THE EXPANSE – Season 3 Episode 4 – SPOILERS
Amos (Wes Chatham) keeps getting the best lines. When Prax, who finds Mao’s promo for hybrids difficult to believe, says: “Amos, they’re manufacturing these things, twisting humans into monsters on purpose. How could you do that to another person?” Amos responds: “I think you and I had very different childhoods.”
Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams), who is rapidly turning into the most charming person on board the Rocinante, tells Avasarala: “I’m a shooter, not a spy. I don’t usually solve problems with my people skills.” Later in the episode, Draper uses her people skills to defuse a standoff on the bridge resulting from a failed mutiny.
Holden decides to resupply with ammunition by plundering wrecked martian warships. Both Kamal and Draper raise objections to “stripping the dead”, but it isn’t as though they were stealing the personal effects of the crew. They were recycling unused ammunition. In space one would think wasting resources would be frowned upon, and Martians would be more practical about such stuff. It sounds like some sort of religious thing. Are Martians normally buried with possessions they could make use of in the afterlife?
Along with plenty of bullets, Holden locates three survivors on the derelict ship. Once restored to health, these survivors decide to repossess the Rocinante. (It is a stolen Martian ship.) They beat the crap out of Alex while everyone else is busy and that’s how the standoff develops. It ultimately gives Avasarala what she needs to communicate with Admiral Souther. (She turns Sinopoli into a messenger.) One of the things that seemed to make the Martians cranky was what they were fed.
Why did the rescued Martian crew, especially Sinopoli (Atticus Mitchell) seem so offended by Naomi’s cooking? (She made a Belter dish called red kibble, about which we have been given no details, but there are quite a few recipes for it on the web, inferred from the books.) How complex can Martian cuisine be? Is Naomi (Dominique Tipper) just a bad cook, or are Martians prejudiced against all things Belter?
The Martian mutineers (Ranhofer, Sinopoli, and Loftis) are returned to their partially restored ship and sent back to their fleet, with instructions to ask their commander to communicate with Admiral Souther and show him the incriminating Errinwright Tape. The problem is, Avasarala does not know that Souther has been relieved of command.
At UN HQ, Anna Volovodov has just told the Secretary-General what she actually thinks of him after he twists the words of the speech she wrote to demonize Martians. Later, she has a phone conversation with her wife. This is a part of it:
ANNA: “I have no idea what the best thing is anymore. I haven’t changed anything. I just made it worse. You know if I needed to be humbled, wouldn’t having all my hair fall out have done it? This feels like overkill.”
NONO: “Believing that God is humbling you using a solar system-wide war feels ironic at the very least.”
Immediately after the call Anna receives a copy of the Errinwright Tape with the message “You will know what to do with this.”
Meanwhile, on Io, Katoa did not die as a result of Strickland’s experiments. In violation of Mao’s orders, Strickland continued the “treatments” with the result that Katoa is now in communication with all the bits of protomolecule in the system. Protokatoa dismantles his nurse to investigate how people work. There is a Buffy parallel here. Back at the turn of the century, there was Adam, a demon/vampire/technology hybrid created by Dr. Maggie Walsh in Buffy’s fourth season who did a similar thing to learn about humans. Adam eventually turned on his creator. One wonders if the parallel will continue.
One small quibble about the salvage of the Nauvoo. When the hatch is cut open (Why they didn’t have the codes to open it normally is hard to imagine. The thing was built by Fred Johnson, and he had the codes necessary to launch it.) the hatch plate falls slowly to the deck below, yet everyone entering the opening behaves as though they are in zero gravity. The only possibility that leaps to mind is that the air pressure outside the hatch was greater than that inside, but how could that be? And none of the cutters who freed the hatch plate were in a position to give it a downward push.
Athena Karkanis (Octavia Muss in “Windmills“) will be Grace Stone in the pilot episode of MANIFEST, a series about the sudden reappearance of a commercial aircraft that had been presumed lost at sea after it mysteriously disappeared from radar (like Malasia Airlines Filght 370). No time has passed for those on the plane, but friends and relatives of the passengers are five years older. The series will follow the personal lives of the passengers and their relatives. Grace Stone believed she had lost her husband Ben and her son when the plane vanished. Ben Stone (Josh Dallas), is described as “the quintessential type-A father”. The Stone’s son has a rare form of cancer, and, since the return of the aircraft, Ben has a mysterious voice inside his head. If picked up, MANIFEST should air on NBC in the fall of 2018.
Grace Lynn Kung (Doris in “Pyre“) will be Chairman Mao and Michelle Roy (angry belter in “Remember the Cant“) will be Eel in Ramin Bahrani‘s remake of François Truffaut’s 1966 film FAHRENHEIT 451, which was based on Ray Bradbury’s novel. The film is set in a future in which books are prohibited. (451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which books begin to burn.) In the book, a “fireman” who burns books for a living, begins to read in secret and eventually discovers an underground network dedicated to the protection of literature. The film will premiere on HBO in the US on 19 May.
Thor Freudenthal, who directed this episode of THE EXPANSE, will direct WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS. a film adaptation of the 2017 Julia Walton novel which tells the story of Adam (Charlie Plummer), a teenager diagnosed with schizophrenia who sees people who aren’t there. AnnaSophia Robb will play Rebecca, one of the main characters in Adam’s hallucinations who acts as a conduit for the feelings that he cannot express. Devon Bostick will play Joaquin, another recurring character in Adam’s head who represents Adam’s unfiltered raging hormones. When Adam begins a drug trial to help him ignore the visions, he meets a girl named Maya (Taylor Russell) and begins to believe anything is possible — even love. WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS is currently filming in Wilmington, North Carolina