By the third episode of The Expanse, the series appears to be wandering lost in the void, there is an overwhelming need to write “lost in space” since Jared Harris has popped up in episode three. (Harris played the grown up Will Robinson – “Danger!” – in the1998 film of Lost in Space.) Jared, son of the late iconic Irish actor Richard, arrives as a foreman on the Belter docks spouting his lines with an accent that seems to be a mix of South African and French. Just as things begin to become mired in too much subterfuge, there is a shocking death, to rescue things.
In Remember the Cant continues with Miller’s search for the missing woman, the public reacting to Holden’s message that Mars attacked and destroyed the Canterbury and the five survivors are interrogated by their captors. As the questioning continues, and the accusations that some of the crew are OPA terrorists, the prisoners begin to turn against one another.
The UN official Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) points out that Mars did not destroy the Canterbury. The Martian vessel commander tells Holden he needs to not only retract his false and inflammatory statement but to also state that Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) blew up the Canterbury. As Holden refuses, the commander shows him a “bogie” ship that has been following them since picking up the survivors.
The Martian vessel commander believes it is coming for Naomi.
It is fairly obvious that the OPA is pushing for war between Mars and Earth. As Miller (Thomas Jane) turns Julie Mao into his version of a Black Dahlia obsession, things become tense and unsettled in the Belter community and civil unrest turns ugly. Miller’s “Earther” partner Dimitri (Jay Hernandez), who has been taking lessons in the local language from a hooker, becomes a casualty of the “riot.”
As the crowd turns violent, Dimitri goes to help his language teacher, Gia and in a shocking turn of events, the “nice guy” cop is impaled with a bolt or spear by some blue-skinned Belters.
The Expanse is struggling a bit with a lot of plot turns and information being thrown at the viewer in a short period of time with little action. It should be pointed out that the action quotient may be low, but the violence level is satisfactory. A blown up ship and the torturing of an OPA suspect are two examples of the less savory side of series.
Regardless of the slow pacing and the heavy plot line, the new show is interesting to watch and will hopefully reward the viewer with something more than a slow plodding storyline, peripheral violence and confusing plot twists.
The performances, thus far, are spotless. It is difficult to dislike Thomas Jane in anything and when you have the brilliant Shohreh Aghdashloo, with that addictive voice and delivery, it is hard to complain about the characters on show. That said, it is difficult to warm to a science fiction series that creates new languages without a new species.
The “Belter” lingo, which appears to be an amalgamation of patois and a mishmash of Afrikaans and something else, is an odd touch and may be something from the books that the series is based on. Considering that all the players in this space opera are human, albeit from different “worlds” it seems odd that a “new” language would develop.
This is, however, a world where water has replaced all money as the new currency and, like many other science fiction tales, big money (water) controls everything, regardless of which planet the corporation comes from.
Regardless of the things which confuse, or do not make any real sense, the meandering nature of the series thus far has been brought back into focus with the apparent death of Dimitri; stuck to a Belter wall by thugs.
The SyFy channel has opted to air the first four episodes via On-Demand and Hulu. This may well be to allow the series to find its feet before it airs properly on SyFy. The Expanse airs Tuesdays on SyFy and while it may be a little confusing and slow right now, it may just pick up.
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