The Expanse: Oyedeng
January 12, 2021 5:21 PM - Season 5, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Naomi makes a desperate attempt to save her son from Marco. On the Roci, Holden battles for the last sample of protomolecule.
posted by ShooBoo (41 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!
posted by Kyol at 5:50 PM on January 12 [4 favorites]


I feel like the whole episode was just fodder for that ending. But totally worth it.
posted by kimdog at 7:04 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


I mean, I liked the space battle, that was fun, and I really kind of hope that Filip isn't just forgetting how fucked up his dad was about him, and it's a shame about Cyn because he was about the only other person on that ship who might've come around on Marco. On the other hand, making them all clearly bad makes it less of a problem to kill them off.

So, hands up, who thinks the protomolecule was actually on the Zmeya? Or that that was actually the Zmeya?
posted by Kyol at 7:12 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Holy carp, Bobbi just tossing that bullet over her shoulder is pretty suicidal on a ship subject to abrupt and massive vector changes in acceleration. iirc, she's (or someone else) done something similar on the show before (but with no consequences)?

I've always kind of liked book Monica the journalist/ reporter, and the character and actor (Anna Hopkins) is effective here. Huh, she's worked with Cara Gee (Drummer) before in the sci-fi romantic(?) comedy(?) 'Red Rover' (2018). Anyone seen it?

Is Steven Strait tired of maintaining his guns? Putting on armour fills the same visual role. Maybe the reason he seems leaner this season; he is, compared to the early seasons.


Bold.

But completely inconsistent with how quickly Ashford freeze dried.
posted by porpoise at 7:25 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


To be fair, Ashford was like 60% whiskey by mass.
posted by Kyol at 7:35 PM on January 12 [13 favorites]


I lost track. Who was on the Zmeya, and why did it blow up?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:07 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


The Zmeya was Marco’s ship that boosted off of Tycho station after getting the protomolecule out from Fred’s under-bed porn stash. Monica caught the departure trajectory with her camera eye, so Holden hunted it down with the Roci.
posted by Kyol at 8:35 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Holy carp, Bobbi just tossing that bullet over her shoulder is pretty suicidal on a ship subject to abrupt and massive vector changes in acceleration.

Yea, that really bothered me in the moment as well. Seems like the exact sort of thing the Bobbie we meet in S2 would have busted a member of her own team for. She's not been an active Marine for a while, but the woman who told Avasarala to "take off all that tinsel" because it would tear her head off during high-G manoeuvres is far too well-trained and disciplined to make that kind of rookie error.

Props to Keon Alexander as Marco. He is an almost disturbingly attractive human yet in all his scenes I find myself focusing on some bit of background minutiae; his entire personality is so poisonous I have a visceral sense of revulsion whenever I see him.
posted by myotahapea at 12:55 AM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Watch the scene of the Zmeya firing its torpedos again closely. In the spiraling shot after they're launched, the last torpedo is more blueish and flies off in the opposite direction. Looks like the Free Navy may still get their protomolecule to hand over to the Mars faction.

(h/t Reddit for the idea, which became apparent on rewatching the scene)
posted by kokaku at 4:56 AM on January 13 [9 favorites]


But completely inconsistent with how quickly Ashford freeze dried.

Or Cyn, who was dead well before Naomi shot herself up with the booster juice.
posted by cardboard at 6:53 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


FWIW, I assumed Naomi had already injected herself once while waiting for the door to open (before Cyn showed up) and then gave herself a second injection to make it the full distance.

Nice catch on the torpedo, kokaku. I am still kind of flabbergasted at the degree to which people this season have been treating the protomolecule like something that is powerful, but generally harmless; after seeing what it did in S1 it's hard to imagine keeping it under your bed. Or for that matter risking the ship it's on blowing up, sending it hurtling off to who-knows-where. They all must have a lot of faith in whatever container it's being stored in.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:04 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Naomi's young and fleet, and did a pretty serious looking breathe-up before opening the doors. Cyn and Ashford not so much (though Cyn should have been saveable). Accidental exposure to vacuum results in unconsciousness in 10 to 15 seconds. It's not clear how much difference a breathe-up would make, since vacuum in your lungs actively pulls O2 out of your bloodstream, and I don't think anyone's ever tried it deliberately. I expect it would make some difference, just not as much as it does for, say, freediving.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:53 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


So what happened with Naomi? She obviously jumped ships, literally, using a booster shot to stay alive. Or was that proto molecule? I don't think it was, but wasn't sure.

Still, ok she's jumped ship. But wouldn't the other ships just blow that ship up?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Does anyone (living) know Naomi's on the Chetzemoka now? I just realised that would explain why no-one rescued Cyn; no-one saw it happen. I still think he had time to close the damn door himself though.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:15 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Filip might have seen it happen -- he saw that Cyn had that camera turned on.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:20 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Saving Cyn was a non-starter, as his body was physically preventing the airlock door from closing. It might be necessary to have someone push him back into the ship from outside, because as long as that door is open there's no airlock anymore.

