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S04.E10: Cibola Burn

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Ashford closes in on an enemy while uncovering a dangerous plot. Avasarala faces a crossroads in her personal and political life. The Roci crew works to reestablish life on Ilus in the wake of a deadly catastrophe.

Airdate 2019.12.13

Keep your discussion to this episode only - thank you!

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Avasarala's arc this season was really fascinating. It was so interesting watching her have to campaign for office. I thought Shohreh did a magnificent job making the character vulnerable. I was so-so on the new actor playing Arjun (Chrisjen's husband), but I did love how their scenes got us to see a different side from the imperious, regal woman who uses the f-bomb as a mark of punctuation.

I also loved Bobbie's storyline. For me, it wasn't a distraction. Instead, it added a richness to the wider story by showing us life on Mars. I especially loved seeing places I'd only read about (Innis Shallows! Londres Nova!) 

I'll have more to say about this episode on my one-episode-at-a-time re-watch, but I wanted to highlight how much I loved these 2 subplots.

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I completed watching this season in two days. Despite me binging my way through it, overall, I thought the season was just ok. 

There was really no movement with Holden and crew’s stories. They spent the whole season on New Terra dealing with the same ole squabbles between Inners and Belters and the Miller/Protomolecule spurring intrigue that disappointingly  went nowhere. 

Bobbi’s storyline was interesting being as the rings appearance has opened the universe to new worlds that has pretty much undermined what was at the very core of Mars’ existence. Now Mars is the equivalent of a country decimated after a war. This of course led to the most upstanding citizens working scrap jobs and/or turning to crime, including Bobbi herself. I still don’t feel like she had to become a criminal. She could’ve taken a job off world somewhere or even went to go work for Avasarala. The latter of which she eventually explores, but pride, stubbornness and her love for Mars is what stops her. Everyone in her life seemed to be approaching Mars’ fall from a strong Inner planet, to being on the verge of chaos with the strong possibility of it never returning to its former glory, differently which was interesting. 

It was nice getting more insight into Avasarala’s marriage, but the political battle between her an Chao was a bit snoozeworthy. 

This season kept me engaged mainly because I enjoy spending time with these characters, but story wise the season was subpar to the previous seasons. I think what was missing was the crew of the Rocinante working together in the same space. I know they have to bring in other characters and stories to keep things interesting, but I missed the Roci crew on the Roci or on another ship, land whereever, working together through their challenges. I also think the mystery of the Protomolecule is flailing as is ghost Miller (though I was sorry to see the latter “die”). They need to move that story along, reveal some solid information about the entity instead of keeping things so vague. 

Sorry, but I do not care about Naomi’s son or his psycho OPA father. In fact, the OPA storyline is a bit of a dud too. It was way more interesting when Fred Johnson was more in the mix.

That said, I did enjoy seeing these characters again and would undoubtedly watch a season 5, even though I think this show and it’s stories have likely run their course. 

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Not quite as strong as Season Three, but pretty solid and engrossing. Why aren't more people watching this show?

Naomi’s son is a brat. 

ETA: This is my own fault for not rationing out the epsiodes, but I would have preffered if the episodes were doled out at a couple a week so I could sit with them a bit. At this point I'm afriad to post too many comments on this forum as I'm not sure what happened in each episode.

Goodbye Ashford! He met his end bravely.

Edited by marinw
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On 12/14/2019 at 4:46 PM, Gillian Rosh said:

Avasarala's arc this season was really fascinating. It was so interesting watching her have to campaign for office.

I felt badly for her campaign stratigists and all the abuse and fbombs they had to endure. 

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4 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

I didn't. They seemed terrible at their jobs.

They did tried to turn Avasarala into someone she is isn't, so you may be right.

Edited by marinw

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Geez, even Avasarala's dressing gown would put half of today's red carpet wannabes to shame.

Naomi's son - meet tls#2. Ashcroft was a goner as I feared last episode. I hope Drummer will avenge him.

I wonder if Murtry made it out of the Roci alive.

There's so much more to say but it all belongs in another thread.

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Spending all their time on planet was boring. They need to go into space and have some space battles, go to different worlds with alien landscapes and have some alien fauna terror, something a little more terrifying than slowly rampaging escargot. They should give the political shenanigans a break for awhile by allowing equal numbers of Earthers, Martians and Belters to enter the Ring. Let the peaceful cooperation get shattered by the joint Martian-Belter attack on Earthers. Let the warzone be right in front of the Ring with the threat of permanent damage occurring to the Ring and no one capable of fixing it. It would be great to see everybody attacking each other while at the same time doing everything they can to keep the Ring from being damaged. People inside the ring begging the people outside the ring to stop fighting or they won't have any way to sell their new found riches.

