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S04.E04: Retrograde

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Drummer and Ashford confront a dangerous person from Naomi's past. Murtry hunts down a target. Bobbie's makes a life-changing confession.

Airdate 2019.12.13

Keep your discussion to this episode only - thank you!

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And so we meet the famous (infamous?) Marco Inaros. I enjoyed his verbal sparring with Drummer, Ashford and the leaders of the other Belter factions. He kinda had a point, too. The Inners haven't been inclined to share power or resources before, so why would the Ring Gates opening change anything?

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So, Keon Alexander; who I know best from that FX show Tyrant and a guest spot on Killjoys; is the one playing the infamous Marco Inaros.  This will be one of those times where I have to fight off being a book reader, because I had always pictured someone along the lines of Pedro Pascal in the role, but that is/was obviously a pipe dream (especially since he's currently on another sci-fi television show, in a galaxy far, far away!)  Still, I I liked how his presence shook things up and possibly changed the game.  While I understand Drummer's logic to spare him, I (gasp!) kind of agree with Ashford that this could end up backfiring on them big time. 

On another note, while I will certainly never complain about getting to watch Care Gee and David Strathairn be awesome together, them referring themselves as representatives for Fred and Anderson does give off a bit of a "Look, we know those two probably should be more involved here, but dammit, Chad L. Coleman and Jared Harris are busy men!" vibe.

Bobbi really can't catch a break, huh?  She tries to the right thing, only for the foreman to want in on some illegal action, she quits, but he still turns her in anyway, and now she's agreed to work with evil drug kingpin.  Again, she really should have taken Avasarala up on her offer.

Granted, considering Chrisjen is already at her wits end over the event on Illus last week (and Holden's lack of communication), I wouldn't want to be anywhere near her once she discovers the shit-show it has become now thanks to Murtry's rampage!

Glad both Naomi and Lucia got to safety in time, but I feel bad that Naomi has to stay behind, since she likely considers it a failure on her part.  I did like that Holden didn't get upset with Alex over hiding the information from him, because he probably understood why both of them did what they did.

Amos is currently a prisoner now, but we'll see how long that lasts!

Holden cold-cocking Murtry was satisfying to watch, but I worry that it will be short-lived.  Never underestimate the limits a Burn Gorman character will go to in order to stay on top!

Edited by thuganomics85
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Drummer and Ashford have developed a really intriguing partnership. I loved how Drummer was not buying any of Inaros' BS. 'I was never that young.' He! Too bad she caved in to realpolitik in the end.

One of the best aspects of the show is how it focuses on the Belters and their struggle from a position of victim to power-player. All of a sudden ideological lines get blurred and a demagogue like Inaros can take advantage of the confusion.

Man, Mars with its stellar technology should really have invested in better lighting - everything is so dim. I imagined more domes and sunlight. No wonder the whole planet is in a state of depression. Bobbie should have accepted Avasarala's offer. Forget about Holden and Naomi - Avasarala and Bobbie are this show's OTP.

And back on Ilus/New Terra (I like how even planet naming gets weaponized) things are falling apart on every front. Murtry is on a rampage but as it turns out he was not completely wrong - just mostly. And given what Lucia said to Naomi about a good amount of settlers ending up in the recycler because of the gravity adjusting drugs not working for them you really have to wonder why Belters were not looking for a planet with an ahem... milder gravity well. There might be a scientific explanation but I wish it was addressed because right now that whole experiment sounds really Darwinian.

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I thought this was a fantastic episode. Showing how this is the best show about politics on TV. It's a series of Prisoner's Dilemmas where everyone chooses to defect.

The Belter plot was so well written. Everybody was smart, everybody played their hand to the best of their ability and no one really got what they wanted.

Bobbie's plot is getting real depressing. 

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On 12/13/2019 at 8:50 PM, Gillian Rosh said:

And so we meet the famous (infamous?) Marco Inaros. I enjoyed his verbal sparring with Drummer, Ashford and the leaders of the other Belter factions. He kinda had a point, too. The Inners haven't been inclined to share power or resources before, so why would the Ring Gates opening change anything?

I kept being on edge thinking he would sway one of them. Much of what he said touched on what they thought.

4 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

On another note, while I will certainly never complain about getting to watch Care Gee and David Strathairn be awesome together, them referring themselves as representatives for Fred and Anderson does give off a bit of a "Look, we know those two probably should be more involved here, but dammit, Chad L. Coleman and Jared Harris are busy men!" vibe.

