Recap: The Expanse – Godspeed

By: Michael Pea

SPOILER ALERTDo not read if you have not seen Godspeed (Episode Four of The Expanse Season Two).  

THE EXPANSE — “Godspeed” Episode 204 — Pictured: Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala 

Godspeed opens with Avasarala’s team exploring the derelict stealth ship. From the data they gather, Avasarala realizes that Protogen and Jules Mao are behind the stealth ships and the march to war.  She orders her team to push the ship into normal shipping routes so that it can be “found.” Later, when Jules meets with Errinwright and

Avasarala, he proclaims ignorance of the ship. It is clear at the meeting that Avasarala finds his denial questionable at best. Jules concludes later, in a call to Errinwright, that Avasarala knows about the relationship between Errinwright and Mao. He tells Errinwright to fix it.

Meanwhile, Fred Johnson has briefed Holden on Miller’s plan to use the Nauvoo, the Mormon ship, to knock Eros into the Sun. The plan is both bold and crazy, since the Nauvoo is the only vehicle with enough mass to knock Eros into the Sun. Naomi points out to Fred that this will destroy him. Fred, to his credit, is willing to make the sacrifice to stop the Protomolecule. The Rocinante will ride shotgun on the mission, while the Guy Molinari will take the demolition crew to destroy the airlocks on Eros before the Nauvoo knocks Eros into the Sun. As the ships and teams are preparing to depart Tycho Station on the mission, Miller and Naomi have a seemingly small discussion. Naomi asks Miller if he has told Johnson about the Protomolecule specimen that they hid in the asteroid field. He says he hasn’t

THE EXPANSE — “Godspeed” Episode 204 — Pictured: (l-r) Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata, Steven Strait as Earther James Holden, Chad Coleman as Fred Johnson

because he trusts Naomi to do the right thing with the specimen. But what is the right thing to do with the specimen? Can any good come from keeping it? The truth is we don’t know. Dresden and Mao were planning to weaponize it. But, as Dresden stated, it could give us the Solar System, perhaps the stars.  But, who could you trust with this kind of power?

From this highly personal and human perspective, the show goes to some of the most visually impressive imagery to date in the series. We move into space and witness the awesome beauty and majesty of the ship that is the Nauvoo. The Mormons have created a vessel that is mankind’s hope for the future, but not in the way they imagined. The launch of the Nauvoo is awe-inspiring as hundreds of space tugs scatter away like ants while the greatest ship ever created by humankind rockets into space, possibly to save its creators.

The demolition teams arrive on Eros. Miller is still with Diogo, who of course has not stopped talking. Diogo’s youthful exuberance and Miller’s stoic cynicism represent the quintessential contrast between youthful idealism and adult pragmatism. Their constant bantering hides a true friendship that has been built over their time together.

After the demolition teams are deployed to set the explosives on Eros, the Rocinante discovers a relief ship, the Marasmus, docked on Eros. Just a quick note, this ship is not in the novels, and as such, brings in a bit of mystery for those who have read the books. This is what makes the television show amazing. It adds new ideas, elements,  and characters which are not in the books.  

Holden orders the ship to leave. Eventually, the Marasmus agrees to depart. However, as it goes, Miller reports that he has found a dead crewmember of the Marasmus on Eros. Holden immediately orders the Marasmus to stop and allow them to board, to ensure that the Protomolecule has not infected them. The Marasmus refuses to comply, as they want to broadcast to the Solar System what happened on Eros. Holden has to make the very difficult decision to destroy the Marasmus.  For Holden, this is the evolving journey from a person running from responsibility to becoming a leader.  He makes the tough call and he owns it.

THE EXPANSE — “Godspeed” Episode 204 — Pictured: Thomas Jane as Detective Joe Miller

Unfortunately, the destruction of the Marasmus has consequences for more than just Holden’s psyche, it has damaged the detonation panel of one the bombs. This panel has now become a dead-man switch, with Diogo holding the bag. Miller takes over for Diogo and sends the Diogo back to the Guy Molinari.  This is easily one of the most effective emotional scenes in the entire series thus far. These two have been through so much together. Miller makes the ultimate sacrifice for the “kid.”

Again, we go from the deeply personal to the visually stunning pictures of space as Miller sees the Nauvoo rocketing toward Eros. But Miller also hears the chatter from Eros intensify and speed up. The Nauvoo misses Eros! Miller can’t believe his eyes. He queries Holden as to how the Nauvoo could have missed Eros. Holden replies, “The Nauvoo didn’t move, Eros did.” It seems to me Holden’s line should have been, “The Nauvoo didn’t miss, Eros moved.”

Episode four, Godspeed, is amazing on so many levels. Visually, it reminds us of the beauty and wonder of space travel. When we see the launch of the Nauvoo, the visuals are stunning and the scale is mind-blowing. On the human level, we witness the sacrifice Miller and Johnson are willing to make to stop the Protomolecule. At the same time, we feel the horror of Holden’s decision to destroy a ship to stop the spread of the Protomolecule. Godspeed touches our hearts and our minds.

But there is still the issue of Eros. Somehow, Eros has the ability to move. Did it move because it could or did it move to save itself from the Nauvoo? I think it is safe to say that Eros is not done moving.  But where is it going? The previews say Earth. I say fasten your seatbelts and shoulder restraints, Eros is about to take us on an incredible ride.

Miclpea

I love going to conventions around the US. I'm an ardent fan of all things science fiction and especially The Expanse. I write for Friends of CC and I have written a science fiction script with a friend.