The Expanse: Redoubt   Show Only 
December 30, 2021 5:24 PM - Season 6, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Holden finds himself at odds with his crew when a controversial decision is uncovered. On Ceres, Avasarala struggles to contain an escalating humanitarian crisis. Drummer's growing faction stage a daring raid with dire stakes. Filip, demoted to repair skiff duty, makes an unexpected discovery. Now on Amazon Prime
posted by ShooBoo (53 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best episode of the season so far. So many good bits that if I listed them all it would just be a recap. The first three entailed a lot of getting things into place. From here on out it's all payoff. Every conversation in this episode felt important and earned.

I like that the writers are struggling with how to deescalate violence on multiple scales. I wish they had better answers. I wish there WERE better answers.
posted by rikschell at 7:24 PM on December 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm concerned about Chekhov's disarmed nuclear warhead. It's not going to just gather dust on the Pella.

I'm glad the kitty was okay. I love Drummer and want to join her pirate army. I don't know why we're spending so much precious, waning time on the children of Laconia. Instead, I want to see everyone take out Marco in new and unique ways: one by one, multiple endings like in the movie Clue.
posted by Gray Duck at 8:38 PM on December 30, 2021 [5 favorites]

I'm concerned about Chekhov's disarmed nuclear warhead

Yeah, it isn't like they don't have other warheads but you know this one is going to do something important.

Does Drummer reevaluate Michio's suitability after seeing her stay calm and save Josep when she probably would have gotten him killed?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:33 PM on December 30, 2021

I think so too. I did appreciate Michio's capability and flaw are coming from the same place, which is her motivation in saving lives or something like that.

In any case, I am perhaps wondering if children's education shouldn't include a kids version of Pet Sematary.
posted by cendawanita at 9:47 PM on December 30, 2021 [7 favorites]

I think the time spent on Laconia is interesting, and it relates directly to Marco's source of power and whatever big confrontation will happen in the Ring Space at the end of the season (guessing, but pretty damn telegraphed). The connection to the "lost ships problem" Holden and Naomi are working on is more vague. Maybe this season will end with a cliffhanger after all? Seems rude, knowing there won't be more, but it seems a sure thing there will be major threads left un-wrapped-up.

If nothing else, I think the Laconia scenes are justified by the musings of Duerte. The motivations behind exploring (and seemingly activating) the protomolecule are more than just a thirst for power. Of course that is there, but there is also deep grief for the unravelling of Martian ideals and for a way of life and power structure that was comprehensible.

As a child of the 1980s, I really understand the draw of Cold War nostalgia (on both sides), how attractive it is to have an easy enemy and a balance of power based on mutually assured destruction. As insane as that period was, it was simple. What came after has been bewildering in comparison. The allegory applies to the "easy" pro-diveristy strategies of the 1990s, too. "Not seeing color" and "don't ask don't tell" seemed like big steps forward at the time (and you could feel like you were doing so much by doing nothing at all), but they seem ridiculous now. But everything seems so fractured and impossible to put back together. Which is to say, the series is being pretty brave by pretty explicitly giving Duerte and Holden very similar motivations.

Who is turning out to be the REAL hero of the TV series, though? Drummer 100%. As events in the real world have overtaken the fictional world of the Expanse, the writers have pivoted enough that while the main action is still following the doomed saviorism of the Roci and their UN mission, the real work of making systemic change is on full display by a crew of Belters who have no real interest in negotiating with the Inners.
posted by rikschell at 7:28 AM on December 31, 2021 [5 favorites]

I really thought we were heading toward some "frag the lieutenant" territory with that pill Filip's sullen resentment, but now he seems revitalized? I was so hoping for a little patricide there or maybe they take each other out at the same time. I just want them gone, they're both so awful.

That admiral was intensely creepy in a grooming you against your parents way and that whole conversation made me incredibly uncomfortable; I had trouble listening to what he was saying so your points, rikschell, are appreciated.

I would have given anything to see Naomi's reaction to Drummer's video. I feel like the show is doing this weird thing where we see how much Naomi means to Drummer, and occasionally vice-versa, but we don't get to see them interact even over a screen anymore. Still a little salty that after everything she did last season, Drummer never even got to see Naomi alive, it was completely unresolved for us. I just want all the nice things for Drummer. She is my queen.

