Title: The Expanse Season 3 Episode 9: “Intransigence”
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Platform: TV – Syfy
Director: David Grossman
Writer: Hallie Lambert
Rating: TV-14
Release: June 6, 2018
Cast: Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Frankie Adams, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham, Dominique Tipper
Feature image: Source


“Hate me later, work now.” Camina Drummer – The Expanse

The Behemoth is having power failures throughout the ship after they fired the missile at the Rocinante. Camina Drummer (Cara Gee) and Klaes Ashford survey the damage. Drummer: “First time we fire a weapon and this is what we get.” Ashford: “Well what we got is what we get.” Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) is trying to check on what happened to the Rocinante instead of working on the ship. Ashford asks her what she is doing. He orders her to work on the ship. She tells him she doesn’t work for him. Drummer: “I gave the order to fire. You know we had to do it. If we hadn’t the Inners…” Naomi: “If you killed them…” Drummer: “Hate me later, work now.” Naomi angrily walks away to start work. Apologetically Drummer says to her, “I’m sorry if I killed them… I’m sorry.”

“Apparently, the rules ain’t the rules around here.” Alex Kamal – The Expanse

On board Naomi’s old ship, the crew is alive and checking out their new surroundings. The missile that followed them into the Ring didn’t explode, in fact, it isn’t after them now, and it is heading towards an unknown object. Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar): “Apparently, the rules ain’t the rules around here.” James Holden (Steven Strait) and Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) look at the murky space and note there aren’t any stars. They are in some kind of bubble universe. Amos: “It reminds me of Eros.” Alex: ‘That’s a comforting thought.” They still don’t have comms. They wonder who could have done this, Amos quickly figures out it was Cohen (Brandon McGibbon). Monica Stuart (Anna Hopkins) defends him reasoning he wouldn’t do this and put both of them in danger. When Amos grabs him, Cohen quickly confesses. He didn’t know all of this would happen; someone paid him to get more info. He doesn’t know whom he is working for. Amos isn’t satisfied with his answers and plans to make Cohen fix the damage. The Martians send in a probe and then it backs out. The MCRN Xuesen enters the Ring. Holden needs the comms to communicate with them.

UN Secretary-General Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is on screen ordering all of the civilians in the fleet near the Ring to evacuate because of the bombing of the Seng Un. They are to evacuate to Titan. Reverend Doctor Anna Volovodov (Elizabeth Mitchell) discusses the evacuation orders with Reverend Doctor Hector Cortez (Paulino Nunes), both of them wish to stay. Tilly Fagan (Genelle Williams) happily joins them, it appears she might not be leaving. When she starts laughing, Melba Koh (Nadine Nicole) hears her. She is sitting with Stanni (Ari Millen) and another contractor Soledad (Marci T. House). The contractors are being offered triple pay to stay, but Soledad thinks she’ll leave anyway because she thinks it’s going to get worse. They speculate that Ren died aboard the Seng Un. Stanni jokes about it, Melba tells him to show Ren some respect. Tilly’s laughter launches Melba into a flashback of a fancy party she hosted. Tilly was a guest at the party. She tells the man she is with, “I’m wondering if she’s even here, it’d be like her to ditch her own party.” The person she thinks would ditch her own party is Julie Mao (Florence Faivre). We are at the Mao estate, and Melba Koh is actually Julie’s sister, Clarissa. [From now on, I’m calling Melba Koh, Clarissa Mao.] Julie is arguing with their father, Jules-Pierre Mao (Francois Chau) about the race team. Mao: “I’m not going to allow any daughter of mine to go whoring…” Julie: “Whoring? Is that what you think I am?” He tries to shame her by telling her all that he does for her and how ungrateful she is. Julie tells him she doesn’t want anything from him and emphasizes it with, “Forget you. Forget you. Everything you do is corrupt and I can’t stand to be part of it.” [I understand that “Forget you” should be “Fuck you”, but Syfy censors it, that’ll change on Amazon.] Julie storms out of the room. Clarissa tries to comfort her dad. Clarissa: “I could take over for her.” Mao: “Don’t be absurd.”

On the monitor Amos shows Alex the computer chip Cohen had removed from the ship. Amos: “Will this help fix the comms?” Alex: “Damn if I know, that’s a Naomi thing.” Amos: “I thought you’d say that.” Amos has another solution to fix the problem. He grabs a screwdriver and threatens to kill Monica unless Cohen tells him how to undo what he’s done. Monica screams and Cohen babbles that he didn’t know what he was doing; he doesn’t know how to fix it. Meanwhile, Alex and Holden are on the bridge looking at the two probes the Xuesen just launched. The speed of the first probe is 18,000 kph, so they figure the Rocinante can go that fast too. “Hoss, that second probe, it’s gone,” Alex, gasps. “It, like, um, blinked out of existence.” They know to avoid the Ring’s bubble. Holden tells Alex to stay ahead of the Xuesen.

