The Expanse Season 2 Episode 3 : Static

by Kbear on February 9. 2017

Newton’s third law

Stealth missiles from the Earth’s navy blows up Deimos, one of Mars’s two moons. (Phobos the larger moon and Deimos the smaller one) The news reports seventeen people killed. The news makes Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) and her squad upset. Some of the squad turns against the marine born on Earth. Bobbie tells them to stop arguing and prepare for training; war is coming. Meanwhile at the UN, Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is talking to Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle). Because Earth blew up Deimos, she is afraid this is the beginning of war. Errinwright is gung-ho, he wants to wipe out the Martian navy before they can strike back. Chrisjen is worried they might destroy our moon in retaliation. (Her grandkids live there) She is worried that the Martian marines might invade earth. Bobbie would appreciate hearing that.

I hate you so much right now

Back at the Tycho station, the Rocinante crew is inspecting their battered ship. James Holden (Steven Strait) storms in still upset about Miller killing Dresden. On the dock the surviving staff from the secret station are in handcuffs, among them is Josephus Miller (Thomas Jayne). Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) and Colonel Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman) keep Holden from hitting Miller. Miller continues to mouth off to Holden. Holden doesn’t want Miller back on his ship. Once Holden leaves, Colonel Johnson releases Miller and tells him there are several ships leaving the station; he should be on one of them. Later at the station bar, Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) drops off Miller’s gear. Miller offers him a drink, Amos accepts. Holden doesn’t want him back on the ship and the crew agrees. He understands why Miller shot Dresden, but Holden is the righteous type, and Amos will go with his judgment on this. He warns Miller that, “You keep picking fights with the wrong people.”

 

No nookie tonight

Miller stays at the bar after Amos leaves. Diogo (Andrew Rotilio) and another man who took part in the raid join him. Diogo thinks he’s a hero because he shot Dresden. Naomi and Holden are alone; Naomi is ready to fool around. Holden is too busy brooding about the raid. He is upset that people died and they still didn’t get the information they needed because of Miller. Naomi sympathizes with Miller. Holden can’t believe she would sympathize with a man who shot an unarmed man. Naomi reminds him an unarmed mass murderer who killed all those people on Eros. Holden asks her what right did Miller have to shoot this man; Naomi asks what right does he have to judge.

 

Tell me somethin’ good

Since he’s not going to get any, Holden is with Amos and Johnson at the cells holding the secret station prisoners. They are there to interrogate the data engineer from the station, Paolo Cortazar (Carlos Conzalez-vio). He was the only person connected to the computer the raiding party didn’t kill. One of the prisoners takes Cortazar’s bench from him; he proceeds to bash in that dude’s head with it. Amos looks amused; he’s seeing someone who might be like him.

 

Walking on the tightrope

Tensions are high amongst the Martian marines. The rich blond female marine and the immigrant marine are trading insults. A fight breaks out between the immigrant marine and another male marine. Bobbie stops the fight but hits the immigrant marine. I don’t know if it was an accident or her subconsciously hitting him because he’s from Earth. Back at the Tycho station, they have begun repairing the Rocinante. The station engineer invites Naomi to play some handball. Miller is in Diogo’s room shaving. Diogo is listening to some loud music; someone has mixed in sounds from the transmission feed from Eros. The music is a call to arms. Miller and Diogo discuss the impending war; Diogo is all for it. It will be a three-way fight between Earth/Mars/the Belt. Miller hallucinates seeing Julie. (I wonder if the Protomolecule is projecting her image to him.)

 

Party like it’s 2199

After a fun game of handball, the station engineer suggests they get some beers. We see the two women in a club dancing the night away. While Naomi is having fun, Colonel Johnson, Holden and Amos start their interrogation. It quickly becomes apparent that Cortazar isn’t all there. He doesn’t feel bad about all those people in Eros dying. He is more interested in how the experiment is going. He thought that Dresden was a great man. Holden tries the soft approach and express empathy for him but that doesn’t seem to work. They aren’t getting anywhere with him.

