THE EXPANSE – Season 2 Episode 6 – SPOILERS
Naomi Nagata is up to something. She pretends to follow Holden’s orders and send the sample of protomolecule (the one The Rocinante had previously hidden) into the sun. In actuality, the sample remains hidden, and only Naomi knows that. She visits Fred Johnson, and persuades him to release the story of Miller and Julie (without any mention of the protomolecule). Later, she volunteers to help Drummer (Cara Gee) reprogram the twenty-nine interplanetary thermonuclear missiles that Fred hijacked. One suspects Naomi might leave a back door open in the programming so that, if the necessity arises, she can control those missiles.
The Martians were very suspicious about Naomi when they interrogated Holden and his crew in Season One, just before The Donnager was destroyed.
In a long and fiery speech, Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) gives Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) the word that Jules-Pierre Mao needs to turn himself in and help the UN understand what’s going on. Promising to rain hellfire on Mao, his family, and friends, Avasarala makes this cogent comment: “Government is more powerful than any corporation, and the only reason they think it tilts the other way, is because we poor public servants are always looking for some fat, private-sector payoff down the road.” She leaves Errinwright little choice but to co-operate when she tells him she is looking for no such payoff.
Avasarala cites Fred Johnson’s story about the adventures of Miller and Mao as conclusive proof that J.P. Mao was behind the Eros Incident. (Avasarala seems incorruptible at the moment. But remember that she actively endorsed torture at the beginning of Season One, so she’s not entirely on the side of the angels.)
Earth is getting a ship ready to head for Venus and find out if there is anything left of Eros. It is implied that even with a refit, the ship will not be able to get to the surface of Venus, but it will get close enough to make observations.
After Holden finds out that Johnson hijacked the missles, the two have this exchange:
JOHNSON: “We want the same things, you know. We’re on the same team.”
HOLDEN: “That’s the thing with all of you. Earth, Mars, The Belt, The OPA, it’s all bullshit. There shouldn’t be any teams.”
JOHNSON: “That’s a beautiful dream, son. And I hope I’m around to see it come true. But in this world that we live in, in order to survive, you have to pick a side.”
Meanwhile, Martian Marines, led by Bobby Draper (Frankie Adams) have been sent to guard the agricultural station on Ganymede (which is a joint Earth/Mars operation). It is impossible to tell who attacks whom at Ganymede, but another Martian ship bites the dust in the battle. Among the Marines on the ground, Draper seems to be the only survivor. An unarmed drone scans the battlefield, locates the wounded Marine, and summons a strange looking humanoid creature who is apparently not wearing a space suit. The creature hauls Draper to safety. Are Ganymede’s attackers the same stealth ships that destroyed The Canterbury and The Donnager? Is Jules-Pierre Mao in league with extraterrestrials, or has he used the protomolecule to create people who can work unprotected in vacuum?
Several flashbacks show us the accidental discovery of the Epstein Drive. (It was discovered by a Martian, and led to, among other things, Martian independence.) Are the flashbacks just an informative red herring? Or are they intended to suggest that whatever turned Eros into a spaceship and modified its population was the result of an accidental discovery made by one of Mao’s scientists at the research station on Phoebe?
Shawn Doyle (Errinwright) will star opposite Daniela Vlaskalic in the world premiere of Sean Dixon‘s play THE ORANGE DOT in Toronto. The play is about two city workers who are called to remove a large tree infested with termites. The equipment they are meant to use is stuck in traffic, so they wait. They talk, argue, and flirt as they pass the morning together armed with smartphones, a stethoscope, an ancient arrowhead, and a large dose of existential dread about what the world is coming to. The play is described as “…a blend of absurdity and realism that delves into the dynamics of power, the nature of partnerships and the modern human condition.” THE ORANGE DOT will run from 16 March to 1 April at Streetcar Crowsnest Theatre, 345 Carlaw Ave., Toronto. Tickets are now on sale.
Rhett Allain, Associate Professor of Physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, wrote an article for WIRED titled Let’s Do the Physics of Knocking an Asteroid Into the Sun. In it he discussed what would have happened had The Nauvoo actually crashed into Eros. He demonstrates rather conclusively that The Nauvoo could not have caused Eros to crash into the sun.
Athena Karkanis (Octavia Muss in seven Season One episodes) has joined the cast of ZOO, the CBS summer series based on the James Patterson novel about a violent, worldwide wave of animal attacks against humans. Karkanis will play Abigail, an operative who does not shy away from dangerous situations and has a surprising connection to the show’s protagonist, Jackson Oz. Season Three of ZOO will likely premiere at the end of June.
THE EXPANSE has been nominated for a Saturn Award in the category of Best Science Fiction Television Series. Others nominated in that category are: Colony (USA), Incorporated (SyFy), The 100 (CW), Falling Water (USA), Timeless (NBC), and Westworld (HBO). The Saturn Awards will be presented on 28 June in Burbank, California.