It's weird that after everything with Amos and Peaches, some of the best scenes Clarissa Mao is having are with Holden.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:06 AM on December 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

With a stone-cold Michio Pa by her side, who's to stop her?
posted by whuppy at 11:10 AM on December 31, 2021

Seriously, though, the Drummer/Pa arc was done for the TV show and it exemplifies what a freakin' good job they did with the TV show.
posted by whuppy at 11:12 AM on December 31, 2021 [8 favorites]

admiral was intensely creepy


Looks like I was totally wrong about Holden's motivations for disarming the nuke :)

it seems a sure thing there will be major threads left un-wrapped-up.

Yeah, I'm a little worried about how all this will fit together. I don't need everything wrapped up in a neat little bow -- obviously life goes on (unless it doesn't and the entire human race is destroyed which... could happen actually) -- but there's provocatively ambiguous, and then there's oh-shit-how-do-we-end-this-in-only-two-more-episodes.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:51 PM on December 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh, did anyone else think that Marco's stash looked like two giant Ever-Lasting Gobstoppers floating through space?

I didn't quite follow what happened at the very end there -- did Drummer & Co tow the supplies away? Did they destroy the two stashes, or sever the line connecting them so they'd just fly off in random directions into space?
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:53 PM on December 31, 2021 [3 favorites]

I'm hoping they were released so that their momentum will send at least one of the caches to Ceres but I guess she could broadcast their trajectories to factions that aren't aligned with the Free Navy to pick up and distribute as well.

I thought that Sanjrani was going to be a bit more appreciative of the assistance that the Inners would be providing Ceres after being left in the lurch by Inaros. Maybe between the fungus recipe that Prax sent and whatever was in the caches they'll have enough to keep Ceres going without help from the Inners. That would be a great way to show Belter independence and also demonstrate Sanjrani's leadership, even if they did massively luck out and had no way of knowing about either of those.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:17 PM on December 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also I don't think that Holden's and Duerte's motivations are the same at all. As far as I can tell after giving ProtoMiller a ride to the artifact in Ilus he doesn't really have anything to do and is just trying to help because he has a kickass spaceship in the middle of the biggest war of all time. But he doesn't want to sacrifice his relationship with Naomi to help resolve that war.

Duerte's talk of turning a loss into a sacrifice in the beginning of the episode is echoed in Filip's speech in the galley and probably in whatever video Monica is going to put out with her anecdotes of dead soldiers. They're the nations, or wannabe nations, trying to make a narrative that will justify the actions they've already taken as well as the ones to come. Holden doesn't need that because he's got a pretty clear conscience outside of logging that distress call way back in Ep1. I don't think that Drummer thinks that having to break up her family is a sacrifice either, it's just part of what being a Belter is, everything you love can and will be lost with no notice.

Holden's arms seem much smaller this season than what I remember. Were they this normal last season as well?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:43 PM on December 31, 2021

Holden looks WAY scrawnier this season than before, to the point where I'm a little worried about Steven Strait's health. I know they are trying to portray the toll that stress is taking on his body, but damn, let's not go all Machinist on it!
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:53 PM on December 31, 2021 [4 favorites]

OK, so not just me. I'm guessing his gym closed because of Covid and he's been slacking off on his exercise for the last year and only been doing cardio. We've all been there. And really with Amos, Peaches, and Bobbie on the ship the only guns Holden needs are the kind that shoot projectiles.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:12 PM on December 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Holden keeps his internal motivations pretty close. I feel like he's both running away from but also sort of fated to try to fulfill the promise of being the one child of so many parents. That he comes from privilege on Earth and wants nothing to do with all that, and yet he can't help but acknowledge that past, even as he rejects it. There's a sorrow and a grief to that story, untold, in the background. Holden is not a happy man. He's not driven to create a legacy like Duerte, except for the kind of legacy of trying to continually do good and be intentional and the way that puts him in the middle of big events. And he's so uncompromising about trying to do what's right that it ends up creating the same sort of sacrifice-centered personality (though it seems like Duerte is an other-sacrificer and Holden is a self-sacrificer). Holden and Duerte have different motives to be sure, but they both have hubris, they are both desperate to be right, they are willing to push buttons. I dunno, I saw parallels.

But yeah, I've worried about Strait's shrinkage, too. I hope he's okay.
posted by rikschell at 2:24 PM on December 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best episode of the season so far.

Yep. The first one this season that's really hit the spot for me.

