The Expanse: Intransigence   Show Only 
June 7, 2018 12:10 AM - Season 3, Episode 9 - Subscribe

How do we emerge victorious from the quagmire?

The Rocinante has emerged through the Ring into a bubble of spacetime with a rigidly enforced speed limit, and starts a running-on-ice race to avoid capture by the MCRN cruiser that has followed it inside.

The conflict evacuates civilians from the UNN fleet, but Anna connives to stay behind with Melba Koh, who is revealed to be Clarissa "Claire" Mao, daughter of Jules-Pierre, out to avenge his imprisonment and disgrace. Naomi leaves the Behemoth to rejoin the still dead-in-the-water Rocinante, while the documentary crew, revealed as saboteurs, are spaced, sent to the MCRN as a human communications relay.

After desperate entreaties from Jim Holden, the Investigator returns, and leads him to the nexus at the heart of the spacetime bubble.

Highlights: Drummer's stirring speech as the Behemoth heads through the Ring; Holden's half-open squint as he appeals for the return of Miller; multiple appearances of Savage Industries products in-show, from Metafilter's own Adam Savage.

Quotes: "They don't know how to fix it: I checked." "Our father is a damaged man; you'll never be good enough for him".
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (29 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
This one seemed slow and less consequential than the rest of the season, which has been all buildup, all tension. Or maybe it was just watching it with commercials, which I don’t typically do.

But the Melba reveal was big news! And those dudes on the Roci are useless without Naomi. Feels like pieces sliding into place for the big action later.

The show has gotten so good at fast and intense that slow and creepy feels off, but it’s effective in its own way... I just don’t feel satisfied for the week. I don’t want to wait for more!
posted by rikschell at 5:55 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


It was slower than last week, yes, but that gave the characterization a bit of room to breath. ie, besides the speech. Drummer had two other amazing moments : when she apologized to Naomi for laumching the missile (has Drummer ever apologized for anything?) and when she said goodbye to Naomi at the airlock. She barely moved but you could watch her heart break in realtime.

Also a good reminder of the Amos we used to know. :)
posted by Mogur at 2:59 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]


There was somewhat less tension in this episode than last weeks, but this particular story arc has me really on edge, and I've read the books!

Amos explaining why he had to put both the documentary people in the airlock cracked me up, though.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:55 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


"I was bein' gentle."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:07 PM on June 7 [6 favorites]


Was Naomi's relationship with Drummer purely professional or. . .? Seemed like they were more involved than I'd understood. Have I missed something?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:55 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


Regarding that, whoever does Texts From The Roci must be laughing their ass off.

In the airlock scene, I liked how the energy and momentum of the scene is such that at first you actually think Amos is about to space them — I mean, he was holding a screwdriver to her jugular a few minutes ago — and it's only as it goes on that you realize no, he's just unilaterally assigned them a job to do without consulting with anyone else. And the detail about how he would've just sent the cameraman, because he was the one who fucked up the Roci after all, but then realized that with the gloves he wouldn't be able to see where he was going… that's thoughtful kindness in Amosland.
posted by Lexica at 10:00 PM on June 7 [4 favorites]


I didn't get a sense that they were anything more than a couple of Belters that really connected as comrades. I certainly wouldn't ship them.

The reveal of Melba as a Mao daughter was pretty great. I figured it was something similar to that, since it felt like the conspiracy was going out of their way to "get" Holden.

Just an FYI, they haven't revealed her name yet, but I'm sure that's not a huge spoiler.

Echoing everyone's love for Amos in this episode wrt to the camera crew. I still don't buy that the cameraman didn't know what he was doing.
posted by numaner at 10:07 PM on June 7


I was thoroughly spoiled for the Melba reveal because people have been throwing her name around in ostensibly show-only spaces for weeks. But I'm not mad; it wasn't a mystery for very long in the show and I can expect there to be some bleed-through from book fans despite everyone's best efforts.

Totally not looking up whether certain bad guy characters ever show up again and/or wind up dead, though.
posted by confluency at 2:35 AM on June 8


We just found a mysterious hole in space! What should we do next?

Earth: put together a panel with good audience appeal and head over there.
Mars: send a combined scientific/military expedition that can handle any contingency.
Belt: crash into it like a lunatic.



We can go into the hole! What should do we do next?

Earth: use unmanned probes to assess the danger, then move one ship in cautiously.
Mars: send a warship in to arrest someone, because law and order are paramount.
Belt: send in the entire fleet! Start the ritual chant! Valhalla awaits!
posted by Mogur at 5:40 AM on June 8 [26 favorites]


Man that chant was awesome though, and I love Pirate Belter and Drummer with my whole heart.
posted by corb at 7:01 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm loving Drummer so much.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:30 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I just loved Amos' reaction shot when he put together all the evidence against the film crew and AWWWW SHIIIIIT IT'S AMOS TIME! And yet, right, we love that while he can bring the violence, he's not indiscriminate, he got them off the ship together so the camera man wasn't blind in a suit.

Yeah, it was a slower episode, but they needed to pause and fill in all the shapes they've been outlining for the past few episodes as they rushed in towards the ring. This is the show I'm most looking forward to every week, more than Westworld, more than Legion. I can't _wait_ for the end of this season since it feels like maybe with the human politics ... maybe getting tabled for a bit, we get to focus on the protomolecule again for a bit. Will the protomolecule all return to the ringspace bubble? Will more protomolecule depart from the bubble?
posted by Kyol at 8:01 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Belters: what happens when everyone who says "Hold my beer and watch this" starts a nation.

