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S04.E05: Oppressor

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As tensions on Ilus reach a boiling point, Holden reveals a secret. Avasarala debates Nancy Gao while an emergency on the Roci forces Alex and Naomi into action.

Airdate 2019.12.13

Keep your discussion to this episode only - thank you!

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Yeah, I'm usually a believer enough of the "Tell the truth" approach to most things on television and life in general, but admittedly, saying "I've been having conversations with the protomolecule that is wearing the skin (and bitchin hat) of my now deceased partner and basically things are coming back to life and might end up destroying this planet", isn't going to accepted by everyone, to put it mildly.  A for effort, Holden!

Not surprised that Lucia would end up being a mess, even though she did what she could to prevent casualties, once she realize the ship had came earlier than expected.  Good thing she just happened to be on a ship with Alex and Naomi: two people that will go above and beyond to help if they can.  It was also interesting hearing Naomi talk more about Marco and the damage she had inadvertently done with him.  Dominque Tipper has been really shining this season.

Heh, of course, Avasarala would find most everything involving town hall debates to be bullshit!  Still, she handled herself well enough, but I can see why Nancy Gao came out ahead this go around.  She certainly isn't one to underestimate.  Still, I'll never bet against Chrisjen!

Aww, Amos likes Chandra enough that he at least doesn't want to see her get shot!

Totally going to believe that Murtry wondering if his face makes people not like him is a meta reference to Burn Gorman usually getting cast in villain roles (although I suspect a lot of is also that his voice seems tailor-made for those types of characters.)

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The show plays a bit fast and lose with Holden's notoriety. He did have proof that he's not simply mad because he knew about the speed limit. Not that any of the hotheads would have listened but I still wish he or Amos would have brought it up.

Lucia's plot was heart-breaking and damn that surgery looked freaky. Alex is really the heart and soul of the Rocinante (he prepares broth, he can talk suicidal folks down a ledge while performing emergency surgery - all that and he's also a killer pilot). I loved how they used Lucia as a foil for Naomi, very effective.

I loved both Amos and Alex's exasperated reaction to Holden going full Holden.

ETA: Avasarala losing it when called 'matriarch' was fantastic. She must be a nightmare for her PR team.

Edited by MissLucas
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11 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

Alex is really the heart and soul of the Rocinante (he prepares broth, he can talk suicidal folks down a ledge while performing emergency surgery - all that and he's also a killer pilot).

Think how far he's come since the start of the first season. Then he was freaking out about being in CQB and now he's keeping his cool even when doing major surgery and having very little idea how to go about it.

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15 minutes ago, Holmbo said:

Loved the shot of future Copenhagen.

Thank you for that screen cap! All future coastal cities have seawalls, and Denmark is now the "Gulf of Denmark".  Sea level rise happened or is still happening in 2300.

5 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Heh, of course, Avasarala would find most everything involving town hall debates to be bullshit!  Still, she handled herself well enough, but I can see why Nancy Gao came out ahead this go around.  She certainly isn't one to underestimate.  Still, I'll never bet against Chrisjen!

The debate left me so conflicted. I love and respect  Avasarala but Goa made some very valid points. If I were an Earther on Basic I would vote for Goa. If Avasarala loses the election I hope she get some some sort of military or security post.

I am finding the implications of Basic Income fascinating. Basic may have been implemented with the very best of intentions, with the dream that people would pursue art and science and social issues now that they were unburdened from having to earn a living. That may be the case for some but not the majority. 

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54 minutes ago, marinw said:

Thank you  @Holmbo. Looks like the part of Copenhagen is partly  being built in the water already

I think those are former ship docks.

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Refresh my memory: has Avasarala EVER shown a genuine instrest in improving opportunities for the Basics? She seems to view most of Earth's population with indifrence or disdain. Her great strength is dealing with Protomolocules and Martian/Belter politics, I am loving her relationship with Arjun, who is being such a supportive and patient First Spouse.

Off to watch the last four episodes! See you on the other side...

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Since other sites are spoiling shit in their article headers, I'm going to have to jump back in.

This was good.  I don't think either won the debate.  Gao cheated and made a pretentious defense of it; Chrisjen made a pretentious defense of her past success.

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Poor Lucia, even if she did make a really big mistake, its clear she never wanted people to actually be hurt and she is guilt ridden and horrified that her family might have to pay for what she did. That surgery looked nasty, good lord! Alex was really great about it though, they are probably lucky that Alex was the one who checked in on her, he is definitely the crew member I would vote for as "Most Likely To Talk Down a Suicidal Person." 

Speaking of elections, its hard to say who was winning between Gao and Chrisjen, both of them made some good points, and also engaged some super pretentious political grandstanding. I love Chrisjen to bits and think that she has done amazing and important work to create peace in the galaxy in the midst of absolutely wild circumstances, but I think that Gao makes some solid points as well. The lottery system to help poorer people get a chance to get an education and maybe even a decent job beyond the very basic is clearly not enough to deal with the huge problems that the poor are dealing with on Earth, and whoever wins, I do hope that the system gets a re-work. And that maybe we can get closer to letting people go to space. 