 

Sorry but not sorry

The Martian CO reprimands Bobbie for hitting her insubordinate. She clearly isn’t that sorry; she is more concerned about attacking Earth. The CO gives her bad news; instead of heading to Earth, they will protect the food supply. She isn’t happy. (Again) We haven’t heard from Chrisjen for a while. Her spy walks in with a phone she can call Colonel Johnson. He reminds her it is treason to do it. She has to try to prevent this war so she is willing to take the risk. Fred gets a surprise, it’s Chrisjen. She apologizes for lying about his involvement with the stealth ships and asks for his help in preventing this war. She thinks he might have some information she can use to break up the conspiracy that is pushing the solar system to war. Fred is amused that Chrisjen is asking for his help. He is willing to help her. His aide doesn’t believe he should do this. She tells him if the other members of the OPA hear he is helping Chrisjen, especially after he pushed the Black Flag leader out the airlock (who put the hit on Chrisjen), they will kill him. Fred is aware of this, so they’ll keep this a secret.

 

Pass the pudding pop, Bill

Before Fred’s call from Chrisjen, a station doctor told them that Cortazar and the other prisoners from the secret station had their minds altered preventing them from feeling empathy for others. That’s why Cortazar doesn’t feel anything for the people on Eros. Amos asks if it can be reversed. (It feels like he might be asking about himself too) She is afraid it cannot. Amos visits Cortazar. He tells him what they found in Julie’s room, the smells in the room, how her naked body was covered by crystals. Cortazar is a captive audience; he wants more info. Amos describes the damage in the room, how she had destroyed the screens and lamps. Cortazar explains they get energy from light; she was trying to cut off their energy source.

 

Let the church say ‘Amen’

Now clean-shaven with a haircut, (back to the hairstyle he had on the Ceres station) Miller goes to a Mormon church on the station. They talk about the generation ship that is getting build there. This is important to their faith to go to another planet. The ship will take care of three generations until they reach their new planet. Miller express interest in joining them.

 

Spotlight

Amos finds Holden; he knows how they can interrogate Cortazar. They have to handle him like a pedophile. Show him pictures of Eros and give him information about what the Protomolecule is doing, he’ll talk. Holden, Amos, and Colonel Johnson are back in the cell with Cortazar showing him pictures of Eros. He is very excited, maybe even aroused. He tells them how they had at first ran the test on the Martian scientist and then went to Eros because they needed more test subjects. They wanted to see what it would do and if there was a way to control it. He makes a startling announcement, the people are still alive, the Protomolecule transformed humans (if you can still consider them human) are building something and they are counting down. What they are counting down to, we don’t know yet. I’ll take a wild guess and say it’s nothing good.

 

Resolve

All this time, Alex (Cas Anvar) has been running simulations of the space battle. Even though they won, he feels guilty about the 25 men who lost their lives. He feels like he should have protected them. Holden tries to tell him it is not his fault, but he can’t let it go. Holden and Naomi talk, he tells her what is happening on Eros. They need to go back and he can’t do it without her. She assures him she is with him. Chrisjen receives an anonymous picture of one of the stealth fighters that has been causing all the problems. I’m guessing Fred sent it to her. Miller walks into Colonel Johnson’s office. He knows where he wants to go, back to Eros. They have to destroy it. He explains why he killed Dresden, not because he was crazy, but because he was making sense. His proposes they use the Mormon generation ship to destroy Eros. The Martian marines silently apologize to each other; unified again.

***

Kbear!

This didn’t have as much action as the first two episodes this season had. It mostly dealt with the fallout from the raid on the secret station. Holden and Alex feel guilty, Alex doing simulation after simulation on the mission. Holden mostly broods; Amos says he’s a righteous man, maybe a little too self-righteous sometimes. Shooting an unarmed man isn’t good, but if you examine the circumstances, you can give Miller a break. Luckily, for Miller, and everyone else, Cortazar might be able to supply the information on the Protomolecule that Dresden might have done. In a way he is probably better, Dresden couldn’t be trusted, while Cortazar is too crazy to play games. We see another interesting side to Amos. He isn’t just the muscle. He analyzed how to get to Cortazar, using his own condition to figure out what might make someone like Cortazar talk. I don’t know what Amos is, I leave psychiatry to talk show hosts, but I think underneath it all, he’s a good person, or at least wants to be one. Chrisjen is on our side! She isn’t a nice person, but she wants to maintain peace. That’s better than all the ‘nice’ people who want to go to war. I believe she is the smartest person in the room, and is more than a match for Errinwright and the rest of the conspirators. The Martian marines’ story isn’t that interesting yet. They are far too removed from the main storyline yet. Bobbie getting mad about not being able to fight is one note. I get why she wants the war, just express in a different way. Write it in a poem next time. It wasn’t as good as the season premiere but still an enjoyable episode.

Grade: B+

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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