Goodnight, Moon. The Expanse: “Static”

This week’s episode of The Expanse is titled “Static.” We all know that static in sci-fi and horror shows is no good right? That it’s always a conduit for evil? This episode sees Miller dealing with the fallout of his trigger-happiness, Amos bonding with a sociopath, Naomi dancing like no one is watching, and Avasarala taking a gamble.

(Spoilers ahead, naturally.)

So in a move that probably won’t cool this cold war down any, Earth blows up Mars’ moon.

What the hell, Earth?

I mean, granted, it’s just Deimos, the smaller moon, but still. 17 people are killed, and this only foments the Martians’ rage toward Earthers. Bobbie Draper attempts to calm her soldiers, while raging at her own commander when he says they aren’t allowed to retaliate. Tempers flare up especially because one of her team is an immigrant from Earth (“take a load off your heavy bones” one of the Martian-born soldiers taunts) and this results in a brawl that almost gets Bobbie sent to the brig. In the end, they smooth over their anger and recommit to each other. This thread is the weakest for me—as excited as I am to see more Martians, I’m finding it a bit overwrought so far, and, without a battle to throw the soldiers into, they seem to be treading water for now.

mars

Meanwhile, on Tycho Station, Holden continues yelling at everyone, sounding like a petulant child instead of a leader. Only Naomi and Fred keep him from attacking Miller, who drawls, “Got something you need to get off your chest, there?” Fred thinks he understands why Miller did what he did, and he sets him free, but he also keeps his gun and tells him to get the hell off Tycho. Miller and Amos talk, and Amos is also pretty much on Miller’s side, but, “Captain always gets a little jumpy if you kill someone without asking first.” Plus, since Amos thinks Holden is “as close to righteous as it gets out here” he feels obligated to uphold the ban on Miller.

Holden and Naomi get in a fight over Holden’s feelings, and Naomi and Alex make sure the Roci will be back to fly another day.

alex

Holden and Johnson attempt to interrogate the scientist they brought in from the Science Station, with Holden taking the lead by trying to appeal to the man’s empathy and bringing up his mother’s terminal illness. This does not work.

Alex goes back to work, running and re-running the flight simulation, tormenting himself with the thought of the people who died on his watch. Naomi goes out dancing with Johnson’s #1. Miller crashes with his crazy water-thief friend, and finds out that there’s a “a new banger, straight out of Eros”—Belter DJs are taking sounds coming off of Eros Station and turning them into dance music as a kind of tribute. Are these the screams of the dying? Or is something else going on on that station? Miller investigates, and comes to the Mormons. He wants to hear about the Mormons’ journey, and their ship the Nauvoo.

nauvoo

They learn that the Scientist has been altered, he’s had his empathy essentially hijacked, so he can experiment on people without caring. Amos perks up his ears at this. Amos recognizes a kindred spirit, and goes alone to his cell to describe what he saw when they found Julie Mao’s body. Amos easily wins “Most Disturbing Scene of the Episode.” The scientist becomes extremely agitated, and tells Amos all about the proto-molecule. He reports back to Holden that the man is like a pedophile: if you ask him blunt question about doing horrible things to children, he’s not going to respond. Sow him pictures of children, and he can’t stop himself from talking. “Eros is his pedophilia” Amos says, handily winning “Most Disturbing Sentence of the Episode” and Holden tries showing the scientist images of Phoebe station.

scientist

As Amos predicted, the scientist tells them everything they could want to know about the proto-molecule, with a detachment that Holden clearly finds unsettling:

“You infected them and watched them die?

“We watched it work. The proto-molecule is the first evidence of a tree of life apart from our own. It didn’t come with an instruction manual.”

Avasarala’s spy gives her a clear channel to Johnson, and she reaches out to him, despite the treason. “If you have any cards left in your hand, the time to play them is now.” He immediately decides to help, which is incredibly sweet, really: in the midst of all this brutality, two of the most hardened players are willing to risk their own safety to avert a war.

Finally, the scientist figures out that the proto-molecule is pulsing, and maybe…counting down?

To what?

avaserala

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Avasarala receives the intel from Johnson, and responds with a resounding “What the fuck?” and Miller walks back into Johnson’s office to negotiate a deal to take care of Eros.

Random Thoughts Drifting in Space

  • OK, speaking as someone who was CAPSLOCK excited about Bobbie Draper last week, I’m already getting frustrated with this storyline. The tiff between the members of her platoon felt like manufactured drama rather than anything organic, and after their bang-up introduction, I want  to see them in action!
  • I would, however, watch an entire episode of Miller trying to be roomies with Diogo. That’s some Spike-living-with-Giles-level shit, right there.

odd-couple

  • Am I the only one who likes Belter EDM?
  • I also loved the way the show followed each character’s brief time off. Alex and Holden are incapable of letting anything go, while Naomi loses herself at a club for a few hours, and Amos probably derives genuine pleasure from talking to the Scientist.
  • Is Amos a sociopath? Is that what’s being implied by his interest in he Scientist? Why is television suddenly nothing but sociopaths?
  • Holy crap the Nauvoo is amazing! Getting to see the plan for the Earth-like paradise inside gave me chills. too bad it looks like Miller has a larger plan for it.

Leah Schnelbach will miss that tiny moon. You can find her on Twitter!

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