I felt someway like that in last season too, with Dawes being absent. It would have been nice to get at least some skype calls between them and their representatives, or even with Avasarala. I don't think we will though, maybe next season.

56 minutes ago, xaxat said:

Bobbie's plot is getting real depressing. 

It's certainly a downer. But I don't think she's really working for the crime boss. She's only pretending to in order to figure out what's going on.

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This was a great episode - even though it introduced the dreaded Marcos.

10 hours ago, xaxat said:

I thought this was a fantastic episode. Showing how this is the best show about politics on TV. It's a series of Prisoner's Dilemmas where everyone chooses to defect.

The Belter plot was so well written. Everybody was smart, everybody played their hand to the best of their ability and no one really got what they wanted.

It was very well done.  Surprised by Drummer's decision - but she is learning the need to be a politician.  Drummer needs to meet Chrisjen.  That would be epic.

I probably missed something.  Who rain the guns on Murtry to hold him back from killing Lucia and Naomi.  Did Amos free himself somehow?

Or was that from the Rocinante and Alex was able to access the ship's fire power?

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Yeah, Drummer and Avasarala would be epic!

I thought Naomi had activated the guns via that handheld comm thingy. She was frantically tapping before all hell broke lose. Or maybe she contacted Holden and Alex?

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36 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

Yeah, Drummer and Avasarala would be epic!

I thought Naomi had activated the guns via that handheld comm thingy. She was frantically tapping before all hell broke lose. Or maybe she contacted Holden and Alex?

I think you are right!  She was so sick - I thought she was trying to reach Holden again.

But Naomi never gives up.  That was my bad for not making the connection.

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On 12/15/2019 at 3:38 AM, thuganomics85 said:

On another note, while I will certainly never complain about getting to watch Care Gee and David Strathairn be awesome together, them referring themselves as representatives for Fred and Anderson does give off a bit of a "Look, we know those two probably should be more involved here, but dammit, Chad L. Coleman and Jared Harris are busy men!" vibe.

I was hoping Marco would replace Ashford for awesome exchanges (verbal and otherwise, nudge nudge, wink, wink) with Drummer (barring Jared Harris returning). While I really like Cara Gee, sorry, I always cringe at David Strathairn’s horrible acting, no matter what role he’s in. I groaned when he was one of the survivors last season (in fact I cheered when I thought he bit the dust). It’s unfortunate almost every scene Gee is in, Strathrain is in as well. I can’t enjoy her to full potential. 

Edited by ferjy
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Chrisjen keeps her streak going this season by saying "Fuck" at least once an episode.  Her re-election campaign slogan is, "So are you going to fucking vote for me or what?"

Great hearing between Marco and the Belter clans.  Of course the Belters shouldn't trust the Inners, Marco is right.

Good to see Bobbi in business with Eddie from Nurser Jackie.  She can supply him with Oxycontin.

Murtry is such an asshole, but the antagonism he brings feels a little forced.

I'm not so sure about colonizing a planet where the ancient alien tech reacts badly to anything you do.

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9 hours ago, ferjy said:

I always cringe at David Strathairn’s horrible acting, no matter what role he’s in.

We seem to be in the minority but I feel the same way. Plus everyone does a great Belter accent but his is pathetic. He is always losing the accent and slipping into his own. I’ll cheer along with you if they do him in. With my luck he’ll probably be around for the next 5 seasons (of course there will be another 5 seasons!)

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On 12/15/2019 at 7:42 AM, xaxat said:

The Belter plot was so well written. Everybody was smart, everybody played their hand to the best of their ability and no one really got what they wanted.

I’ve always liked the Belter scenes and this one didn’t disappoint. 

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13 hours ago, Dobian said:

Chrisjen keeps her streak going this season by saying "Fuck" at least once an episode.  Her re-election campaign slogan is, "So are you going to fucking vote for me or what?"

 Welp, she's got my vote!

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Chrisjens campaign slogan should be something like "Why are we even having this stupid fucking conversation? Just vote for me!" 

Another fantastic episode, things really seem to be moving quickly, but the plots never seem rushed. The Belter plot was especially good, with the infamous Marco and the OPA trying to figure out what the hell to do with this asshole. I get why Drummer felt like she had to let him go, even if she didnt want to, but I am sure that this is going to come back and bite them in the ass. The Belters finally have a chance to have a say in their own lives and some real political capital in the system, the last thing they need is a charismatic firebrand running around causing problems. 

