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S04.E01: New Terra

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With 1300 new worlds within reach, a new interplanetary "land rush" has begun. The UN charges the crew of the Rocinante to settle a land dispute on its new colony world "New Terra." Meanwhile, the OPA begins transitioning the Behemoth to become outpost and gatekeeper to humanity's new frontier.

Airdate 2019.12.13

Keep your discussion to this episode only - thank you!

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We dropped early!  Loved Amos wanting to know what Avasarala was wearing.

First thought - the acting is better - Steve Strait and Frankie Adams have improved.  Dominique Tipper has more to work with and she's doing a good job.  I like the conflict about Belter identity talk with Naomi and Drummer.   Glad we have Ashford and Drummer working together. 

I'm interested in Bobbi's story.  

I'm sure I'll fly through watching all of the eps and then watch again for what I missed.

WE'RE BACK!!!

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Oh man, I was checking throughout the day to see when the episodes would show up.  It's been forever...well actually, I finished season three just two months ago, lol.  Avasarala can still never get through a conversation without saying at least one profanity.  Kind of a slow setup episode to catch you up with the characters and the current situation.  Belters getting screwed again.  Figures.  Good to see Drummer recovering.  Thrilling crash landing sequence, and what were those locust things?  Should be an interesting season, look forward to the rest.

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The Expanse is back and it's already taking advantage of its new home by letting the F-bombs really fly!  No surprise, Avasarala was the best at it, since Shohreh Aghdashloo can make anything sound epic!  Although I think my favorite profanity bit was her "Holden, don't put your dick in it!" line over Holden possibly aligning with the Belters.  Oh, Chrisjen!  You know him too well!

New pretty credits as well, but my favorite thing was finally seeing Cara Gee's name in the main credits!  I figured that might happen since it sounded like TPTBs know Drummer is pretty popular and what Gee has brought to that role, but I'm glad it's confirmed!

So, the main arc is going to be Team Rocinante sent to one of the planets in the new rings in order to a) try and figure out what is going on with the possible protomolecule stuff on the planet and b) hope that the settlers mainly made out of Belters and this new force made up of Earthers don't end up killing each other.  Naturally, it all ends with yelling, guns pointed at one another, and then everyone suddenly gets attacked by a mysterious swarm of something (proto-bugs?)  In other words, pretty much a normal thing for our gang!

A few new characters with familiar faces playing them, I see.  We've got Kris Holden-Reid as a short-tempered Belter, Lyndie Greenwood as some kind of scientist, and then good old Burn Gorman as some kind of military leader.  I'm sure he's just a puppy dog underneath all of it!  Burn Gorman would never end up being violent or evil.... right?!

I did like them showing Naomi having to adjust to the gravity on the new planet, and how hard it is for someone to do it.  I liked the bit when she briefly fell down and it was Holden that held Amos back, and let her get back up on her own.  It fits with both of those characters.  They've really nailed down the dynamics of the team.

Meanwhile, things aren't exactly going smoothly for the Belters, as there is a likely civil war brewing between the OPA and a more fringe faction.  Interesting seeing Ashford with the OPA and playing ball with Drummer and the treaty, but it already looks like he is being tempted.  Did like the shoutouts to both Fred Johnson and Anderson Dawes.  I wonder if we'll see them again this season?

Looks like Bobbie is back on Mars and struggling to adjust to civilian life.  At least she still has contact with Alex!

Also looks like Clarissa has been understandably imprisoned, but formed a bond with Amos on their trip back.  Yeah, I can believe that.

It's going to be a little weird being able to binge this season instead of waiting each week.  But I'll probably try and space it out a bit, so I don't get overloaded.  I want to savior this!

Glad that the show is back!

Edited by thuganomics85
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10 hours ago, Dobian said:

Oh man, I was checking throughout the day to see when the episodes would show up.  It's been forever...well actually, I finished season three just two months ago, lol. 

I feel you, I just finished the rewatch and rereading the last book (the one most of the last season was based on, name escapes me at the moment), and it feels like forever to me too.

