The Expanse: Godspeed
February 18, 2017 6:36 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Miller and Fred take the Navoo for a joyride. The OPA bus and truck crew stop in at Eros. Holden gets his hands dirty.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts (25 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Eros *moving* was a genuinely scary moment. There's a real horror element going on this season and I love it.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 7:27 PM on February 18, 2017 [5 favorites]


What I like is how unclear it is whether the good guys are actually doing the right thing: killing the doctors; stealing the Navoo; trying to destroy Eros.
posted by cardboard at 7:38 PM on February 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


There's a lot to love in this episode, but for me the best moment was Miller's palpable terror at stepping out into open space on his first space walk.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:40 PM on February 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


What I like is how unclear it is whether the good guys are actually doing the right thing: killing the doctors; stealing the Navoo; trying to destroy Eros.

I mean, it's the right thing, but they have to wreak a lot of havoc to do it.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:42 PM on February 18, 2017


I have so many questions.

Are they going to recapture the Navoo, and return it to the Mormons? And what happens if they do? Fred is toast, at the very least. His veener of legitimacy is gone, and he's probably lost Tycho station for good.

Mars and Earth are going to wondering why the OPA are so keen on Eros, and they already have two ships on the way.

Earth now has Mao & Co's stealth ship design specs - which means Earth will soon have a tactical advantage over Mars with small, fast ships with railguns.

Miller only has 10 minutes of air left - and the Roci is burning away from Eros. Plus he's holding a nuclear bomb that will go off 60 seconds after he lets go. Uh oh! How will Hat Cop get out of this one?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:48 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


Those of us who have read the books know what's going to happen with Miller but no sense spoiling it. I definitely didn't see it coming when I read the first book.
posted by Ber at 8:12 PM on February 18, 2017 [2 favorites]


Agreed, Ber.

Eros demonstrating extremely non-Newtonian properties is extraordinarily - and a gamechanger.

The existence of "aliens" aside, the laws of physics has apparently just been demonstrated to no longer be a limit.

This is even more of a gamechanger than the potential of the protomolecule for molecular biology/material sciences than has been observed. (Eros only needed to move a tiny little bit; the deviation on the projection was significant

The question of whether to risk "10% of humanity" dying is worth investigating, the question is whether to risk 90^ of humanity is worth investigating.
posted by porpoise at 11:35 PM on February 18, 2017


(erg, above, now, 90% of humanity dying is something worth risking.)

I can't remember if I've observed this before, but in the opening title the Statue of Liberty is protected by a very high levee, similar to the Statue of Liberty "on the other side" in Fringe.

Wow, Mao's estate in the opening shot is unreal. I wonder if it's all CG or if its modeled on someplace? In-story, most of Earth of heavily and highly overpopulated (Holden's folk's weird situation is weird, even in-story - multi-amorous family with a communal child, only able to afford the 22 acres in Montana because of that.)

The set-designers going for communication devices that resemble the dimension of tablets rather than cellphones (or even "phablets") is an interesting choice balancing storytelling (end viewer convenience) versus tech extrapolation.

Similar with suit technology - I'd assume that there'd be more 'clever' adaptations to data input than has been depicted. For that matter, I'm not seeing a lot of "hand talk" that evolved out of having to physically communicate while suited.

Like how Miller isn't very effective at scamming the head Mormon dude, the exit-from-space-dock wasn't super convincing, as is all of the spacecraft physics, but TV. LOL the angelic trumpeter at the tip of the Nauvoo.

Also not satisfied at all with the micro-thrusters on the EVA suits. Nor the CG of the spacewalk sequences were convincing - 2001 Space Odyssey did it a lot more convincingly 50 years ago.

That said, swarm-bot tugs are a little bit more realistic than Star Trek space dock sequences. "Exiting on impulse engines, sir."

Show Amos is totally unlike in-my-head book Amos, but show Amos has definitely grown on me.

Diogo: Spacewalk pretty awesome yah.
Miller: Glad to see you've never been laid, kid.
Diogo: Yah, whatever, be my first.

posted by porpoise at 12:02 AM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


Are they going to recapture the Navoo, and return it to the Mormons?

I don't think it's a given that the Navoo's main thrusters have an off switch.

The existence of "aliens" aside, the laws of physics has apparently just been demonstrated to no longer be a limit.

I don't think we know that the change was reactionless, from what we've been shown. Possibly?
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:42 AM on February 19, 2017


I don't think it's a given that the Navoo's main thrusters have an off switch.

