Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sami on The Expanse 1.6


The Expanse airs at 10pm on Syfy Tuesday nights.

Just past the half-way point, and it feels like the Scrappy Survivors are just getting started! As was tweeted to me:
This week, they dock at super-awesome-looking Tycho Station, where they're met by someone who is known for not being super on their side--the guy given credit for blowing up those kids last week. He basically takes over: they'll never be able to hide a Martian ship from all the Martians coming through the station, so he's gonna take over the ship and the mission.

They say no; Holden says this is all his fault, all these dead people and exploded ships, so he's going to be the one to take the info about the mysterious new ships to where it needs to be himself. Of course, the rest of the Survivors go with; they're a team. But along the way, they have to come around to it. Alex and Amos go to a bar, where we find out that Amos apparently grew up in a brothel, though he doesn't say in what context. Alex was married but loved space more*. Both of them are more complicated than they first seemed, and are much more likable now that they are.

Naomi and Holden get drunk and toast Shed, but they don't notice they're being watched by a creeper with a bionic eye. The tech looks fancy, so someone from Earth?

And Fred finds the little chip with the new ships' specs on it, that Holden didn't know to look for and would really help his mission. He doesn't mention it to Holden, and he seemed to know exactly where to look for it.

Meanwhile, on Ceres, Miller gets seriously beat up by the rebel leader / mob boss Jared Harris With An Accent, and they have a really great philosophical discussion about life in the Belt. He killed his sister, but he thinks it's a mercy killing, not murder, because she was so damaged by being born and raised in the Belt that she couldn't survive and her existence was a burden. He didn't say what she thought about it. Miller says "everyone dies for the cause but you". They argue over whether Julie Mao knew what she was getting into or not.

And Jared Harris With An Accent realizes that Miller is in love with her. All he says is "Yeah," in a totally hopeless tone of voice. I'm a sucker for longing and pining and it's amazing. They did that scene so well.

He then gets dumped in an airlock and half-spaced, but his old flame saves him--by killing the thugs when she'd never killed anyone before, and when she freaks and he comforts her, and she tries to go back to old ways, he turns her down. She's confused, and he looks like he's sick of himself, and it's also a great scene,

Miller takes all his pieces of info to his boss--and she locks up the files, strips him of all his clearances, and fires him. On the spot. Because she's on the take and he's too close to the truth. She doesn't kill him, though, so there's that.

And back on Earth, the Ambassador is still pulling strings that look a lot like burning bridges, trying to figure out what all of this means.

The episode ends with the Scrappy Survivors heading off to their next mission on their new (and newly renamed) ship, and it literally feels like everything until here has been prologue--which is amazing. This is the start of the second half of the season, and the first half was amazing, so how much more amazing will the second half be?

The Expanse is so cool. It looks great, it's complex, it's packed with politics but not boring because of it, and I think that's because the characters are so flawed and solid and real. Miller falling for someone half his age who he's never met, and because of wanting to know what happened to her, uncovering a crazy plot to destroy everything. Holden trying to do the right thing and getting himself and his crew right in the middle of the crazy that's starting a war. Rebels trying to get a little of what they work for for themselves and their families. And who knows what Mars wants, or Earth. It's stunning. It looks gorgeous and so very real. It's exciting. And it's about hope and loss and mystery and desperation.

I didn't expect to love this show and these people so much.

What did you guys think of this week?


*Amos apparently isn't as straight as he's seemed, based on how he reacted to the people in the bar. And Alex didn't say whether it was a wife or a husband he had and lost. These are character things to think about and I hope they come up again!
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