5 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

We've got Kris Holden-Reid as a short-tempered Belter, Lyndie Greenwood as some kind of scientist, and then good old Burn Gorman as some kind of military leader.  I'm sure he's just a puppy dog underneath all of it!  Burn Gorman would never end up being violent or evil.... right?!

I did like them showing Naomi having to adjust to the gravity on the new planet, and how hard it is for someone to do it.  I liked the bit when she briefly fell down and it was Holden that held Amos back, and let her get back up on her own.  It fits with both of those characters.  They've really nailed down the dynamics of the team.

That's who he is! I knew he was vaguely familiar, but with really short hair and belter tats, I didn't quite get to him. Burn's always a welcome sight.

I thought the double wonder of stepping on a new planet for the first time, and Naomi stepping on a world and seeing the sky and breathing air for the first time was well done. I liked Holden holding them back too. And kind of loved that the duffle bags still say "Tachi."

I liked the set up - it seemed like we really needed that transition. I missed it if they said how long it's been since last we saw them, but it has to be a fair bit of time.

Life on Mars - or at least the implied social constructs - is a bit different than I expected, but I liked seeing it. Though I'm hoping Bobbie will head out and join the gang.

Anyway, I'm so excited to have it back. But I'm going to be parceling it out so it lasts longer.

Edited by Clanstarling
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Wow. They made the shuttle crash on Ilus look realistically harrowing.

Loved the scene with Holden and his Mom. And his parents trying to speak Belter Creole to Naomi was cringe-inducing.

And OMG, I got a Peaches/Amos scene. I screamed when I saw that!

Just loved seeing everyone again - the Roci crew, Camina, Bobbie, hell, even Ashford.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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50 minutes ago, Haleth said:

Y’all are killing me. I won’t be able to watch til tomorrow. 

Don't feel bad, it totally sucked-- hardly worth watching . . .

giphy.gif

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So much to think about and unpack! I will just say that I am SO HAPPY this show is back! Hope it gets more publicity on Amazon then  it did on SyFy or Space or CTV Sci-Fi or whatever.

I thought Avasarala had an excellent point about not getting too reckless with all the colonizing. Yet a total blockage seems too extreme. There needs to be a middle ground.

Edited by marinw
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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I’m even more happy to see this show back than Avasarala is about all of the new swear words she’s allowed to say now! 

And her wardrobe does not disappoint.

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Squeed when I saw our  Saviour, re-animator Alex!

I swear. Amos is a cross dresser!  and Holden needs his. Mommy, how cute.

We’ve got it all, a detective, a secret mission, and the Maltese proto-molecule.

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I was afraid all the high expectations would cause me to not enjoy the show at first. But I really loved it from the start. It felt so familiar yet so different.

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Excellent setup for a first episode.

I am a book reader, so I'm curious to see how it moves along.

One nitpick - the switching back and forth between letterbox and full screen is a bit annoying.

Edited by Tachi Rocinante · Reason: Grammar
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18 minutes ago, Tachi Rocinante said:

Excellent setup for a first episode.

I am a book reader, so I'm curious to see how it moves along.

One nitpick - the switching back and forth between letterbox and full screen is a bit annoying.

I'm a book reader too - but since I started the series first, I prefer reading after each season. And then again, before the next.

I didn't notice any switching back and forth on my TV, but then I could have missed it, since I have captioning on.

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I didn't notice any switch in video framing.  I'll have to double-check.

The sound bugged me a little, like it did with BSG (it was still there when they put it up on Prime).  The conversations are at 10 dB and the pew-pews and music are at 130.  IIRC, the movie The Big Short also had that. 

On a side note,  I think I might watch on Mondays and give myself a lil something to look forward to post-weekend.

Lastly, I recall Burn Gorman from what I watched of TURN.

Edited by JZL
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I am so thrilled that we are getting more of this show, this is a really interesting start to the new season, and I am really excited to see where it all goes. Its great to see everyone again, and all of the conflicts seem like they're going to be really fascinating. 