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The last shot we see of Gao shows her wearing a colorful jacket or dress instead of her usual black outfit. A nice way of showing us that she is starting to resemble the person she just defeated.

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15 hours ago, MissLucas said:

Naomi's son - meet tls#2. Ashcroft was a goner as I feared last episode. I hope Drummer will avenge him.

Agree on Filip.He annoyed me in the books, and now he's here to annoy me on screen. I did miss calling Diogo a little shit, tho.

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28 minutes ago, lidarose9 said:

Is there a separate thread for Season 4 general comments?

Thst might be good. I don't remember a lot of  exactly what happened in each episode. A hazard of binge watching.

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4 hours ago, lidarose9 said:

Is there a separate thread for Season 4 general comments? Or can they go here?

You can put them here for now.  If there is enough discussion I'll create a new topic.

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So much for my hopes of a Drummer/Ashford spinoff focusing on the two of them policing/investigating the solar system.  😞

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On 12/15/2019 at 1:20 AM, Enero said:

I completed watching this season in two days. Despite me binging my way through it, overall, I thought the season was just ok.

I share a lot of your feelings. I think it's also that we didn't really have any character development for anyone on the Roci crew. Naomi had kind of an arc about wanting to be able to go to other planets and having to give it up, but it didn't feel like it was something that will inform her character going forward.

I did really enjoy the season though. Like you said, it's great to spend time with the characters.

Regarding Bobbie, I thought that she would turn out to not really be on the bad guys side, but the expected twist did not come.  I'll have to see how I feel about her story on re watch knowing that she's really actually turning on Mars.

Edited by Holmbo

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I'm confused about Mars. Are they terraforming or not? Because the Boy Bobbie rescued from his life of crime said he was going to work on terraforming, yet in a previous episode the terraforming towers were being decommissioned.

Edited by marinw

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I took it to mean that there are still some half-hearted efforts to terraform while everybody knows project Mars is pretty much dust and sand by now (pun intended). Bobbi's nephew hasn't realized that yet which makes his enthusiasm all the more painful for her.

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Had a feeling Ashford wasn't long for this world (or galaxy, really), but it was a pretty good send-off, I thought.  Plus, it helps establish Marco as a likely antagonist next season.  Judging from that map at the end, it certainly looks like he is planning on attacking Earth itself, which would certainly be a big play.  We also get our first glimpse of Felip.  Not much to go on yet, but he is well-cast in the sense that he resembles both Marco and Naomi.

Heh, Holden saving the day actually ends up hurting Avasarala politically, so Nancy Gao is now in charge!  Curious to see where Chrisjen goes from here.  At the very least, they aren't going to be taking her awesome wardrobe, right?  I do hope she works things out with Arjun.  While Shohreh Aghdashloo is generally awesome no matter what, she really did an excellent job at showing a more emotional and vulnerable side, once Chrisjen realized Arjun wasn't going to go with her to Luna and is still upset with her.

Glad Holden ended up covering for Lucia, because while she did a horrible thing, it was clear she didn't attend for things to go as badly as they did, and I think she should get a shot at trying to make things better.  Hope we see the character again.  Elvi too.

Murtry is still alive, but judging from that last bit with Amos, he might star regretting that!

Loved Alex quickly going into "I've got our weapons locked on you, so please explain why you tried to kill us" mode, as soon as the power came back on.

Bobbie sure has gotten herself into the middle of whatever is going on with this alliance between some Belters and Martians!

If that is it for any version of Miller on this show, thank you Thomas Jane for making the character one to remember!

Bummed that Drummer was missing in action again.  I hope they find some way to really use her more next season.

All in all, I enjoyed this season, even if it wasn't up there with two and three.  Granted, I kind of saw that coming because; not to dive too far into book territory; I remember not being wowed by the fourth book (I remember someone saying it was almost like The Expanse's version of a Star Trek "away mission.")  Still, I'm glad it has found a new home, because this is still one of the best sci-fi shows out there and I can't wait to see where this all goes next!

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16 hours ago, Holmbo said:

. I think it's also that we didn't really have any character development for anyone on the Roci crew.