Oh, did anyone else think that Marco's stash looked like two giant Ever-Lasting Gobstoppers floating through space?

Actually, the first thing I thought of was that they looked like giant coronavirus particles. It also struck me that the Inners' navy uniforms showed a distinct Star Trek influence.

I loved the Hank Williams scene, not for any Alex-related reason, but simply for the confirmation that Hank's music still survives in this era. Does Bobby ever ask her handscreen what the hell a whippoorwill is supposed to be, I wonder?

Finally, I may have to get myself a cat just so I can name it Lucky Earthling. Insufferable hipsters everywhere are trying to get their own moggies to respond to that name right now.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:46 PM on December 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

Bobby really likes salt. Is there a plot line coming up there, maybe related to her mods?
posted by mono blanco at 5:07 PM on December 31, 2021

The spice must flow?
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:42 PM on December 31, 2021

Episode trivia

- The number on the nuke is Jean Valjean’s prisoner number.

- Jean Valjean implies the existence of Jorts Valjorts
posted by sixswitch at 7:26 PM on December 31, 2021 [14 favorites]

But yeah, I've worried about Strait's shrinkage, too. I hope he's okay.

Apparently it was something he did intentionally:
He’s just under tremendous strain. And I wanted to show that, not only just internalizing the the constant doubt of “Am I enough for this moment? Am I the leader I need to be for this moment? Am I going to break in this moment?” but also physically. I lost quite a bit of weight before the season started; I wanted him to look gaunt and like he hadn’t slept and he hadn’t been eating. He’s holding it together, but not well. All of them in their own way have just kind of come to the end of their rope.
Oh, did anyone else think that Marco's stash looked like two giant Ever-Lasting Gobstoppers floating through space?

Saw a comment that they were the perfect way to send off 2021: Coronavirus models built from Ever Given containers.
posted by myotahapea at 3:28 AM on January 1, 2022 [11 favorites]

Bobby really likes salt.

It was Peaches rather than Bobby, wasn't it? They hit this point again in Webisode 4, which offers what may be a further clue.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:48 AM on January 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yes, it was Peaches with the salt. I thought it was a callback to Amos & Bobby joking about how terrible the food onboard was from a previous episode, but I haven't seen the webisodes so don't know if there's something else going on.

After watching the episode again, Filip's serious problems with women (no doubt due to Marco poisoning him against Naomi, and, to be fair, Naomi choosing to leave him with Marco) seem like his chief motivations. He became violently angry at the bartender on Ceres for rejecting his advances, leading him to kill his friend as a way to re-assert his masculinity ("all the girls would laugh at you if it weren't for me" or whatever Filip's exact words were). He clearly doesn't like the Blonde Belter (can't think of her name) who is Marco's new 2nd in command -- he is pissed that Marco will talk to her about top-level decisions and not him, and he is always shitty to her, even threatening her in this episode. He starts to show his sympathetic side while he is on repair duty, bonding a bit with the other Belter over his missing brother, once again being forced to see the human costs of Marco's leadership (callback to the negative news reports from last episode), but when he sees Drummer humiliate his father in front of the entire Belt, his rage and militant loyalty surges again because he cannot stand to see a woman beat Marco like that.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:04 AM on January 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

Yea, that was Clarissa over-salting her food. I was also expecting it to be either the quality of the "food" or related to her mods — something about her ropey off-brand implants messing with her sense of taste, maybe — but it seems like, nope, she just likes salt. Maybe it's just there as a bit of texture, like Naomi catching her floating mug blind when the ship goes under thrust, or Tadeo's brother's vertigo.

Clarissa's scenes brought two bits from “Intransigence” in S3 to my mind. Here, after she speaks to Holden about being haunted by the people she killed and then abusing the saltshaker, I thought of Ashford saying to Naomi:
"Well, guilt is like salt. You put a little on, and it hides all the bitterness."

And Julie's last words to her, after the party at the Mao house:
“Our father’s a damaged man. You’re never going to be good enough for him.”
Which felt directly relevant to this episode’s bonus content.

Oh fucking hell
Walker, speaking for everyone there. That scene was harrowing. I'm not particularly squeamish but I jumped, swore, and had to look away.

Sturdy work, Cargo
The best nicknames have a history to them, and I would love to see “cargo” go from being Walker’s expression of derision toward Michio to becoming one of respect.

That Admiral Duarte seems like a Very Nice Man.
posted by myotahapea at 10:35 AM on January 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh fucking hell
Walker, speaking for everyone there. That scene was harrowing.