I'm guessing Marco's people think it was a suicide, and don't know that she made it to the Chetzemoka. Filip, at least, knows she contemplated spacing herself in the past, and there have been multiple references to the Chetzemoka being a rust-bucket so there might not be a simple way to verify anyone's on board. Nobody but Cyn knows she had that booster, and after the confrontation with Marco and Filip in ops it's probably not hard to believe she spaced herself as an act of defiance/despair/etc.

It's a bit of a stretch, but between her initial breathe-up, that injection, and the cloud of exhaled breath about her face to counteract the lung vacuum, it's theoretically possible she could survive the free-float, as it was a planned action and she had every advantage in her favour. (In an earlier season we see Diogo's uncle Mateo open his face plate under vacuum, though that was far less extreme.)

On preview: Filip's the only one alive who witnessed what happened -- he was on the other side of the airlock door.
posted by myotahapea at 8:25 AM on January 13 [4 favorites]


Maybe there's a big magnet at the back of the Razorback to catch and hold debris. But probably it just shows how little Bobbie cares about her life anymore.
posted by rikschell at 11:28 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Before that slug even hit the floor, it was captured by an upper-half-of-the-room cleaning robot.
posted by bartleby at 1:00 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Is it me or was the clicky sound effect of the gravboots applied rather inconsistently in this episode?
posted by Paul Slade at 1:23 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


It wasn't just you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:33 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Still, ok she's jumped ship. But wouldn't the other ships just blow that ship up?

They still might, but even that might be seen as one up on waiting for the Roci to arrive and then blowing it up along with the Roci.
posted by biffa at 1:42 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Alex and Bobbie are in the Razorback, so they'll probably rescue and speed away.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:49 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


C'mon, it's Bobbie. She hit the recycler on fly, no-look.
posted by stevis23 at 2:06 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


Props to Keon Alexander as Marco. He is an almost disturbingly attractive human yet in all his scenes I find myself focusing on some bit of background minutiae; his entire personality is so poisonous I have a visceral sense of revulsion whenever I see him.

They put out these after show videos where Ty Franck and Wes Chatham talk with other actors and last week it was Keon Alexander and Cara Gee who were on. They both seem absolutely pleasant in real life. Also Cara Gee was 8 months pregnant when she was filming her scenes with Keon Alexander and bumped him with her belly as a way to throw him off his lines.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:40 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Monica makes one hell of an intelligence analyst. Loved how she worked with Holden to figure out Marco's ship strategy.

If she ever wants to quit journalism, she's got a bright future as somebody's puppetmaster.
posted by Mogur at 5:28 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!

That about sums it up.

Most of the episode I was all WTF Naomi, why are you having emotional, heartfelt conversations with these jerks? You are wasting your time, have your last 15+ years of abusive relationship recovery been for nothing? And now you're going to kill yourself? Are you a complete moron? And this show is really going to kill off one of its stars (and not even the one running around sexually harassing people)? And then finally I was like ok, now I get it.

Watch the scene of the Zmeya firing its torpedos again closely. In the spiraling shot after they're launched, the last torpedo is more blueish and flies off in the opposite direction. Looks like the Free Navy may still get their protomolecule to hand over to the Mars faction.

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn! When do we think Holden & pals will figure that out?

I still can't tell if they're setting up Filip to betray Marco, or die for him. So the big question is, did he see that Naomi survived?

Needs more Captain Black Eye Makeup. Wouldn't mind some Avasarala and Amos & Peaches Show either.
posted by medusa at 5:52 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


I went and looked up the line, because it resonated with me even before the ending.

“Walking away is the only choice anyone ever has.”
posted by medusa at 5:55 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Monica makes one hell of an intelligence analyst. Loved how she worked with Holden to figure out Marco's ship strategy.

If she ever wants to quit journalism, she's got a bright future as somebody's puppetmaster.


I've been feeling this for a couple episodes now. She's not just a journalist - she's deep cover somethingorother. She's got a mission objective and she's already insinuated herself into the command decisions on the ship.
posted by some loser at 7:39 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


On a related topic: Marco is running wargames of a battle at the Ring, which reminds me of that Martian admiral who was lecturing about Ring defense at the War College (which in turn reminds me that he is helping Marco get ships). That lecture concluded that a reasonably-sized force could defend *all* the rings at once because they could rapidly shift from ring to ring inside ringspace. With Medina Station as logistics support, that amounts to a monopoly on interstellar travel.
posted by Mogur at 4:30 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Fantastic performances by Keon Alexander and Dominique Tipper this episode. Brent Sexton (Cyn) and Jaise Owens (Filip) really brought their A-game for some crucial character inflection points. They fully captured the complexity of Cyn & Naomi’s surrogate father-daughter emotional anchor/betrayal dynamic which is not a thing I was certain they’d pull off without the benefit of being inside Naomi’s head. Helluva job getting it from book to screen.

