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THE EXPANSE Recap: The Freshest Banger From Eros

THE EXPANSE Recap: The Freshest Banger From Eros

Fair Warning: This recap contains spoilers for tonight’s new episode of The Expanse that may or may not blow up your favorite moon—you’ve been warned!

When The Expanse returned for its second season, it began by destroying the natural order, and in the opening of “Static,” it destroyed the Martian moon Deimos. No big deal, though. It’s so far away they can barely see it.

It’s also, you know, a declaration of war.

Avasaral (Shohreh Aghdashloo) kicked off the evening concerned about how Mars would respond (and the fact they hadn’t yet), debating with Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) about the merits of the attack as if she weren’t the one who sent him the target—just like a true diplomat. To which he reminded her of her own words: “Earth must come first.”

Mars’ lack of response (either military or diplomatic) was a good symbol for this episode, one that picked up the scattered chess pieces of the first two episodes and put them back on the board, warily checking to see whether they’ll still align along old lines.

As promised, Avasarala also pulled the trigger on contacting Colonel Johnson (Chad L. Coleman), committing a bit of light-to-moderate treason in the process. Her video message plea was a sincere call for unity in the face of a larger monster, and Johnson recognized its truth. Naturally, he’ll risk his own life to help her—it’s what the OPA does. And let’s face it: this is the new reality of The Expanse—factions that want to kill each other will have to reform in order to stop a war, which is a tough sell for foot soldiers pledging revenge.

THE EXPANSE -- "Static" Episode 203 -- Pictured: Thomas Jane as Detective Joe Miller -- (Photo by: Rafy/Syfy)

For her trouble, Avasarala got a mysterious transmission with coordinates for a stealth vessel. What’s it for? Did Johnson send it? Could it be the proof, the tool she’s looking for to turn Earth and Mars’ weapons away from each other? Will it really matter with the moon already blown to bits?

Miller’s (Thomas Jane) actions created a rift between him and Holden (Steven Straight). Instead of listening to Dresden (Daniel Kash) prattle on about the Protomolecule during the satellite raid, Miller wasted him as the final act of his detective work. Obviously Miller wasn’t of the mind to play three-dimensional, diplomatic chess, but he may have doomed mankind because of his caustic sense of duty or payback or whatever he’s operating under. He told Johnson that he killed Dresden, not because the scientist was talking crazy, but because he was making sense. Nevertheless, it seemed like Miller was picking fights with the wrong people, and the stink covering him won’t wash off.

That shift put him into the orbit of a bottle, a hallucination, and the Belters, while Holden got a lovely suite all to himself. Miller also found religion and a Mohawk, exploring the Century Ship concept before telling Johnson he wants to go back to Eros.

THE EXPANSE -- "Static" Episode 203 -- Pictured: Steven Strait as Earther James Holden -- (Photo by: Rafy/Syfy)

 

Holden and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) debated Miller’s murder of a mass-murderer, but she couldn’t convince the big-thinking captain that it was more than petty revenge. Naturally, she went off to play some handball and hit the clubs while Holden led a team interrogating the only main scientist, Paolo Cortazar (Carlos Gonzalez-Vio), they pulled from the Protogen lab.

They started by trying to sympathize with him, recognizing the nobility of his original endeavor of trying to find cures because of his mother’s illness, but Paolo’s mind has been tampered in such a way that his empathy was completely eradicated. He didn’t care about his own mother’s death or the painful deaths of thousands.

How do you reach a man like that? Amos (Wes Chatham)–more than just a meathead–cracked the code by comparing the sociopath scientist to a child molester. Instead of putting him on the defensive, he excited his twisted passion, making him eager to spill details as long as he’s getting details in return. This was the dark trade-off they made: feeding an info-junkie as long as he gets them closer to the truth about the experiment and the Protomolecule.

So they played him a recording from Eros (which also happened to be the high notes of the coolest club banger on the Belt), and he revealed that the Protomolecule-riddled former humans of Eros are building something and counting down.

THE EXPANSE -- "Static" Episode 203 -- Pictured: Frankie Adams as Bobbie Draper -- (Photo by: Rafy/Syfy)

On the Martian side of the galaxy, Draper (Frankie Adams) was leading a team that’s coming apart at the seams. There was a skirmish in the training room, spurred by the light racism of someone questioning the loyalty of a teammate because of their heritage. It eventually escalated, and Draper punched out her own private, which led to a talking-to and the bad news that they’ve been put on farm duty even as war crests the horizon.

All of it was window dressing, though. It was quickly resolved with the Marines silently getting the band back on track despite the pre-bellum frustrations boiling over. They, like their storyline this week, are marching in place.

In a way, they find common cause with Alex (Cas Anvar), who spends the entirety of the episode retesting the mission that saw 25 people die–haunted by a failing that kept his comrade alive, but marred the success of the mission with gravestones. He’s striving to perfect something that’s already passed. To get something right that can never be fixed. Like our fight-hungry Martians and the seemingly unhaltable war, he is another time bomb waiting to go off. The question is whether a cool head can bring him (and galactic violence) back from the brink.

SOME SPARE THOUGHTS:

  • How do you destroy an entire asteroid? It’s gotta be easier than killing a moon, right?
  • Could Miller have given himself that same haircut sober?
  • How long was Alex playing that flight simulator in real time? A day? A week?
  • We’d all jump at the chance to do the Generation Ship thing, right? Just me?

Images: NBC/SyFy

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