THE EXPANSE – Season 3 Episode 1 – SPOILERS
The Rocinante is using a pseudonym, at least for a while. Its transponder now broadcasts the name Pinus Contorta, a name suggested by Prax (Terry Chen) at Naomi’s request.
In the light of Earth’s declaration of war against Mars (which prompted the masquerade) the name choice is intriguing. Prax picks it because that type of pine does very well in low-G (no current data to support that), and because “in order for them to survive, they have to die with fire”. (The heat of wildfires opens the pinecones and spreads the species’ seeds.) Why does Prax suggest that name? Does he subscribe to the notion that violent conflict is necessary for social progress, or does he just have a fondness for that particular plant?
At the end of Season Two, the protomolecule began to build something on Venus. Holden (Steven Strait) notices that the Venusian protomolecular activity began at the exact same moment as the destruction of the hybrid creature in the Rocinante‘s exhaust plume. He also spots another simultaneous spike in protomolecule activity at a helium refinery owned by Jules Pierre Mao on Io (Jupiter I). Apparently, the alien substance communicates with all of its parts instantaneously (or nearly so). One wonders what the range limit might be on this form of communication.
Holden seizes on this discovery as a reason to re-purpose his existence, and to assert control over the crew. (He is still pissed off at Naomi for giving the protomolecule sample to Fred Johnson instead of destroying it.) Holden persuades Amos and Alex that the Rocinante should go to Io and help Prax search for his missing daughter. Naomi objects, but to no avail. One would have expected Naomi to immediately get on board (so to speak) with Holden’s plan to help Prax, but she did not. It is a strange lapse of political common sense, and it likely means that Naomi urgently needs (for some mysterious reason) to get to Tycho.
Alex (Cas Anvar) sends his family a message, and we find out that they live in a very interesting locale. Talissa and Melas live in Residential Dome 2-6 in the Breach Candy District on Mars. That is the district (in the books) where Bobbie Draper’s nephew David and his family reside.
On Tycho, Fred Johnson (Chad L Coleman) has made an alliance with his old adversary Anderson Dawes. He sends Drummer (Cara Gee) on a mission to retrieve the Nauvoo (the hijacked Mormon ship which has been careening into the outer reaches of the solar system for several episodes). From this we can reasonably deduce that someone used a remote control to switch off the Nauvoo‘s drive after it missed Eros, otherwise it would be too far away and moving at too great a speed for a retrieval operation..
Meanwhile, at an unknown location in the belt, Avasarala, Cotyar, and Bobbie Draper take over control of the ship on which they are being held by Errinwright’s henchmen. After the UN targets them with missiles, Draper and Avasarala leave in a speedboat to escape the conflagration. (It would be great if they end up on Io with the Rocinante. Draper and Naomi should get together.) The wounded Cotyar, unable to withstand extreme acceleration, takes the dropship with Theo (the guy Draper locked in a storage compartment in Episode 2.13). Avasarala has with her a recording of Errinwright’s message in which he admits to the assassination of the Martian ambassador, and to other crimes.
The episode’s best line has to be Bobbie Draper’s instruction to Avasarala while preparing to accelerate: “Hitch your tits and pucker up. It’s time to peel the paint.”
During their takeover of the ship, Draper, in full battle armour, is stunned by an electrified area of deck plating. This seems strange. The suit has no problem stopping projectiles. Why is it so vulnerable to the simplest of energy weapons?
Holden tries to destroy all the bits of protomolecule that the hybrid left behind on the Rocinante, but he misses a spot. It’s hard to say at this point if that’s a good thing, or a bad thing.
Marqus Bobesich (“scruffy guy” in Leviathan Wakes) will be Tex in GROUPERS, a comedy written and directed by Anderson Cowan, about a female grad student (Nicole Dambro) who captures two homophobic high-school seniors with the idea of conducting a controversial social experiment that takes place at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. A teaser is available on Vimeo. The film will have its premiere and cast/crew screening at TCL Chinese Theaters in Los Angeles on 2 June.
Kevin Hanchard (Inspector Sematimba) is Alan Clegg, a cop investigating Northern Ontario bikers, in Season Two of the CTV crime drama CARDINAL, which stars Billy Campbell as Detective John Cardinal and Karen Vanasse as his partner Lisa Delorme. The series is an adaptation of the Giles Blunt novel “Forty Words For Sorrow“. The second season focuses on a strange case involving a young woman (Alex Paxton-Beesley) who is afflicted with amnesia caused by a gunshot to the head. The show won five Canadian Screen Awards, and can be streamed on HULU.