Friday, July 19, 2024

The Expanse Goes Where No One Has Before

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The Expanse delivered the ninth episode of its current series, called “Intransigence”. In it, things escalate even further.


In the aftermath of the destruction of the ship from the previous episode, the one that the girl with mysterious powers blew up, all civilians are being pulled form the Ring mission. Anna is frustrated by this.

The Roci crew is panicking. They are inside the Ring, and an MCRN ship flows in after them. There is a speed limit for how fast anything can go without being destroyed, so they are safe from torpedoes, but still, it’s not exactly a comfortable situation.

We see a flashback of Julie’s argument with Mao in her sister’s mind. The sister who blew up the ship last episode that is. Clarissa.

The Roci crew tried to figure out who set up the pretend-Holden message that made them all into terrorists. Amos realizes it must have been the cameraman from the documentary team, and the man admits to it. He swears he only thought he was creating a backdoor to get to their flight logs.

The MCRN sends a probe to a bubble inside the Ring, and the probe disappears. The Roci are now even more trapped than before. Holden tries to find answers with his visions of Miller, but he is unsuccessful.

The MCRN ship sent a skiff out of the Ring to let the others know that comms don’t work from the inside and that they are about to apprehend the Roci. Dawes’ agent aboard the OPA ship goes to tell Naomi that the crew was alive after they shot them, and also to give her a pep talk that is probably supposed to get her to forget her loyalty to the Roci crew. It’s not very convincing.

Amos puts the documentarians in space suits and kicks them off the ship, deciding that if the only way to communicate was in person, they were the biggest chance the Roci had. He hoped that they would testify to Holden’s innocence. I’m not sure they left the ship in the right frame of mind for that, as Alex points out later.

We see another flashback from Julie’s past in Clarissa’s mind. Apparently, she was a daddy’s girl and detested Julie for treating him as coldly as she did. Julie, in turn, assured her she was never going to be good enough for their father. Clarissa is also confronted with the fact that the man she killed aboard the ship thought only the best of her as she helps clean out his things for his family.

Anna is still frustrated she will have to leave the vicinity of the ring when she finds a colleague who managed to find a way to stay. She talks her way into being allowed to stay, too, because she wants to be part of this discovery. If she spared a thought for her wife and daughter back home, we see no hint of it.

The Roci crew debates what to do now. Holden, in spite of his unending signs of insanity, reasonably explains that the only option they have is surrendering to the Martians.

Anna hits a new low when she tried to convince her colleague to stay on the dangerous mission with her even though he’s clearly unwilling. Fortunately, he doesn’t let himself be convinced. Anna then talks to Claire, who has another flashback – in this one, her father asks her what does she do besides planning parties – and then she sends a message to her father in prison, telling him that she will destroy the man who got him there, which is something Julie couldn’t and wouldn’t do for him. Here’s hoping Mao will hand that message right over to the police.

Naomi, meanwhile, is feeling out of place as all the Belters around her chant as the ship enters the Ring. She takes the exact opposite of what he meant out of Dawes’ speech and realized she should have never left Roci in the first place. She decides to leave, and while Drummer intercepts her at the door to her skiff, in the end, she lets her go, after Naomi assures her she loves her. Naomi tries to contact the Roci to tell them she’s coming, but the comms are dead.

Miller finally shows up again, this time to tell Holden to get out of the ship and into the bubble. So Holden does.


So…do I get this right that Naomi and Drummer were actually dating this whole time? But while we got plenty of scenes of her and Holden naked together, we didn’t have a single kiss of these two amazing ladies with wonderful chemistry? Or was that a platonic “I love you, and I will always love you”? Like gal pals?


I mean, I am glad to see that I wasn’t imagining things looking at their dynamic, but…way to push a wlw relationship into the background so that we could focus on the straight white boy!

It’s especially frustrating in collusion with the (white) Anna, who cheerfully leaves her (WoC) wife and daughter behind to go forward towards new adventures. And this in spite of the wife begging her to come home. I mean, who even cares, right? I thought Anna was supposed to be a good character…

I understand that no one is black and white, I do, but I honestly think there should have been at least some degree of indecision for her. As it stands, it is difficult to accept her being a good person at all.

As for Claire…I read somewhere she was a sympathetic villain. Well. To me, she was until her backstory came to be revealed. Now, she is just the spoiled kid her father thought her to be. In every flashback, she is more insufferable. If that was the intention, well done. If, however, they really were trying to create a sympathetic villain, they failed rather epically to my mind.

Holden was having some fun with balancing on the verge of insanity, o rather his actor was. At times, it was a little overacted to my mind. His whole drama ran a little empty to me. The member of the Roci crew I felt the most for was Alex, who was simply confusedly running around trying to survive this madness.

Amos was efficient in his ruthlessness, as always. To be honest, I was glad to see the creepy camera man go, and to my mind, the less we see of these unpleasant characters in the future, the better.

Who I am interested in, on the other hand, is the socialite who flirted with Anna relentlessly as she promised her a way to stay and go into the Ring. I sincerely hope they will not go the way of cheating with Anna – it is too cliche for words – but some sexual tension could perhaps provide us with the conflicting feelings Anna staying aboard the ships didn’t.

Apart from Alex’s confusion and frustration, my highlight this episode was Naomi’s discomfort as she stood amidst the chanting Belters. We should have seen more of that story. And – sorry for repeating myself – we should have seen way more of her story with Drummer.

Images courtesy of SyFy

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