There are two things I’ve been scared they’d fuck up this season:
1) Amos and Peaches Walk The Earth: it isn’t quite perfect due to the reduced scale of the impacts - it’s lacking a bit of that “our species is so fucked” apocalyptic The Road vibe - but all the key bits are there so far.
2) The complexity of Naomi’s emotional and intellectual journey on Marco’s ship. They’ve elided a lot of the genius engineer bits from her escape planning, but they fully translated all the stuff that matters.

I was also worried that they’d chicken out on Drummer-as-Michio-Pa’s whole crew/polycule dynamic, and they haven’t although they did short-change Josep’s aging stoner-mystic warrior-priest vibe, which made for so many great quotes.

This is all going so much better than we had any right to expect.
posted by Ryvar at 5:43 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Props to Keon Alexander as Marco. He is an almost disturbingly attractive human yet in all his scenes I find myself focusing on some bit of background minutiae; his entire personality is so poisonous I have a visceral sense of revulsion whenever I see him.

this is really well put. the actor is almost disturbingly good looking (like, is he wearing mascara?) and Inaros is so awful. I can feel myself wanting to fall under his manipulative spell. I worry Filip is going to learn the hard way about his dad.

great episode! (thanks for headsup on blue torpedo, did not catch that!)
posted by supermedusa at 8:48 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


like, is he wearing mascara?

He's definitely wearing eyeliner. No doubt he's overcome with jealousy of Captain Black Eye Makeup.
posted by medusa at 1:30 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


> He's definitely wearing eyeliner.

He could be like Néstor Carbonell (the guy from Lost) and just look that way.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:18 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Inaros is so gloriously creeeeeeeeepy (his interrogating Filip about why Filip wants his own ship - ugh.) And Filip is so obviously on the fence - (a couple episodes ago) you could feel his either falling for Marcos' manipulative shit or leaving... like he could see that Marcos was - bad - and i took that as optimistic that he would break free.

I don't want to give up on Filip. And I did not see Naomi's 'flight' to the other ship until she was most of the way there.

How do the books compare to the show? The show is really satisfying, would hate to find the books to be a let-down.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:46 PM on January 18


The books are great. More background info and more minor characters overall, but the show is largely faithful to them aside from some changes for dramatic effect. I will say that I've read them all and it hasn't ruined me for the show at all. I know the broad strokes of what's coming but still find it exciting to watch.
posted by Knicke at 4:40 PM on January 18 [2 favorites]


How violent are the books? I don't do well with violent media, this show is much more violent than what I usually watch but somehow it's usually abstract enough that I am ok with it. In books it's harder to close your eyes for the grisly parts.
posted by medusa at 6:56 PM on January 18


In general, the "camera" of the books doesn't linger overly long on gore the way, say, World War Z or Game of Thrones have a tendency to. In specific, book 1 (Leviathan Wakes) definitely does more of this which I attribute to the authors settling in/writing a bit more of a horror story than any of the subsequent novels.

What'll get you with the books, IMO, is the sheer sense of relentless oppression as the systemic failures continue to pile up. Everything is flying to pieces in an increasing number of ways, continuously grinding everybody down. Abaddon's Gate (Season 3) and especially especially Cibola Burn (Season 4) are bad this way. Of the post-show novels Persepolis Rising (book 7) is somewhere between those two. I've read Nemesis Games (current Season 5) eight times cover to cover. I've read every other book in the series at least five times except Cibola Burn which I've read twice and that was plenty.

My advice to you would be to try reading them with the plan to skip book 4 (if you've seen Season 4 of the show you're not missing much, it's by far the most straightforward adaptation of the series), and just use book 1 as your litmus test. If you can get through that, the rest of the series minus book 4 shouldn't be a problem. If you can't, you've got your answer and don't need to invest more time or money on the rest.
posted by Ryvar at 9:55 AM on January 19 [2 favorites]


The Expanse Aftershow (season 05 episode 07)
and the others, are well worth a listen, both from the insights into the characters, but also to see the actors eing actors and talking about playing the roles - shop talk. Very satisfying, very interesting. And hosted by Wes, who is... not threatening at all, which is oddly surprising.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:54 PM on January 19


Another late addition, but for those who don't mind book spoilers one of the show's Twitter accounts posted a video of Naomi's space walk to the Chetzemoka with the book passage describing it superimposed over the footage. It clears up some of the uncertainties of how she was able to manage it, and the written description against the filmed images is quite effective.
posted by myotahapea at 12:37 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Ryvar thanks for the detailed comment on violence in the books!
posted by medusa at 6:12 PM on January 22


myotahapea, thanks for posting that video. It was cool!
posted by medusa at 4:52 PM on January 23


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