And then there is poor, underused Alex. His strongest moment was performing surgery on a still-concious patient.

Edited by marinw
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Weakest Season of them all. I did not enjoy it much.

Normally I'm all for conflicts but the Belters vs Earthers tussle on the new planet was so freaking boring. Mostly crap characters that repeated the same points over and over. It didn't help that Myrtry was such a douche bag that I was distracted every episode wondering why no one was killing him while the guy's body count kept adding up.

The Roci team for the most part was kept separate which is a big no no. And they had no character development. Alex was almost a non-entity the entire Season. Holden should have been guilt ridden af that him listening to proto-Miller caused so much death and misery but there was almost nothing. Amos' entire plot can be summed up with girl problems (and staring but doing nothing) which after 3 Seasons with this character is one giant WTF.

Bobby I understand even less. I get that she was our window into how Mars is now decaying due to the ring and makes terraforming it pointless. I also get that she was our window into realizing that Martians got in bed with the Belters. But why did she have to become a criminal herself for that? It makes absolutely no sense to me since the Bobby I've come to know has a very moral fiber. Why couldn't she have become an inside person for the Martian police (the non-corrupt ones obviously) instead of an actual criminal?

Not really a big fan of Ashford or Drummer but their story and conflicting or same ideas and how they handle them was way better plotted and set up than the Belters vs Earthers story. It's just too sad that Naomi's ex is such a cliché (with what seems to be an equally 'evil person raised evil son' cliché) and not nearly charismatic enough of a presence to be a good villain. This guy charmed the pants of Naomi and apparently enough other people just by talking (since they made a big deal about his speechi-fying)? I think not.

The one thing I did enjoy was Avasarala' storyline. Her personal and professional progression. One of the few stories that actually kept developing over the entire Season. I was completely bummed when she lost the election. I actually thought Gao would drop out of the election. There was that moment during Avasarala's speech to the relatives of the dead soldiers where they showed Gao have an 'aha' moment that wasn't for the benefit of the cameras. A look that to me said 'crap, when I win this and make a wrong decision, this will be waiting for me and I'm not sure I'm up for it'. But nope. Gao won't last long in office since her idea of letting everyone run wild with the ring gates and the new worlds will bring with it a massive death toll. But hey, that means less money having to be spend on government handouts since you can send millions off into new worlds which then won't be getting handouts which means more money for the government/people with jobs. So hey, she might be popular with those people because of this pleasant 'side effect'.

I have nothing to say about the Protomolecule storyline because there was nothing in this Season. It did things but it wasn't explained why. And then the curve ball at literally the very end with real/proto Miller and the other alien life form which just poses more questions when current questions haven't even been answered.

Edited by Smad
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Finished, and I'm pretty happy, mostly because the show is back and apparently doing well regarding viewership.

FWIW, Cibola Burn is one of the weakest novels and they did what they could with the source material. 

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Question about Naomi: In this episode she briefly returned to Ilus with no apparent  ill-effects, although she did not leave the Roci. So had she adjusted to the gravity drugs?

Alex seemed ok on Ilus. So is the gravity on IIlus closer to Mars than Earth?

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We probably have to assume that a short-time exposure is okay for Naomi - it's a bit confusing I admit.

Martians are accustomed 38% gravity - Marines like Bobbi are trained to deal with Earth gravity. Alex might have had some training during service although he was not a Marine or he simply likes to work out anyway. That said I did not see any sign of reduced gravity in the Mars scenes but I admit that I wasn't paying attention to that (too occupied with the propaganda slogans and motivational PSAs).

Edited by MissLucas
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22 hours ago, marinw said:

And then there is poor, underused Alex. His strongest moment was performing surgery on a still-concious patient.

Agreed! Not enough Alex! Wouldn't being on the planet be almost as strange for him as for Naomi? I would have liked to see more of that.

The surgery scene was great though. I was so sure she would die. Thinking, no way are they going to be able to wing this.

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On 12/20/2019 at 7:42 AM, MissLucas said:

Alex might have had some training during service although he was not a Marine or he simply likes to work out anyway.

Naomi obviously works out too (Dominique Tipper is a dancer), but the gravity of IIlus was too overwhelming for her. As for  Alex, good point. We aren't told if Alex has ever been to Earth. On Mars he went outside, but this would have been the first time he breathed "real" Air"

 

On 12/20/2019 at 7:42 AM, MissLucas said:

I admit that I wasn't paying attention to that (too occupied with the propaganda slogans and motivational PSAs).

