Title: The Expanse Season 3 Episode 1: “Fight or Flight”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Platform: TV – Syfy
Director: Breck Eisner
Writers: Mark Fergus & Hank Ostby
Rating: TV-14
Release: April 11, 2018
Cast: Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Frankie Adams, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham, Dominique Tipper
Feature image: Source

[Spoilers]

“Future generations will look back on this day that you forged your legacy.” Sadavir Errinwright – The Expanse

In case you need a refresher on Season Two, here’s a recap of it. Enjoy!

The first scene is the Arboghast being dismantled over Venus by the Protomolecule; now the entire system knows of its existence. There is radio chatter; the UN is sending it’s ships to reinforce forces in the Belt and outer planets. Mars is accusing Earth of assassinating their defense minister and they want the system to know that they are ready for war. The Belt believes war is inevitable and the last image is a space battle. Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) is trying to convince Secretary-General Gillis (Jonathan Whittaker) to declare war on Mars. Other UN officials point out they don’t know who fired first in Ganymede or what is exactly happening but Errinwright has an answer [lie] for each question. He closes his arguments with this, “Future generations will look back on this day that you forged your legacy.” Gillis response, “Give me the security council, I want a formal declaration of war.”

Aboard the Rocinante, James Holden (Steven Strait) is outside the ship making repairs after the battle with the Protomolecule creature. He asks if there is any more Protomolecule remnants out there. Someone says no [even though there is some blue goo in the ship]. Praxideke [Prax] Meng (Terry Chen) is still afraid that the creature they killed was his daughter. Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) and Amos Burton (Wes Chatman) discuss Naomi’s betrayal of the crew.  Alex: “Our family is falling apart.” Amos says they aren’t a family, the four of them are on the ship because they were lucky enough to pull straws to be off the Cant before it was destroyed. They argue some more and Alex asks him what he was thinking when Naomi told them what she did. Amos has to admit, “She’s not the person I thought she was.”  Holden tells the crew they’ll need a new transponder name and drive signature. Since the Rocinante would be a prize for both sides, they need to give the ship a new name. Holden removes the ship’s name and the picture of the horse off the hull.

“Where is our Martian tank?” Cotyar – The Expanse

Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is giving medical aid to Cotyar (Nick E. Tarabay). Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) is in her combat suit, she slides a gun to Chrisjen and tells her to hold the fort. Chrisjen orders Bobbie to stay but she tells her, “I’ll be right back.” Chrisjen: “You’re fired.”  Bobbie goes out and finds Theo (David Tompa) [the junior electrician who helped them last season]. Coytar: “Where is our Martian tank?”  They both know that Errinwright will want confirmation of Chrisjen’s death. Chrisjen tells Cotyar they need to get the ship to safety so they can send a broadcast for help. She accidently shoots Bobbie when she walks back in, but the bullets bounce off the combat suit.

Errinwright gets a text: “The mess isn’t cleaned up.” He knows he has more work to do. His new task is to frame Chrisjen for his crimes. Errinwright [to Gillis]: “I believe she is involved in a conspiracy against this government.” Gillis doesn’t believe it but Errinwright continues that Chrisjen is running a shadow government and working with Mao and Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman). He tells the Secretary-General that he didn’t report on her sooner because their relationship blinded him. Since Chrisjen isn’t around to defend herself, Gillis says, “Apprehend her at all cost.”

