The Expanse: The Seventh Man
March 9, 2017 11:34 AM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Earth and Mars prepare for a peace conference. Bobby recounts the events on Ganymede. Belter politics on Tyco Station. Anderson Dawes makes a move.
posted by fimbulvetr (43 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh man, anybody else get chills when the very first image was a blood snowflake?
posted by General Malaise at 12:09 PM on March 9 [13 favorites]


It took me a bit to clue in why the snowflakes were red. Then yeah, that was quite the visual.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:24 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Team Dawes checking in. I love Jared Harris' take on lang-belta by way of Multicultural London English.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:32 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


So, did Fred Johnson's 2IC collude with Dawes, or not?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:49 PM on March 9


That's my read.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:08 PM on March 9


So, did Fred Johnson's 2IC collude with Dawes, or not?

Maybe, but if so, Dawes wouldn't need to ask Diogo about Johnson's ace in the hole.
posted by zippy at 5:01 PM on March 9 [2 favorites]


So, did Fred Johnson's 2IC collude with Dawes, or not?

I really hope Drummer didn't betray Johnson! She always seems so loyal to him, but she also bonded with Naomi over drinks, so maybe, in the words of Seinfeld about Elaine giving up secrets, "that's the key to her safe."
posted by bluecore at 8:08 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


The moving parts in the show are pretty confusing right now. Bobbi's story on Ganymede is confused on purpose, because she herself isn't quite clear on what she saw. The OPA politics just got super complicated. Earth and Mars are still on the verge of war. They've done a good job of compressing all those elements into one tight 45 minutes of space opera. I'm impressed.

Diogo is a great character, isn't he? I loved the girly posters in his room. The actor (Andrew Rotilio) is doing a fantastic job.
posted by Nelson at 8:39 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Diogo is active on twitter and posts clips of him speaking in belter, for fans who want to work on their pronunciation.

Actually most of the cast is there. Amos, Alex, Dawes, Diogo, Drummer and Naomi, plus the writers and visual effects team.
posted by zippy at 12:07 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


The way Dawes took over Fred Johnson's meeting was very well done.

You sort of get the feeling Lenin just arrived at the Finland Station.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:42 PM on March 10 [9 favorites]


There's a meeting not shown - Fred's nomination of Dawes was clearly prearranged between the two of them, but then Dawes went off-script. You can see Fred trying to figure out how to get the faction gathering back on track.

Also, I laughed when I realized that the gathering was nowhere near an airlock.
posted by Mogur at 2:26 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


Watching Dawes was a thing of beauty. "My beratna.....is an idealist" was just so, so perfect, as was "Earth has sent us its best". Doesn't offend anyone who loves Holden or Johnson, but just wiggles that doubt right in there. Glorious.
posted by corb at 2:43 PM on March 10 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the call and response stuff Dawes does with the assembly in Belta (what should we call this? BEV? Belter English Vernacular? ONSBV? Origin Non-Specific Belter Vernacular?) is perfect.

I also loved how diverse the assembly was. The details are making this show.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:24 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the call and response stuff Dawes does with the assembly in Belta (what should we call this? BEV? Belter English Vernacular? ONSBV? Origin Non-Specific Belter Vernacular?) is perfect.

Belter Creole. Interesting interview with Nick Farmer, the Expanse linguist who created it.
posted by bluecore at 5:22 PM on March 10


And the Belters call it langbelta.
posted by zippy at 5:32 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Oh sorry, that's their language, not English as spoken by Belters.
posted by zippy at 7:00 PM on March 10


So, did Fred Johnson's 2IC collude with Dawes, or not?

Maybe, but if so, Dawes wouldn't need to ask Diogo about Johnson's ace in the hole.


I was kinda thinking that Dawes getting Diogo involved meant that he (Diogo) could take the fall and preserve the secret of Dawes & Drummer - but that is very much just an assumption (a.k.a I've not read the books)
posted by Golem XIV at 8:32 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I got the impression that Drummer accidentally let slip some details.
When Johnson said they had Cortazar she seemed annoyed and surprised.

Also, this and Legion are the best thing out there at the moment.
posted by fullerine at 2:01 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


When that call came through, though, Drummer suggested it should be taken in Fred's office, like she knew it would be bad news for Fred. Also, it really looked like someone overrode the docking clamps to let Dawes's ship leave. Which again suggests Drummer.
posted by Mogur at 5:41 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Oooh, good catch, Mogur! You may be right, that Diego was chosen as an expendable and obvious leak - considering even Diego thinks he did it!
posted by corb at 3:09 PM on March 11


Dawes gets a twofer with Diogo, he both wins his trust by involving him in an OPA operation, aaand sets him for a non-trivial chance at being locked up or spaced so Dawes doesn't have to worry about some faction leader using Diogo as a cred, because man Diogo's story is compelling: dad fought against an (unfair, murderous) MCRN ship, Diogo survived being adrift in space, then steals water from the Earther Governor of Ceres, then teams up with Miller on two of the most important OPA military operations of forever ...