That was great. The Martian diet includes a certain amount of Kool-aid.

Edited by marinw
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I loved this season, but have some specific problems that really ruined it for me.

1. Bobbi's storyline, while helpful in advancing the plot, was completely unbelievable to me. Bobbi is the most ethical, hardcore person we've met in this story. She would never knowingly get involved with people doing crimes. She WOULD infiltrate them to find out what they're doing and then turn them in. For the longest time, that's what I thought she was doing. I was downright horrified when I realized she was FOR REAL involving herself with this criminal enterprise. Yes, I understand she tried to "do the right thing" and got nowhere, but Bobbi is not one to give up when encountering opposition.

If she was supposed to be emotionally "broken down" enough to join the bad guys, it didn't work for me. And excuse me, but they were bad guys, weren't they? Weren't they?? WTF.

2. Bobbi's romance. GAG ME. NOTHING about that worked for me at all. It felt like they were asking Bobbi to play-act being a typical girl getting feelings hurt by a guy, cuz that's what we do to female characters to "humanize" them. I feel sorry for the actress. No, it's not impossible Bobbi would develop feelings for a guy. But that guy should be Alex. Period.

3. Same deal for Avasarala. We have seen her marriage. She was married to an incredibly supportive, loving, warm, and gentle man who laid out on the roof and looked up at the stars with her. For reasons I'll never understand, they gave her a new husband who was the opposite of those things. Why? Why? Why? Again, I feel like the writers wanted to "humanize" her -- she's been nearly infallible until now, but again with the typical female stereotype -- the husband undermining her when she needed support and love...

I was waiting for somebody to suggest Bobbi might be gaining a little weight or Avasarala having flashbacks of the time she got raped as a teenager. Cuz this seems to be the only way we put human faces on women these days. I kept thinking of the old Joan Crawford movies where a strong woman has too much success in a career and is cut off at the knees when she falls in love, cuz a man can never love a woman who makes more money than he does. Or who runs the planet. Do we have to drag them down to humanize them?

I absolutely hated Avasarala's husband. I feel like the actual real writers outsourced the scriptwriting for the storylines on Earth and Mars to some film school students working on their senior project who had never watched the show.

4. I was also not particularly happy with the storyline for Drummer and Ashford. I love both actors and I like what they were trying to do there -- but -- and to me this is a big but -- excuse me but what about that cold-blooded killing on the bridge of the Behemoth last season when Ashford drew his gun and shot that innocent guy who was trying to stop him. Ashford has always walked a line between good guy / bad guy. I kept waiting for him to betray Drummer -- cuz that's what he does. Or that's what he DID. I guess he was supposed to become a hero this season. Whatever.

Apart from that stuff, I have a few quibbles, but overall I think they did a good job of handling problematic source material, and as always the quality of the visuals and the acting was top notch.

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No, Ashford!! Marco was always a shit, but now he is officially on my shit list! At least he got some badass zero gravity shooting in before he was spaced, went out with style, and even sent a warning out with his last minutes. Its just so easy to get those bad guys monolouging! Drummer is going to feel so awful, considering it was her vote that set Marco free in the first place. And now Naomi's son is his little asshole second in command, poor Naomi! 

Good wrap up to the season, and while it didnt have quite as much excitement and OMG stuff as the last few seasons, I still really enjoyed all of it. I had previously heard that the book this was based on was considered by a lot of people to be one of the weaker books in the series, so I guess I am happy that they still delivered a solid season from it. It felt kind of like a half season arc stretched into a whole season at times, but the thing that I felt most made it a bit less than the last few seasons was that everyone was separated. You had Bobbi on Mars, Avasarala on Earth, Ashford and Drummer on their ship, even the crew was separated, with Holden and Amos on the planet and Alex and Naomi on their ship. I liked all of those plots, and they do seem to be tying them together now, but I missed seeing more of the characters interact. 

I cracked up at Avasarala basically recapping the whole season, and then complaining about how it looks like a story that Nancy would have written! I mean, it really is probably because of Avasarala that things ended up working out ok on the planet, considering she sent Holden and company down there, but I guess its harder to spin that into a narrative. I cant picture Earth without Avasarala running things, but I feel like, now that Marco is going to try and launch a massive terror attack on Earth, they might end up asking her to come back! 

