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The Expanse - 2 Seasons Left

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Season 3 eps 5 & 6





A very climactic couple of episodes, as things on Io and around the system come to a head.


The war is ongoing and it looks like Callisto is going to be the site of the decisive battle, as the UN and Martian fleets amass there. But the UN ship that Admiral Nguyen has taken over is heading towards Io so he can take control of the protomolecule hybrids and launch them at Mars. Aboard one of the Martian ships, our new friend with the Errinwright message passes it on to his CO, with the request to send it on to Admiral Souther. Then she notices Souther's ship heading off to Io. So she follows. Then a load of UN ships take notice and also follow. The Rocinante is heading to Io as well to continue the search for Mei. Shit's gonna kick off.


In orbit a stand off is developing with the Martians able to fire, but holding off. The captain sends the message to Souther instead. He attempts to mutiny against Nguyen and sends out a message to the rest of the UN fleet that Nguyen is a traitor, but Nguyen's people fight back and kill the mutineers. Nguyen fires on a UN ship for refusing to follow his orders! Now the UN ships are all firing at each other. The Martians look on, like wtf. Amid the chaos Nguyen instructs Mao on Io to give him control over the hybrid launcher, then he fires them. Oh shit.


The Rocinante is on the surface by this point and Alex tries to shoot as many as he can, but soon runs out of ammo, and loads get past. The fleet in orbit also take out some, but again, loads get past. The UN flagship, with Nguyen on board, is struck by one.


In the Io labs, Mao and Strickland have been studying the now almost completely protomoleculed kid (whose name I can't remember). He's communicating with Venus and the protomolecule there is apparently building something? Building what? We still don't know anything about what the protomolecule is, where it came from and what its motivations are. I hope we do find out at some point and it's not merely a mystery-carrot, dangling forever just out of reach. Anyway, proto-kid has by this point fully turned into one of the full hybrid monster things, so they need a new test subject. Mei is apparently the next best option among the remaining kids. Will Mao consent to this little girl who he has developed fatherly feelings toward being experimented on? Of course he will. If he's willing to sacrifice his own actual daughter to this stuff, he's definitely willing to sacrifice some other child.


Holden, Amos, Bobbie and Prax have got in though, and are making their way over to the labs. Mao instructs the scientists to try and fight them off, callously sacrificing more lives so he, the doctor and the kids can escape, and the experiments continue. They also let the fully hybridised kid out to fight them as well. Bobbie spots it first and lures it out into the open for a fight. She wants revenge for her team and I can sort of sympathise, but we got to know the kid who became this thing a little bit, so it's just sad when Bobbie eventually kills it.


While Holden searches for a way to stop the hybrid missiles, Prax and Amos look for the kids. They find them and Prax is finally reunited with Mei. What does it say about me that during this touching scene, I was fully expecting something tragic? Like the doctor blowing Prax's brains out or something. I guess Game of Thrones has taught me to expect the worst. Anyway, that didn't happen, thankfully, and Amos leads the kids away while Prax stays behind for some vengeance. Amos stops him though, saying you're not that guy. Then gets the best line of the episode yet again with "I am that guy," before executing the doctor.


Alex and Naomi are aboard the protomolecule infected UN ship, attempting to stop the missiles. Naomi can change their course but only one by one. They don't have time for that though, as Cotyar is stopping the spread of protomolecule by overloading the ship's energy core, blowing it up. Before escaping, Naomi switches the missiles transponders on, making them visible to scanners. She suggests sending their location to Johnson, so he can blow them up with the nukes he stole from Earth a while back.


On Earth, Anna shows the Secretary General the Errinwright treason message, so he has Errinwright arrested. But he only does it to make himself look better. Errinwright was right about him; he's a vain, empty shell.



Whooooo weee! What a couple of episodes! They really felt like an ending, with various plot threads being tied up. I guess this was another case of the end of one of the books occurring half way through a season. I think I like the way they do that; you get a big climax moment, but then there's still half a season to go, to set up the next story lines.


So, the state of things at the moment:



The war has stopped(?), Errinwright is in prison, the Roci crew have rescued the kids from Io, they've captured Mao and Johnson has blown up the hybrid missiles (maybe). Things are looking pretty good!


