. This episode introduced a compelling new character, Anna Volovodov. She brings at least a teeny bit of restraint, but it’s unclear that this can stop the speeding train wreck that Errinwright is responsible for. It’s lovely to see Bobbie and Avasarala meet up with the Roci crew, which now includes Prax. There is some real potential for sparks with these combinations. I was happy to see that there were some residual effects of Holden’s crushed leg – to be honest, I was surprised at his recovery speed in the last episode. The complexity and beauty of the Roci’s and Razorback’s space moves was breathtaking. The manipulation of the children by Strickland is stomach turning. One hopes he gets his in some future episode.
This will serve as a refresher, as we are just literally starting Season 3, based on the book Abaddon's Gate, written by James SA Corey (a nom de plume for Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham). Season 2's finale episode name, Caliban's War, follows the tradition of the final episode taking the name of the book the season primarily followed.
Mapmakers of old had a specific warning of known dangerous areas. They would annotate either unknown or proven dangerous territory on maps with the phrase "Here there be dragons." Eros DEFINITELY would have warranted this, if it hadn't been flung into Venus. And, now maybe they need that sign on Venus. Episode 11, in many respects, is about loss. We find out that Naomi had and lost a child. Bobbie loses her faith in Mars. Holden continues to lose his balance between two competing "honor interests." I've generally done detailed recaps BUT, I am reminded that the Syfy website has a lovely recap of its own, so instead I'm going to comment on significant events. Go here for the syfy.com recap: http://www.syfy.com/theexpanse/episodes/season/2/episode/11/here-there-be-dragons.
Most people have a very bad habit of classifying large chunks of people in binary terms as either all "bad" or all "good." But the reality is that there is ALWAYS a mix of good and bad people, as well as good and bad IN people. In The Expanse, many viewers have taken the side of the Belters. Some, because they love certain characters, like Naomi and Miller. Others, because as a class, the Belters are the clear underdogs. Generally, they risk life and limb for rich corporate owners who apparently couldn't care less about them, either individually or as a group. Fans of Earthers tend to like Holden or, really, Avasarala. They have exposed their imperfections, as well. Amos is a fascinating Earther, beloved and feared all at once. Martian fans like Alex, or more recently, Bobbie. The Mars faction is a little less developed than the Earther or Belter factions in terms of quantities of deep characters or back stories (so far). This episode really digs into the issue of the risk of thinking of a group as all "good" or "bad," especially if you unequivocally favor Belters. This was a completely packed episode. Although they were always evident, the fault lines between the Belters and the Earthers have deepened to an unsustainable level. It's provoking the very worst behavior, and every time people do their worst, it just causes terrible repercussions. This episode made quite a few Belters look extremely bad. The Belter on the refugee ship spacing completely innocent people, and the Belters who are willing to send nuclear missiles to blast Earth (despite the fact that there are BILLIONS of innocent people there, as well) honestly represent the worst of humanity. Personalizing the impact of awful actions makes everyone realize the consequences, but it doesn't seem to be enough to stop people from behaving dreadfully. This episode had room for personal development, as well, as we see Amos still working through his issues resulting from interacting with kids and just how close he is to being out of control. The episode ratcheted up the tension by continuing to provide so many indicators that Drummer was the traitor, only to have her satisfyingly vindicated.
Things are moving very rapidly this season. There is not one moment of lag, and that is amazing considering the effort required to portray all of these space locations AND future Earth. None of the characters are perfect! They have tempers and commit heinous crimes. The reveal at the end of what Dresden was doing is especially chilling if you listen to the utterly calm and rational way that he justifies the "rounding error" of the Eros experiment. Everyone has a different idea about what should be done, but Miller acts swiftly, not allowing anyone to respond to the siren song. I loved the callback to Diogo, and Andrew Rotilio nails the exuberance of knowing you are living on "extra" time, because you should have died.
Such a strong start to the season! The beauty of the books are the complex threads, which, when combined, tell a wonderful and terrible story of humanity and beyond. Last season, some viewers didn't like the perspective changes, but they are elegantly timed to inform the viewer of the big picture, one small picture at a time. Characters are showing their complexity. The visuals are stunning. I have absolutely no trouble in losing myself and thinking I'm actually in space with the various characters. The show is dedicated, almost fanatical, about the accuracy of what they depict, without it being SO nerdy it turns people off. Grade: A