“You should try tea.” Dr. Praxideke Meng – The Expanse

Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) is going to change the transponder but she needs a name. She asks Prax, he suggests Contorta, it’s a pine tree from Earth. Prax: “In order for them to survive, they have to die with fire. The seeds come out of the fire.” Naomi tells Alex and Amos, “Masking our transponder won’t keep us alive for long. We should go to Tycho.” The boys are against it. Amos says that Naomi probably wants to give Fred Johnson a battleship now. Alex asks her what right she had to give the Protomolecule to Johnson when he wanted to give the Protomolecule to Mars, but they all agreed to shoot it into the sun. Naomi tells them that they have to get to port, if they go somewhere other than Tycho, they’ll be sold out for a reward. In open space, Mars will take back the ship and the UN will destroy it. Naomi turns to Amos and says, “Get us to Tycho, and you’ll never have to see my face again.” Amos tells Holden they should go to Tycho, Alex agrees. They hate it but Naomi is right. Fred Johnson is the devil they know and he owes Naomi. Holden calmly agrees. Holden appears to be keeping his cool. He walks into the kitchen and Naomi is there. She asks about his leg, he calmly tells her he’s alright, she walks out. It’s only a front, when the coffee machine acts up; he destroys it. Prax walks in and suggests, “You should try tea.”

Bobbie, Chrisjen, Cotyar, and Theo are in the elevator heading to the cockpit, the flight crew acts as if they are going to surrender but they had set a trap to short circuit Bobbie’s suit. Before they can shoot her, Cotyar guns them down. Bobbie wakes up from the electric shock, it feels like a hangover. Theo is excited about flying the ship. An alarm blares. Cotyar grabs Theo and asks what that is? Theo: “It’s the automatic defense countermeasures.” Bobbie asks against what. A UN Escort ship is heading for Mao’s yacht. The escort ship fires missiles. They have 17 minutes before impact. Cotyar remembers the ship carries Julie Mao’s racing ship, the Razorback. They need to reach it. Chrisjen tasks Theo to get the comms buffers on the ship that proves that Errinwright is a traitor. After calming Theo down, he finds them. Chrisjen: “You’ve done your planet a great service.” Cotyar: “She says that to everyone.” When they get to the hanger Theo informs them that the hanger door won’t open. The ship is in lockdown because of the defensive countermeasures. With a determined look, Bobbies says, “Stay here.”

“A cathedral converted into a warship, sounds like the heart of a great and lasting nation.” Drummer – The Expanse

Fred Johnson is transmitting to Anderson Dawes. Johnson: “I have the inner’s weapon and you the key to harnessing the weapon.” It makes the Belt an equal player.  Drummer (Cara Gee) is doing inverted sit-ups. Fred tells her they have the Protomolecule. He tells her he plans to work with Dawes since he has the crazy scientist Cortazar. Johnson: “New day, new bedfellows.” Drummer is against it. She doesn’t trust Dawes; she reminds Fred that this this is the same man who incited Belters to fire missiles at Earth, he invaded the Tycho station and tried to kill both of them. She walks away in disgust. Johnson catches up with Drummer at the bar having a drink. Drummer is watching the conflict, “More ships, more war, more death. You and Dawes want to join that party?” Fred says he wants to prevent this from happening to the Belt. She tells him why she chose him over Dawes. There was no future going down Dawes’ road. She saw something different in Fred. Drummer: “Now that blue siren got you dreaming of bigger things, huh?”  Fred wants Drummer to salvage the Nauvoo, [the Mormon ship]. The Belt will be a nation soon and it needs a warship. Drummer: “A cathedral converted into a warship, sounds like the heart of a great and lasting nation.” She doesn’t refuse to go on the mission though.

“That wasn’t Mei on our ship. There wasn’t anything human in those eyes.” James Holden – The Expanse

Prax and Holden talk over tea. Holden talks about his habit at tilting at windmills. Holden: “I tend to take on fights that can’t be won.” Prax doesn’t see anything wrong with that. Holden: “That wasn’t Mei on our ship. There wasn’t anything human in those eyes.” Prax: “I’ll probably never know. I’ll have to live with that.” Alex is ready to put the ship in sleep mode but decides to make a message for his family. Alex: “Hey y’all. This is Alex, your daddy. Well I mean your husband and your daddy. I just want to make sure that y’all are safe, with everything that’s been going on right now. I’ve been an awful husband…and a worse father. I’m just trying to do some good out here, and we have. I think this is what I’ve always wanted to do…More than I want to be there with you. I could just never really tell your that…because I don’t think I knew myself. But that doesn’t mean for one second that I didn’t love you. Both of you…very, very much.” They are rigged for silent running. Holden is studying something.  Holden figures out that the Protomolecule was sending a signal to a facility that Mao owns. He wants to go there to see if they can find Mei. Naomi continues to want to go to Tycho, Alex and Amos agree with Holden and change course.