Diogo doesn't know it, but he's a threat to Dawes and just as useful as dead propaganda as a living freedom fighter.
posted by zippy at 6:13 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


Dawes knew exactly how to manipulate Diogo, with the "some day your legend may be better than mine" stuff. That poor kid has been led around by the nose wherever he goes and is still so convinced he's the master of his own destiny. I'm thinking there's a major fuckup in his future when he starts believing his own legend.

Dawes is fascinating and really comes across as super dangerous, and not in the typical way for his character type. He's like this ticking time bomb sitting at the center of a bunch of really delicate situations and you don't know when he's going to go off or how much damage he'll cause, but you know he's totally convinced that he knows what he's doing and somehow he can control the damage. It's clear that he's very smart and canny, he's not some cartoon revolutionary, but he's out of his element without realizing it and nowhere near prepared to deal with this situation that he barely understands.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:18 PM on March 11 [14 favorites]


...yeah, there's two or three other minor characters from a bit later on in the (book) series that could now be merged pretty seamlessly with (show) Diogo, and ever since I saw him shouting near the Miller grafitti I've been preemptively bracing myself for the writers to carve my heart out. We'll see which way they jump.

I'll be honest and say I did not care for this episode because it continues to feel like they are royally, royally fucking up the execution on Bobby. Hoping that gets fixed soon, as she's my favorite character after Amos.

There's been no word from SyFy on a Season 3 yet, correct?
posted by Ryvar at 5:40 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Yeah, so far show Bobby seems much less clever and much more stereotypical Marine than book Bobby. It's a bit infuriating.
posted by wierdo at 8:12 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


Yeah I'm not happy with Bobby so far either. So much of her character in the books is internal monologue though, her coming to terms with what happened on Ganymede and trying to figure out how to navigate Mars/Earth politics. A lot of that is still coming and I hope the TV scriptwriters figure out a way to translate that on screen. The actress is fine, I think they're just not giving her good enough writing.
posted by Nelson at 8:14 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Partly the writing, partly the cinematography. These aren't the camera angles used to sell a badass, and this is the part of her character arc when they should be pushing that aspect, rather than weaksauce racist chestthumping (da fuq?). I sure as hell hope there's some 11-dimensional chess going on, here, because if the showrunners were deliberately trying to sabotage Frankie Adams they'd be hard-pressed to top her presentation thus far.

Oh, and my bad: it's Bobbie.
posted by Ryvar at 9:00 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


As someone who hasn't yet gotten to Draper in the books, TV Draper reads as badass to me: has the respect of her team, wrestles power armor, leads the charge in training, decisively leads the team on Ganymede when shit goes down.

They found a six foot tall Polynesian actor with range ... and she's also a boxer ... to play Draper.

Marines, who do we fight for?
posted by zippy at 9:37 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Yeah I'm not happy with Bobby so far either. So much of her character in the books is internal monologue though, her coming to terms with what happened on Ganymede and trying to figure out how to navigate Mars/Earth politics.

I sort of agree, but the sense of Bobbie we get from the books is also probably not very accurate. We keep seeing her internal monologue where she's tough and with-it and working hard and stoically and the rest of the world -- even in the books -- sees this broken, fucked-up wreck of a woman who's constantly about to lose it when she doesn't seem about to beat the shit out of someone for no reason. But in the books, we only get to see this when other people react to her, and we only see her understanding of their reactions.

In general, the show's depictions of PTSD survivors like Bobbie and Amos have been quite different than the sense you get from the books. And, while I've generally not liked them as much, at least at first, I have to admit that in some ways the show is giving the more nuanced and careful look at them.