Amos might be locked up for now, but I would hate to be the first asshole who tries to start something with him the second he gets out. 

Poor Bobbie, her plot is so depressing, I really hope that she reconsiders taking Chrisjen up on her offer. The whole obsession that everyone on Mars has with Mars ("Trust Mars") that at times bordered on cult-like did a lot of good for them when they were in a Cold War with Earth and had their generation long terriforming plan that they were all working towards, but now that they're at more or less peace with Earth and have all of these new already habitable planets that they can go to soon, their whole society is struggling. 

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Burn Gorman is clearly enjoying himself, chewing on the scenery whenever he gets the chance. Another recurring theme with this show is that, no matter how high-minded and noble the rhetoric is amongst the leaders, there are always people lower down the totem pole who won't let grudges go, who still want to fight one another.

This main storyline has been a perfect encapsulation of how a few old enmities can ruin everything that people are trying to build together.

So one of the things that's changing on Mars, it seems, is the emergence of free enterprise. Everyone looking to make money off the newfound chaos and confusion. Bobbie may be one of the few non-military Martians left with integrity. The only one who still believes in Mars? Like Ashford said, "the Ring has changed everything."

Martian society was united by the belief that terraforming Mars and turning it into "a garden" was the only way forward. That's not true any more. There are a thousand gardens out there, perhaps ready made to live on.

Amos sacrificing himself for Naomi is the most Amos thing ever. And that security lady is going to end up realising he's got very little to offer her... unless she gets herself killed by opposing Murtry.

It seems like the Roci crew keep teasing us with potential new crew members who would be great - Bobbie, Prax and now Lucia - but they all go their own way after a while.

Poor Naomi, discovering that she probably can't ever live on a planet. I mean, maybe there's a longer course of drugs she could take, to increase the chances, but why risk it? She might want to, but Holden was definitely telling the truth when he said he didn't care. He's spent most of his adult life in space.

Marco Inaros is not as impressive as I'd expect him to be. But I liked Drummer's interactions with him. Her jealousy, contempt and her anger on Naomi's behalf were very evident. Loved her little dig at him, when he talked about his days dreaming of grand, revolutionary ideals:

"All vodka and swagger. You know the age."

"I was never that young."

And her assessment of him: "He talks too much." As usual, she's spot on, because that dude just doesn't shut up. As usual, the show manages to be incredibly contemporary, with this guy as a populist firebrand, "telling it like it is" and claiming only he can do what needs to be done.

I believe Drummer when she explained that going against the wishes of two other OPA factions would be dangerous, but I believe she's also acting on Naomi's behalf - if Marco is the only one who knows where Philip is, then he has to live. For now, at least.

Edited by Danny Franks
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The actor playing Marco seems too young.  

Burn Gorman. He was so sweet on Turn.

I was sort of disappointed in Avasarala’s sari in this epi. Not up to her usual fabulous standards. But I’d love for her campaign slogan to be:

On 12/18/2019 at 1:00 AM, tennisgurl said:

Why are we even having this stupid fucking conversation? Just vote for me!" 

She’d have my vote.

Bobbie needs to say fuck it and go to work for Madam Secretary ASAP.  Mars is too corrupt.

Belter politics have never been more complicated. Drummer gets it but it won’t end well. 

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I enjoyed how two of the earthers under Murtry’s command were frettIng and wondering how they could get rid of Murtry, and then Holden is all *PUNCH* “you are no longer in charge.”  It won’t stick, of course, but hey, sometimes it pays to just DO something.

loved Burn Gorman in Turn.

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There are a couple things about this episode that are disturbing. 

One is the speed at which Mars has gone to shit in a sand-bucket.  This plot-piece is not very believable.  Mars was an elitist superpower only months before.  I understand the influx of former military people can be a major upheaval, but this is too much too soon.

Another is that they're turning Avasarala into one-dimensional shrew.

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Bobbie needs to say fuck it and go to work for Madam Secretary ASAP.  Mars is too corrupt.

My sister, while watching this season, said Bobbie needed to get comfortable with criminal activity if she ends up working for Avasarala. 😂

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Murty’s “But I’m the bad guy? Maybe I’ve got that type of face”, priceless line reading. 
Avasarala outshines every woman and man in every room she’s in. Never saw clothes chew the scenery before. Also like seeing the Barcelona chairs during her debate prep.

