The Expanse: Immolation   Show Only 
May 16, 2018 11:07 PM - Season 3, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The protomolecule replicates, infiltrates and disseminates.

Cornered, Jules-Pierre Mao initially orders the Io research base to surrender to the Contorta crew, but is persuaded at the last moment by Dr. Strickland to escape, using the remaining children as human shields, convincing the base staff to fight against what they are told is a Martian kill squad, and releasing the transformed Katoa as a diversionary attack.

Torpedoes carrying protomolecule hybrids are launched at Mars. The Contorta and UNN fleet shoot down some, but many more get through. One damaged torpedo impacts the UNN Agatha King, transforming the vessel and its crew into protomolecule incubators. In a desperate attempt to stop the remaining torpedoes from reaching Mars, Naomi and Alex board the King, but only succeed in turning on the transponders for the stealthed carriers before they are forced to evacuate due to a freed Cotyar sabotaging the ship's reactor; the resulting explosion wipes out the growing protomolecule threat in Io orbit.

On the surface, Bobbi leads the hybridized Katoa on a chase through the facility, managing to destroy it when it is distracted by something, presumably the birth of a massive protomolecule construction rising from the surface of Venus.

Errinwright's transmission, sent to Anna, is revealed to the UNN Secretary General. Mei and the surviving children are rescued, and Strickland executed. Fred Johnson is persuaded to use the Earth nukes he captured to eliminate the protomolecule threat to Mars. James and Naomi make up. Mao is captured, and brought face-to-face with Avasarala.


"I am that guy."

"He doesn't care about treason: that's just him parroting you because you talked to him last. If he spoke to a janitor, he'd be passionately declaiming about a fucking mop."

Some updates on the fight to save The Expanse:
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (40 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The “I am that guy” moment says a lot about how good this show is. I knew exactly what Amos would say and do the moment he stopped Prax, but it was still great. The rest of the episode was at the same level (with the possible exception of Admiral Nguyen twirling his mustache a bit, but I’ll happily let that slide). It’s a shame the show has to fight for its life, but it made a strong argument for renewal tonight. And to think that we’re not even halfway through the season!
posted by Zonker at 2:49 AM on May 17, 2018 [20 favorites]

If you're here to apologise, I honestly don't give a shit anymore.
My legacy was going to be a catastrophic war, with millions dead. That's all on Errinwright now. Thank you.
Oh fuck off, you colossal vase of cocks. I would be 100% behind the Bobblehead being marched naked through the city, with Anna walking behind him ringing a bell and shouting "Shame!"

He doesn't care about treason. That's just him parroting you because you talked to him last. If he spoke to a janitor he'd be passionately declaiming about a fucking mop.
Goddamn, Errinwright. You're still a warmongering asshole but after that scene I can't totally hate on you. I think even Anna had a ghost of a smile at that line.

And Avasarala, with J-P Mao on his knees before her after failing to assassinate her, wearing the flight suit of his daughter, who was sacrificed to the protomolecule. Such a great moment.
posted by myotahapea at 6:43 AM on May 17, 2018 [24 favorites]

The Amos thing was so good. They spent 2 and a half seasons telling us that Amos is that guy, so we all knew how it was going to go. Such a great payoff.

I didn't see Admiral Nguyen's death as mustache twirling. He thinks he's dying the heroic death that we all see Cotyar dying. He hates Mars and Martians. He sees a future where Mars defeats his home planet and he sacrificed his life while launching those things at Mars to end their threat once and for all.
posted by IanMorr at 7:25 AM on May 17, 2018 [9 favorites]

Just to clarify, I had no problem with what Nguyen said or did. His actions flowed logically from his character, as established up to this point. (Everyone acted in accordance with their character; that’s what made the episode so great.) I just felt that his laughter at Naomi and Alex was a little excessive. But that’s a minor thing, and didn’t detract from all the rest.
posted by Zonker at 12:05 PM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

After this episode I have only one reaction:

posted by Pendragon at 12:12 PM on May 17, 2018 [7 favorites]

I just felt that his laughter at Naomi and Alex was a little excessive.

Nguyen was wounded and out of fucks to give. Even if he somehow escaped the Agatha King without turning into a PM zombie he'd face a court marshall and charges of treason. He's a dead man either way.

And just then, when he's coming to terms with his fate, two people in Martian armor waltz onto the bridge of the UNN flagship. I'll give Nguyen a moment to gloat and mustache twirl.
posted by nathan_teske at 1:35 PM on May 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

A tweet from yesterday: If Cotyar die we riot. Again. #SaveTheExpanse #WatchTheExpanseLive ✊

Can't riot, too busy weeping.
posted by Lexica at 5:26 PM on May 17, 2018 [7 favorites]

Catch the look on Amos' face as he watches Bobby run off to a probable death in order to save children. I think she just went from the neutral column over to the positive column in his books, and that's a short list (and I continue to be very happy with what these actors can do with just a brief pause).

Also, Cotyar saying "Detonation should occur in...oh, how the hell would I know? I'm not an engineer!"

Once he executed the guy from the yacht, and (presumably) that UNN infected woman, I knew he was going to die, but I'm happy he had such a great send-off.