The Mormons would need to slow down when they got to their new sun. And change course if there were obstacles in their path. Right?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:28 AM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


The life section was a ring, to be spun up. They were planning to cut the drive at some point.

Which reminds me: did you see Fred Johnson look at Holden early on and say "We have to do it. It's the right thing to do." Fred is a master negotiator, and knows exactly how to punch Holden's buttons.
posted by Mogur at 2:11 AM on February 19, 2017


My favorite part of this episode was the interactions between Miller and Diogo, the cocky Belter kid. The sense of camaraderie they've built shows the strength of Belter culture more than anything else on the show. Also the actor playing Diogo (Andrew Rotilio) is remarkably good.

I was a bit confused about the Eros moving thing and having read the books I know what to expect! But the way the shot went with the Nauvoo passing overhead, engines glowing blue, it made it look initially like the Nauvoo had made a maneuver, not Eros. I mean I'm not sure how you a whole asteroid move when it doesn't have a visible bank of engines, but if they hadn't put the line in Miller's mouth I wouldn't have understood it.

The talking scene between Avasarala, Errinwright, and Mao was great. It's these grand politics that make this a Space Opera, not just a simple adventure show. All three actors really nail their characters just right.

I wish they had more of the space zombie voices. That shit is creepy.
posted by Nelson at 7:42 AM on February 19, 2017 [4 favorites]


don't think we know that the change was reactionless

Miller didn't feel anything (any forces). Not only reactionless but inertia has been suspended.

and return it to the Mormons?

The Nauvoo is fine, its still under its own thrust and has plenty of fuel (or fuel could be brought to it). It just takes time. Less time = more fuel, more time = less fuel. Ah, celestial mechanics.

Now, whether it'll be returned to the Mormons...
posted by porpoise at 12:39 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well normally if you're going to another star you would accelerate for half the distance and then decelerate for the other half. So it might take an extremely long time and distance to slow it down.
posted by dilaudid at 12:43 PM on February 19, 2017


Nelson - there was a orbital/celestial mechanic graph/display showing the paths of the Nauvoo and Eros converging; right at the convergence point it shows Eros deviating significantly from the curve it had been following.
posted by porpoise at 12:45 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the spacewalk didn't look great. I heard they ran out of time/budget to do it right. I still enjoyed hat cop just venting his rcs all over the shop while Diogo casually floats over. Reminded me of some scuba dives I've been on.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 4:13 PM on February 19, 2017


The set-designers going for communication devices that resemble the dimension of tablets rather than cellphones (or even "phablets") is an interesting choice balancing storytelling (end viewer convenience) versus tech extrapolation.

I think you're misremembering — there are lots of examples of phone-sized comms on the show.
posted by Lexica at 4:44 PM on February 19, 2017


Enjoyed this episode, though I was expecting a 'harder' transition when Eros jumped, rather than the quick-but-smooth slide that happened. At first I didn't even think it had moved, because it felt like yet another space-scene camera pan, until I realized the foreground angle had not moved even a bit. Wouldn't be surprised if many non-book-reader viewers didn't even realize what occurred until the dialogue bit.

I'm not seeing a lot of "hand talk" that evolved out of having to physically communicate while suited.

As a book reader I've also been missing that, but I'm giving the showrunners (which includes the authors) the benefit of the doubt - guessing it wouldn't work well on-camera generally, or they felt too much extra exposition/explanation/screentime would be required for it to make sense/jump out at the less observant viewers.

The (improved from the books) Belter creole probably works better as a way to highlight the differences between Belters and Inners anyways.

I still enjoyed hat cop just venting his rcs

I started messing with Kerbal Space Program recently (finally) and I wouldn't have gotten your reference if I hadn't. (It also makes this setting's, and other hard sci-fi's settings', orbital mechanics much easier to grasp, even just doing the game's tutorials. Recommended.)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 7:38 PM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm not seeing a lot of "hand talk" that evolved out of having to physically communicate while suited.


There are several examples. When Belters point, they tend to do it with the index & middle fingers together. Like when Miller and Gia are talking about "Forgotten arm".

-First one on screen is Naomi. When Holden is rattling off reasons why the Pur n Kleen corp won't retrofit the Cant, she makes the "He's talking bullshit" gesture at Amos, fingers together like a beak, then blossoming. I think that's "bodzha", explosion.

-The "I love you" fingers across the lips gesture. Bosch does it to Julie, Miller does it subconsciously to Julie at one point.

