Quote of the Week- “Well this is off to a good start.”
SPOILER ALERT-Do not read if you have not seen episode nine of The Expanse season two.
Let’s get ready to rumble! Irresistible force meets immovable object when Bobbie encounters Avasarala. Mars versus Earth.
The episode opens with the relief ship, the Weeping Somnambulist, headed toward Ganymede when they are
boarded by Mars soldiers. The Mars soldiers are really the Rocinante crew. They want to use the Weeping Somnambulist (WS) as a cover to get past the Martian blockade of Ganymede. The Rocinante crew take over the ship from Melissa and Santichai, who are the crew of the WS. Alex pilots the Rocinante to a moon of Jupiter to hide her from the Martians. He leaves Amos, Holden, and Naomi on board the WS.
On Ganymede, the Rocinante crew is greeted by a station trying to recover from the devastation caused by the solar
mirror. Unfortunately, everyone is not as altruistic as the crew of the WS. A group of thugs attempt to steal the relief cargo and the WS from the Melissa and Santichai. Amos and Holden kill the robbers but Santichai is killed during the firefight. Melissa is so grief stricken that she threatens to turn in the Rocinante crew unless they leave her ship immediately. *see below*
On Earth the Martians land. Due to the stronger gravity, the Martians have to take a number of drugs to alleviate the negative effects on their bodies. The Martian Command orders Bobbie to wear the Purple Heart when she testifies at the Earth and Mars council meeting. For Bobbie, this visit to Earth calls into question all of her preconceived ideas regarding Earth. One of the most revealing questions she asks is about the ocean. She wants to know if it as big as she heard. It seems that Bobbie can’t believe something like the ocean can exist.
Before the joint session of Earth and Mars, Bobbie gives her doctored rendition of what happened on Ganymede. What the Martian Command had not told her was that Pvt. Travis would be blamed for firing the first shot. This makes Bobbie livid. She rightfully feels betrayed but does not voice her objections in front of the joint council. Avasarala is not fooled. She later asks to question Bobbie before the council.
Avasarala begins a skillful questioning of Bobbie. Chrisjen carefully lays the foundation to reach Bobbie and the truth. Under her questioning, Bobbie begins to breakdown and tells the truth. Bobbie mentions the person with no vacuum suit. At this point, Capt. Martens stops Bobbie. Avasarala tells the Captain to ‘shut up’ in her inimitable style. The Martian Minister of Defense reminds Bobbie of her duty, at which point Bobbie repeats the bogus account of what transpired on Ganymede.
Meanwhile, the Arboghast, the UN military research vessel tasked with monitoring the Eros crash site on Venus, arrives at its destination. They are not alone. Mars has sent a ship as well. Avasarala’s spy, Dr. Iturbi, continues to send data to her as the military commander of the Arboghast is still blissfully ignorant of what Eros is. Dr. Iturbi transmits startling information to Avasarala about what is being observed on Venus. Eros is changing Venus! There is evidence of biological compounds in the atmosphere above the Eros crater on Venus. This should be impossible since the environment is hot enough to melt lead.
On the surface, this episode seems to be slow-moving since there are no space battles, launching of giant spacecraft, or small moons crashing into planets. Of course, as watchers of The Expanse know, every episode and fact we learn is relevant in this universe. Bobbie has to wade through the morass created by her lying about what occurred on Ganymede. She has to come to grips with how her lie hurts a loyal, dead squad mate who was her responsibility. Holden has to reconcile his beliefs with killing robbers to save the crewmembers of the WS and the desperately needed supplies on Ganymede. Unfortunately, one of the crew members of the WS dies as a result of their actions. Avasarala learns that some type of life is being created on Venus and that there is something that can live in the vacuum of space. This clearly tells us that Protomolecule was not destroyed when Eros crashed into Venus. Also, the Protomolecule was used to create something on Ganymede.
For those who have read the books, you know all of these events are leading to one of the greatest revelations in science fiction. By the end of the season, we will know how a little girl on Ganymede, a thing that can exist in the vacuum of space, and Eros creating biological compounds on Venus are related. As I said in my previous article, make sure your seat belts are tightened. The ride is only going to get more exciting.
*SPOILER ALERT*- We will see Melissa and the Weeping Somnambulist later this season.
Have questions about The Expanse or want to discuss this episode? Join the conversation on the FoCC forum