The Expanse: Dandelion Sky   Show Only 
June 14, 2018 2:05 AM - Season 3, Episode 10 - Subscribe

I'm gonna free fall out into nothin' / Gonna leave this world for awhile

James Holden jets towards the core of the sphere inside the Ring, leaving behind a confused and increasingly desperate Amos, Naomi and Alex. The UNN Thomas Prince enters the Ring, following the Belters and MCRN, with a frustrated Claire Mao on board; reactions during the transition vault between religious elation and existential despair, while the command crew of the Behemoth grows increasingly tense after they are abandoned by their chief engineer.

Sailing through space, James talks to a projected Miller, who reveals that the ring was home to an advanced civilization billions of years ago. That society has disappeared, leaving behind an automated system - "locked doors, lights and a timer" - that only a physical being like James Holden can unlock.

An MCRN crew with Bobbi comes into contact with Holden just as he makes it to the nexus of the bubble. Firing as he is about to close the circuit results in a spectacular Arboghast-type deconstruction of one MCRN officer and everything inside the bubble - ships, people, bullets - slamming to a stop.

The protomolecule transmits a vision through Holden - something extinguishing stars across the galaxy - before he falls open-eyed to the floor.

Quotes: "Like a fuckin' pharaoh."

Quibbles: crew having free access to sidearms on the Prince during a mixed military/civilian science mission; the no-time between Nemeroff's suicide and funeral; there are an estimated 1 quadrillion synapses in the human brain, several orders of magnitude less than the number of stars in the Universe (an estimated 1 septillion).
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (24 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
i love how they cast an actor who looked so much like Kier Dullea, for the Nemeroff role. the 2001 love was strong with this one.
posted by lapolla at 2:11 AM on June 14, 2018 [5 favorites]


also, wow - the timing of the suicide theme and the wisdom of the message in Anna's eulogy... impactful.
posted by lapolla at 2:21 AM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


that was fucking amazing
posted by Sebmojo at 4:20 AM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Interesting how the core let Nemeroff shoot himself, but would not let the Marines shoot Holden. The 18000 km/h speed limit is several times the speed of a bullet, so there was some new speed/energy rule operating on the core.
The series makes a good argument on behalf of faith that you don't see often in SF, that the truly devout (this having no correlation with their position in the church hierarchy) are fundamentally decent people, interested in helping others as an end to itself.
posted by cardboard at 9:03 AM on June 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Any speculation on what Holden's experience completing the circuit? Seemed like a recapitulation of protomolecule recent events followed by maybe some new information. Like maybe...
1. there are multiple exits from ring space
2. the protomolecule makes stars blow up/can prevent stars from blowing up (???)
3. I don't even know but that was another good episode

(Gunny shot first!)
posted by Golem XIV at 9:21 AM on June 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


I thought he was being shown a condensed history of the collapse of the ring civilization as its various stars went supernova over time. I don't think it was destroying them. But I do think the last part was the protomolecule trying to send out a life line to colonize a new system (ours) by converting a star into something it can use. The shock of seeing that plan snapped Holden out of it.

This show is doing a great job of pacing the anticipation. It's one of the best shows on TV right now, imo. Thank ProtoGod it's been saved.
posted by homunculus at 3:16 PM on June 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


Someone tweeted Frankie Adams about why she shot Holden and she replied BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO SHOOT YOUR CRAZY MATE then went back to musing problematically on the hotness of his naked azzzzz
posted by Sebmojo at 7:01 PM on June 14, 2018 [12 favorites]


Interesting how the core let Nemeroff shoot himself, but would not let the Marines shoot Holden. The 18000 km/h speed limit is several times the speed of a bullet, so there was some new speed/energy rule operating on the core.

Could be a new rule, since they're inside the station, or it could be that martian bullets are some sort of super-fast railgun.
posted by runcibleshaw at 7:18 PM on June 14, 2018


Kolvoord (the scientist-type Anna was looking at the display with) speculated (about 13 minutes in) "I bet that if an object were to exceed the speed limit inside this ship, nothing would happen to it. We should test that."