So it seems like the gang is getting sent to the new planets both to check everything out to make sure its safe to start sending colonists in, as well as making sure all of the factions dont end up killing each other, which will probably be the hardest part of all! The conflict with Drummer and the Belters over some Belters wanting to leave the Belt and settle on the new planets, and some not being fans of them making treaties with the inners, should be especially interesting. The Belters have based so much of their identity out of being a space faring people that have never touched an actual planet, that I can see why a lot of people would be uncomfortable with some Belters wanting to leave to settle on an actual planet, making them almost a fourth faction eventually, as well as a lot of Belters wanting to start a new life where they could have more opportunities. 

Holden and his millions of parents was cute, and them trying to speak Belter Creole to Naomi was hilariously cringy. Also nice to see that Bobby and Alex are still friends, and that while Clarissa is, understandably, in jail, he and Amos are still kind of friends, so thats something at least! 

"What was she wearing?" Thats why we love you Amos, you ask the important questions!

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6 hours ago, JZL said:

On a side note,  I think I might watch on Mondays and give myself a lil something to look forward to post-weekend.

Lastly, I recall Burn Gorman from what I watched of TURN.

I'm not sure I can limit it to once a week - but I am trying to take it slowly and savor it.

I didn't watch TURN, but I did enjoy him in Forever (which was sadly cancelled after one season.)

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Aww, it is back.  I made all my family go away and leave me alone.  I sat with my comfort food and watched the first episode.  (planning to watch Ep 2 tonite).

- Naomi's meeting with the Holden's family was just the right amount of every awkward first meeting with the BF's family.  But bless is father.  I love it when they try.  His heart was in the right place.

- I never realized how much I wanted to see the fab four from the Roci again.

- Avasarala's potty mouth: 'Holden, Don't put your dick in it, they've been fucked enough". ...Aaaand I'm out.  LOL.

- Even though I had seen it in previews, I still get affected by Naomi's first step on a planet with a big sky.  I wonder if she will have issues adjusting beyond just the first thing we are seeingI would imagine so.  The show is too smart to let that slide.

Off to the next one.

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So glad the show is finally back - and it looks as if someone (i.e. Bezos) really threw some money at the whole thing.

Loved Naomi talking to Holden's parents even if was cringe-inducing at the end. And I love that the show took its time to show us how Naomi had to prepare - no wonder the survival rate of Belter settlers wasn't too good. And Naomi being overwhelmed by her first view of an open sky was also a great visual.

Yay, Drummer! Cara Gee is so good in that role and Drummer's discussion about Belter identity with Naomi was perfect.

Avasarala rocks some great new outfits (and swear-words) but the high-point of the episode was Amos  inquiring about her wardrobe. Who knew Amos was a fashionista??? LOL! 

And given how f***** up things on Ilus/New Terra already are Avasarala's good advice is already outdated.

Edited by MissLucas
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Chrisjen Avasarala is "Prime" because she always "delivers". Busting out the best "dick" jokes.

Now there are "Proto-Ninjas" busting out with the little shurikens whenever conflicts start to escalate?

I am surprised that the different ring systems don't have different gravity. Give the light for the Belters to explore, medium for the Martians, and heavy for the Earthers. Seems fair, and there is more than enough to go around.

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6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

"What was she wearing?" Thats why we love you Amos, you ask the important questions!

Indeed!  I could not wait to see and I was not disappointed.  Fabulous, as always.

8 hours ago, JZL said:

Lastly, I recall Burn Gorman from what I watched of TURN.

Yes!  And he was wonderful!

I'll admit to tearing up watching Naomi take in the sky for the first time.  It would be thrilling and terrifying to not have a ceiling over your head if that's all you've ever known, but only vast open blueness.

How terrible for the Belters.  Until the Ring opened their only card was the minerals they mined, but with thousands of new planets they lost any ability to bargain.

It was great to see the whole cast again.  I hope Bobbie rejoins the crew soon.

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6 hours ago, Haleth said:

How terrible for the Belters.  Until the Ring opened their only card was the minerals they mined, but with thousands of new planets they lost any ability to bargain.