I, too, am loving Drummer so much. I notice the speech was almost entirely free of Belter Creole, presumably for better goosebumps for the audience.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:22 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Except for "BELTALOWDA!" which I have to admit sounds pretty badass.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:48 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


At first I thought that Drummer’s apology was out of character and came out of nowhere. But then came the farewell scene, and things clicked into place. It was a nice moment for Cara Gee, and eased my fears that Drummer had hit a bit of a dead end.
posted by Zonker at 6:16 AM on June 9


Belters: what happens when everyone who says "Hold my beer and watch this" starts a nation.

Yeah, I retract my objection to the Belters allowing an insane person to captain a craft that's a potential weapon of mass destruction. It seems in character for the Belters to say "Well, he hasn't destroyed a colony YET."
posted by happyroach at 11:23 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


This is the show I'm most looking forward to every week, more than Westworld, more than Legion.

For me, this season is where the show seems to have rolled over from "best sci-fi on TV right now" to "best prestige TV right now period". I enjoyed the previous seasons- they were good TV! - but this season has been something more. We have characters! We've known them for seasons, and care about them! They move around and interact in interesting ways! Crazy, huge world-changing events happen, and keep happening! And it just barrels forward (even if it takes a breath sometimes, like in this episode).

Contrast westworld and legion, who have mucked about with their characters and puzzle-boxes to the point that half the time I find it really hard to care about them. In some ways The Expanse is just a simpler show that doesn't push the bounds of narrative structure so hard, but by not pushing it too much there they can expand elsewhere. I'm a book-reader, so I know the outline of what happens (much as my memory is terrible for books) but I still find it riveting to watch. Which is hard to pull off!

One favorite bit: Alex absolutely shitting himself watching the probe cease existing. Which, you know, feels like something important, but not scary, to a viewer? but of course being stuck inside a all destroying bubble of alien goop or whatever is a totally terrifying thing for a space pilot...

Also, I initially thought there was a gravity goof in the scene between Naomi and Belta Strathairn, but I guess the Behemoth must have been spun up? It didn't look to be spinning in the exterior shots...
posted by BungaDunga at 6:53 PM on June 9 [6 favorites]


Lots of things that are in microgravity appear to be in full Earth gravity because Belta space-boot-magnets ARE THAT GOOD!

tl;dr: a Belter did it.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:58 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


How many people commenting here on The Expanse threads are actually Culture minds?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:40 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


I understand why the visuals in the ring space were changed from the book description, which would have been very difficult to get across on screen, but the overall size of the space seems shrunken in a way that I don't particularly care for. And the "violated" objects are going the wrong damn way.

Still, these are insignificant quibbles with an extremely well done adaptation. The source material is treated with a hell of a lot more respect than GoT, to pick one obvious example. I can only hope that Amazon gives the producers the same latitude they have had to date. (And also that they not be too lenient. Unlimited budgets encourage much navel gazing, which works well for something like The Grand Tour, but not so much for dramatic stories like The Expanse.)
posted by wierdo at 3:49 PM on June 10


Ashford starting that beat that the rest pick up, creating a wave and Drummer just fucking rides it. There's your "fuck yeah" moment of the episode - though Amos comes damn close a couple times.
posted by Ber at 9:09 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


How many people contributors commenting here on The Expanse threads are actually Culture minds?

FTFY. A helpful guide.

(Certainly not all, or maybe even no, Culture minds we host will take issue with anthropocentric language, no not by any means. But let's not take any unnecessary risks.)
posted by mwhybark at 12:04 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


I understand why the visuals in the ring space were changed from the book description, which would have been very difficult to get across on screen, but the overall size of the space seems shrunken in a way that I don't particularly care for. And the "violated" objects are going the wrong damn way.

Yeah, a lot of the threshold crossing scenes sort of gave the impression the ring is only a few hundred feet across and that the bigger MCRN cruisers are pulling in their elbows to make it through, but then the scene with the Belter fleet entering was very definite about the scale - it's huge! I dunno, fx guys, maybe a bit more depth of field in those low angle shots across the rim?
posted by Kyol at 6:25 AM on June 11


Yeah, a lot of the threshold crossing scenes sort of gave the impression the ring is only a few hundred feet across and that the bigger MCRN cruisers are pulling in their elbows to make it through, but then the scene with the Belter fleet entering was very definite about the scale - it's huge! I dunno, fx guys, maybe a bit more depth of field in those low angle shots across the rim?
posted by Kyol at 9:25 AM on June 11 [+] [!]


I felt the same way until one shot, toward the end, where the camera is approaching the ring from an oblique angle, and suddenly some tiny little dots start resolving and you get Behemoth and its attending ships. It was a subtle move which gave you a sense of the scale of the thing. Unfortunately, it was the *only* shot in that episode to do so.
posted by Thistledown at 1:15 PM on June 11


How many people commenting here on The Expanse threads are actually Culture minds?

I mean we ARE getting into OCP territory here to be fair
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:52 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


So I went back and looked and made an album of ring shots, excepting any FX shot that was less than 10 seconds (i.e. I skipped past while scrubbing through the episode on fast forward).

Draw your own conclusions. I don't think I really had a sense of scale until the Behemoth crossed the threshold, but even some of the opening shots with the golden spire feel like they went back to the old smaller ring scale.
posted by Kyol at 2:39 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


The ring in the books is 1000km diameter, large enough where you could slip Ceres through with about 25km to spare on either side. That's big but still small enough where the curvature would be obvious if you were standing on the outside surface of the ring itself --- the horizon would only be about 1.2-1.25 km away.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:38 AM on June 12


So for terrestrial scale that's more or less a circle bounded by Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta that neatly swallows Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee and large chunks of Illinois.

Big.
posted by Kyol at 8:47 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Big is right, that's about the size of the British Isles.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 11:36 AM on June 13


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