Seriously. Props to all the performers for making that scene brutally realistic... his shredded arm after... *shudder*
posted by Saxon Kane at 4:51 PM on January 1, 2022

I really dug the scene with Holden and Naomi. It got touched on a lot of issues between them, in the midst of this war and sharply pointed out that Holden, as ship captain has plenty of flaws. But not wanting to kill his lover's child, even if said child was an adult that had made their own decisions. It put a human face on Holden, who often just seems like an archetype and made his decision to disarm almost touching.

But yeah, give fire control to Amos in those situations and don't tell Bobbi what you did.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 PM on January 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

Programming note: The character's name is Winston Duarte, not to be confused with real-life Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte.
posted by schmod at 9:37 PM on January 1, 2022

That conversation between Holden and Peaches really was something, maybe the best I have ever heard in this type of show.
posted by oldnumberseven at 3:28 AM on January 2, 2022

Programming note: The character's name is Winston Duarte, not to be confused with real-life Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte.

Further programming note: The primary antagonist's name is Marco Inaros, not to be confused with real-life former Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos.

More relevant to past threads, but worth mentioning.
posted by myotahapea at 5:22 AM on January 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

Filipito’s really going off the rails. It may be misogyny as suggested above, but I get the feeling it’s a more generalised issue of power and control. He’s insecure and reliant on external validation, characteristics often found in children of abusive parents. The times he loses it seem to be when he feels beaten, or small, or doesn’t receive the respect he thinks he deserves, and I’d bet that’s a direct result of his father’s narcissism and controlling behaviour — he can’t fight back against the person he’s really angry with, so he shoves the anger down until something else pushes the same buttons, bruises his fragile ego in similar ways, and then lashes out at who- or whatever triggers those same feelings. Some of those attacks are directed at women but I don’t think it’s *because* they’re women. (Once again, that’s my read, could be wrong, etc.)

He’s definitely coming unstuck before series end, and it’ll be interesting to see how it happens. If he stands up to his father or walks away from his influence there might be hope for him, but if he goes for mindless violence again he’ll probably continue down a similar path as Marco.

On the complete opposite end of the relationship-health spectrum, I was really happy with the way they handled Holden and Naomi’s convo over the disarmed missile. Both of their arguments felt real and believable, and in the end nobody ‘won’, but they respected each others’ feelings and came to an understanding of each others’ differing points of view. I didn’t expect any less at this point in the show, but still enjoyed seeing them nail a depiction of how a strong, healthy relationship handles conflict.

“I’m going to the gym.”

Bobbie, also demonstrating a healthy way to process anger.

So relieved Owain and Lucky Earther survived. I just want to see those two get some nice quarters on Ceres and live out the rest of their lives in comfort and security.
posted by myotahapea at 5:56 AM on January 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

The times he loses it seem to be when he feels beaten, or small, or doesn’t receive the respect he thinks he deserves...

Yep, Filip's basic problem is that his only model for behavior is his dad and he is not his dad. He probably has more of his mom's sensitivity and caring (see his reaction to the people on Ceres), but that nature gets really twisted when filtered through his dad's controlling narcissism. So he lashes out, which doesn't help anyone.

I keep wondering if he'll finally rebel from Marcos, the show suggests that sometimes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:17 AM on January 2, 2022

So relieved Owain and Lucky Earther survived. I just want to see those two get some nice quarters on Ceres and live out the rest of their lives in comfort and security.

Odds are good. Monica's footage has a lot of him running around and helping people while everyone else is fleeing or panicked. Belters notice that sort of thing.
posted by Mogur at 10:09 AM on January 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Filip is the saddest character: he lashes out and is violent and, just, so obviously out of control because of Daddy Dearest... props to Jasai Chase-Owens who conveys all the various ways Filip is fucked up really clearly and powerfully.

Marcos' 2nd, who cannily knows exactly what she wants from Ineros when he asks, is a surprisingly flat portrayal of self-dealing: she's just greedy, yet so many other characters who are greedy are greedy for 'reasons' - I would like to say I hope to find out what her reasons are, but -

Also, were it possible, I would have Drummer as my spirit animal.

