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The Expanse: Force Projection

“You and I, we're meant to be out here in the darkness. In the fight. That's who we are. Who we were born to be. Never forget what your name is. The name we share.”

We're now halfway through this final season (*weep*) and things are starting to escalate as the heroes and villains finally went toe to toe in one of the best battles The Expanse has ever done.

But before all that let's check in with little Cara and her resurrection puppies.


Those break away Martians have wasted no time getting started on the indoctrination. Their own people have taken over the schools and are turning all the children into nice, loyal Laconians. But Cara is too distracted to notice all this totalitarianism going on around her. All she's focused on are her mysterious forest friends, who she has now discovered can not only somehow repair damaged equipment, but are also capable of bringing things back from the dead. She learns this at the exact same time that her little brother is tragically killed. You don't have to be Stephen King to know where this is going.

Watching all this Laconian drama play out I can't help but wonder if this season really is going to be the final end of The Expanse. Are there some secret plans in place to continue the story in a different format? Are they going to do the final books as a trilogy of movies? It is the only way to explain why so much time is being devoted to a story that is essentially just a tease for an even bigger story later on.


The coalition fleet has arrived at Ceres only to discover that the Free Navy has legged it. Marco has decided, rather ironically, to employ a Scorched Earth strategy in order to slow down the advance of the enemy forces. He's abandoned Ceres completely, stripping it of all essential equipment and resources, and leaving the people there with only enough food and air to survive for three weeks. This forces the coalition fleet to stay put and prevent a major humanitarian crisis. Marco sacrificed a million of his own people, although he doesn't see them as true Belters, just so his own people could have the time they need to retreat and regroup. And since that clearly wasn't enough, he then had the station rigged to explode as well. A right hero of the people, that one.


Not much really happened here. Drummer and Walker planned their raid on Marco's supply depot while Josep and Michio had an argument on the bridge. That was pretty much it. This particular book storyline is suffering a little bit from the fact there's so few episodes this season and they already did most of it last season. Still, it was nice to see Anna again, now starring in one of Monica's little propaganda pieces for Chrisjen.


This storyline is probably the most character driven of all this season. We're spending an increasing amount of time with the crew between missions as they just hang out, talk, and try to help each other through their problems. I'm relieved that the writers aren't using any of the tension on the ship to create any unnecessary conflict. A lesser show might've used Naomi's PTSD to make her more withdrawn and hostile to her shipmates, but this show is better than that. Holden gave her the space she asked for and now she was ready to open up and talk to him about what she is going through.

We also got more great Amos and Bobbie content. I love all the little pet names that Bobbie keeps giving him. It's such a shame that we're only going to get five episodes of this amazing pairing. It was also lovely to see Prax again and get one final moment between him and his best friend in the whole world, even if it was a recorded message.

My favourite scene, though, was between Holden and Clarissa. He showed how much he now trusts her by giving her the night watch, while she got to talk about her past sins with the man she was once so determined to discredit and kill. This is the kind of redemption arc I prefer, where the former villain realises what they've done wrong, admits and accepts responsibility for their actions, and actively work to make amends for it.


Despite all the setbacks he's suffered recently, Marco's swaggering around the ship like he hasn't a care in the world. He isn't fooling anyone, though. The more confident he acts the more obvious it's becoming that he's completely out of his depth. He has no idea how to win this war and thinks he can just keep fighting the Inners the way they always have, with hit and run sneak attacks, but the failed battle against the Roci just proved how flawed that strategy is.

The Free Navy ships went into that fight with a three to one advantage and came limping away from it with one ship gone and the other badly damaged. And that was against just one small frigate. What happens when they go up against a full battle group? Rosenfeld can see that the situation is bad and how poor Marco's leadership is, but she knows how homicidally temperamental he can be and is careful not to push her luck in case he decides to push her out the airlock.

The Roci won that fight because its crew work so effectively well as a team. They have complete trust and faith in each other and their ability to do their jobs. When Bobbie asked to take over fire control Holden didn't even question it and as soon as she pointed out the pattern in the Pella's evasions he understood instantly what she was looking to do. On the Pella, everyone just follows Marco's lead. He gives the orders and they are all obeyed without question. No one offers up alternative strategies or ideas because that would imply that Marco's aren't good enough. He is Marco Inaros and his plans are always brilliant. If they fail it is always because somebody else fucked up, not him. But Filip is finally tired of all his father's bullshit and standing up to him publicly. The fact he's an only child is probably the only reason he didn't end up like Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich of Russia.


--Nico Sanjrani was not the chief administrator of Ceres, but an economist who was selected to establish a new Belter economy after Free Navy had won the war. They didn't stay on Ceres and weren't captured by the UN.

--Both Anna and Prax had a slightly bigger roles in the book. We saw more of what their lives are like now, including Prax's new wife and stepdaughter. He also sent the data to Earth, not to Amos.

--The Roci was with the coalition fleet when it took Ceres. The battle with the Pella took place when it was leaving the station to transport Fred to a meeting with OPA leaders on Tycho.

Notes and Quotes

--This episode's One Ship short, co-written by Wes Chatham, was a cute little scene between Bobbie and Amos where they let off some steam by having a punch up in the cargo bay.

--Chrisjen, you've been the leader of Earth twice now. Of course Sanjrani knows who you are.

--We didn't see what happened to Monica after Ceres started exploding, but I can't see them killing such a prominent character off-screen. I'm not so sure about the man she was talking to and his cat.

--It is so Holden for him to offer his enemies the chance to surrender rather than just kill them. It is also so Holden for him to disarm the missiles after seeing Naomi's son on the screen. How long before that secret is out? Not sure how everyone else will react, but Bobbie is sure to be fucking pissed.

--Elizabeth Mitchell and Terry Chen weren't the only old actors to return. Krista Bridges, last seen way back in 'Triple Point', came back as the now Admiral Sandrine Kirino.

--Who does Holden know who is an expert on things inside the Rings? Is it Elvi Okoye?

Holden: “Everybody on this ship has something they regret. Including Amos, I think.”

Bobbie: “What else is good on Ceres?”
Amos: “They got decent booze and all the brothels are union.”
Bobbie: “Anything other than noodles, bars, and brothels?”
Amos: “I never looked.”

Drummer: “And you trust them fully?”
Walker: “Fully? Well... more like enough.”

Bobbie: “It's made of Mars, honey buns.”

Four out of four resurrection puppies.

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

1 comment:

  1. I'm really loving the Bobbie and Amos pairing this season.


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