The Expanse: Remember the Cant
December 31, 2015 11:04 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Holden and crew are taken prisoner by the Martian Congressional Republic Navy. Miller deals with rioters. Avasarala plays politics.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just realized something. This show doesn't do flashbacks, and that makes me very happy. Besides killing momentum, flashbacks also tell us the truth, and I'm far more interested in trying to figure it out for myself.
posted by Mogur at 11:18 AM on December 31, 2015


I really love the one exchange near the end of this episode where Shed says something like "They told me that Naomi is a sleeper OPA agent" and then Amos is like "They're just trying to turn us against each other. They told me that your medical credentials were all fake and that you only signed on to the Cant to escape a drug dealer who was trying to kill you," to which Shed replies, exasperated: "Yeah, but that's all true!"

Great dialogue writing.
posted by 256 at 1:37 PM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I just realized something. This show doesn't do flashbacks, and that makes me very happy. Besides killing momentum, flashbacks also tell us the truth, and I'm far more interested in trying to figure it out for myself.

I agree with you, but don't count your chickens yet. Game of Thrones avoided the allure of the flashback for four full seasons and then decided to throw in a single one for no compelling reason.
posted by 256 at 1:40 PM on December 31, 2015


One of the changes I've really liked about the TV version, relative to the books, is how the survivors of Canterbury don't know each other very well or trust each other very much, except for Amos and Naomi.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:40 PM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I first missheard it as "remember the cats"
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 9:27 AM on January 1, 2016


I also liked that scene. For me this episode was the first one where I started to like Holden and his crew. I think it was because there had been enough character building that I could start to feel like these are real people.

Also, although I have read the books, the first book was some time ago, so I find some events still genuinely surprising.
posted by bove at 2:22 PM on January 1, 2016


The belter pidgin is delightful; especially that it incorporates sign.
posted by bq at 9:38 PM on January 13, 2016


"The belter pidgin is delightful; especially that it incorporates sign."

I can't recall from the books how much detail they included about the genesis of this aspect of Belter language -- does it actually derive from a signed language?

One of my bugbears is anything that implies that signed language and gestural semaphore are equivalent. The common misconception about signed languages are that they are merely some elaborated version of gestural signaling. This both diminishes and essentially misunderstands signed languages. It was only very recently, historically speaking, that signed languages were recognized as full human languages. And while a great many signs are the visual equivalent of onomatopoeia, most are not and, anyway, that speech has some onomatopoeia while not being a language that is elaborated onomatopoeia should cause people to consider that the same needn't be the case for signed languages.

Many hearing speakers create gestural semaphore systems to supplement spoken language, formally or informally. Unless the early Belters included folk who knew a signed language, there's no reason to consider their semaphore as "sign" and it shouldn't be confused with signed language.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:46 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I recognized some ASL derivatives.
posted by bq at 9:33 AM on January 14, 2016


I can't recall from the books how much detail they included about the genesis of this aspect of Belter language -- does it actually derive from a signed language?

The books seem to follow the old SF trope of "In a spacesuit people usually can't see your head so you use hand signals instead." I don't know that they mention anything except using your hand instead of your head to nod.

...but it's easy to imagine that asteroid miners might use at least a rudimentary signed language to get around comms failures outside. Presumably at least the core signs would have to be stuff you could see from a few hundred meters away, though.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:37 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


In the books, the nod is most frequent, but there are scatterings of different points where they mention it (shrugs are another). It usually is mentioned when you have the Earth or Martian POV characters chapters, to reiterate the "they aren't one of us".

The belters definitely don't use it in lieu of speech in the books - its more an exaggerated body language resulting from people who probably spent entire twelve hour shifts or more in the suits as part of their workday. So it also shows the aspect of "they are us" in the whole humans are mammals and we want to extend our communication to body language, which means developing a body language that works in a vacuum.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:23 PM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm new to the show now and so far liking it. Just wanted to give a shout-out to the writers for including a gay character (Ambassador Degraff) and making a total non-event out of him being gay. It took so long for sci-fi to get here, grateful we finally made it. Also interesting family values seed planted about Holden's having 8 parents, a deft bit of implied world building there. I'm completely ignorant of the books, perhaps there is more detail there? The brevity in the teleplay was great.

Ambassador Degraff was played by Kenneth Welsh, who I vaguely remembered as Windom Earle from Twin Peaks. I'm also digging Shohreh Aghdashloo in her scenery-chewing roles as UN undersecretary. She's been in all sorts of stuff, I best remember her from 24.
posted by Nelson at 11:40 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The woman teaching creole to the cop makes him practice the hand gestures as part of the phrases she's teaching him.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:36 AM on March 3, 2018


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