The Expanse: Rock Bottom – Death Times Three (Recap/Review)

In The Expanse, Rock Bottom death strikes three times during the episode

The Expanse - Season 1

In The Expanse, Rock Bottom death strikes three times during the episode. At least one character came dangerously close to becoming a fourth fatality, when  Det. Miller is almost taken out by tow of Anderson Dawes’ people. The Belter cop is saved at the last minute by Octavia Muss, who shoots the couple who were trying to snuff out the Ceres detective. Later in the episode, an asteroid miner becomes casualty number three when he challenges the MCRN.

The UN Security Council officer  Christen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) pushes to get the Tycho spy to look closely at Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman).  On Tycho, Holden and Amos stand off the Colonel while Naomi and Alex set up an offer that Johnson cannot refuse. 

Miller is questioned by Dawes after his people kidnap him and Anderson reveals that Filat Kothari was let go when the cop expressed no interest in getting the man who nailed his partner to a wall.   As Dawes interrogates Miller, Lida and Kaipo, the two who took the cop,  tase the detective and in the end, the information that the detective found in Mao’s apartment is not not discovered by the OPA rep.

Anderson (Jared Harris)  tells Miller (Thomas Jane) the real story of what happened to his sister Athena; he murdered the girl when her sickness got worse and could not be treated.  After relaying this information, Dawes tells Miller that it is possible to cry so hard that tears can turn to blood.

Dawes then sentences the cop to death.

Lida and Kaipo shove the detective into an exit shaft, but before Miller can die, Octavia shoots the two and rescues her colleague. The asteroid miner shoves his nephew out of his ship and flies a suicide mission to prove a point. This is death number three.

Miller shows Muss the information he discovered in Mao’s apartment. The recovered drive shows that the scientists on Phoebe Station discovered something alien, powerful and worth killing for, or in their case, dying for.  The detective shows the information to his boss, Captain Shaddid (Lola Glaudini).

Once the captain learns of what Miller has uncovered, she asks whether there were any copies made of the drive he found and puts it into her safe. She then eradicates the detective’s files and fires him. Miller realizes that Dawes has “bought” the Captain. She has the former detective  escorted out of the station and threatens to have Miller shot if he refuses.

The Expanse - Season 1
Miller fired by Captain Shaddid

Back at Tycho, the Butcher of Anderson Station makes a deal with Holden and his small crew of survivors. They agree to get someone for Johnson and he will help them in return.  Although it does look like someone else is keeping an eye on the small band of Cant refugees.  As Naomi and Holden have a few drinks, someone is recording their activities.

More backstory is revealed about Alex (Cas Anvar) and Amos (Wes Chatham) and the crew find out that the earther Holden logged the distress call on the Cant and Amos is annoyed to find the Naomi knew this. 

By the end of this episode of The Expanse, the survivors take their renamed ship (the Martian Corvette) out of Tycho dry dock and Miller’s future is uncertain.  It is clear though that Fred Johnson is an enigmatic character that both the UN and the crew of the Rocinante  are right to doubt his motives.

The Expanse - Season 1
Chad L. Coleman as Colonel Frederick Lucius Johnson

The Expanse airs Tuesdays on SyFy, tune in and watch this mystery/thriller and see where Miller and the Cant survivors head next.


The Expanse: Back to the Butcher (Recap/Review)

In the Expanse: Back to the Butcher, the only person not upset at the attempted murder of Havelock is his partner Miller.

The Expanse - Season 1

In the Expanse: Back to the Butcher, the only person not upset at the attempted murder of Havelock is his partner Miller.  The five survivors from the Donnager vote on whether to take Fred Johnson’s offer of help while Det. Miller continues his obsessive hunt to learn more about Julie Mao’s disappearance.

Anderson Dawes offers up the man who skewered Havelock to a wall  as an offering to Miller. This is an attempt to forge an allegiance with the Ceres cop and there is also  a history lesson in why Fred Johnson is known as the Butcher of Anderson Station.

As pointed out by IGN this episode was a real change of pace from the previous all action shoot-em-up and explosive episode CQ8.  That is not to say there is no violence, far from it.  The video footage of Havelock (Jay Hernandez) getting “nailed” to the wall is shown, after being uploaded by the perpetrator and  added to that violence the destruction of  Anderson Station is shown. 

Sidenote: One of the more beautiful/horrible images is that of the lead miner; Marama Brown (played by Billy MacLellan  who played Lt. Bebe in “Defiance”) clutching his little girl while their dead bodies float through space;  past the UN Marine ship.

Miller (Thomas Jane)  is under a bit of stress. A scene in the Ceres version of a subway where the power stops momentarily shows how paranoid he is becoming about the issues on The Belt.  Another character in the show comes under stress of a different sort when Earther  survivor from the Cant and Donnager, Jim Holden (Steven Strait),  learns he  has become the poster-child  for revolt after his pronouncement that Mars blew up his ship.

Meanwhile back on Ceres, despite being almost literally handed the man who skewered his partner to a wall, Miller appears to destroy the information given  to him by Dawes (Jared Harris) before going in to learn more about where Julie Mao was really headed.

Once the detective finds what he is looking for he leaves and is abducted by a man and woman team who bag his head and tase him.

This episode moves things along nicely and allows a bit of backstory to show just why Nagata (Dominique Tipper) distrusts Colonel Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) so much.  After learning the fate of the striking miners and their children, the viewer feels much the same as Naomi.  This does not stop Nagata from being talked into heading to Tycho and Johnson by Amos (Wes Chatham) later.

The Expanse with ‘Back to the Butcher’ also shows the further deepening of Miller’s obsession with Mao, up to his asking his source whether the man had been sleeping with her, and it is apparent it has nothing to do with money.  Octavia Muss (Athena Karkanis) suggests that this is the reason Joe is not avenging her partner’s near death, but she is way off the mark. 

Several things are obvious by the time the end credits roll. Miller is in trouble, Nagata is disturbed by her decision to let Johnson help, Holden gets his coffee and the viewer learns that life is very cheap on The Belt and 11 years ago the UN Marines, in the guise of Col. Johnson,  thought so too.

The Expanse airs Tuesdays on SyFy. Tune in to see why this series has already been approved for a second season.

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