“You let nostalgia trick you, and you’ll regret it badly.” Klaes Ashford – The Expanse

Using a probe, the Xuesen sends an alert, telling everyone that the Xuesen is in the Ring to apprehend the Rocinante. Because of the conditions in the Ring, no one else should follow. Ashford grumps that the Martians are trying to keep everyone else out. He finds Naomi hard at work fixing the ship. She asks is he checking on her, he admits that’s part of it. She tells him that this ship is a generation ship by design, not a warship. Ashford: “It’s not the best tool for the job, but it’s the tool we have.” He tells her that the Martians entered the Ring to apprehend the Rocinante, and it sounds like the ship is okay. Naomi is relieved, she tells Ashford that Holden would not have bombed the Seng Un, Ashford believes her. Naomi: “So you’re okay with killing innocent people that just makes it worse.” Ashford: “Not if it will protect mine.” He tells her about leaving his old crew and missing them. He had to move on, just as Naomi had to move on from her old crew. Ashford: “You let nostalgia trick you, and you’ll regret it badly.”

Alex goes to Holden’s room to check on him. Alex: “Hey. I would have, I would have called down…I just didn’t want to interrupt. So umm, no Miller.” Holden slides the door shut and screams “Miller!” Alex checks in on Amos. He sees Monica and Cohen in their spacesuits in the airlock. He rushes over to stop Amos. Amos: “Well, I was thinking since the comms are down, the only way to communicate is in person. Mars isn’t looking to arrest them for stealing a ship, so… [Motioning to Monica] You too, put your lid on.” He is going to have them spacewalk to the Xuesen and have them tell the Martians what is happening on the Rocinante. Alex asks Monica to tell the Martians that they didn’t blow up the Seng Un. [I wouldn’t count on that Alex. Monica looks pissed.] Monica and Cohen begin their long walk.

“Closer. You want to indulge in a selfish desire to be part of something amazing.” Tilly Fagan – The Expanse

Anna asks Tilly how she’s staying aboard. Tilly tells her she’s using blackmail, even though maybe extortion might be a better term. The Thomas Prince XO is retiring and he wants a job in her mother’s company. Anna asks Tilly can she pull some string for her. Tilly asks Anna why she wants to stay on the ship. Anna doesn’t want to miss seeing the only miracle in her lifetime. She says it’s a calling, Tilly jokes she’s going too far now. Anna: “If I said I really needed to see what’s out there.” Tilly: “Closer. You want to indulge in a selfish desire to be part of something amazing.” Anna: “Yep!” Tilly will help her.

“Our father is a damaged man, you’re never going to be good enough for him.” Julie Mao – The Expanse

Soledad suggests they clean out Ren’s locker for his family. Clarissa quickly agrees. As they are walking to the lockers, they start talking about James Holden, and that him being a hero might have only been an act. Clarissa thinks it might prove other stuff he’s done is wrong too, [like bringing in her father]. They get to Ren’s locker; Clarissa sees a picture of Ren with his family. Soledad finds a personnel evaluation report Ren was writing. He called Soledad a good worker except for the drama she creates, he recommended Stanni for a promotion, and he said some good things about ‘Melba’. This makes Clarissa feel even guiltier. This leads to another flashback to Julie and her arguing under Julie’s favorite tree. She complains about Julie causing the party’s cancellation; it reflects on her. Clarissa: “Father has moved heaven and earth for you. You treat him like less than shit.” “Our father is a damaged man,” Julie tells her. “You’re never going to be good enough for him.” Clarissa screams at Julie not to turn her back to her as she walks away.

Alex reports on the ship’s damage. They can’t get the weapons and comms back up; the damage Cohen caused was extensive. Alex: “It’s going to take a shipyard to fix her.” Holden weighs this information and comes to his decision, “Surrender. Slow down, let them board us, say we were sabotaged and clear our names.” Amos reminds him that they might be able to get out from under the terrorism charges, but the Martians will still take the Roci. Holden knows that.

“WE ARE THE BELT! We are strong, we are sharp and we don’t feel fear. THIS MOMENT BELONGS TO US!” Camina Drummer – The Expanse

The crew of the Behemoth is nervously finishing repairs. They are preparing to enter the Ring. Ashford sees Naomi suspiciously fooling with the control panel. Drummer sees the apprehension on the crews’ faces and delivers an inspiring pep talk. Captain Camina Drummer: “Listen up. This is your captain, and this is your ship. This is your moment. You may think that you’re scared but you’re not. That isn’t fear. That is your sharpness. That’s your power. We. Are. Belters. Nothing in the void is foreign to us! The place we go is the place we belong… WE ARE THE BELT! We are strong, we are sharp and we don’t feel fear. THIS MOMENT BELONGS TO US!” “For Beltalowda!” Ashford leads the chant of Beltalowda. The Behemoth slowly enters the Ring. [While everyone else is chanting, Naomi passively looks on. She isn’t part of this.]

