Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sami on The Expanse 1.2


The Expanse airs at 10pm on Syfy Tuesday nights.

If the second episode of Childhood's End was annoying, the second of The Expanse sort of made up for it by being awesome. I wish this had been the two-hour one, and the other had been one hour!

Ep2 picks up where Ep1 left off: with everyone screwed.

The rescue ship that now needs rescuing immediately gets hit by the shrapnel left by their ship being exploded, which was awesome because that facet of reality almost never happens in scifi. They manage to barely pilot out of it, but they lose their comms and a lot of their air. Everyone has a different idea of what they should do, and no one particularly likes each other. Naomi-the-awesome takes charge, which pits her against James-the-distraught (his girlfriend died on the ship that exploded), and everyone else just wants out.

They manage to get themselves together long enough to get their emergency beacon back online, thought they can't agree on who should send the distress call or what it should say. The also manage to all not suffocate, even though two of them almost did.

And then they manage to be rescued and boarded by Martian marines who take them custody--even though it was the Martians who attacked them to begin with.

Meanwhile, Miller, who is a cop and not a gumshoe despite having all the hallmarks of being a private investigator, is still looking for the lost heiress. He finds where she's been staying in the poor part of the station, hacks her doorlocks* and accesses her files, and finds that she's been denying her dad's goals and intentions for her. She's got a scar that she could have had removed. She's living like a normal person when she could be living like a princess. She's doing what she thinks is right when her dad is doing something probably shady that she disagrees with. Miller's impressed.**

His partner is less impressed, but he's also new and inexperienced and mostly out of the loop on this case. And possibly dating a hooker? That scene happened kind of fast.

Along the way, they discover that someone has been stealing water from the rich parts of town and leaving the perfect green gardens there to turn brown. They're selling it off to people who need it more, but in irresponsible ways, and they're only there because the gang that controlled that area mysteriously pulled up stakes and left a power vacuum.***

And back on earth, the diplomat finds out that her captive Belter is only part of the story she's trying to figure out, and then when she's shipping him off to holding on the moon, he uses the g-force to pointedly and publicly commit suicide, so she can't get any more info out of him.

All of which is to say, things are heating up quickly, and I really want to read these books now.

The show continues to be well-done and tense, even in the quiet parts. People take time to talk things out without it getting boring, and something is always happening to each of them, so that the story is always complicating up. And Syfy seems to be really getting behind this show--they've released the next two episodes online for those who can't wait for weekly viewing, and to keep up the buzz during this awkward-for-TV time between seasons.

Here's my hope: Mars isn't a one-dimensional faceless enemy, but something neater and more complex, which greys up the morality of both the Belters and the Earthers. They're the only ones we haven't seen any first-hand story from, and it would be cool if we get their lives and views the same way as we've gotten the other two.

And this show is addicting. It feels something like Dark Matter, but more High Scifi and less Criminals In Space. It's delightfully complex without being annoyingly lacking in answers, so far, and it's really great to watch.

Bring it, next episodes!

What did you guys think? Are you loving it as much as I am? Comment below, or come talk to me on Twitter!


*These phone-things are so neat.
**Must not ship two people who have never met, must not ship two people who have never met, must not ship two people who have never met...
***Also, they waste a lot of water in their fight and no one tries to clean it up, which is distressing. Since the smashed ship was bringing their water supplies in, and they're aware that it's missing, you'd think they'd be more careful even in their rebellion against the water-rations.
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