Lastly, I think it's fucking criminal that this is the 'final' season. It's so good _and_ entertaining. I could happily watch this for the next X number of years: It was all I want from 'entertainment', not cardboard characters, some excitement. Isn't this the point of Netflix, to fund shows like this?
posted by From Bklyn at 2:39 PM on January 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I wish this show was continuing after this season. Not just because I want more great show, but because the knowledge that these are the final hours REALLY is twisting my enjoyment of these episodes.

For one, every second spent on Laconia drives me nuts. I'm sure that planet is important for the future of humanity or something, but I doubt anyone there is going to hit a button that blows up Marco Inaros so I feel like it's not directly relevant to the plot of the season.

I also hate all of the time spent on Filip. Ever since he murdered his friend in episode 1 (?) I consider him irredeemable, a terrible person whose only remaining potential purpose is to shoot Marco in the head but I doubt he has the competence to even do that.

Contrast with Peaches, who is a mass murderer but her motivations have always made sense, and her reform is believable too. Heck, Amos should be irredeemable too but the show makes me love him. Filip is just a brat with way too much power and attention.

And Marco... The sort of inhale-the-camera-with-my-creepiness the actor is doing seems very talented but also I hate him. I guess that's the idea, though.

I keep seeing mentions of protomolecule so I assume the Big Science Stuff (protomolecule, the rings) is going to come back at some point but it's going to end up being rushed because we spent so much time watching weird Laconian dogs and watching Filipito prove over and over that he needs to be punched in the face.

Drummer and crew: This was the one part that didn't make me wish it would hurry, I would have watched an entire hour of their story. And seeing Marco and Filip react to her communication almost made all the time with their characters worth it...
posted by mmoncur at 2:56 AM on January 3, 2022 [6 favorites]

Seconded on wanting more time with Drummer and her family. Michio’s redemption arc in this episode was particularly good.

At this point, I’m also not entirely sure what the show is setting up with Laconia, given that we’re rapidly running out of time to do anything with that setup.
posted by schmod at 10:21 AM on January 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

My hypothesis is that whatever the rogue Martians are doing with the protomolecule and the artifacts (which also seems to involve Marco) will end up destroying the ring gates, possibly even genetically altering some of the humans, but ensuring humanity's survival in isolated communities outside of the solar system. In the Solar System, with Earth devastated by Marco's attacks, Mars in shambles because of all the departures and economic downturn, and the Belt decimated by Marco's war, there will be some sort of new, more equitable political system established between the 3 powers. Maybe the Belt will even have the upper hand due to Prax's magic yeast, but the happiest ending I could imagine is a new spirit of mutual aid in the system to recover from all the destruction of the past few years.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:14 AM on January 3, 2022

I see no reason why Drummer can't be someone's spiritual animal. In fact, it's damn good idea.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:17 PM on January 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Not specific to this episode, but I guess the NASA social media account is run by a Belter:

@NASA : Ya, kopeng. Milowda gonya bi busy!
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:43 PM on January 3, 2022 [11 favorites]

Can we actually not use the term spirit animal here? I don't know where it stands with respect to cultural appropriation but even ignoring that, using it to relate to a human character portrayed by an Indigenous actor seems really wrong to me.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:18 AM on January 4, 2022 [12 favorites]

It looks like this season will resolve the Free Navy storyline with the Laconia stuff being a setup for future seasons if they happen. I think the creators have stated that they'll try to keep the show going after this season so it makes sense for them to use a bit of this season to sew some seeds for that. Thinking about how this season may end what are the odds that Naomi leaves the Roci and joins up with Drummer's crew?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:54 PM on January 4, 2022

Can we actually not use the term spirit animal here?
Of course. (Stupidly I never thought twice about the root of the expression. I also didn't know Cara Gee is Ojibwe: I was only thinking of the character of Drummer)

Loadstar, then: (and, obvs., way more apt.)

Drummer is my loadstar.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:09 AM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:07 AM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

Yep, apologies for my ignorance about using "spirit animal".

The character of Drummer is a helluva inspiration and she can be my captain anytime. When my I finally ascend and my true form is revealed, it'll definitely look similar to Drummer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:18 AM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

The space cargo stash was awesome. I love the space logic of it. Just cluster a bunch of cargo containers together on a skeleton that gives it rigidity and accessibility. And so colorful, because of course the containers are all painted random colors. Not quite clear why you need two tethered together like that but it looked cool. (They muffed the physics though; when they snapped the tether the container flew off in the wrong direction.)

