By Christopher Robin Negelein
I have a confession to make.
I only got to read the first book, Leviathan Wakes and a few pages of Caliban’s War, so we are quickly reaching the end of my insider information on the Expanse series. I’m looking forward to the excitement of the unknown. And the unknown, thanks to technology changing everything was the sledgehammer of the theme for this week’s episode.
For book readers, the fate of the inventor of the Epstein Drive, that which makes inter-solar travel a reality, is a dark comedic moment of maybe two or three lines way back in the first chapter of Leviathan. In the TV show it becomes a bittersweet flashback to 137 years prior as the accidental inventor get philosophical in his last moments.
Back on Earth, the politicos are panicking, still afraid that it’s a Martian ploy of some sort. The two important bits are the mention that Earth is sending a retrofitted scout ship out asap and the introduction of a new player, Dr. Michael Iturbi. Later at a private dinner with Avasarala, Iturbi first flirts (a man after my own tastes) and then admits his guesses are too radical a truth bomb to drop in a UN meeting. He guesses the “Eros Incident” was alien in origin and he wants to cut her a deal. Get him on the scout ship and he’ll be her back channel to whatever is going on with Venus. “Eros has changed everything.”
Then Avasarala does what we love best, she takes on Errinwright, first a little coyly. Suggesting that he “might” know how to get a hold of his own collaborator, Mao. But as she goes on, she goes into full fury mode, letting it be known that if Mao doesn’t turn himself in so Earth has a clue about what’s going on. Otherwise, she’ll hunt down his whole family until they are ruined. Errinwright seems to finally know that he’s not the boss of the “Woman who saved the whole F…ing planet.”
The crew of the Roci are greeted like heroes when they dock at Eros. Which they all feel uncomfortable with. Young Diogo is turning Miller into a martyr.
Of course, it’s the little moments that we get with the crew that are great. Holden solemnly confesses that he and Naomi are an item to Alex and Amos. The two boys can’t keep a straight face for minute.
Later, though, these two have a slight falling out. At their favorite watering hole, Amos wrecks a dude who right-crossed Alex across the bar. The Martian pilot’s ego is bruised more than his face and when he sees Amos “updating” the Martian flag by blotting out Deimos, his temper cuts lose.
Then Amos, in his scary, chill way, describes his personal code:
There are bad people.
People that you follow.
And people that you protect.
Alex’s not a fan of being put in the third category, especially since he’s had people die on his watch. Seriously, could watch this crew all day.
But not is all right in lover’s paradise, Holden finally convinces everyone that their sample is the last one and it should be shot into the sun. Naomi, the ship’s engineer, shows Holden the sample’s trajectory flying true.
It’s a lie.
The sample’s missile is still snug and hidden. What’s more is that she’s now helping the OPA reprogram 30 of the planet busting nukes that the Belters stole during the Eros Incident. The same missiles that has made Holden .rethink his temporary alliance with the OPA. And now our favorite OPA second in command has a name Drummer.
(Though for my money, Johnson would be the slowest to turn on the Roci crew.)
After being seriously absent for two episodes, our favorite power armored marine is back doing farm patrol on Ganymede. She thinks she’s on a babysitting mission, until the UN marines are seen loaded for bear and firing at something.
Suddenly, everything breaks loose. Her UN Navy bus and all of her squadmates go down as something creep closer to her. At the last moment, faceplate leaking steaming O2, she rolls out of the way of a bright light to end the episode.
And next week will be all new to me as well as you.