Nemeroff was inside the ship. The Martian Marines who fired their guns (and set off a grenade, OMG what were you thinking???) were not.

I'm pleased and amused that the producers seem to be keeping their promise of "nude Holden at least once per season."
posted by Lexica at 8:58 PM on June 14, 2018 [8 favorites]


i’m pleased that stephen strait has such a good trainer
posted by sixswitch at 9:00 PM on June 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


he really must
posted by mwhybark at 12:56 AM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


My big plot quibble was loaded projectile-based sidearms as daily-wear kit in a vacuum ship. I mean, ok, navies gonna navy or some shit, but there is no possible adequate chain of reason for this unless the ship is constructed specifically to prevent bulkhead ruptures due to accidental discharge, both internal and external, a design decision that would radically increase the longterm construction costs of large-scale vac ship fleets over time and fuitful increase, with minor benefits compared to simply limited firearms access to marines on specific duties, in the manner of the Marines on Terror and Erebus and, uh, MCRN ships.
posted by mwhybark at 1:02 AM on June 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


I remember the Blue Falcon shootout, where Alex took cover behind a couch that took several hits. He should have been perforated multiple times, but instead he survived because the couch stopped all the bullets. I wondered at the time if - instead of redesigning a ship to handle firearms, could they have redesigned the firearms to pose less of a risk to the ship? Frangible bullets, low velocity, or some other combination (I'm not an engineer)?

I suppose there'd still be a need for heavy weapons, occasionally, but a strong societal bias against casually carrying them inside the ship (I'm sure a Belter would have no trouble spacing the idiot who was lugging around a hull piercer when they could have just had a knife or a snub pistol instead).
posted by Mogur at 4:24 AM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


And it’s possible sidearms weren’t issued until the one spaceship got blown up. Yes, Holden appeared to take credit for it, but I’m sure command has been in touch with Avasarala, and she’d certainly be skeptical. Even if you believe Holden did it, that makes at least three prominent Earthers already taking strong pro-belter positions, so keeping an eye out for potential saboteurs on board and having the weapons to deal with them might not be such a terrible idea.
posted by rikschell at 5:04 AM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


The guns are using plastic or composite rounds designed for low penetration. I think Bobbie had a throw away line about it when they were on the Guanshiyin — she was never in any danger because the crew didn’t have anything that could punch through her armor.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:38 AM on June 15, 2018 [7 favorites]


And again with Amos delivering some of the best lines in his conversation with Alex. Wes Chatham is a wonderful angry gift almost every week.
posted by Kyol at 9:56 AM on June 15, 2018 [6 favorites]


The guns are using plastic or composite rounds designed for low penetration. I think Bobbie had a throw away line about it when they were on the Guanshiyin — she was never in any danger because the crew didn’t have anything that could punch through her armor.

And really, if Mars is typically going after belter pirates and not UNN troops, they're going to be lightly armored if at all. You need a lot less firepower to disable someone in a civilian vac suit while in a vacuum.

I've been mentally throwing a mental asterisk behind instances like this, because in books it's easier to explain this quickly, and it's harder to show it in a visual medium. No one wants this show to waste a few minutes talking about munitions (even though they did with the incendiary rounds Bobbie needed to get at the hybrid with). I haven't read the books, but have listened to a ton of interviews with the writers, and they're anything but lazy; there's usually a nugget of logic behind most of these choices (even if little plot holes like this do happen occasionally). There are other times that the visual medium supersedes these things, like the times they've demonstrated the Coriolis force fairly accurately. I would imagine that's harder to do in written form.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:15 PM on June 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


I want to say there was a short mention early in the series--maybe on Ceres between Miller and Dmitri? Something about them "sensing" flesh vs metal... (but I could be misremembering). Plastic rounds do seem more realistic and were mentioned when Amos was training Prax for the Io job--there's a line about the training rounds being plastic and that the real ones would give more of a kick. At the time I assumed that was for cost savings (train on cheap plastic vs expense magic bullets), but maybe all non-military rounds are plastic.
posted by MikeKD at 1:19 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, every now and then I sorta wonder if magboots would have a particular tell in zero gee that wouldn't come across well or wouldn't be a royal pain in the ass to produce. I mean I sorta kinda think you'd end up with people who aren't actively locomoting sorta drifting at 10-15 degree angles from vertical (and probably with more bent knees and floatier arms) and not just like they're in a gravity field, just clankier.