God, I love this show.
posted by Mogur at 7:16 PM on May 17, 2018 [11 favorites]

"You're not wrong, Walter Errinwright, you're just an asshole mass murderer!"
posted by pykrete jungle at 7:29 PM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

So that felt like it wrapped up the first half of the season, what were the remaining threads to be picked up for the second half? What Fred is doing with the Mormon Tabernacle Generation Ship, the protomolecule ship arising from Venus stand out, but I'm sure I'm missing some.

And yeah, it's all the little moments in the show, the directors are really confident that their viewers will pick up on them, and I appreciate it.
posted by Kyol at 7:43 PM on May 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wes Chatham is so good and can do so much with the tiniest expression. His face as he watched Bobbie run off after the hybrid, and then when Prax said "This is Amos. He's my best friend in the whole world"… I doubt Amos has ever had anybody say "this is my friend" and truly mean it. (People may have called him "friend" while trying to scam or manipulate him, but meaning it? Nah.) And I find myself wondering how many actually close friends Prax has had, given that he's been shown as a brainy introvert wrapped up in his work.

At this point I'm Team Praxmos forever. (Yes, yes, also still Team Bobbisarala forever. And Team Amosarala if that could be a thing.)
posted by Lexica at 7:49 PM on May 17, 2018 [20 favorites]

ERMAGERD so good. This ep had performance highlights for sure. And a shocking amount of really good effects work. The 0g (with magboots) fight scene was well done, and the visual of the upright mag booted bodies drifting at weird angles as they’re consumed... brr.

I’m happy they spent their money as they did. I didn’t really need to see the Agatha King blow up, I’d much rather see Bobbi glory in her fully-rendered power armour.
posted by sixswitch at 7:59 PM on May 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

and then when Prax said "This is Amos. He's my best friend in the whole world"

SO GOOD. Very startle. All "I am very down with this pointing guns at jerks bit and comfortable with probably killing this dude for many or no specific reasons and THE FUCK HE SAID?"

Also Frankie Adams seems to have actually signed up for the tweeters just yesterday and for the purpose of commenting on Dominique Tipper's butt. Something about an actor holding off on getting a twitter account until then amuses me. "No, guys, I'll engage in my own way and on my own terms" ... "No really, I have better things to do with my life than listen to the MRA dickweeds on the internet" ... "WAIT WHAT THERE ARE BUTTS!?"
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:12 PM on May 17, 2018 [12 favorites]

yeah, that subtle glance that Amos gave both Bobbi and Prax... damn! Wes Chatham is soooo good!

i love this show. i am bereft it has been canceled. signing every petition i can find. (so much for fighting my way home on a miserable muni commute every wednesday night to be able to catch the live broadcast. which is so riddled with commercials it is almost unwatchable... that ANY show could withstand that, is amazing; with this show, it is simply proof of how well-made and compelling it is.)

this was one of the most satisfying episodes of the series. i know it is something of wish fulfillment, seeing so many assholes get their comeuppance, but it felt SO good. and there was just enough bitterness in the sweet to keep it real.
posted by lapolla at 12:08 AM on May 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

on rewatch: when Strickland ventures into the room to release proto-Katoa from the chamber, the scene opens with a swirling image which is inside the hybrid's eye. it looks very much like the disassembled Arboghast, but not quite. i think it was the structure on Venus, assembling; and he was, indeed, distracted by its completion, in that final moment that allowed Bobbi to kill him. this show does the "show not tell" approach so well!
posted by lapolla at 5:32 AM on May 18, 2018 [6 favorites]

"And to think that we’re not even halfway through the season!"

This felt so much like a season ender, to me.
posted by Seamus at 8:08 AM on May 18, 2018 [6 favorites]

The show is unusually structured -- the first season was basically the first half of book 1, and the second season was the second half of book 1 (up through Eros smacking Venus) and the second half of book 2. The protomolecule dingus leaving Venus basically finishes book 2 (with a few hanging threads that we don't know if they'll pick up) and they're moving into book 3 now.

It makes for interesting pacing and I mostly like it.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:01 AM on May 18, 2018

The protomolecule dingus leaving Venus basically finishes book 2 (with a few hanging threads that we don't know if they'll pick up) and they're moving into book 3 now.

Non-book readers should tread lightly here -- the official teaser for episode 7 has a major spoiler that is the last hanging thread from Caliban's War. (Rot 13: Jr arrq gb gnyx. )
posted by nathan_teske at 11:48 AM on May 18, 2018

Can you point me at that?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:30 PM on May 18, 2018

You know who else is team Praxmos? Wes Chatham. I love this new world where actors ship their own characters :)
posted by antinomia at 2:42 PM on May 18, 2018 [11 favorites]

Given how you all are gushing, I think maybe I need to go rewatch the last few episodes and this one. This episode had so much happen in it, but it felt rather flat to me compared to the impact of other episodes. I thought maybe there was something weird about the pacing or editing. Maybe I was just too tired or had forgotten too much from previous episodes.
posted by congen at 3:01 PM on May 18, 2018

GCU Sweet and Full of Grace It's super spoilery so I thought it better to send it via MeMail. Watch the lower-right corner.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:06 PM on May 18, 2018

posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:11 PM on May 18, 2018

Aaaah! Show so good! Stupid syfy!

That is all.
posted by dazed_one at 4:36 PM on May 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

I just noticed that Steven Strait now has a producer credit.
posted by mwhybark at 9:05 AM on May 19, 2018

Can it possibly be true that me and my roommate buying entire seasons of this show on Amazon and watching new episodes the day they're released does not count at all towards viewership? Good lord what a stupid system. I don't have cable or Prime but drop $25-30 every season to support this fabulous show. And Syfy doesn't count me as a viewer?
posted by mediareport at 4:58 AM on May 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

My understanding is that Alcon produces the show and licenses it for distribution, and Syfy buys the American broadcast distribution rights (which is the lion's share of the money Alcon makes from the show). I'm a bit fuzzy on the details but it seems that because of the way the deal is structured, Alcon (but not Syfy) makes money when you buy a season pass on Amazon. I've heard it suggested that watching new episodes within 72 hours of release counts for something, but I'm not quite sure how that works -- may have something to do with a contractually-defined window for "live/DVR" vs. "eh they watched it later" but I'm not entirely sure.
posted by Alterscape at 7:57 AM on May 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

the vocals right at the end of this episode gave me some heavy journey (the game not the band) flashbacks, but I don't see Austin Wintory in the credits. not sure if they meant it to reference that game but damn that's a powerful sound.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:12 AM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

also, I just watched is a second time, and it's very cool how slow the "I'm that guy" scene seemed the first time I watched it, and how short it actually is when I saw it again! great pacing and tension. Such a good episode.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:22 AM on May 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Cause for hope: 'The Expanse' Revived for Season 4 at Amazon. Not 100% definite, but Amazon and Alcon are reportedly "near a deal".
posted by Lexica at 3:18 PM on May 21, 2018 [6 favorites]

Hahaha you beat me to it with the same link. But HUZZAH!
posted by numaner at 3:20 PM on May 21, 2018

posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:32 PM on May 21, 2018

when Prax said "This is Amos. He's my best friend in the whole world"

That was an incredible line reading.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:38 PM on May 22, 2018 [14 favorites]

That HWR link sadly does not provide certain confirmation of the deal, but I enjoyed the article, an occasion for me to revisit the signature HWR style. Many years ago I had the priviliege of writing daily genre entertainment links and bumps for a defunct competitor to iO9's precursor site and reading thru the harvest of stuff from HWR was always amusing due to the prose.
posted by mwhybark at 8:24 PM on May 22, 2018

I actually gasped and got teary-eyed at Amos appearing next to Prax to say "You're not that guy." Because he's absolutely right. Prax would have pulled the trigger in anger and never forgiven himself. And then when Amos shoos Prax away and closes the door behind him, we all know what's coming. We all know Amos is that guy. And he has a much bigger gun.

Amos taking the shot for Prax is an act of love and of mercy for his friend.

The actors on this show are nothing short of incredible. They're so damned good at conveying emotion and meaning in wordless glances. It helps that they've been given fantastic dialogue, but what they do with it, and in between the lines is wonderful.
posted by zarq at 7:24 AM on May 24, 2018 [9 favorites]

I doubt Amos has ever had anybody say "this is my friend" and truly mean it.

Not just that. Saying it and meaning it and then entrusting Amos with his child, even knowing what Amos is, but trusting he won’t harm Mei in any way, physically or emotionally - Amos’ face was a thing of wonder in that moment.

Also Anna’s look of horror at the “It’s Errinwright’s legacy now, not mine” was amaaaaaazing. These actors are so, so good.
posted by corb at 5:54 PM on May 27, 2018 [9 favorites]

"This is Amos. He's my best friend in the whole world," along with Amos's reaction, is one of my top TV moments of 2018.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:15 PM on June 5, 2018 [7 favorites]

The reaction was amazing! Having Amos occupy the right of the frame to subtly capture that was amazing and somehow Wes was able to make it clear that Amos was both surprised by it but also accepted it completely earnestly and didn't dismiss it just as something that parents say to children. Season 4 needs to happen just so we can see more of those two.
posted by WonderFunGo at 3:46 PM on August 31, 2018 [7 favorites]

"This is Amos. He's my best friend in the whole world," along with Amos's reaction, is one of my top TV moments of 2018.

I'm trying to interest friends in watching this show, just so they can get to this amazing scene.
posted by FishBike at 5:48 AM on February 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I can't wait to rewatch this whole episode. I love how awkward Amos looks when Prax hands him all the kids - it's the look of someone who is awkward with children because he never got to be one himself, is acutely aware of the fragility of that alien innocence and also of his own ignorance about how to protect it. It's the first time he ever looks out of his depth. He could lead a commando squad into anything but the mere thought of leading a passel of kids away from an airlock leaves him wide-eyed and frozen.

I don't normally dig beefy murderdude characters, but boy howdy do I dig Amos.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 12:36 PM on March 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

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