They could still mine the asteroid belts and moons in the new systems. And I'm sure the new planets will need resources too. Illus have lots of Lithium but there might be other metals or minerals it lacks. Mining out in space is cheaper because you don't have to keep going up and down a gravity well.

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3 hours ago, Holmbo said:

They could still mine the asteroid belts and moons in the new systems. And I'm sure the new planets will need resources too. Illus have lots of Lithium but there might be other metals or minerals it lacks. Mining out in space is cheaper because you don't have to keep going up and down a gravity well.

My point was that with innumerable systems for resources the Belters no longer have a monopoly.  Their value plummets.

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1 hour ago, Haleth said:

My point was that with innumerable systems for resources the Belters no longer have a monopoly.  Their value plummets.

Yes the Belters stuck in the Sol system would not be able to make a living. But if the rings are opened up who's to say they couldn't mine in the other systems instead? If the Inners try to keep them from it they'll just go back to piracy and steal from their transports.

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That’s the problem— they aren’t being allowed to enter the Ring. The flimsy excuse that the Inners need to verify that it’s safe first is no more than an attempt to control the resources before the OPA (or any Belter refugees) can stake a claim. 

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13 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

Chrisjen Avasarala is "Prime" because she always "delivers". Busting out the best "dick" jokes.

Now there are "Proto-Ninjas" busting out with the little shurikens whenever conflicts start to escalate?

I am surprised that the different ring systems don't have different gravity. Give the light for the Belters to explore, medium for the Martians, and heavy for the Earthers. Seems fair, and there is more than enough to go around.

That is one thing they didn't mention - the gravity of Iius (sp?).  I agree that gravity would be a good way to parcel them out - but when did logic ever enter into territorial disputes?

28 minutes ago, Haleth said:

That’s the problem— they aren’t being allowed to enter the Ring. The flimsy excuse that the Inners need to verify that it’s safe first is no more than an attempt to control the resources before the OPA (or any Belter refugees) can stake a claim. 

Typical humans (Earth especially) thinking they have the right of ownership to all those solar systems.  If the ring belongs to anyone, it belongs to the Belters where it first started to grow.

But that's what's so good about this show (and imo the best science fiction), the politics of expansion and colonization are realistic and recognizable call backs to history.

Edited by Clanstarling
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21 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

Typical humans (Earth especially) thinking they have the right of ownership to all those solar systems.  If the ring belongs to anyone, it belongs to the Belters where it first started to grow.

Going to play devil's advocate here: It was an Earther who opened the ring. 

I would have put the Ring off-limits for anyone since nobody really knows sh** about what is going to happen next. Maybe all the gates will disappear again after a certain time period. Or maybe the whatever destroyed the Ringbuilders will come to say hello through one of the rings. Sadly voices asking for caution are rarely ever heard in such a situation. 

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1 hour ago, Haleth said:

That’s the problem— they aren’t being allowed to enter the Ring.

And no one else is either, so they still need to resources from the Belt ATM.

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2 hours ago, MissLucas said:

Going to play devil's advocate here: It was an Earther who opened the ring. 

I would have put the Ring off-limits for anyone since nobody really knows sh** about what is going to happen next. Maybe all the gates will disappear again after a certain time period. Or maybe the whatever destroyed the Ringbuilders will come to say hello through one of the rings. Sadly voices asking for caution are rarely ever heard in such a situation. 

Fair point. Though it was a Belter who first entered it (RIP little idiot), and as I recall, it built itself using the literal blood and bones of Belters.

But again, that's what I love about this show - it shows humanity as it has always been - disputing territory, claiming rights to new discoveries that may or may not be theirs, and demanding primacy whether or not it's earned. And jumping feet first into the unknown because it's shiny - without thought to what might await.

Edited by Clanstarling
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Looking at the widespread use of computers on the war craft alone the need for rare earth minerals (ironic name) is massive. Not all the new planets will have  have all of earth’s elements (gold and others are not native to earth). There’s an open market for a new type of “gold” rush and explorers.

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On 12/12/2019 at 10:06 PM, raven said:

Loved Amos wanting to know what Avasarala was wearing.

That was priceless. The look on Holden’s face, lol. 

