The Expanse Recap: The Monster and The Rocket

Season 2 / Episode 12 / SyFy Channel

Sorry to break it to y’all, but I think Holden has lost his actual mind. Not to say it isn’t pretty well earned, I mean dealing with aliens can get kind of brain melty, but still. Once you’re yelling at your pilot to fly a ship through an ag dome while you machine gun wisps of blue goo…maybe it is time to take a step back, have a cup of decaf, and chill. Try some country music. Alex has some of the sleepy songs all set up in his Spotify. But before we get to that, we have to talk Errinwright, or as I call him, That Mu’fucker.

Earth

I told y’all That Mu’fucker was up to some shit. But what shit exactly, I didn’t know. This opening sequence had me thinking that he was actually turning his hatred and ambition inward — the purposeful neck prick, the flashback voiceover with Avasarala being totally unhelpful, it is all a set-up for suicide. Then he goes all “Jonny let’s have this one last talk; you follow your heart” moment with his son. I wonder if anyone has sympathy for That Mu’fucker, if any of the viewers think “yo, he’s a good guy, just trying to buy a super weapon that he can use for mutually assured destruction, you know…like you do.”

Above Ganymede

Alex and Jim
Holden and Alex have a weird “Native Americans were obsolete” conversation that is one of the more predictable and trite lines of dialog in the show. I expect better from writers who have generally refused to engage in modern stereotyping of their diverse cast. Luckily, they don’t linger on extended, bizarre past vs future comparisons, but they move on to shooting up the landscape. Holden is clearly fraying, his face all scowly. It would be more moving if the actor had a wider range of facial expressions…I find his “I’m angry” scowl and his “I want to sex up Naomi” scowl and his “I have no idea what’s going on” scowl to all be interchangeable.

Prax tries to talk some sense into Holden, which is understandable that Prax is the only dude on the ship who still has sense left. Holden dismisses him, calling him Plant Boy, and continues yelling at Alex, who’s just trying to be his best. Folks always want to yell at the pilot.

Earth, UN HQ

Ah, the be strong talk. The giving away of all of his most loved items. Still not feeling sorry for him. Not one bit.

Ganymede Station

Belta Lady say:
The Somnambulist is taking all comers, well…except for Naomi and Amos that is. Naomi offers to fix what they shot up.

“You people are shit magnets,” the Belta Lady says. True facts. But she lets Naomi get to work anyway, with a clearly wounded and unsteady Amos standing protectively near by.

Earth, Avasarala’s office

Bobbi and Cotyar are adorable together, well, adorable in that killers who sleep with one eye up kind of way. Their exchanges are so revealing of who each of them are — two career soldiers on opposite sides of a silent war, brought together by the gravity of Avasarala and the pressure of a system spinning out of control.



She doesn’t even say it mean, or sneering. She just says it. And you don’t doubt it. Cotyar doesn’t either.

Then you add Avasarala into the mix and it just gets better. With the boss sinking into petulance, Cotyar and Bobbi take turns laughing at and with her, distracting her while also mocking her weakness. I won’t say they’ve established a team dynamic, but you can see the contours of one forming, an alliance of people trying to stop the war from the inside that will balance out the crew of the Rocinante trying to stop it from the Belt. Really, as the leader of the threesome, Shohreh Aghdashloo plays Avasarala impeccably. Her monologues are profoundly delivered without being preachy, her interactions always aloof but genuine. This is a role the Emmy winner can sink herself into and she does it. She’s one of the best parts of the whole show, hands down.

Oh, here it is…That Mu’fucker is writing a letter alone, eyeing a pill…does he do it? Does he?

Ganymede

More madness from Holden. More yelling at Alex. More dismissing of Prax. Hunting down Caliban is stressful.

Ganymede station

Beltas getting restless...
Oh, the Belters are getting restless. Air cyclers are shutting down. The dock has been cut off from the rest of the station. There’s nowhere to go and the ship isn’t ready for all the passengers. It is, in short, a hot mess. This is what Belter Lady gets for trying to do right by these people. Amos, attempting to keep up his usual role, goes in to defend her, but quickly fails. He’s lost too much blood perhaps, is in too much pain. They shut the refugees out, they’ve gotten too dangerous. And then the kicker. The “but OF COURSE” kicker: the air refill station has shut down. The air tanks on the Somnambulist are only ¼ full. There’s enough air for 52 people. There are 100+ waiting to board. Decisions are gonna have to get made.

Earth

Sadavir Errinwright
Nope, he didn’t do it. Instead, That Mu’fucker took his rival Martian out to the opera. Their conversation reveals the set-up we’ve known had to be there from the jump: Mao had Errinwright on Earth and the Martian Emissary on Mars as his “partners”, using them to control the governments and promising them each some of the protomolecule. They could use it for defense or development or whatever else, but most importantly, they could maintain a balance of power while Mao just maintained power. These mu’fuckers.

Ganymede Station

The mob is losing its cool. Naomi has finished fixing the ship.

Earth

Heart Attack! That MU’FUCKER! Well, I guess we know who that pill was for, and it wasn’t Sadavir Errinwright. Poor dead Martian.

Space

Entrance
That. Walk. So, you may not know it, but there’s a way a woman walks when she’s in complete control of her body, when she’s put on her armor of confidence and picked up her sword of wit and is about to go to war. Avasarala comes off the elevator onto Mao’s ship in That Walk. If a woman steps to you like that, something’s getting wrecked. Probably you.
Unsurprisingly, Mao knows how to decorate his home away from home. Antiques and cultural…

The fucking point is that a Martian ship over Ganymede has been blown up and is pelting the station with debris. The Belters are screaming. Shit is meeting the fan.

The fucking point is that Avasarala has had e’rybody in Mao’s family arrested, including his cousin the monk (that’s cold). She’s frozen all his assets. Harassed all his friends. Pushed him to the edge.

The fucking point is that That Mu’fucker has blown up that Martian ship, and he makes a phone call and ruins everyone’s day, putting Avasarala and Mao on notice that he’s back on top and taking charge of this little project.

Well, that diplomatic tete-a-tete is over. Any cucumber sandwiches left?

Ganymede Station, one last time

Naomi can’t take it. She’s as wracked with guilt over what happened on Eros as Holden is, but instead of taking it out in bullets, she’s got to save more people. Amos tries to stop her, he remains a consistent bodyguard. She hits him with a double dose of painkillers, laying the big man on his back, steps over him and out into the dock to face her fellow belters.

Now what’s really interesting about this scene is that Naomi doesn’t convince the mob with her words, she convinces the heavy with her words, but she does convince them with her actions and her honesty. Naomi isn’t a powerful presence, but she gets shit done.

“Every single one of you knew, on the day you were born, Our Life Is Hard.”

Y’all, Belters are the only fucking adults in the entire solar system. They don’t like it, they’ll fight it, but they will suck it up and do right by each other when all the other humans are too busy chasing power to save their own lives, let alone someone else’s. Belters hear the truth and they handle their business. 52 people. They do what they have to do to save half, so that they save some.

“You’re not finished yet.”

Nope, they’re not. One more episode in the season. 45 more minutes. Let’s see what it holds.

You can read all of our Expanse coverage here on the site.

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