The Expanse Season 2 Episode 9: The Weeping Somnabulist

by Kbear! on March 24, 2017

Leave us alone
The Weeping Somnabulist is a relief ship en route to Ganymede. Santichai and Melissa Suputayaporn (Peter Williams and Valerie Buhagiar) are the married owners of the ship. Two Martian marines board the ship. They search the ship, Melissa tells them she and Santichai are the only two on board. One of the marines says they have to impound the ship. Melissa in a fit of rage attacks the marine and tears off his mask. The marine is Jim Holden (Steven Strait) and his partner is Amos Burton (Wes Chatham). Santichai knows who Holden is. The gig is up.

Holden needs the Somnabulist to bypass the Martian blockade by having the Rocinante piggyback on it. Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) tries to assuage their fears, but the Suputayaporns don’t want to have anything to do with this. Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) is scanning the area for radio traffic. Dr. Praxidike ‘Prax’ Meng (Terry Chen) is trying to send a message to Doris’ family on Mars. He is informing them of her death, leaving out the she died from being pushed an airlock part. Prax says how wonderful a person she was and expresses his deep felt condolences to the family. The message won’t go out so he calls for Amos. He asks Amos to send the message out but Amos tells him he can’t, captain’s orders. Prax asks if he is a prisoner, Amos responds in the negative. Holden wants him upstairs; Prax refuses to go unless he knows what is going on.

He deserves to know
When Prax joins the rest of the crew, he mentions the Protomolecule to Holden’s surprise. Holden asks who told him. Amos says he did, “He’s helping us, and we should be straight with him.” The Rocinante crew is together, and Holden asks Prax why Strickland was treating his daughter. Mei (Leah Madison Jung) has a genetic disorder. Dr. Strickland recognized what it was and was treating it. The crew starts discussing their plan once they hit Ganymede. Prax asks, “Your plans always this vague?” Amos, “This is about average.” While Prax and the rest of the crew are looking for Mei and Strickland, Alex will be hiding behind a moon and will come to get them when they call him, even with the Martian navy around them. No one would call this a great plan.

We told you to leave us alone
The Suputayaporns look apprehensive as the Somnabulist prepares to dock on Ganymede. On the Rocinante Alex hands Amos, some lasagna he prepared for the crew while they are on Ganymede. Amos and Alex affectionately call each other Earther and Martian as Alex prepares to detach from the Somnabulist and take cover. Melissa tells the crew, “You are going to get all of us killed”. Alex finds his hiding spot and starts monitoring Ganymede and all the traffic around it.

The Somnabulist lands on Ganymede. Santichai tells Holden local thugs shake them down for 10% of their cargo. Holden thinks this is wrong. Melissa tells Holden and the rest of his crew to go save the world; she and Santichai will try to save a few people who need help. On the dock, Amos and Holden bump into the thugs who will shake down the Suputayaporns. The thugs get on board but instead of taking their usual 10%, they want 100% of the cargo and the Somnabulist too. At gunpoint, Melissa tries to remind the thugs they are a relief ship and the people of Ganymede need these supplies. These thugs aren’t humanitarians. Holden and Amos enter the ship and get into a gun battle with the thugs. They kill both of them, but poor Santichai is caught in the crossfire. Naomi and Prax come back on board after hearing the gunfire. Naomi tries to comfort a distraught Melissa, but she demands all of them leave her ship. Prax looks at the scene and knows this is the wrong group of people to be hanging around.

Why can’t we be friends?
The U.N.S. Arboghast is the research ship the UN sent to Venus to monitor the Eros crash site. Colonel Janus (Conrad Pia) is in command of the expedition. He has a frosty relationship with Dr. Iturbi (Ted Whittall), Chrisjen’s eyes and ears on this expedition. Janus still thinks Eros was a Martian weapon. They discover that a Martian ship is already in the area. Because of the Martian Navy’s cloaking technology, the Arboghast doesn’t know if this is the only ship in the area. Janus and Dr. Iturbi discuss the Martian ship. Janus thinks the Martians are there to monitor their weapon. Iturbi doesn’t agree. Janus sends a message to all ships in the area waring them to leave the Arboghast alone. Any actions against them is as an act of war. There will be more about the Arboghast near the end of the peace summit section.