But wait. Something's happening on Venus. To quote the great philosopher Amos, "what the fuck is that?"


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Season 3 eps 7 & 8



Whaaaaaaaa? A ring? The protomolecule has made a big ring in space? Which is just hanging there? What is it, a Stargate? Try flying through it, obviously. Ah wait, nothing happens if you try and fly through it, clearly, there's been a fleet of both UN and Martian ships hanging around by it for, what, months? So clearly they've tried flying through it. I mean, what kind of idiots wouldn't think of that?


I'll tell you who does think of it, this belter slingshot racer kid trying to impress a girl. He comes up with a course that will send him right through the centre of the damn thing, right in front of everyone. Audacious. If that doesn't get him laid, nothing will. 




Umm. Didn't see that coming. His ship came to a complete standstill, but he carried on going and became a splat. So it's not so much a Stargate as a Starwall? Which somehow stops ships flying through it instantaneously, but without damaging them? But any people on board are not affected by this magic, inertialess barrier, so they keep on going at whatever speed their ship hit the thing at? 


What's the point in that? Well, who can fathom the alien mind. I'm now fully expecting Metal Space Cthulu to emerge from it at some point.


As for other things that happened, Naomi is now the Chief Engineer of the Behemoth, the Mormon ark which the belters' have stolen and refitted. The captain is Johnson's second in command on Tycho. Can't remember her name. Tanner? No, something like that. Anyway, a new guy arrives to be the first officer. He's immediately unlikeable and you instantly think he's going to mutiny at some point. But then he is right when it comes to his views on capital punishment. Maybe he's not such a dick after all?


A technician aboard one of the UN ships plants a bomb. She also seems to take a drug that she has hidden in a tooth when she's discovered, which gives her super strength for a minute, but then knocks her out. Martian maybe? We know they take drugs to enhance their interrogation abilities, so maybe Martian spies have drugs for other purposes. But then she seems genuinely regretful about killing the guy who discovered the bomb, so I dunno.


Holden, Amos and Alex have a documentary team on board. Apparently the production company are funding their legal battle to keep the Rocinante in exchange for access to make this documentary. By the way, this implies that if there's a court case underway over ownership of the Rocinante, there must be a gigantic one over the Behemoth between the Mormons and the OPA. Who's funding that? Anyway, the documentary team are clearly shifty and untrustworthy and, sure enough, the camera guy is constantly snooping around the ship, and we see him exchange a piece of plastic in a cupboard for a different one. What are these supposed to be, memory chips or something? Circuit boards? Meanwhile, Holden is seeing Miller. Miller keeps appearing and speaking cryptically about a brothel down in sector 8. Holden doesn't know what to make of this and thinks he's going mad. It must be something to do with the protomolecule Starwall and the glob of it on the Rocinante. The protomolecule is recreating Miller in order to investigate something? And is able to project him onto the Rocinante because there is some protomolecule there? Once again, dunno.


The mysterious spies' plan comes off, as the bomb is detonated, destroying one of the UN ships, then a fake message is broadcast from the Rocinante, purporting to be from Holden, declaring that the ring belongs to the OPA, and if anyone disagrees, more ships will be destroyed. Oh shit. Tanner(?) on the Behemoth locks onto the Rocinante despite Naomi's protests and attempts to fire, but the power shuts off. The refit clearly isn't up to scratch. A UN ship fires instead, so Holden asks Miller what to do and gets more cryptic bollocks, which he interprets as fly into the ring. But slow down so you don't go splat. So that's what they do. It all goes black just as they're about to impact the wall, and the torpedo is about to impact them. Holden wakes up and everything is frozen, as if time has stopped.




Crikey. Things have taken a turn for the weird.

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Season 3 eps 9 & 10



What even the fuck did I just watch?


Ok, some stuff happened: Earth, Mars and the OPA now all have ships inside the thing. We find out that the mysterious bomb planter is Julie Mao's sister, and is on a mission against Holden, in revenge for bringing down daddy Mao. She is discovered by someone else on the UN ship who knows her, so she crunches one of her super strength drugs and is about to fight back before the protomolecule nucleus grabs the ship.