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Mars' story is just depressingly accurate for a country who, for all its glorious protestations, is just a war machine that collapses as soon as there's no war. Wherever Bobbi turns her planet just isn't the planet she thought it was, no wonder she's floundering and wondering where she fits. I want her to get back into the main plotline myself but I appreciate we need her to provide an insight into what's happening on Mars. 

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On 12/31/2019 at 10:55 PM, JZL said:

 

There are a couple things about this episode that are disturbing. 

One is the speed at which Mars has gone to shit in a sand-bucket.  This plot-piece is not very believable.  Mars was an elitist superpower only months before.  I understand the influx of former military people can be a major upheaval, but this is too much too soon.

 

I think the parallel here is they USSR. A military superpower whose military spending torpedoed their state. 

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On 12/31/2019 at 10:55 PM, JZL said:

There are a couple things about this episode that are disturbing. 

One is the speed at which Mars has gone to shit in a sand-bucket.  This plot-piece is not very believable.  Mars was an elitist superpower only months before.  I understand the influx of former military people can be a major upheaval, but this is too much too soon.

What's causing the collapse of Martian society and the "Martian dream" is not the onset of a period of (relative) peace, it is the emergence of over a thousand habitable planets within a few month's journey, which completely changes the economics of terraforming. The terraforming project has basically been Mars' raison d'etere since Earthers first colonized there, and now there's little reason for it to continue. Some will make a go of it still, certainly; presumably companies like the ones own by Private Hillman's family, whose fortunes are entirely tied up in the terraforming effort, will try to convince the Martian public that it's still a worthwhile endeavor, but that's going to be an uphill battle. Most people will wonder why all this effort (not to mention money) is being put into this technologically difficult project when it would be a lot cheaper and more expedient to ferry large groups of Martians through the ring gates, where they can use their superior technology to make a new home in a much more habitable place.

The military is shrinking as a result of easing tensions in the system as well, but we all know that humans will always find things to fight about, so I don't think anyone thinks the Martian military will shrink to nothing. They won't likely have to deal with as many conflicts, though, so some shrinkage there is likely too. Without a terraforming project to protect, it just doesn't have to be as big as it was.

Edited by btp
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9 hours ago, JZL said:

I understand all that, but we're talking months here, not a couple years.

Do we know exactly how long it has been since the ring opened?

 

 

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Not exactly, no, but the scene with Holden and his mom is a few months after the Barbapiccola runs the gamut through the ring, and Clarissa and Alex talk in terms of her delivery back to Earth taking months.  It's probably the better part of a year, which makes sense.

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On 12/13/2019 at 11:50 AM, Gillian Rosh said:

And so we meet the famous (infamous?) Marco Inaros. I enjoyed his verbal sparring with Drummer, Ashford and the leaders of the other Belter factions. He kinda had a point, too. The Inners haven't been inclined to share power or resources before, so why would the Ring Gates opening change anything?

Just on a purely shallow level, even bloodied and a bit grimy, he's good to look at.

On 12/15/2019 at 5:39 AM, Holmbo said:

I kept being on edge thinking he would sway one of them. Much of what he said touched on what they thought.

And he wasn't wrong either, just focused on one part of the picture.

On 12/15/2019 at 3:36 PM, Macbeth said:

I probably missed something.  Who rain the guns on Murtry to hold him back from killing Lucia and Naomi.  Did Amos free himself somehow?

Or was that from the Rocinante and Alex was able to access the ship's fire power?

Naomi did it remotely with her communicator.

On 12/16/2019 at 6:03 PM, Dobian said:

Good to see Bobbi in business with Eddie from Nurser Jackie.  She can supply him with Oxycontin.

Smacks head. That's where I know him from, thanks!

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On ‎1‎/‎12‎/‎2020 at 7:28 AM, AudienceofOne said:

Mars' story is just depressingly accurate for a country who, for all its glorious protestations, is just a war machine that collapses as soon as there's no war. Wherever Bobbi turns her planet just isn't the planet she thought it was, no wonder she's floundering and wondering where she fits. I want her to get back into the main plotline myself but I appreciate we need her to provide an insight into what's happening on Mars. 

I don't think it was specifically the lack of a war that is bringing about Mars' decline. It's the fact that their entire society was geared towards a project (granted, that's very similar to the way nations treat warfare, in the real world) that is now rendered meaningless for a lot of people. Why spend all that effort, resources and drive terraforming Mars when there are a thousand worlds out there that might be ready to go?

Mars has a huge military machine, but the terraforming machine is even bigger.

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