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S04.E09: Saeculum

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Holden and Miller race to save Ilus. Murtry puts his endgame into motion, putting the Roci crew's lives at risk.

Airdate 2019.12.13

Keep your discussion to this episode only - thank you!

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Yep, this was definitely the penultimate episode as everything is pretty much going into endgame territory for the gang at (and above) Illus!

Oh, Chandra!  I liked you, but I suspected you would side with Murtry in the end, and once that happened, I knew that Amos of all people would not hesitate to put a bullet in you.  The thing is that in his own way, I really do think Amos cared for her and didn't want to do it.  But at the end, he will always do what it takes to protect his family (which is clearly what he considers Team Rocinante to be), and whatever he had with her, wasn't anywhere close to countering that.  This is why I find Amos such a fascinating character: he truly does some violent, even horrible things, but there is always not just a logic to it, but an emotional one as well, because he'll always cross that line for Naomi, Alex, and even Holden.  Because, again, they are family to him.

Murtry really is (or was?) the worst.  Not only was he planning on taking out Holden and Amos, but his mysterious call last episode was to basically send a shuttle to blow up the Rocinante.  Thankfully, Elvi's buddy notice something was up, and was able to warn them, but not before the ship took some damage, and they almost lost Lucia to the void of space (that would be a scary way to go, I imagine.)

It was great seeing the Holden/Miller pair again.  Steven Strait and Thomas Jane work great together.  Definitely seems like they're setting it up for Miller to be gone for good, so I'm curious to see how his swan song is going to play out.

Looks like Elvi is also going to play a huge part in the finale, which is pretty cool.

Didn't check in with anyone else this episode, but I'm sure the finale will revisit Bobbie, Avasarala, Drummer, and Ashford.

Probably going to let this digest some more and watch the final episode tomorrow.

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Damn it show with your cliff hangers! Worst one yet.

I was pretty sure it would end with Amos shooting Chandra, but I was not at all sure how far she would have to go before he did it. Lucky for him she did try to convince him instead of just shooting him right as he came out through the purple thing.

When the episode started I thought we were gonna see the whole season from Millers perspective, like we got with Julie in the first season. And I suppose we did get that, but it was just iterations of him trying to find out what happened. I totally didn't trust at first that he was " real Miller" thinking that it was just a new trick of the PM.

I loved that Holden fell asleep falling down that purple field. I wonder how long it took.

I liked the scenes with the Roci, but everytime things were going ok I kept waiting for something to go wrong. Like Lucia and Naomi somehow getting detached from the ship.

It feels like it's the wrong move to pitch the anti-PM (or whatever we should call the weird eye) and the PM against each other. The anti-PM might have it's own agenda and maybe waking that up will threaten whole humanity again. It would probably be more sensible for the humans to sacrifice themselves rather than risk waking that.

Good riddance Murtry, I hope you bleed out from your wound so the others don't have to waste effort bringing your body back. I have liked what he represented in the story though. The theme about frontiers and peoples expectations about it.

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On 12/18/2019 at 1:03 PM, Holmbo said:

I was pretty sure it would end with Amos shooting Chandra, but I was not at all sure how far she would have to go before he did it. Lucky for him she did try to convince him instead of just shooting him right as he came out through the purple thing.

His hand was shot up pretty badly. I was half expecting a GoT moment with Amos showing up with a golden hand next episode. Good thing we can now regrow limbs and appendages. 

Edited by jenn31
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18 hours ago, jenn31 said:

His hand was shot up pretty badly. I was half expecting a GoT moment with Amos showing up with a golden hand next episode. Good thing we can now regrow limbs and appendages. 

Regrowing gel, lol. That’s a handy staple to have in your first aid kit.


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Its not a season of The Expanse if Amos doesent get shot at least once! Holy crap, so much went down this episode! 

I missed seeing actual Miller, so it was fun to see him again, even when he turned into a very disconcerting blob of rocks and metal to try and get physical form. On the other hand, is messing with the protomolecules such a great idea? Do we know what could happen? It might mean that they stop randomly trying to kill people with weather and slugs, but it would also mean they could unleash something even worse. 

 I guessed that Chandra wouldn't survive the season, but Amos having to take her out because both of them stayed loyal to their respective leaders was still sad, especially considering Amos did seem to care about her, in his own, Amos kind of way. She just put her loyalty and trust in the wrong guy, Murtry and his bullshit was so not worth dying for, and no way would Amos ever not do everything he could to try and help Holden. Amos might be a a rather scary guy who is quick to violence if he thinks its the best way to handle the situation, but he is extremely loyal to the few people that he considers to be his people and to people that "need protecting" like kids, and he would do anything, even kill someone he didnt want to kill, to look out for them. Poor Amos is just having a time of it lately, this time he even got his freaking fingers off! Thank god this is the future and they can grow those back! Plus, Holden and Murtry are extremely different guys to be loyal to, just look at how they both react to finding out that their respective people get hurt. Murtry seemed only mildly annoyed that Chandra is dead due to her loyalty to him, while Holden was majorly pissed and scared when he heard that Amos had gotten shot...again! 

