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The Expanse: Displacement

"You're not saving them. You're just killing them slower."

The Expanse swaps John Ford for Irwin Allen as the situation on Ilus goes from bad to worse to royally fucked.


The explosion of the island has created a massive shockwave with winds of 200 kilometres per hour that is due to hit the Belter settlement in eight hours. That's the good news. The bad news is that it has also created a humongous tsunami that will put a third of the continent under water, including the settlement. In the face of this news even the Belters agree that it is time to leave, but only after they get Holden to agree to publicly support their claim.

Of course, now that everyone has actually agreed to leave Ilus, the planet is starting to feel a little rejected and won't let anyone leave. The ships in orbit are suddenly unable to switch on their reactors and power up. Any shuttle that tries to land gets vaporised. To make matters worse, the Belter's ship, the Barbapiccola, is stuck in a low orbit and will soon start to fall towards the planet if it cannot power up. And on top of all that, it does look like there is some kind of infection going around affecting everyone's eyes.

Oh, and for some reason the moons have started melting. That isn't a problem yet, but I expect it soon will be.

The way all the problems our heroes are facing keep piling up does come dangerously close to being somewhat ridiculous, but I'm happy to let it slide for now because 'Displacement' puts The Expanse into full-blown crisis mode and I just love it when the show goes into full-blown crisis mode. After playing at being a western for the first half of the season, the show suddenly switches gears and turns itself into a 70s disaster movie, just with better FX, stronger characters, and zero A-list stars phoning it in. The set up is more or less the same as The Poseidon Adventure, only difference is everyone ends up trapped in an ancient structure instead of a capsized cruise liner.


The conflict on Ilus is in essence a prelude to a much larger war that is brewing between Earth and the Belt. Earth is making no secret of the fact it has colonial ambitions regarding the Ring worlds. The planet is full of people like Nancy Gao, who see the Ring and the worlds beyond it, including Ilus New Terra, as theirs for the taking. Earth will lay claim to this new frontier and Earth only. The Belters can't have any of it. Not even Medina Station. Let's face it, Earth was never going to let the Belt have control over the Ring space. They were happy to let the Belters turn their warship into a station, but once it was complete they were always going to take it. Marco's attack has just given them the pretext they were looking for to speed up their plans.

All this has just given Drummer and Ashford even more reasons to hunt down Marco and kill him. They are certainly heading towards some sort of confrontation with Marco and I now have this horrible sinking feeling that Ashford isn't going to survive. Six years of watching Lost has made me suspicious whenever shows start to give supporting characters I like more story time than they previous had before. Of course, this could just be the writers not wanting to waste an actor like David Strathairn. When you hire someone of his stature you don't exactly give them chicken feed to work with. But at the same time, he's also the kind of in demand actor a show like this will struggle to hold on to. I've already accepted the fact we'll probably not see Anderson Dawes (alive) again because Jared Harris is far too busy doing other things.


Bobbie seems to be enjoying her new job as a "freelance consultant". The giddy thrill of being a bad Martian has put an extra skip in her step, even if she isn't completely comfortable with all the aspects of the job, such as murder and the possibility of being caught. But those are worries for another day, for now it's all good money, nice hotel rooms and frequent booty calls.

Notes and Quotes

--Who opened the door to the structure? Miller?

--Says a lot about Martian conformity that everyone there wears black.

--There's nothing like a bit of impending doom to push two rival factions together for the sake of mutual survival. Or at least get everyone playing nice until one side can screw over the other side later on. Which, unsurprisingly, is exactly what Murtry is planning to do. I know he's meant to be the bad guy, but does he really have to be such an obviously predictable bad guy?

--The communication equipment that Bobbie helped Esai steal in 'Subduction' was used on the Sojourner to send a encrypted tight-beam transmission into the Belt.

--Judging by the way they tenderly held hands, things are possible more than professional between Leelee and Esai.

--Felcia is okay. She sneaked aboard the shuttle for the Barb so she could run away to university. Of course, she's now on a ship slowly falling out of orbit so maybe not that okay.

Okoye: "This isn't about sides."
Belter: "It never is when your side is winning."

Goon: "You're breaking me wrist."
Bobbie: "Yes, that is in the intent."

Amo: "Plan C sounds like everybody dies."

Ashford: "They were measuring your office for curtains."
Drummer: "Hmm?"
Ashford: "It's an ancient Inner saying. It means showing openly that they intend to take what belongs to you."

Three and a half out of four melting moons.

Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig

1 comment:

  1. This episdoe reminded me of the Far Side cartoon "Crisis Clinic" which showed a building on fire about to go over a waterfall.


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