I love the Laconia subplot and I think they did an excellent job with portraying Duarte. If you like this story I'd encourage you to read the last 3 books; you could pick them up after this TV show ends without having read the previous books.

They've done a great job with Drummer. It helps that the character and the actor are both so appealing. The Rocinante crew is kind of a bummer this season; polyamorous space pirates fighting for the good is just what the show needed.
posted by Nelson at 8:32 AM on January 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

I think you want two tethered together so that you can spin them and create some "gravity".
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 9:23 AM on January 5, 2022 [4 favorites]

I also hate all of the time spent on Filip. Ever since he murdered his friend in episode 1 (?) I consider him irredeemable, a terrible person whose only remaining potential purpose is to shoot Marco in the head but I doubt he has the competence to even do that.

The most interesting and often frustrating characters are those that drive a story with surprising yet believably "in-character" actions. Filip was abandoned by his mother (shown to have been harrowing and likely only option out for Naomi), constantly manipulated by his father, and failing to live up to expectations others have due to his constructed persona and proximity to his father. His anger and insecurities have been the motivating emotions for the majority of the actions. He's also shown to be conflicted, both by some of his actions and his father's - prompting the question that if Naomi had been able to escape with Filip he'd be different person. So far he's failed to make choices that benefit or agree with the show's protagonists, so the audience is primed to despise and be revolted by Filip's weakness of character.

This show is my favorite because it does many things well, most of all believable character growth. And if this season were longer, I could see either path similar Jamie Lannister or Reek. I'm sad the accelerated pacing does not allow for longer arcs and more scattering of plot seeds. I trust that Filip's choices will feel "earned". We'll see if chekhov's atomic bomb seems a bit forced/rushed, or if it's used in a less predictable way than either launched and causes death and guilt, or launched and disarmed by Filip because he mistakenly thinks Naomi was the one who disarmed to spare his life and this high stakes feeling of mother's love changes him.
posted by 6ATR at 11:09 AM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

I liked how the previously annoyingly sadsack Michio rises to the task and takes charge and makes the hard decisions in order to save that guy's life when everyone else was flapping around making things worse.

She kicks ass at life saving. Not so great at killing.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:11 PM on January 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

Saxon Kane - ... Holden looks WAY scrawnier this season

iirc it started at least last season or the one before when I noticed that his massive guns had dialed back to something closer to human.

I'm sure there are in-show reasons, but staying that bulked up takes a lot of effort (and increases even more with age, though HGH can help with that, but even with HGH, one still has to put the effort in). Though I did appreciate the early seasons meta-storytelling (and it almost certainly helped get him the role) that Earthers have more muscle mass than humans who grew up in lower/ micro-gravity. Likewise, casting tall lanky Marfan-syndrome-/ Abraham Lincoln-ish actors as belters is prohibitive.

rikschell - Yeah, Holden keeps his internal motivations pretty close

My read from the show is that Holden doesn't really have an endgame, and that he's muddling his way through life like most any other average adult and maybe retroactively applying a reason to his in-the-moment decisions.

Like Holden's admission to Naomi about disabling the torpedo - it's plausible, but how much forethought did he put into it at the time, or did he act first, then justify it later?

Paul Slade - Inners' navy uniforms showed a distinct Star Trek influence

The real-life (my gawd) USA Space Force insignia has more than a distinct Star Trek influence. So does NASA's various logos.

re: "spirit animal" - how about "totem?" (not lodestar-ist)

But, yeah, I wouldn't be ashamed to call the Drummer character archetype my totem.

The tethered stashes are amazing. I can certainly believe that cargo containers innnnn spaaaace still use principles from intermodal containers.

Yes! any portmanteau in a storm, I'm pretty sure that's the proper physics! I recall this problem from my Physics 11 module on centripetal force. The only thing keeping the weights traveling in a circular motion is the tether/ gravity - remove that, and they will move straight away from each other.
posted by porpoise at 8:01 PM on January 6, 2022

But wouldn't 'totem' also hit upon the same problem? Being itself a culturally significant concept that's been watered down by majoritarian culture use? And the spiritual reasons for it makes me uncomfortable to apply to a fictional human, especially one played by an indigenous actor. (Unrelated, but it's like closer in my culture people understands karma, but I've stopped using it in a throwaway manner once i hit non-malaysian, non-asian contexts because it doesn't just mean 'payback')
posted by cendawanita at 8:07 PM on January 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Ha! The nuclear torpedo has a machine plate with a serial number!

