THE EXPANSE – Season 3 Episode 2 – SPOILERS
The Reverend Doctor Anna Volovodov (Elizabeth Mitchell), an old friend of the dangerously weak Secretary-General Gillis (Jonathan Whittaker) is summoned to the UN to help Gillis write a speech. (And possibly because the Secretary-General suspects that his grasp of the situation leaves something to be desired and needs someone around that he can trust to help him figure things out.) The first thing we see Volovodov do is take a billy club to the head while protecting an anti-war protester. When Errinwright and Gillis start talking about making Mao cooperate by threatening action against his family, Volovodov reminds them that “collective punishment is still a war crime”. It is good to know that the Geneva Accords are still in force in this future.
The Rocinante (alias Pinus Contorta) receives an anonymous Martian distress call, prompting a philosophical debate among the crew. Holden says ignore it, because “people are dying all over the system”, and they need to head for Io to rescue Prax’s daughter. Alex, himself a Martian, is not happy with the decision, and says that he swore an oath and just because he’s not in uniform anymore doesn’t change that. Naomi (Dominique Tipper) sides with Alex with hopes of ending her political isolation, and the cynical Amos (“You can’t save everybody. It’s a waste of time to try.”) allies himself with Holden and his new obsession. Prax (Terry Chen), perhaps remembering when his fellow refugees were ruthlessly spaced in Episode 2.8, casts the deciding vote in favour of responding to the distress call.
On Io, Prax’s daughter Mei (Leah Madison Jung) is alive, and (at least physically) well. Because she is an important part of Dr. Strickland’s experiments, she seems to be in no immediate danger. Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) wants the weapon that Jules Pierre Mao (François Chau) promised him, and the Hybrid pods are ready to launch, but Mao will not give them to Errinwright until his family is released from custody and his accounts are unfrozen. Mao suggests that the hybrids should be dismantled, but Strickland (Ted Atherton) disagrees.
MAO: “Protomolecule can’t be controlled.”
STRICKLAND: “Actually, sir, that’s not true. It can be controlled.”
STRICKLAND: “By using them.” [shows Mao photos of six children, including Mei] “These children are the key.The reason we had to put a fail safe in the hybrids was because, sooner or later, the protomolecule always broke down our command and control tech. But these children, all these children, share a rare genetic immune deficiency that only occurs on Ganymede, which I discovered could be used to inhibit the protomolecule. I believe that if we can fully understand this process at a molecular level it could hold the key to creating countermeasures to the protomolecule. Maybe even find a way to stop whatever’s happening on Venus.”
MAO: “Do what you have to do.”
On the Rocinante, Holden devises a plan of attack to rescue whoever might be onboard Julie Mao’s racing yacht. In a commendably non-lethal maneuver (worthy of a Star Fleet captain), his attack shears off the engines of the UN vessel, leaving the rest of the ship intact.
Bobbi Draper carries Avasarala, who is alive, but clearly in need of medical assistance, onto the Rocinante.
Holden now has two ships. It seems likely that Holden and Prax will take the Razorback (Julie Mao’s ship) to Io and use it as a way to get into Mao’s facility there. Naomi will probably take the Rocinante to Tycho to get Avasarala medical treatment and to obtain ammunition. (Rescuing the Razorback depleted their supplies.) That recording of Errinwright admitting to the assassination of the Martian ambassador is probably somewhere on the Razorback. Will Holden broadcast it?
Samora Smallwood (UN Naval Attache) is Erin in THE SHELTER, an intense vignette about six people who find themselves locked in a room together for no apparent reason. The story begins on day sixty-seven of their imprisonment. Erin, the former wife of Joseph (Jason Mac), enters the room in the second episode. Smallwood told Natalie Digman of The Muse, that to play the role of Erin, a woman who bases her sense of self on sacrifices she has made for others, she had to “figure out a way to understand why or how you could do the things she does and not hate yourself. And if you do hate yourself for your bad choices, how do you live with that?” Season One of THE SHELTER is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Elizabeth Mitchell (Anna Volovodov) will be Captain Hilmann in THE BURIED GIRL, a murder mystery set in a tough Baltimore area high school, and revolving around two freshmen, Marcus (Jordan Hall) and Holly (Oona Lawrence), who have known each other from childhood. Holly’s home life leaves something to be desired, and Marcus, being small and intelligent, gets bullied a lot. Then Cassie (Giorgia Whigham), a popular senior, disappears mysteriously, and Marcus and Holly’s lives change forever. Written and directed by Ben Hickernell, and filmed last year in Poughkeepsie, NY (some scenes are being re-shot in Baltimore), THE BURIED GIRL is expected to be released in 2019.
Ted Atherton (Dr. Strickland) will be Louis Sawchuk (father of Terry), in GOALIE, a biography of Terry Sawchuk based in part on the book of poems “Night Work” by Randall Maggs, and partly on “Sawchuk: The Troubles and Triumphs of the World’s Greatest Goalie” by David Dupuis. Born in Winnipeg, Sawchuk played 21 seasons in the NHL, mostly for the Detroit Red Wings, between 1950 and 1970. He won 501 games and recorded 115 shutouts. Believed to have been struggling with depression, he died at the age of 40. GOALIE is currently filming in Sudbury, Ontario, and should be released later this year.