THE EXPANSE – Season 3 Episode 9 – SPOILERS
Holden (Steven Strait) gets impatient with Miller’s crime scene metaphors, and demands a clear explanation of what’s going on. “Oh,” says Miller, “so you wanna talk about the non-local quantum hologram, the phase-conjugate adaptive waves, resonating in micro-tubules in the brain which of course requires some closed timeline curves and Lorentzian manifold and — you catch up. I’ll wait.” Miller’s technobabble doesn’t make any sense to Holden, but it seems to contain a great many hints about the nature of consciousness. The theologically inclined (such as the Reverend Doctor Anna Volovodov) will find it fascinating.
Avasarala has ordered all civilians in the vicinity of The Ring evacuated to Titan. Volovodov’s friend Tilly Fagan has blackmailed the First Officer into allowing her to remain on board. When Anna asks her to pull some strings so she can remain as well, Tilly asks why. “It’s the first miracle that’s happened in my lifetime,” Anna says. “It’s the only miracle that’s happened in my lifetime. And it’s not a miracle-miracle, but, it changes everything, and to be so close and then just turn away? It seems wrong.” Anna knows how to manipulate people (though she could not persuade the venal Reverend Hector Cortez to remain on the Thomas Prince), and might be more of a zealot than she thinks she is. That mischievous gleam in her eye could easily turn maniacal.
Even with Miller’s hints about the technology, it is difficult to understand just how that “slow zone” works. As soon as the prow of Jung-Espinoza’s ship touched the field, the entire ship was instantly and drastically reduced in speed. (If it took any significant amount of time for the effect to travel from prow to stern, the vessel would have broken apart.) One might speculate that whatever particle (?) carries the force that slowed the ship traveled at (or nearly at) the speed of light. Yet, for some reason, anything inside that wasn’t firmly bolted down (such as Manéo’s head) continued with unabated velocity. Contrast this with what happened when Eros had its inertia tampered with. There was no indication that unsecured objects inside were thrown violently against the walls when the asteroid made a rapid course correction. So the force that acted on Manéo’s ship was different from the force that redirected Eros.
Melba (Nadine Nicole), who is really Julie Mao’s sister Clarissa, is still on board the UNN Thomas Prince after her sabotage of the Seung Un. She has a flashback (triggered by the voice of Tilly Fagan who apparently is a friend of the Maos) to the night that Julie broke with the family. The only members of the Mao family we get to see are Jules-Pierre and his two daughters. We get no information about Julie’s mother. (In the books, her name is Arachne.)
We have met Holden’s birth mother, and Avasarala’s family has been discussed at length. Alex, who may or may not be typical of his fellow Martians, has an (estranged) wife and son. In the books, Bobbie Draper has an aunt and a nephew. In light of all that, it is curious that the relatives of Belters are seldom mentioned. Naomi has a son she doesn’t like to talk about. Manéo has a brother, but he made no effort to contact any family members before his history-making stunt. He only contacted his girlfriend. Maybe Belters are short-lived and few adult Belters have surviving parents?
The militant patriotism of the Belters on the Behemoth seems to turn Naomi off. She decides, much to the disappointment of Drummer, to return to the Rocinante. (Naomi plans to do this in secret, but Drummer finds out.) Drummer seems stunned at Naomi’s departure, but allows her to leave. Is Drummer just upset at losing a good Chief Engineer, or is her relationship with Naomi more complex than we know?
The Rocinante is trapped between pursuing Martians and the edge of the bubble inside The Ring (where probes wink out of existence). Holden believes he and his crew have no choice but to surrender to the Martians. Then the Behemoth comes through The Ring, and Naomi decides to return to the Rocinante. Holden, who now has the option of surrendering to quasi-friendly Belters, climbs onto the outside of his ship (at Miller’s urging) and is drawn toward a sphere at the center of the bubble.
Cas Anvar (Alex) will be Manu in DRAUPADI UNLEASHED, a tale set in Northwest British India in the mid 1930s about a young woman fighting to avoid a marriage arranged by her family and her powerful guru. Written and directed by Tony Stopperan, DRAUPADI UNLEASHED stars Azita Ghanizada, and was filmed in Sarasota, Florida in April. It will be released in the US sometime next year.
Anvar will also be Sam Ifrani in the family drama BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY, a film written and directed by Veena Sud, and starring Mireille Enos, Patti Kim, and Peter Sarsgaard (all of whom also appeared in Sud’s Netflix series THE KILLING). No plot details have yet been revealed.
This episode of THE EXPANSE was written by Hallie Lambert, who also wrote the Season Two episode “The Weeping Somnambulist“. One-third of the first thirty-six episodes of the show have been written by women (specifically Lambert, Robin Veith, and Georgia Lee). Veith’s most recent effort was “Reload” (Episode 3.4), and Lee wrote next week’s story, “Dandelion Sky”. Jennifer Phang is the first woman to direct THE EXPANSE. Phang directed “Fallen World” (Episode 3.11) and “Congregation” (Episode 3.12).