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On 12/14/2019 at 11:33 AM, JZL said:

Lastly, I recall Burn Gorman from what I watched of TURN.

He was great it Turn!  He was also in Jamestown, but I've only seen a handful of episodes.

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On 12/13/2019 at 3:54 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Burn Gorman would never end up being violent or evil.... right?!

Yeah, the minute I saw him I knew he was this season's Big Bad.

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On 12/13/2019 at 2:54 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Burn Gorman would never end up being violent or evil.... right?!

The first thing I ever saw him in was the Doctor Who spin-off, "Torchwood" and I don't recall him being violent or evil in that show.  He had other, super-weird issues (SciFi show so they're basically required) but he was fundamentally a "good guy" character, struggling to deal with the cards he'd been dealt.

But since then, yeah, it villains all the way down.  So I am TOTALLY suspicious of his character on this show.

Can I just note how "lucky" it is that there was a planet with congenial atmosphere and valuable natural resources conveniently located near the exit gate that the belters apparently chose at random?  I wonder if we'll find out later that there are some belter-friendly individuals on the official, sanctioned vessels who have been feeding data to the settlers? (That's pure speculation BTW, I haven't read the books.)

Edited by WatchrTina

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26 minutes ago, WatchrTina said:

Can I just note how "lucky" it is that there was a planet with congenial atmosphere and valuable natural resources conveniently located near the exit gate that the belters apparently chose at random?  I wonder if we'll find out later that there are some belter-friendly individuals on the official, sanctioned vessels who have been feeding data to the settlers? (That's pure speculation BTW, I haven't read the books.)

I think the point of the ring was to place "planets with congenial atmosphere" all in one place so I think all the locations should be habitable.

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49 minutes ago, WatchrTina said:

Can I just note how "lucky" it is that there was a planet with congenial atmosphere and valuable natural resources conveniently located near the exit gate that the belters apparently chose at random?  I wonder if we'll find out later that there are some belter-friendly individuals on the official, sanctioned vessels who have been feeding data to the settlers? (That's pure speculation BTW, I haven't read the books.)

I'm not convinced they choose it at random. Maybe there's been some basic scans of each system done and released as general info?

5 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

Okay, right from the opening scene, I feel like I can see Amazon's financial muscle powering the show. It seems bigger and more dynamic. The CGI is even better, and more ambitious.

Still not big enough to give all of Holden's parents speaking roles, though. It's so odd, seeing Holden wearing normal clothes, in the relatively contemporary settings of the farm and Avasarala's office.

From what I've read they don't have a bigger budget for the season. But since it's only ten episodes I suppose the budget is higher per ep.

I agree it's very weird to see Holden in regular clothes.

Edited by Holmbo
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Lovely to see old friends again! I felt right at home. And I also don't remember everything that happened in the books (they are very thick and densely packed, and wonderful).

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5 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I'm not convinced they choose it at random. Maybe there's been some basic scans of each system done and released as general info?

I would imagine all of the powers would have access to scans to identify livability and resources. I mean, Belters made their living mining asteroids, so I'd expect they'd be pretty good at identifying places to mine, at the very least.

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Posts were removed that directly referenced and compared the episode to the books. 

There is no book talk in the episode topics; familiarize yourself with the mod note at the top of the page.

There are places to compare the show and books; the episode topics are not one of them.

Thank you for being careful of what you post.

 

 

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Okay, right from the opening scene, I feel like I can see Amazon's financial muscle powering the show. It seems bigger and more dynamic. The CGI is even better, and more ambitious - the Roci landing sequence was spectacular.

Still not big enough to give all of Holden's parents speaking roles, though. It's so odd, seeing Holden wearing normal clothes, in the relatively contemporary settings of the farm and Avasarala's office.

I'm still not a fan of Naomi's new hair, but I really liked her desire to set foot on a planet, for the first time, to experience real gravity (although I guess she's been on moons before, which have gravity without needing to be spun). That chance to see real Belter home worlds is obviously powerful, and seeing her look up for the first time and see sky was a really nice moment.