Though, I cannot believe that even a disabled torpedo, traveling at the implied velocities, would just... still be intact and sticking out like an arrow from a prairie schooner in an old cowboys and Indians North American colonizer v indigenous movie (I joke, but if the colonizers lost, then would they be called "barbarians and The People" movies?).

The nuclear part of the nuclear warhead would surely have splattered itself throughout it's trajectory through the ship as it disintegrated. This was very bad basic physics for the sake of storytelling. The torpedo would need to have not only it's payload but its thrust terminated, but then it would have missed the ship by at least thousands (if not hundreds or more of thousands) of kilometers.

I actually like Jasai Chase Owens's Filip and it's a believable (to me) portrayal of someone who isn't necessarily bad but in a situation where he has no strong mentor or peers who he respects and is unsure of his role/ position in the social heirarchy and lashes out against good advice/ recognizes it as such after the fact. That he's been poisoned against Naomi (and her values) doesn't help. Pretty posterchild example of a shitty upbringing (by a malignant narcissist to boot).

Damn, that crushed-arm rescue scene was good.

Holden to Clarissa - "Kill our way to a better tomorrow."

I wonder if that's a subtle reference to 'A Better Tomorrow' [Ying hung boon sik - "True Colours of a Hero"] (1986)? The piano background score for the very next scene (footage from a dying station) might have a couple of riffs from the theme song from that movie.

The protoculture protomolecule can infect and physically transform biologicals - what if it can also exert subtler influences? Like the cat parasite toxoplasmosis infecting humans can alter human behaviour, or the various funguses that infect ants, wasps, cockroaches and alters their behaviour. Entomophthora muscae infects and kills (female) flies, and the fungus-riddled corpse strongly attracts male flies to attempt to mate with the corpse, in order to spread the fungus to other flies.

What if the protomolecule is doing something subtle to enhance human greed and desire for power, "inadvertently" helping the protomolecule to achieve whatever ends it "desires?"

I really like and admire this show, even after switching studios. At least there's a structured draw-down over an abrupt ending. If it doesn't get picked up for a true-finale season, maybe we might get a movie?
posted by porpoise at 8:08 PM on January 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

majoritarian culture use ... [karma] non-asian contexts because it doesn't just mean 'payback'

Good point.

But... fuck the "majority"/ minority* of people mis-appropriating/ mis-understanding a majority/ primary-source definition of a term?

Would "Saint" in the same context be problematic?

But, sure, the Drummer character is laudable and wonderfully portrayed by Cara Gee.

*I accept that there are potentially more dumbasses who might use "totem" incorrectly, but how many dumbasses are there who use karma incorrectly versus how many people who understand/ are Hindu, Buddhist, Jainist, Sikh,and/ or Toaist?
posted by porpoise at 8:18 PM on January 6, 2022

But... fuck the "majority"/ minority* of people mis-appropriating/ mis-understanding a majority/ primary-source definition of a term?

My position these days, and i think it's well-supported, these things are sins of context, and context will change. We're just not, as a human civilization or global culture, yet at the historical point where that context has sufficiently progressed. I mean, i haven't been watching any of the D+ star wars stuff and i know in the mandalorian there's an active discourse about white saviour trope because ppl are mostly habituated to only look out for the features (foreign person comes and works with local community and improves their lot - which is the story of much progress throughout history) and not the why/how that makes it the trope. So we're inching along and hitting good edge cases like that. But totem or spirit animal or karma, as used by western popular culture is pretty clear-cut at the moment. It's not just mere dumbasses. Those dumbasses drive popular culture and impacts mine too.

Like i said, i come from a place with historical and literal experience of the south asian faith traditions. So we get it in the same way we get 'saint' simply because we also have the same religions with saints embedded deeply in our cultures by now. Maybe once western indigenous ppl gets to really mainstream their thinking and worldview maybe then our kids' kids (if this planet is still around) would actually know how to use these terms.
posted by cendawanita at 8:28 PM on January 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Hey, sorry. I was too aggressively defensive.

But I don't feel that "to call the Drummer character archetype my totem" merits your specific original criticism.

I'd be happy to engage, but how about elsewhere?
posted by porpoise at 8:43 PM on January 6, 2022

No worries, I think I've said all I could anyway, not being particularly well-versed in North American cultures.
posted by cendawanita at 9:14 PM on January 6, 2022

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