Following this week’s episode of The Expanse, it’s safe to say that the slight lull we just went through is over. After the previous couple of episodes served to set up the end of the season, this episode drives the story forward in an effective and highly entertaining way. There have been a lot of questions raised in recent episodes deepening the mystery surrounding the Protomolecule and this episode delivered some answers in that regard. Moreover, this episode is really important as it sees two of our protagonists make critical shifts in alignment that will surely have repercussions as events continue to unfold.
On Earth, Bobbie has found herself in quite the predicament with her own people. She doesn’t know who or what to believe following her quick rendezvous with Avasarala where she was shown an image of the Protomolecule man that attacked both the MCRN and UN Marines on Ganymede. Frankie Adams does a really nice job illustrating the inner conflict her character feels as everything she believed in comes crumbling down, leading her to seek political asylum on Earth. It’s a major paradigm shift as she’s been our lens through which we see the Martian perspective of events as they unfold, and it will be interesting to see how this effects the show going forward.
Bobbie’s defection also shifts the dynamic in another important way as Avasarala has suddenly been gifted a lot of information about the Protomolecule in a short span of time. She’s now armed with the information given to her by both Errinwright and Bobbie regarding the mysterious force behind the strange events that have been occurring in the system. A direct response to this is the fact that she receives a message from Jules-Pierre Mao in order to set up a meeting between the two of them. This should be a pivotal moment in the series and will certainly have a major impact on the system. As Mao mentions in his message, both he and Avasarala wield the kind of power that can affect billions of people, and potentially entire worlds.
At the other end of the system on Ganymede, Holden and the rest continue their search for Dr. Strickland and Prax’s daughter Mei along with any signs of the Protomolecule. While this story stagnated somewhat in the last two episodes, this episode made up for it. They find what appear to be Protogen scientists with a security detail. After a brief gunfight, the remaining scientists retreat further into the complex. Now, by doing this they were able to do a wonderful job teasing the weird Protomolecule warrior as we hear screaming and gunshots coming from the next room. By the time we see it when Holden and the rest arrive the action is over and the scientists have been slain, but the most interesting part is that the outer airlock door was shredded to pieces. Without us seeing it actually happen, we’re given a very clear idea of what this alien entity is capable of.
We also checked in with the research mission taking place over the Eros crash site on Venus. We don’t see much but when they’re finally able to land a probe they see a brief image of the apparent structures being built by the Protomolecule. It’s really interesting in how this is being shown to us and it distinctly feels like something that will become a focal point later in the series after whatever comes next on Ganymede.
Before wrapping up, here are a few more things we noticed about the episode.
- Move over Wash because there’s a new ace pilot in a great sci-fi series. Alex displayed his prowess as a pilot in this episode when managing to land on Ganymede undetected by sling-shotting the Rocinante around Jupiter’s other moons.
- Mars is now actively seeking to get their hands on the Protomolecule warrior, which would likely give them the edge should Earth and Mars go to war. If they truly can control it that is.
- Prax recovers a data core from one of the tanks being used for the Protomolecule experiments on Ganymede. It should eventually yield some information as to what it was that Protogen was doing with the Protomolecule on Ganymede.
Overall, this was a very strong episode of The Expanse that was well executed all around, plus it finished especially strong. It looks like the ride is about to get crazy again as Holden and the rest look ready to go hunting.
GEEK Grade: A
Check out the preview for next week’s episode right here:
The Expanse airs on Syfy on Wednesday’s at 10:00pm
Written by Georgia Lee
Directed by Robert Lieberman