But again I have lost any sense of objectivity about this show.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:29 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


...yeah, there's two or three other minor characters from a bit later on in the (book) series that could now be merged pretty seamlessly with (show) Diogo

I briefly wondered if they were laying the groundwork for some major character merging several seasons in the future but then I caught Dawes with a throwaway mention of Inaros' faction in this episode, so probably not.
posted by Justinian at 12:00 PM on March 13


I think the problem with show Bobbie is we don't get any sense that she's actually that competent. In the books, she realizes the UN marines are being chased and gets ready to help them - in the show, she's just all "Earth must have done it." In the books her PTSD mirrors how soldiers actually express PTSD - in the show, we get a lot of crying, which I also don't love from the only female soldier character.
posted by corb at 12:33 PM on March 13 [8 favorites]


we don't get any sense that she's actually that competent
Totally. Even in the S2 cold open, although she's leading the team, it was noticeable that she gets hit a *lot* before the end of the training exercise. The showrunners have been talking about showing more of the Ganymede incident in flashback as the season progresses, so perhaps we'll see some of this redeemed.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:28 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Rewatching the episode where the Donnager is attacked, it seems like no one in the Martian military has really been tested. Consider:

Captain Yao's only combat experience is with pirates, and she considers herself fortunate to have had even this experience. Her bridge crew have only been in sim combat.

Draper and her squad have only been in simulated combat as well.

Alex and Holden, Mars and Earth Navy vets, have little to no combat experience: Alex was a glorified bus driver, Holden refused to shoot at rock hoppers. And Fred? He got a medal and became a hero on Earth for bombing at an unarmed mining colony.

Has anyone in this show has ever talked about having combat experience against an equal foe? Navy vs Navy, Army vs Army?
posted by zippy at 6:38 AM on March 14 [4 favorites]


No, I think actually it's kind of expressed that that doesn't usually happen - that Earth and Mars have been squaring off against each other for a long time, but it hasn't reached the level of open conflict (until Ganymede of course). And the OPA would like to think that it's an equal force, but it really, really isn't. Their operations are clearly small beer. So really, the Navies have only been testing themselves against pirates and rebels - more like cops than soldiers, almost.
posted by corb at 10:06 AM on March 14 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the call and response stuff Dawes does with the assembly in Belta (what should we call this? BEV? Belter English Vernacular? ONSBV? Origin Non-Specific Belter Vernacular?) is perfect.

I also loved how diverse the assembly was. The details are making this show.


in general us lang belta geeks generally refer to mixed language sentences as "Beltlish".
"Unte sili milowda kowl wellwala..." (And if we are all wellwallas...)

"Kowmang gonya die!" (Everyone will die!)
Kowmang, "everone". Gonya, future tense indicator. Nick farmer has confirmed that "die" is english, there is a belter word for it, and no he hasn't chosen one yet.

"Once a thing is written, im fo sémpere" (it is forever).

The notion of "Beltlish" is interesting to me. English is "proto-Belter". Lang Belta is an evolution of English w/ extreme, multiple language contact. Beltlish has a certain oroborous feel to it.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:11 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


‘The Expanse’ Renewed For Season 3 By Syfy

[I would post the link that came with this (deadline.com) but the photo they used appears to be from a future episode and I don't want to post spoilers.]
posted by bluecore at 2:29 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]


Xélixup! ("excellent!").
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:53 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


corb - yes, I suspect both the Mars and Earth navies have a lot in common with the Royal Navy at the start of the First World War; very powerful and prestigious, but not actually having fought any major actions in literally generations, and equipped with ships whose technology had outstripped the development of doctrine for using them. In The Rules of the Game naval historian Andrew Gordon termed this "the long calm lee of Trafalgar" - a complacency in the aftermath of that great success that led to both a loss of tactical innovation and flawed ideas of ship design and eventually to the tragedies at Jutland.
posted by Major Clanger at 3:22 PM on March 16 [7 favorites]


Wasn't Bobbie deliberately drawing fire?
posted by merelyglib at 5:26 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]


I think we're overdue for a new thread. PM me if you think I could be of help creating new threads.
posted by christopherious at 2:57 AM on March 18


Anyone can make a new post. I just did!
posted by fiercekitten at 9:28 AM on March 18


I'll be honest and say I did not care for this episode because it continues to feel like they are royally, royally fucking up the execution on Bobby.

Thank goodness! As a non-book-reader*, I read tons of excited speculation about Bobbie from people who read the books, and everyone was excited about the casting. But the character hasn't really lived up to it.

I mean I like her enough, and the actress is great, but the character seems to be pretty much "inexperienced cadet who is suddenly thrust into big time war and politics she's unprepared for" and I gather that's not what she is in the books.

I'm also confused by her various reports about what happened. Was she lying to make her team look better? Or just plain confused, or even suffering from memory loss?

Because when they showed Ganymede the first time, even in the abstract helmet-cam view, I could tell there were six people running away from a seventh. Didn't she know that?
posted by mmoncur at 4:08 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


* I do read books, but I haven't read these.
posted by mmoncur at 10:56 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


It becomes obvious in later episodes that she had no idea what was going on until they gave her the weird memory drug. I can't say much more because it relates directly to episode 9 and on.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:03 PM on July 11


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