Similarly the traditional gravity bunks on the UNN ship. Clearly the Epstein drive means the design of the ship expects a ~1g acceleration all the time and yet there are definitely going to be zero gee events that aren't just during turnover - all the time they're in station or getting refitted or whatever, so the remaining crew get strapped into beds, or are there also zero gee sleeping closets?

Note, this is the sign of a show that really catches my attention, that I start to wonder about the behind-the-scenes bits of the world.
posted by Kyol at 1:19 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


And also it was a subtle, easily missed thing last episode when the Behemoth started its terminal braking before entering the ring, the rest of the (smaller, more agile, better thrust-to-weight) ships just zipped off because they could start their deceleration burns much later.
posted by Kyol at 2:40 PM on June 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


"Yeah, every now and then I sorta wonder if magboots would have a particular tell in zero gee that wouldn't come across well or wouldn't be a royal pain in the ass to produce."

It's odd, because every episode this bothers me a bit but every time I think about it I totally forgive the show for it because I appreciate the lack of (near-ish future human tech) artificial gravity and I also realize that depicting microgravity environments realistically is prohibitive to do well and often. It's an okay compromise but it would be so nice if it weren't necessary.

This episode was very good. This whole season has been great.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:39 PM on June 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, every now and then I sorta wonder if magboots would have a particular tell in zero gee that wouldn't come across well or wouldn't be a royal pain in the ass to produce. I mean I sorta kinda think you'd end up with people who aren't actively locomoting sorta drifting at 10-15 degree angles from vertical (and probably with more bent knees and floatier arms) and not just like they're in a gravity field, just clankier.

'The Expanse's' Cas Anvar Talks Science, 'Floaty Arms' and a Thrilling New Season

Space.com: Have you and the rest of the cast gotten used to filming zero-gravity scenes?

Anvar: We keep training every year. Every year they bring out specialists. We get astronauts in there … people who have actually lived in zero G, to teach us how to move, what's authentic, what's real. We're becoming more experienced. Our physical vocabulary is becoming more comfortable. However, we're also learning ways to dodge it. Every time we're told, "OK, this is a zero-gravity scene," Steven Strait will find himself near a vertical bar or a chair that he can grab onto, or he will cross his arms so he doesn't have to do what we've been calling floaty arms, because we all hate that. It is hateful to have to do the floaty arms thing, because that is kind of realistically what would happen — your arms would float unless you're engaging them and doing something with them. They don't hang by your side. Most of us, we try to find something to hold onto or grab, do something with our arms crossed.

Wirework will never be easy. Wirework is always painful and awkward and difficult, but we're getting experienced at it. We're getting better at it, so it's becoming a little more fun, and it looks cool as hell on screen. We love doing that.
As I keep saying, they're not making lazy, ignorant, or careless choices on this show.
posted by Lexica at 4:16 PM on June 15, 2018 [10 favorites]


depicting microgravity environments realistically is prohibitive to do well and often
Or even at all. I guess Gravity had the budget to spend more time hiding their wirework and CGI hair, but it was still pretty obviously shot using similar techniques to The Expanse. Apollo 13 did it the hard way, of course. Offhand, I can't think of any movies that have done a much better job.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:38 AM on June 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


All the wirework shots are crazy hard in VFX too, each of the floating actors are suspended by 4 - 6 wires, which then have to be painstakingly removed from the bgd, and whenever they pass in front of the actors. The rigs can also pull on their clothing, so you have to smooth out those wrinkles and bulges as well. It takes forever, and your work has to be totally invisible once it's done!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:47 PM on June 16, 2018 [4 favorites]


« Older Movie: The Thomas Crown Affair...   |  Mystery Science Theater 3000: ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster