By Christopher Robin Negelein
After last week’s cliffhanger, where a giant asteroid with no propulsion systems managed to adjust onto it’s own course, the tension is running high for a whole episode where, again the Martians were a no show.
For the super powers, the show bounced back and forth between Fred Johnson’s bridge on Tycho station and Earth’s UN war room. Man, I’d kill for a holographic display like that.
For hard scifi fans, there probably hasn’t been a better moment of fast and furious “Sciencing the Shit” on how Eros was breaking some of the laws of physics since The Martian went up on the silver screen. (and much, much longer on TV) when the Roci crew did the math only to figure out that what they were seeing was merely the waste heat from something.
I’ve noticed that as the action ramps up on The Expanse, the plot narrows down to just the essentials with maybe a side note here and there.
On the outside, everyone was chasing the asteroid in their own way, only to have Eros pour on more speed or tricks to avoid capture or destruction. Inside, Miller keeps slapping his bomb into sleep mode every few minutes and creeps closer to a bizarre heat signature at the center of it all as he hears the voices in his head get louder.
Earth sends half of it’s interplanetary nukes on Eros, then the asteroid goes stealth on radar, the Roci crew volunteers to paint the rock for the missiles through an OPA message beam, the rock picks up speed. The Expanse sticks to its science roots, though, having the Roci crew belt and juice up for the high gees as the characters gasp for breath and Amos gives one of those “I’m in pain here, but I’m not going to give in” chuckles.
Inside, Miller hears one voice over all the others, Julie’s. She keeps taunting that no one is going to take away the Razorback, her racing yacht from season one. He shares the theory that her consciousness has infected the protomolecule back and maybe she thinks she’s back in her ship and outracing everyone. The Roci crew is a bit impatient, since they are about 2 gees short from getting strokes.
Inside, the Miller is now back in the Blue Falcon where the hotel is now the center of a labyrinthine, blue glowing nervous system. Julie floats there in a web of blue.
She’s been dreaming of flying the Razorback, but now she is so tired and bitter that no one saved her. Julie wants to go home. She can’t stop Eros, the “work” must continue, but she might still tweak the course.
We can go anywhere you want, but we can’t go back to Earth,” Miller says. It’s a touching and tender scene. As close as it can happen in the harsh Expanse universe, love and kindness saves the day. The two disarm the nuke and hold each other.
To clarify for the audience, the whole solar system watches as Eros impacts on Venus. For some, it’s a fitting memorial for Miller. The Roci crew gives a toast to his empty chair and Belter punk gets his first true neck tat.
Avasarala has a touching scene with her husband as she stays behind during the evacuation of Earth.
Errinwright give Mr Mao a final voice mail that sounds as bitter as a bad breakup.
With Julie taking over the protomolecule, it makes even more sense why aliens would want to send it to a planet with life, but not intelligent life. If these guys are still around they have got to be shitting bricks.