Naomi is having doubts about the leadership of the Behemoth after they attempted to fire on the Rocinante, so she decides to leave and rejoin the Roci. Drummer allows her to go, which the second in command pirate guy doesn't take too kindly to. He implies he and his men will mutiny, which his men seem more than ready for.


But the focus of these episodes is undoubtedly Holden and his Journey of Discovery. 


The Rocinante crew need to fix the ship as it's still disabled after the camera guy's tampering. Amos gets all stabby and threatens them, but it turns out camera guy didn't really know what he was doing. He shows them which particular piece of perspex in which particular cupboard he exchanged, but changing them back doesn't fix the ship. They need Naomi for that. Amos chucks the spies out of the airlock, but allows them to put on a pressure suit first, which is merciful.


They're all in trouble as they're being chased by a Martian ship. They can't slow down because they'll be caught. They can't speed up because the nucleus grabs any ship that goes above a certain speed. They can't maintain their course because they'll collide with the edge of the bubble and be destroyed. What to do?


Miller appears to Holden again and tells him to go to the nucleus by himself in a pressure suit. So he does. This leads to some surreal scenes with Holden in a suit, floating through the weird space they're in, with Miller in his normal clothing 'standing' next to him and discussing metaphysics. Totally bizarre. Love it. If someone who had never seen the show before walked in while this scene was on, they would be utterly perplexed.


The Martians have noticed Holden and sent a drop ship of marines to intercept. Bobbie is one of them. Holden speeds up to the maximum allowable speed and reaches the nucleus, which opens a portal to allow him in. More surreal scenes as Holden and Miller float down this blue corridor of alien technology. Miller says a couple of interesting things, one is that he isn't really there (no shit),  he only appears to be there as the protomolecule is manipulating Holden's brain in such a way as to make it appear that Miller is there talking to him. The second is that what this whole thing is is remnants of an ancient civilization, billions of years old. So presumably there are none of this alien civilization left, just their technology. They reach the centre and Miller tells Holden to activate the device. To switch it on. This weird, twisty stalactite/stalagmite pair of things emerge, but there is a small gap between them, they don't quite touch. He's about to activate it when the marines arrive. There's a stand off for a second but they fire when Holden goes for the switch. Then shit kicks off. 


The bullets all get stopped in their tracks by the protomolecule; some sort of threat elimination system is activated, which is grenaded by a marine; the nucleus responds by stopping all of the ships inside the bubble and grabbing the grenade marine and ripping him apart; Holden rushes in and sticks his hand in the gap.


He has visions.


At first you see things running backwards; the creation of the ring, the protomolecule thing emerging from Venus. I thought for a moment it was going to reset the timeline and Holden would be sent back to the beginning of the show, but with knowledge of what was going to happen. That would have been a bold move for the show to make. But then we see Holden inside the bubble but with loads of the rings leading out into normal space, each apparently pointing at a different solar system. So is this some kind of transportation hub? You fly through the ring into a little bubble universe, then out through a different ring and bam, shortcut to a different solar system which would take like hundreds of thousands of years to fly to through normal space. Something like that, anyway. But then we see the nucleus firing a beam through one of the rings into the star at the centre of that system. I don't think it was our system, the planets seemed wrong. The star first turned blue then exploded. Wow. So it's a weapon as well as a transportation thing? That is some powerful technology. Holden then pulls his hand out of the thing. Was he thinking that our sun would be destroyed if he stayed linked to it? 




Think of all the 'mind blown' gifs you know and imagine I posted them here. 

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Season 3 eps 11-13



Well, that's changed things hasn't it?


Long story short, after various mini crises, everyone gathers on the Behemoth as it's the only ship with (apparent) gravity, where injured people can heal. The new captain of the Behemoth comes up with a plan to attempt to destroy the ring, but Holden knows this will result in the protomolecule station at the centre of the bubble seeing humans as a threat and destroying the sun. Holden's alternative plan is show that they're not a threat by all ships powering down their fusion drives.


There is conflict between the two sides. Notable moments include Bobbie Draper with a couple of other marines squaring off against Alex and Amos, but flipping sides. I think that could be the end of her time in the Martian navy. She should join the the Rocinante instead, assuming they get to keep it. Diogo, swaggering idiot belter kid, got splatted by a lift. "Melba Koh," Julie Mao's sister, who was on a mission of revenge against Holden, switched sides and actually saved the day in the end. The power of Holden's apparently insane conversations with Miller must have persuaded her somehow?