“Hitch your tits and pucker up, it’s time to peel the paint.” Bobbie Drapper – The Expanse

Bobbie blows a hole in the hull to get out of the ship; she walks across the ship. She nearly falls off the ship into the engine exhaust. Bobbie regains her grip and climbs backup the ship. She opens the hanger door. When she gets back in the ship they find out the Razorback is a two-seater. Cotyar decides that Chrisjen will ride with Bobbie on the Razorback, he checks to make sure Bobbie can pilot it. He and Theo will get on the jump ship. Chrisjen doesn’t like the plan, she is afraid the UN ship will fire on the jump ship. Cotyar tells her they won’t fire on it, they will want to check to see if she is on it. They prepare to separate. Chrisjen hands Cotyar the antibiotics for his injury and reminds him to use it. He promises he will. He turns to Bobbie. Cotyar: “Good job, Marine.” Bobbie: “Same to you, spy?”  Chrisjen and Bobbie get on the Razorback, Theo and Cotyar get on the jump ship.  Bobbie: “You might want to take off that tinsel.” Chrisjen: “Is this really the time for fashion advice?” Bobbie: “At 6Gs that junk will tear your head off.” Once they are secured in the racing ship, Bobbie tells Chrisjen, “Hitch your tits and pucker up, it’s time to peel the paint.” Both ships get off the yacht and escape from Mao’s ship before the missiles destroy it.

The system finally knows about the Protomolecule after the incident with the Arboghast. Fighting has started between Earth and Mars. Sadavir Errinwright is doing everything he can to get the UN Secretary-General to declare war. He succeeds and also shifts his traitorous actions to Chrisjen. It would be a perfect day for him but he gets a message telling him the “mess isn’t cleaned up.” He orders the UN escort ship to destroy Mao’s yacht. Bobbie and an injured Cotyar are able to facilitate their escape, with the help of a crewmember of the yacht. Bobbie has to make an exciting but dangerous spacewalk to open the hanger door so that they can board their respective ships. Cotyar and Theo get on a jump ship while the ladies board Julie Mao’s racing ship, the Razorback. They all get away before the yacht explodes. Things are less dangerous, but chillier aboard the Rocinante. Everyone is angry at Naomi for her betrayal. She has broken their family apart. She is able to convince them to go to Tycho Station since Fred Johnson will give them safe harbor since he owes Naomi for the Protomolecule sample. They take a detour to Io, a moon where Mao owns an old facility. The Protomolecule creature they destroyed sent a ‘shout’ to it. Holden thinks that is a good place to look for Mei. Naomi wants to continue to Tycho but her crewmates overrule her. Just because you betray your friends, they hold it against you. On Tycho Station, Fred Johnson has contacted his nemeses Dawes. He needs the scientist Dawes kidnapped from the station to make the Protomolecule a weapon. Drummer isn’t happy about this; she also isn’t happy to salvage the Nauvoo, the Mormon ship they stole last season to knock Eros off course when it was headed to Earth. She isn’t happy, but she is going because she is still on Team Johnson.

What an exciting episode. We picked up maybe a day or two after the events of “Caliban’s War”. All of our favorites [and Errinwright] were back. The action was great, especially Bobbie’s spacewalk. The character’s interactions were spot-on, and the interactions between Bobbie, Chrisjen, and Cotyar were funny and heartfelt. In a way this didn’t feel like a season premiere but just a continuation of Season 2. I’m not complaining about it though.

Grade: A-

 

 

 

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

A fan, enthusiast, and appreciator of sci-fi, comic books, and fantasy film and TV. kbeartv61@nayahscifi.com
Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

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