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The Expanse: Down and Out

“Naomi, I need to know where you are. Things are not good.”

Now that's the understatement of the century.

After the (quite literal) Earth shattering events of the previous episodes, it wasn't much of a surprise that things calmed down a tad for this episode.

THE RINGOS

Everyone is reacting with horror and worry to the damage that Marco has caused. They know that all Belters will be blamed and suffer because of his actions. Oskana, though, is more worried about Drummer (who is more worried about Naomi: that torch ain't ever going to burn out). She's clearly the supportive mom of this pirate family (which is actually a lot bigger than I originally thought) and doesn't want to see the woman she loves give into her anger and guilt over letting Marco live. Marco isn't making that any easier for her by requesting a sit down with their faction, which Drummer accepts without discussing it first because she's the boss mom of this Belter pirate family.
THE SCREAMING FIREHAWK

I wish Bobbie (and just Bobbie) would wrap up her side quest already and join up with some of the other characters. Not only is this storyline the weakest of the season, it's becoming increasingly pointless. Apart from the odd bit of character bonding (which is difficult to get invested in when one of these characters is not likely to survive the season because the actor is horrible), this little stalking mission to the Hungarian Group hasn't contributed anything substantial. The big discovery in this episode was that Marco is being supplied with MCRN ships by Sauveterre, which we already knew so it didn't really have any impact.

THE PIT

Like everything else on Earth right now, the situation in the Pit is well and truly forked. The stairs are gone, the lifts aren't working and the air vents are not movie size so no one will be Die Hard-ing their way out of this. Luckily they've got Amos with them. He's exactly the sort of level headed practical thinker you want to quickly take charge in situations like this. Mind you, he still needs to work on his people skills. I'm sure Konecheck would've turned on them all eventually, but the constant “Tiny” jabs probably didn't help matters. I know he has a habit of mocking those in authority or bullies who like to throw their weight around (he never called Murtry by his right name), but sometimes it's best not to provoke the violent criminals with super-strength.

THE PELLA

While Amos was escaping one prison, Naomi was finding herself in another. Marco has given her the illusion of freedom, allowing her roam the ship unsupervised, but makes it clear she cannot leave it. He wants her to know just how powerless and under his control she currently is. He may not have planned for her to be there, but he isn't passing up this opportunity to punish her for leaving him, for surviving and thriving without him, and for finding love and happiness with a Earther of all people.
Cyn is the only one on the ship showing her any kindness, but he's really delusional if he thinks they can all be one big happy family again. Karal obviously just wants to space her and be done with it. I get the sense they were never friends even back in the day. Filip is something of a mixed bag. He's doesn't want anything bad to happen to her, but at the same time doesn't want anyone (mainly his dad) to think he's weak so acts all hostile towards her.

It's distressing how quickly Naomi accepted how doomed her situation is. She hasn't been on the Pella for more than a day or so and she's already decided escape is impossible and her best course of action is to go down fighting by gutting Marco. As fun as that would've been to watch (the gutting, not her dying), she has to put a pin in that plan when something more important comes up.

TYCHO STATION

Fred's death has effectively put Bull in charge. Which isn't great because he's a dick and a blatant racist. I doubt it'll be long before many of the Belters loyal to Fred are going to follow Sakai's example and switch teams. Holden, bless him, is still struggling to grasp why someone like Sakai would throw away her “good life” on Tycho to join Marco's revolution. Even after all he's been through, in many ways he's still that innocent farm boy who dreamed of tilting at windmills.
I hate to say it, but they really bungled the sabotaged Roci plotline. First of all, it just annoys me that there was no scene of Holden having the ship checked for sabotage before they left. He knows Sakai was working on the ship for weeks, it makes him and everyone else look dumb for not checking the ship first. They didn't need to find the bad code, it's meant to be something that's easily missed, they just needed to show them taking the right precautions. Everything else was just too damn rushed. Barely any time had passed from the moment Naomi figured out what Marco had done, to Holden getting her warning. It really would've made for a great cliffhanger if we'd seen Naomi send her message and, because of the long time it takes to send messages across the system, we wouldn't have known whether it'd reached Holden in time until next episode.

Ch-Ch-Changes

--Holden does have the Roci checked for sabotage after Sakai is exposed. They missed the bad code because they were looking for physical acts of sabotage.

--Naomi figured out the code was in the Roci after talking to Marco, not Filip.

--Alex and Bobbie got her message first and relayed it to Holden.

--Bobbie's whole black market investigation plot has been expanded on from what it originally was. She never became involved with black marketeers herself (that was all created for the show) and was only looking into missing Martian ships for Chrisjen. Holden was also looking into missing ships and asked Alex and Bobbie to go to the Hungarian Group to follow up on a lead for him.

--Fred, who was still alive, joined Holden on the Roci instead of Bull.

--Clarissa was the one to shoot Konecheck, not Rona.

Notes and Quotes

--Assuming he survives the season, could Bull potentially replace Alex as the Roci's pilot? I hope not.

--The mention of Belters dancing in the corridors of Ceres and Pallas was a little on the nose.

--Was Sakai about to warn Holden and Bull about the Roci? She had to know that if the reactor went it would take most of the station and her with it. Did she have a moment of doubt about dying for her cause?
--I love Naomi seeing the coffee machine and thinking of Holden. I also love that Holden's coffee addiction is public knowledge.

--The credits have been updated to include the rock impacts and show a now devastated Baltimore.

Oksana: “Camina, are you okay?”
Drummer: “Yes.”
Oksana: “It's okay to say you're not.”

Amos: “Is there another way out of here? Is there another set of stairs?”
Rona: “It's a maximum security prison. They didn't design it with a lot of escape routes.”

Cyn: “Did you forget? They make us thirst for water. They make us gasp for air. The Inners will never share the bounty from the new worlds, and we can't go claim them for ourselves. You know that better than anyone.”

Two and half out of four games of Rock, Paper, Scissors and Bird.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig

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