Belters getting bad: The Expanse Rewatch

March 18, 2017

By Christopher Robin Negelein

(The Seventh Man and Pyre)

Skipping last week wasn’t a mistake.

It’s was simply that The Seventh Man wasn’t that gripping of an episode for me. It felt like pieces where getting moved across the board to set up the next stage of conflict. A chance encounter with kid defending her mom sent Amos over the deep end, Dawes returned to be a pure political animal, and Mars wants Bobby to take the blame for Ganymede firefight – which viewer know was started, somehow, with the protomolecule.

The new stakes are set by Dawes, who has declared he will give all the Belters protomolecule technology while calling out Fred Johnson as less of a true Belter (eroding the political clout of the only sponsor the Roci crew can rely on) while the one Belter faction that keeps  giving Johnson a hard time, Black Sky, is watching.

With Pyre, things go back into full swing.  And by full swing, we mean murder.

Dr. Meng is a botanist on the wrecked domes of Ganymede. He has a vision of his daughter before passing out. He wakes up on a Belter ship as refugee and immediately checks on a silver cylinder, which we assume is more protomolecule. His coworker Doris is a Martian who plans to go back home and offers to let him start a life over with her and all that implies. He says no, and then says yes just as the Belter crew says there’s another ship parking alongside them to take on only “Inners” (Martian and Earther refugees).  Meng lies about being a born on Gynamede so he can go with her.

But the Belter crew knows better and separates the couple. Meng watches as the Doris’ airlock opens onto – black space. The Belter crew murdered innocent refugees out their hate for the Martian and Earth governments.

When he reaches Tycho, Dr. Meng tries to tell the authorizes, but he’s still so shocked that he can’t remember the name of the ship (if he even heard it in the first place.)

The Roci crew have already linked Dr. Meng to a scientist who could be doing protomolecule research. They think it’s the doc, who is only carrying a soy plant in his mystery cylinder (psych!). But with some hacking they discover that the scientist left the doomed colony with Dr. Meng’s daughter just before the disaster.

The crew has their own problems, with Amos really going on the deep end, it looks like Alex will have to pull his dysfunctional friend through. And Namoi says that Holden doesn’t get to tell her who, or when, to kill. That’s a part of him she never wants to see again. She also toys with the idea of sending the Roci hidden cache of protomolecule to Ceres and into Dawes hands.

Remember the Black Sky assholes? They decide they want their “share” of the Earther misses Johnson is sitting on. They take over the Tycho bridge and threaten to shoot people if Johnson doesn’t give the codes.  Drummer gets a bullet in the gut for sticking with Johnson. But it’s not immediately fatal, The Black Sky leader just uses it as more leverage on Johnson to give up the code before she dies.

The Roci figure out what’s up and then go space walking so they can find an air valve to cut off the oxygen to the bridge. It works and the crew comes in with O2 masks for Johnson and Drummer.  With the Black Sky terrorists tied up, Drummer clutches her gut, shoots the leader in the head, and shuffles off to the med bay.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think I am in love.

The Roci crew is off to Ganymede to put together more puzzle pieces, but before Johnson tries to bluff them into coming back to him first with any information they find. But Holden gives him the cruelest good bye, by telling him that he doesn’t really matter anymore.

Assorted musings and stuff:

  • There were no Earth or Martian sidelines in Pyre
  • We got the sense that the Belters are more fragmented than we thought
  • We still miss the magic of Dawes and Miller’s go arounds
  • At this point, I don’t think we will see Martian civilians until season 3.

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