The upshot of it all though, is humanity now has access to a shortcut to thousands (?) of other systems, ripe for exploring. What is going to be found? Other alien civilizations? We know that the people who created the protomolecule are gone, killed by something, apparently, but that doesn't mean there cannot be other alien races out there. Can't wait to find out!


I really hope they don't cock-tease in the next season, and spend a few episodes on the politics of the system and treaties about who gets to explore which rings (oo-er missus). Hopefully we'll get to plunge right in without delay.


Great stuff, can't wait for season 4. Thankfully I don't have to! 

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Probably December, but it depends on how much post has been messed up by the virus and whether they've had to shoot a scene where Alex's lasagna explodes in his face requiring complete voice and face reconstruction.

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The show runners and parent company are investigating (via a third party) and the rest of the cast have spoken out in support of the victims. 

Bit of an awkward one, especially as he’s been such a huge cheerleader for the show and engaged in so much promotion in his own time. I wonder if there’s any way back from this. 

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2 hours ago, Chadruharazzeb said:

If this is all in relation to that vague tweet you posted he'll be fine.

It’s more the specific tweets full of complete Messenger transcripts of him being a creepy bastard to fans that are going to be a problem for him.

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Season 4 ep 1


One episode at a time now, in an attempt to eke it out as long as possible.



Time has passed and everybody has new roles in the new world order.


Ashford is now on pirate patrol, protecting mostly inner ships from belter raids. It doesn't seem to sit well with him, and when one pirate he catches accuses him of being a lapdog of the inners, part of him agrees. Since the OPA signed a treaty with Earth and Mars, propaganda messages from non-OPA belter factions have started appearing, claiming Johnson and Dawes do not represent the interests of all belters. I can see Ashford going rogue and launching his own raids on inner ships.


Bobbie is a civilian now, working as some kind of mechanic in the shipyards. As she's going to work one day an announcement comes over the system along the lines of "citizens, reminder that your quarterly review is due soon." Ugh. Imagine having that kind of shit not just in your job, but in your life. Imagine being at work 24/7; that seems to be what life on Mars is like. Fuck that. Although I guess the alternative on Earth is to not have a job at all, and be living in crushing poverty on Basic. Anyway, don't know where Bobbie's story is going yet.


Avarasala is Secretary General now. She summons Holden and asks him to take the Rocinante through the ring to a planet where there seem to be some protomolecule related ruins. It's also a planet where some belter refugees are trying to make their home, after breaking the blockade of the rings. It seems the UN have taken it upon themselves to restrict access to the rings, only allowing through those it deems worthy. Typical arrogant Earther attitude.


The Rocinante goes through the rings. It seems they're legit now, and legally own the ship. They seem to operate as independent contractors, taking on whatever jobs they want. On their way through, Naomi messages Drummer, who is still in charge of the Behemoth, but it's been renamed and just hangs around near the ring station, overseeing the whole ring system.


On the new planet, an Earth security company arrives to evict the belters or something? Not quite sure. Their ship seems to come under attack as they're landing, and it crashes, killing most of the crew. The belters help out as best they can, giving aid to the survivors. The Roci arrives and they go for a chat. This is the first time Naomi has been in a planet and she finds it a bit overwhelming at first. They get to the settlement and things are tense between the belters and security company. Probably not helped by the head security guy being Karl Fuckin' Tanner from Game of Thrones. Guns are drawn and pointed in various directions. The stand off is resolved by a swarm of, er, sharp things which fly through, cutting people. Ah, this must be what happened to the UN ship. Holden finds a piece of it and what even is it? Metal? Rock? Chitin? Presumably it's related to the protomolecule ruins nearby. Find out soon, hopefully.


Good start to the new season. Intriguing set ups. Let's see where it goes from here.

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12 hours ago, Nifta said:

Is it him just shagging groupies in a creepy but consensual way, or is he forcing himself on people?

I've not heard about anything physical but it sounds like typical entitled C-list celebrity shit, like not taking "no" for an answer and going on a massive rant about he's that sort of alpha personality who can't take "no" for an answer.

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  • JohnC changed the title to The Expanse - 2 Seasons Left

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