Hee, I loved Amos's reaction to Holden just being Holden and doing Holden stuff. I mean, I guess now everyone does technically agree on something...that Holden is probably a crazy person. He really should remind them that Chrisjen wouldn't send just any weirdo out into space in her name to check things out, no matter how they feel about her or the UN. I also liked the talk between him and Naomi about the tough situation they are in, and that you cant make people do things, even if its probably in their best interest.  

Edited by tennisgurl
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59 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

 I love Chrisjen to bits and think that she has done amazing and important work to create peace in the galaxy in the midst of absolutely wild circumstances,

Agreed. But how much of this is public knowledge? Even if it is, the average Earther may be more concerned about thier day-to-day lives and the oppurtunity to leave for a new frontier.

Edited by marinw
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I guess Avasarala is a bit like Churchill - fantastic in war and foreign crisis but not really the type to handle more 'boring' domestic problems to the general public's satisfaction.

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Okay, I really like Lucia. Of all the new characters this season, she's my favourite. Really unexpected, because I thought she'd just be a background character, when I noticed her in the first episode. So she fucked up, and feels horrendously guilty. Trying to kill yourself is never the answer.

And hey, just saying, but we saw good reason in this episode as to why the Roci really needs someone with medical expertise.

But we finally learn more about Naomi's OPA past, and the guilt she obviously carries around with her. And what a piece of shit Marco is.

"You're so fucking weird." That's an understatement, Chandra. Looks like she made her choice to side with Murtry. Bad call.

As usual, Holden is the lone voice, begging people to stop fighting long enough to save themselves. Trying to get people stop being suspicious and paranoid has to get exhausting, at some point. And as usual, everyone ends up pointing guns at one another.

I can't help but keep seeing real world comparisons that may or may not be intentional - 'they attacked us, so we'll take revenge and if they dare take revenge for that, we'll do even worse. And no, they have no legal rights.' Sounds dreadfully familiar.

Elvi's reaction to Holden's Holden-ness was amusing: "Oh, for fuck's sake." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. As does Amos's reaction to Holden "being him".

Chrisjen being told to come across as "the caring, family matriarch" was hilarious. As was her instant fury about it. I think the apparent 'likeability problem' she has is a big hindrance to her in times of relative calm. It's okay to have an asshole in charge when everything is completely fucked up, but when you're trying to restore calm and the status quo, you might want someone more conciliatory and affable. The Churchill comparison that MissLucas made feels very apt, because he lost an election even before the end of the Second World War, to Clement Atlee's Labour party, who were promising to rebuild and move forward.

I'm sure Avasarala will win this in the end, and probably steamroll Gao in the process. That's what she does. But again, this return to the status quo instead of embracing new ideas feels very on the nose. But would Gao be able to make the decision Chrisjen makes here, to destroy the Sinon?

The final scene... um... it might be time to leave Ilus, folks.

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Naomi to Holden: Go be you. 
(Chandra asks what Holden is doing.)
Amos to Chandra: Being him.

Funny stuff.

As soon as word starts trickling back about what is happening on Ilus Avasarala will be proven right. More study is needed before people fly off willy nilly and start settling on unknown planets.  

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On 12/26/2019 at 1:45 PM, Tyro49 said:

So, was that a volcano or a bomb going off at the end??

That sure looked like a nuclear sun-hot-plasma mushroom cloud to me.  Unless that planet has some really powerful volcanoes, that was a bomb.

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When Holden starts a sentence "The man in my head..."., all I could think about was, yeeaah, and the Son of Sam was listening to the dog in the apartment next door, what else yah got? Why isn't proto-"Millah" on a really, really, really, need to know basis? Especially now that Holden knows that proto-Miller doesn't give 2 shites about their well being, and may be working at cross purposes.

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"You see, at some point I started having hallucinations and the man in my head told me to come through a giant alien-built gateway to another planet to flick a switch on a billion-year-old machine but I'm James fucking Holden so you should just accept what I'm saying and do what I tell you".

*Pauses for people to realise the inevitable*

This show has always been about how we respond to a threat that should bring us together but actually can't because we're incapable of it. It's like, "this small group of people on this tiny planet are the reason why we're never going to be able to combat climate change". 

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11 hours ago, AudienceofOne said:

this small group of people on this tiny planet are the reason why we're never going to be able to combat climate change". 

Interesting.... Would Avasarala and the One World Govt of Earth (ole Terra), mandate environmental studies before settlements? Or do we go in and burn the forests, strip mine the sh#t out of the planet, and move on to the next one. That is, do we become like the proto molecule and destroy all indigenous life forms?

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33 minutes ago, Eulipian 5k said:

That is, do we become like the proto molecule and destroy all indigenous life forms?

History suggests we already are - there are reasons humanity is often compared with a virus. For me, though, what became starkly clear over the course of this season is not just that we're programmed to factionalise and fight but that often we're fighting over nothing. The fight over Ilus is a fight over nothing. 

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Can't say enough about how fun it's been to watch the battle unfold between Avasarala and Gao across this season. I adore Avasarala but Gao owned the debate in this episode. I never tire of watching those scenes.

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