The Expanse (S03E04) “Reload”

Thoughts on the episode: This episode did an excellent job of the pacing required for a complex story. I credit both the writing (by Robin Veith (although Cas Anvar mentioned he thought this episode was written by either Ty and Daniel)) or the direction by Thor Freudenthal. You did not feel unnecessarily jerked about, although quite a lot was happening. A stand-out scene for me was Bobbie addressing Loftis (Kelly McCormack) who was scared and infuriated and wanted revenge. Bobbie was clearly empathetic and I think she got through, at least to Sinopoli, that bigger forces were at play. There was a lovely scene of the Razorback moving in tandem with the Roci – another reminder of the exceptional VFX. Any time I can watch the Nauvoo, I rejoice.

The Expanse (S03E03) “Assured Destruction”

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.

The Expanse (S03E02) “IFF”

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.

The Expanse (S03E01) “Fight or Flight”

Warning, this review is a recap, with commentary; therefore, it is ONE GIANT SPOILER if you haven't seen the episode. The Expanse is BACK! Seems like forever, doesn’t it? But, we take up right where we left off. There is a news report about the disintegration of the Arboghast over Venus, and the march to war. Things are escalating. There are actual battles being fought.

The Expanse (S02E13) "Caliban's War"

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.

The Expanse (S02E12) “The Monster and the Rocket”

In my last reviewcap, I actually didn't recap. But, I've decided to return to that format. In this episode, the moral is beware what you create. Errinwright was useful to Avasarala her entire career, until he wasn't. She was right that he was a powerful, determined man, but she seems to have underestimated his willingness to go the full distance, including murdering his Russian UN counterpart and arranging to kill his mentor! Naomi has carried the guilt of leaving the Eros survivors behind and is finally compelled to take action to help clear her conscience. She's also pretty determined. Holden continued to demonstrate his single-minded determination to eliminate the living hybrid protomolecule, although others around him are becoming aware there has to be more of this stuff. We see the true spirit of the Belters in the decisions necessary to evacuate from Ganymede. This episode marked the forging and severing of relationships. Errinwright and Avasarala are clearly done, after all, he implicitly orders her death, and in his eyes, she has betrayed both him AND Earth. Naomi and Melissa bond, with Melissa overcoming her original outrage (even though in my opinion, Melissa's husband was dead either way, the Roci crew just actually saved her and the Somnambulist). A particularly tender moment was the moment when the Belters were left behind, and were exceptionally civilized. This reminded me of the airlock scene with the FIRST group of Belters evacuated from Ganymede. Pretty stark contrast in behavior, but the emotion was equally wrenching. We witnessed the cementing of Bobbicotsarala, and I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions throughout the show. These actors clearly like each other.

The Expanse (S02E11) “Here There Be Dragons”

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.

The Expanse (S02E09) “The Weeping Somnambulist”

In general, I have very few complaints about the adaptation of the novels to the TV show. There is one scene from the prior episode where I would have wished that it was closer to the book, and that was when Gunny sees the Protomolecule on Ganymede. In the book, Protomolecule Man picks Gunny up and in the process of this interaction, it hurls her a large distance, which simultaneously seriously injures her, but actually saves her, too. It reinforces her memory of Protomolecule Man, as well. In the show, in the small snippet of the battle, Gunny sees the UN team FIRING BACKWARDS, but she is prevented from elaborating on this during her questioning by Martens or her testimony to the Earth and Martian diplomats. This might mean that many viewers didn't completely catch that either. However, I fully trust that the writing and production team will integrate this information into the ongoing story. As usual, a rewatch is invaluable. Watching once gives the broad strokes, but this show is full of subtlety, easily missed, particularly if viewers live tweet. My recommendation is to watch twice. At a minimum, make sure you watch this show carefully at least once. This episode was all about people being short-sighted. Errinwright and Sorrento-Gillis don't fully grasp what is going on, and Janus doesn't understand what is happening on Venus. People's limited views have really significant impact and this is setting up the continuing storyline. In the meantime, large swaths of people are impacted by events which have been set in motion. I'm looking forward to seeing what action Avasarala will take in reaction to her clear disbelief in Bobbie's story AND her concern over what is being observed on Venus. Also, what will the crew find out on Ganymede?