Purple heart
Gunnery Sgt. Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) is about to land on Earth with Captain Martens (Peter Outerbridge) and other Martian military and diplomatic personnel for the peace conference at the UN. Martens warns everyone to be sharp because the UN flies drones above the Martian embassy. He orders Bobbie to wear her Purple Heart to the peace summit. Martens tells everyone to wear their sunglasses when they get off the transport, Bobbie leaves her sunglasses on the transport on purpose. One of the diplomats gets off the transport and throws up.

Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle), and Cotyar (Nick E. Tarabay) are discussing the Venus mission. Cotyar has a picture of the Martian throwing up and offers it to Sadavir if he needs a laugh later. After he leaves, Cotyar and Avasarala discuss Mao still hiding. Cotyar wonders if Errinwright will share the information from Venus with Chrisjen. She tells Cotyar it doesn’t matter; she has her own man there to report to her.

Admiral Nguyen (Byron Mann), Errinwright, and Chrisjen are on one side of the room facing the Martian delegation. The conversation is formal, polite with a tinge of hostility. Bobbie is in her room at the Martian embassy preparing to give her testimony. She looks outside without her sunglasses. (The windows are also mirrors; the future looks bright.) Bobbie enters the summit with Captain Martens. She recites the story her superiors want her to give. Her unit takes the blame for firing first. Admiral Nguyen jumps all over this with pleasure. The head of the Martian delegation blames the first shot on Private Travis, the Marine born on Earth. Bobbie has a pained expression. Chrisjen looks at her and knows something is wrong. Back at the Martian embassy, Bobbie complains to Martens about the Martian higher ups throwing Travis under the bus. Back at the UN the Secretary General is telling Errinwright to get everything he can out of the Martians. Chrisjen expresses her doubts to Errinwright but he could care less about the truth.

The big payback
We are back at the peace summit and the Earth and Martian delegations are haggling over how much Mars will pay. Mars will pay for all of the damages to Ganymede if Earth will leave Ganymede to them. This back and forth continues. Chrisjen announces she wants Bobbie to return so she can talk to her. The Martians don’t want to do it but Chrisjen lets them know she wants to talk to her now! Errinwright smiles over this. Bobbie comes back to be questioned by Chrisjen. After discussing how many people on Earth receive a subsidy because there aren’t that many prospects on Earth, she discusses Travis’ parents leaving Earth for a better life on Mars and the sacrifices they made to do it. Would a good soldier like Travis endanger that by shooting at UN Marines for no reason? Bobbie is shaken by the question and lets slip they thought they were under attack and about the creature that wasn’t wearing a Vac suit. The Martian delegation stops this to give Bobbie a chance to regroup. Once she does, she continues the Martian’s lie and blames it all on Travis. Chrisjen looks a little disappointed.

A soldier without a suit
Back aboard the Arboghast, Janus, and Dr. Iturbi debate about there being intelligent life out there. Janus argues that if there were any other intelligent life in the universe, they would have contacted us. Iturbi disagrees and talks about the vast distances that make up space. The Arboghast is over the Eros crash site. The crash site is teeming with life. Iturbi turns on his communication devise so Chrisjen can hear this. Chrisjen tells Cotyar with Eros that the soldier who wasn’t wearing a Vac suit; this changes everything.

***

Kbear!

Holden and the Rocinante crew is generally lucky. Their plans aren’t that well thought out, but they always come out of them on the other side. Unfortunately, if you aren’t the core Rocinante crew, you most likely have a tombstone with your name on it. Since the Canterbury, through the Donnager, Eros and now Somnambulist, people who associate with the Rocinante crew often pay the ultimate price. They are lucky, you most likely aren’t. With them on Ganymede now, the death count could be staggering. Watch out Prax!

When we first met Bobbie Draper, we met one of the most gung-ho Martians. Everything about Mars was great and she couldn’t wait to kick Earth’s ass. After the peace summit, I think Gunnery Sgt. Draper is looking at her superiors in a completely different light. They don’t seem so different from their UN counterparts. Things look like they will get more complicated and interesting with Bobbie.

Chrisjen Avasarala is a badass and the Martian delegation got to learn that in person. She is not a person to be trifled with. She notices what is going on around her and processes it quickly. Once she gets a handle on something, she won’t hesitate to act. She is figuring out what is actually happening out there. If someone would just tell her about the Protomolecule, she could rally the system to fight it. They need to make Chrisjen the HBIC of the system. With the Arboghast making their discovery, I think the truth will be coming out shortly. Of course, people like Errinwright might be able to cover it up a while longer, but as Chrisjen said, this changes everything.

Grade: A-

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