“I was wrong before, God is not with us out here.” Rev. Hector Cortez – The Expanse

People are lining up to leave the Thomas Prince. Anna finds Rev. Cortez in line and pulls him out. She happily informs him that they both can stay on board the ship. A marine is in the civilian line trying to leave. He tells Lt. Nemeroff (Matt Bois) that he signed up to fight Martians and Belters, not this. He’s afraid to go into the Ring. They taser him and drag him out of line. Cortez is afraid too. He gets back in line and tells Anna he has a family and a young son who will need a father. Rev. Cortez: “The only thing I see within that Ring is more darkness and blood at the foot of a false idol. I was wrong before, God is not with us out here.” Afterwards Anna records a message for her wife telling her she will be going through the Ring. She has trouble getting her words out. She sees Clarissa looking distraught and goes over to talk to her. She asks how she is doing. Anna says she is nervous herself. She asks why she is still aboard the ship. This triggers another flashback. Clarissa walks back into the house. Mao: “Where’s Julie?” Clarissa: “The bitch finally left.” Mao: “Don’t talk about your sister that way.” She asks her father why he takes so much off Julie. He talks about her strength and passion. Mao: “She has the will to take our name into the future.” Then he rebukes Clarissa, “What do you do, you plan parties.” Clarissa snaps out of it and answers Anna’s question, “I stayed for the hazard pay.” Clarissa goes to where Ren’s duffle bag is. She records a message asking his family to send her message to her father. Clarissa: “Daddy, everything you feared about the Protomolecule has come to pass. And instead of being hailed as a visionary, you’re rotting away in jail. I can’t fix that. But I can destroy the man who brought you low. That’s something Julie never could or would do for you. I just wanted you to know that.”

Naomi is trying to sneak off the ship in a skiff to get back to the Rocinante. The codes she punches in don’t work. Drummer walks up. Drummer: “I thought Ashford was being paranoid… Why?” Naomi: “I came back for the wrong reasons.” Drummer: “I’m the wrong reason now? The Belt is in your blood, we are your people.” Naomi: “And I love you. I always will.” Drummer: “But you’re going back to them, your Inners.” Naomi: “I didn’t understand what I was leaving. I was being…nostalgic.” Naomi didn’t tell Drummer she was leaving because she thought she wouldn’t let her go. Drummer tells her she underestimates her. She allows Naomi to leave and gives her a gentle warning, “Don’t go too fast out there.”

“I got a case to solve and you want the truth.” Detective Joe Miller – The Expanse

Holden has spent most of the episode trying to contact Miller. He finally appears. Miller: “What are you slowing down for, you were doing fine.” Holden thunders, “Where the hell have you been? I wanna know exactly what you know.” [Miller speaks advanced scientific jargon Holden doesn’t understand] Holden: “So a crime scene.” Miller: “Crime scene. “We got to go to the station, to the nucleus.” Holden asks why. Miller: “I got a case to solve and you want the truth.”  In his spacesuit, Holden gets on top of the ship and takes off for the nucleus. Naomi tries to contact the Rocinante but is unsuccessful. Naomi: “Rocinante, its Naomi. I’m coming home. Roci, do you copy? Guys. It’s me. Hang in there. I’m coming.”

The Expanse James Holden 5-Inch Vinyl Figure

The Roci is in the Ring, but they aren’t alone for long. The MCRN Xuesen [with Bobbie Draper aboard] follows them in the Ring, and the Behemoth enters later. The Thomas Prince prepares to enter, so all the  system nations will be in the Ring. What could go wrong? Anna was able to stay aboard the ship with the help of her new friend Tilly. If she were smart, she would have gotten in line with Rev. Cortez to get off the ship. But, as Lou Grant would say, “She’s got spunk. I hate spunk.” Amos quickly figures out that Cohen sabotaged the Rocinante. Luckily, for Cohen, he and Monica were able to spacewalk off the Roci alive. Naomi decided to return home, and she’s lucky Drummer didn’t toss her in the brig for desertion. I felt bad that Drummer felt so bad that Naomi was leaving. Be a better friend Naomi. Strangely it was Ashford who convinced Naomi to go back. When he was telling her not to let nostalgia make her want to go back to the Roci, she realizes it was nostalgia that made her go back to the OPA.

The biggest development of the episode was finding out what Melba’s deal is. Melba Koh isn’t her real name; she is Clarissa Mao, daughter of Jules-Pierre, and sister of the late Julie Mao. The chick suffers from major daddy issues. Even though she did everything to please old dad, Julie was his favorite, and he didn’t attempt to hide it. To gain his love and approval, she decides to punish the man who “brought him low”, one James Holden. She blows up the Seng Un to frame him, along with murdering poor Ren. Feeling guilty about Ren doesn’t make you sympathetic Clarissa, and blaming Holden for destroying your family only makes you delusional. I recap Legion, so I know a thing or two about delusional characters.

The episode took its foot off the pedal and slowed down a bit. Even though the pace was slower, a great deal still happened. It was a funny episode with much of the humor coming from the Roci crew. We didn’t get much of Miller this episode, but he showing up at the end and having Holden take off to the nucleus of the Ring should create some great action for the next episode. Cara Gee did a fantastic job delivering her speech to her crew. I was ready to go to the Ring with her. For Beltalowda!

Grade: B+

















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