Holden has zero time for Murtrys big villain speech, it really did remind me of the "I committed genocide for the greater good like tons of people have!" villain speech from villains past. Like, I dont know guys, maybe we could try to learn from the past and try to not be assholes while we make new discoveries and new settlements this time? Holden is just like "Look dude, I SO do not have time for your big villain speech right now, I have two ghosts that are fighting it out in my head, alien technology is going nuts left and right, your sky assholes are trying to blow my ship up with half my team on it, while my other teammate is bleeding to death somewhere in this god forsaken place, and I am trying to keep everyone on this planet and above it from dying, so would you just SHUT UP!" 

The effects look amazing, even by this shows usual high standards. All of the space stuff was super intense, especially the shuttle being launched at the Rocinante (at least Evies buddy has their back!) and Lucia getting launched into space, and the alien stuff inside the ancient alien tombs. 

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"You ever met anybody you didn't wanna save."

Whew. Miller, you said a word!

Loved Miller and Holden teaming up again (shades of season 1!) Nice having Joe Miller (not The Investigator) back, if only for a little bit. I've loved the way the writers showed us Miller's presence within/relationship to the protomolecule. Great way to make concrete something that's pretty abstract.

I also loved Elvi being drawn into the mix and helping Robo-Miller (Miller Bot according to Amazon X-Ray) toward the "off switch."

I really have come to love Lucia and Felcia and the way they've worked with Alex and Naomi (Naomi's rescue of Lucia was IN.TENSE.) Also love Jakob taking care of little orphan Chike in the Belter camp.

Murtry is such a shit, but Burn Gorman is doing a magnificent job in the role.

The little glimpses we got of Fayez made me wish we'd seen more of him throughout this season.


Edited by Gillian Rosh
Corrected the spelling of a character's name
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Nice to see Miller again. Actual Miller, somehow manifesting while the Investigator is busy? This must be a great role for Thomas Jane - he comes in for a few days, gets to be cool, mysterious and the guy with all the answers and has fun winding up Holden. And the fact that he can play Miller and Proto-Miller as two, distinct characters is quite impressive.

I do get a bit frustrated with the show when they split our core characters up for extended periods of time, so Holden running off to do Protomolecule stuff when all the important things are happening is definitely happening too often. But I guess it's supposed to be frustrating.

Leaving Amos to deal with Murtry is hardly ideal, because Chandra is right about one thing - he and Murtry are very similar in the way they approach problems, and right now, their biggest problems are each other.

It's kind of sad, really, that Chandra was falling for Amos. She misinterpreted his utterly frank honesty as a more emotional connection. And she completely misunderstood who Amos is - She never understood that he doesn't "walk away" from his crew. I wish they'd shown us why she trusts Murtry so much, though, because all we've seen is him being dangerous, ruthless and prone to barely provoked murder.

I've really come to like Lucia, over the course of the season. Glad she survived her space walk, and it was interesting to see that Belter pragmatism overriding the romantic dream of Ilus - know when to cut your losses. Again, it's fun seeing the Roci crew and the Belters coming up with a cascade of ideas to just survive a little longer. Reminds me a lot of that line at the end of The Martian - "You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home."

Elvi actually talking to Miller? That was a shock. And the Proto-Molecule creating a physical form from whatever it had to 'hand' was freaky. But what was more freaky? The entire planet lighting up with Protomolecule glow. Yikes.

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I think Amos cared about Chandra. He did warn her he was coming. That was really risky for him; she and Murtry could have chosen to just shot him right when he popped out through the purple field. But when he had to choose outright between her and Holden, there was no contest.

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Holden's entire plotline this season is just "nightmares I have had". We can now add 'falling dreams' to 'eye poking' and 'trapped in darkness'. In fact, I once had a terrible nightmare that I went skiing into a cave and I was trapped in darkness with cliffs on both sides and when I woke up the room was pitch black and I didn't know if I was awake or asleep or if I was really in the cave or not. So I get Amos' nightmare and now I can add Holden's too. Falling is such a primal fear; maybe something we get from our primate past (and more than one character was falling out of control this episode). So are bugs and so is being trapped. So I'm starting to wonder if this is just a cynical appeal to our primal fears or something more deliberate. That what waits outside of our comfort zone is our nightmares.

On 12/31/2019 at 2:30 AM, Danny Franks said:

It's kind of sad, really, that Chandra was falling for Amos. She misinterpreted his utterly frank honesty as a more emotional connection.

I saw it as the other way around. She confused Murtry's honest pragmatism for Amos'. That he cared about her and his crew but was just being pragmatic. And so she expected them to respond the same to the same impetus. But Amos' honesty and pragmatism has never been self-serving. Murtry's is. Murtry sold her that being amoral and homicidal was an acceptable and understandable compromise and so she didn't realise how far she'd drifted from who she thought she and Murtry were (like Amos) to how they really were. 

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