-The Y'all ("tolowda" in Belta) gesture that Gia is teaching Havelock, hands together in front, palms up, sweep arms out and to the sides, palms down. Miller does the same gesture on Thoth when he tells the assault team "Stay here"

-Us ("milowda"), as Gia says to Havelock, is "In and before."

-Belters shrug with their hands rather than with their shoulders. Miller does it in the "Why you pensa" scene, Muss (an Earther who lives in the Belt) does it when she meets Miller a the Morgue.

-Two fingers to the heart, "respect" Naomi does it a couple of times, some dockworkers do it in S1

-"Gútegow" ("good to go") gesture is point in with index & middle fingers on both hands, brush the right over the left, palms down, and away from the body. The moldy air filters guy in S1E1 does it when Miller says "So I guess I don't need to come by and inspect."

-Kung-fu salute. More formal than 2-fingers to the heart. Right fist into the left palm. Dawes give this gesture on the docks when he says "Gif im fo imalowda xitim (Give it to them now); treat them the way the should treat us" and the dockworkers respond in kind.

Two-fingers to the heart is respect for you homie. Kung-fu salute is respect for your senior.

-Fuck you ("pashang to") is the index finger curled back onto the thumb ('OK'), other 3 fingers extended. Miller gives it to Havelock ("Did ya see that coming?"). Also, when the Martian marines board Uncle Mateo's rock-hopper, Diogo's hands are in that position as they come up overhead. And Gaunt Belter does it towards the sign announcing water rationing during his OPA speech in S1E1

-When Muss declares a lockdown on the Medina by order of the Governor, Miller does the "Go" gesture, arm sweeping away from the body pointing forward.

-When the Roci survives the Cant's debris field and they get the outer door sealed, there's a moment when they're "Are we all ok?" Holden puts both arms up over his head, thumbs up, signaling "I'm good". Holden is an Earther, but he lives and works in the belt, so like Muss, he communicates in the local idiom.

"Whatever", both palms down in front, flip them up. Miller gives it to Muss when he fucks off and leaves her in the Medina.

"Xélixup" (Excellent). Both hands like a beak, over the shoulders, waving back and forth. Gia does this to Havelock when she says "Better, every time better" during his Belter language lesson.

-"Coming through". Right before Miller gets kidnapped by the OPA thugs, he's coming down the stairs through a crowd, he puts one arm overhead.

Also, watch Miller's hands when he and Dawes have their little sit-down on the docks. When Dawes is talking about "Under that ridiculous hat is a Belter yearning to break free", Miller's hands are gripping & kneading each other, trying not to gesture with them.

Miller is the most hand-gesturing wellwala on Ceres.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:26 PM on February 19, 2017 [29 favorites]


Regarding Amos, here's a fascinating analysis by an autistic writer postulating that not only is Amos NOT a sociopath like so many fans think, but that in addition to being profoundly damaged starting early in life, in addition to suffering from CPTSD and an emotional dissociation disorder, Amos might just be autistic.
Autistic people can recognize our own symptoms and traits in fictional characters. Trust autistic folk when we talk about characters being autistic coded. Because guess what? We really do know better than the authors sometimes. Our lived experiences as autistic people give us more knowledge about ourselves and our disorder than anyone else, and that is a fact. An author really can write an autistic character without ever knowing or meaning to, and no one is a better judge of that than real life autistic people.
Fans of Amos are encouraged to give it a read.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:43 PM on February 19, 2017 [3 favorites]


I meant to ask this a couple of days ago, but this is the first time that Holden has ever personally killed anyone, right?

He admitted to Hat Cop that he'd never shot anyone before, or Eros. He didn't actually shoot anyone on Eros that I can recall (although Hat Cop killed a bunch of people). And he didn't personally pull the trigger on the stealth ship (although he was in command).
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:04 PM on February 19, 2017


I was really hoping to hear Eros....er....say something....about moving.
posted by Thistledown at 1:17 PM on February 20, 2017


Put on some headphones and turn up the sound as loud as you can. It's way down in the mix.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:40 PM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Any other Londoners watching? Because Miller's "Mind the gap" warning as he made his way round Eros seemed unintentionally comical.

[It's a routine announcement on the London Underground.]
posted by Paul Slade at 1:15 PM on November 24, 2020


I'm not a Londoner but I know what "mind the gap" is from. I think the idea is that it's a phrase humanity uses in the future.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]


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