I'm glad that, even if the timeline didn't allow them to show Clarissa's time on the Roci, bonding with Amos, they at least told us about it. 

I wish they'd  kept Bobbie on the Roci, because I want more of her interacting with the crew (if I had my way, the Roci would be packed with her, Drummer, Clarissa and maybe Ashford too). But it would make her a bit of a spare part, so I guess creatively, showing her adapting to civilian life is the better choice. And we can see what effects the sudden option of a thousand new worlds has on that militaristic, rigorous Martian devotion to transforming their own planet.

One thing I've always loved about these books, and this show, is its unblinking look at the worst aspects of humanity. And the three powers attempting to control access to the Gate is absolutely part of that - the commodification of opportunity, disguised as safeguarding people. The powerful trying to control any new sources of power. It's no surprise that Belters are the most reckless in chasing those opportunities.

"Only because my friend had a boyfriend with an imaginary friend who told us how to power that station down." Very succinctly put, Drummer. I hope we get lots of her this season.

One good thing about this season being based on my least favourite of the books is that I only half remember most of what happened, and will be just as surprised at things that the writers keep the same as I will be at new things they add.

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On 12/15/2019 at 6:59 AM, Haleth said:

My point was that with innumerable systems for resources the Belters no longer have a monopoly.  Their value plummets.

You are assuming Earthers are willing to mine. It's safe to assume the valuable minerals found on Earth have already been depleted, thus the need to start mining the asteroids. I think any Earther on the dole who had any desire to work hard already became a belter, generations ago. My point is, it's not enough that there are minerals to be pulled from the rock, you have to be willing to PULL them, and it's still hard work. So the belters would still have a leg up on Earth and Mars.

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On 12/14/2019 at 11:03 AM, marinw said:

I thought Avasarala had an excellent point about not getting too reckless with all the colonizing. Yet a total blockage seems too extreme. There needs to be a middle ground.

She is right but unfortunately being right means very little in the overall scheme of things. She's trying to hold back the tide. The tide wins. 

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On 12/13/2019 at 12:32 PM, Gillian Rosh said:

And OMG, I got a Peaches/Amos scene. I screamed when I saw that!

That was such a weird and random scene for me. I guess it was referring to stuff that happened in the books.  I'm not asking you to tell me what happened in the book since I don't want to know.

However, from that scene I guess I'm to assume Amos and Clarissa became friends or lovers while transporting her back to Earth? But why was Clarissa  even on the Roci? So weird and random.

I don't think we've never seen Amos give someone a nickname, so if the show isn't going to show why Amos became so close to Clarissa and gave her the nickname Peaches why bother with the scene?

I guess it's to show Amos has feelings? But I think we already knew that. Such a weird and random scene for me. 

Edited by Fireball

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7 hours ago, Fireball said:

But why was Clarissa  even on the Roci? So weird and random.

Clarissa actually mentions this in the scene between her and Amos. After the Ring Gates opened and the Roci crew was traveling back to Earth, they were tasked with transporting her to Luna (I think) for her trial. During the transport, Amos let her help him out in the ship's mechanic shop, and that's how they became close - well, as close as you can become with Amos.

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On 12/20/2019 at 3:49 PM, CigarDoug said:

You are assuming Earthers are willing to mine. It's safe to assume the valuable minerals found on Earth have already been depleted, thus the need to start mining the asteroids. I think any Earther on the dole who had any desire to work hard already became a belter, generations ago. My point is, it's not enough that there are minerals to be pulled from the rock, you have to be willing to PULL them, and it's still hard work. So the belters would still have a leg up on Earth and Mars.

People are people, while some are lazy or not suited to modern workplaces, most studies have shown people on assistance will take work if they can get it.  Earthers will mine if they get the opportunity. The Belt will probably have an edge in terms of knowhow but Earth can catch up. A big part of any colonization is farming and Earth has a leg up there. Considering the shit hole Amos indicates most of Earth is most people will be clamoring to leave. Also they show some of it here with Naomi but a lot of Belters cannot live in 1G so not all of them will be able to just settle into a colony.

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