Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sami on The Expanse 1.5


The Expanse airs at 10pm on Tuesday nights on Syfy.

You guys. This show is so great. I can hardly believe how this channel has suddenly jumped from, like, 100% dull or crap to this whole new world of awesome and well made and really gorgeous new shows.

This week:

Holden and the Scrappy Survivors have successfully (mostly) not been killed in two ship explosions and are trying to figure out what to do, but they're aware of how it must look--all this not dying as things explode--and that leads to limited choices. They get a call from someone on Tycho Station that shouldn't have been able to find them, and he offers them safety if they go there. Naomi is flat against it, but Amos sways her; she's got a past she's not talking about and it has to do with people like the guy who called them.

Meanwhile, they find out that Holden is the Mockingjay for the riots breaking out on Ceres, and none of them know what to do with that information--and not being arrested as terrorists is more pressing. And they rename their ship to claim it as their own.

Through the whole episode, there's these clips of a strike on a mining platform; they wanted to get safer conditions for all their children, who were all growing up with brain damage because of how unhealthy the place was--low air, toxic fumes, etc--and they finally ran out of options and surrendered...But they were destroyed anyway. And it was the guy who offered our Survivors a safe haven.

Dun dun DUN!

Back on Ceres, Miller and his rockstar hair* are still looking for Julie Mao. He's connected that her ship was on an intercept course that fell apart right where all the other ships keep blowing up, and that her "pampered rich girl disappearance" is connected to all this war-mongering. He's also tracked down the guy who got her on a ship, and there's a really great scene with clashing badassery where he finds out she was working actively in dangerous situations to save children, and then looks all like he's totally in love with her.**

His partner is somehow not dead, despite having been pinned to a wall with a steel pipe, and he managed to crawl back to where people were so he could be saved. How awful must that have been? Crawling across all that distance to a thoroughfare with a giant stake through his chest? And how did he get off the wall? I'm going to blame it on his regular-gravity self dealing with the low-grav station. Miller is not super happy with what happened, and totally dismisses the local lady of the night who has been helping partner-boy learn the local language, which starts a fight between them.

Miller's walking a line between being a Belter and being a cop, and it's getting thinner. In the course of his investigations, he's gotten the attention of the local mob boss who wants to recruit him, and wants to take Ceres for the Belters who live and work and die there, since they see so little payback for all their sacrifice. Which is understandable, and since it's Jared Harris, it's compelling and a little creepy. It's unclear whether he's being a badguy or not this time; he does that grey-between-moralities really well.

We didn't visit Earth this week, and Mars still hasn't been visited, but the Survivors are on a sleek new Martian ship with a dead Martian (who was really cool) frozen in the infirmary. It doesn't seem like they searched his pockets, so where's that data thing his Captain gave him, and when will it come up again?

We've got ten episodes this season, and that makes this the mid-point: the place where things start falling into place and make everything look different. So good job, show! War is ever closer, the Scrappy Survivors are stuck in the middle of it, there's some third party out there*** picking on both sides and leaving almost no survivors so that it looks like Mars is attacking, the various Belter groups are fed up with getting used, and the few people who could throw light on the situation are missing or dead.

Everything should start sliding toward the finale now, probably with lots of awesome space battles, but what else will be discovered along the way? That's probably the best part of this show--it's not just awesome ships blowing up other awesome ships--it's also this complex and interesting mystery that everyone has a piece of but no one is yet connecting up, except for Miller. Which, of course, puts him right in the danger zone between all these factions as soon as he starts talking.

The Expanse started out good, but now it's addictive and impressive and hard to guess, and that makes it amazing!

What did you think of this week's episode? Share in the comments, or come talk to me on Twitter!

Here's what the Professional Fangirls had to say about this week's The Expanse:
*Someone on Twitter suggested it should have it's own name, it's so noticeable every time he takes his hat off. I kind of dig it, and the other half-shaved hairstyles going on in this show; it makes me think dangerously about cutting hair...
**They haven't even met and I ship them, damn.
***I'm voting for aliens. There's not enough aliens on TV these days. It's probably some secret faction of one government or another, but I really want aliens.
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