I could watch Alex threaten to blow things up with the ships missiles all day long! Glad that everyone is back together, at last! So what are the odds that Amos killed Murtry? Yeah he promised Holden not to, but Murtry did punch him first, so...

Honestly this season could have been everyone sitting around playing space poker, I am just so happy to have it back, and know that we have more to look forward to now! 

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I don’t mind Bobbi’s descent into criminal-dom,  although I wasn’t paying enough attention to know exactly what sort of criminal stuff They were doing. It makes sense to me that she’d be looking for a crew in the way that she was accustomed to having in the marines, and that in her disillusionment (which has pretty deep roots) with her dream of Mars, she’d be able to convince herself to give it a try with Martians 11, assuming they weren’t doing anything too bad. 

Also didn’t take too much issue with Avasarala’s husband, although I thought his trajectory from loving husband to disillusioned husband was a little clunky. For the most part, I agreed with Avasarala about slowing their roll through the ring space and about the decision to go after the supposed OPA terrorist - as someone/s above said, her campaign advisors didn’t seem to have any sense of who she was.

I look forward with interest to seeing how her successor handles things next season.  
 

 

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7 hours ago, marieYOTZ said:

I don’t mind Bobbi’s descent into criminal-dom,  although I wasn’t paying enough attention to know exactly what sort of criminal stuff They were doing. It makes sense to me that she’d be looking for a crew in the way that she was accustomed to having in the marines, and that in  her disillusionment (which has pretty deep roots) with her dream of Mars, she’d be able to convince herself to give it a try with Martians 11, assuming they weren’t doing anything too bad. 

 

In hindsight I really liked Bobbies arc. At first I was thinking like @lidarose9 that surely she was just pretending to go along with it. But after I realized she was for real (which I didn't for sure until pretty much the last episode) I feel that rather than a break from character it was a deepening, which fits with other stuff we've seen before from her.

From the start we've seen that Bobbies sense of identity and moral is really tied to being Martian and a marine. I think it makes sense that when both those things are crumbling she's on the drift. She needs to figure out who she is outside of those roles.

 

Edited by Holmbo
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This season was alright. Until the end, it all felt quite small and self-contained (especially Holden's stuff).

I love Elvie (and her friend was great too). I hope we see them again.

This last episode set things up quite nicely for next season. Hopefully, the storylines will be more intertwined.

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On 12/22/2019 at 10:29 PM, Gillian Rosh said:

Indeed. I'm pre-tired of him.

I will say that Filip is well cast-he does look like he could be the son of Dominique Tipper and Keon Alexander.

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The season finale was a real bummer for me.  I love Ashford and hated to see him die, but he did go out in a cool way.  No Drummer, which was a letdown.  Will have to wait until next season to see her reaction to Ashford's demise.  I also hate cliffhanger finishes, and the final shot being of Marco and his and Naomi's assbite son as they launch an attack on earth.  Holden's story was wrapped up in the first two minutes, so the focus was mostly on Bobbi, Avasarala, and the hunt for Marco.  Bobbi's story played out as a disconnected side plot the whole season, so I'm hoping they tie it in with the main story next season, which was hinted at by her message for Avasarala.  I didn't care much for Avasarala's story this season.  It didn't matter to me whether she was re-elected or not.  Yes, she is an interesting character, and it's fun listening to her creative uses of the word "fuck," but at the end of the day she is just another political bureaucrat operating out of self-interest more than anything.  Her successor, Gao, won't be any different, I'm afraid, despite Avasarala's words of advice.

I really enjoyed the season overall, the ending just left me wanting.

Edited by Dobian

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Season 4:

It was nice to see the characters again. It seemed like a long, long time since season 3. 

Not sure that I like the cliffhanger ending for every single episode. What that a programming decision to promote binging? It got to the point that I started guessing where in the episode they would cut to black and roll credits... I would prefer to have some stories come to a satisfying close.

At some point I realized that the Rocinante crew was not getting off that planet until the season was over. That's okay, I suppose .. tho it felt a bit padded out when the people planet-side and in orbit started solving their problems at the same time. 

Same with the Mars story line. It had some interesting parts, but it felt like waiting to see how much crap Bobbie had to go thru before taking the job Avasarala  offered her at the beginning of the season. 

I was okay with Avasarala taking a bit of blow to her career and shown to have flaws. (But election politics is a bit nausea inducing, no matter the time frame.) All characters that are going to be around for a while should have some ups and downs. 

One thing that I'm still not clear on - where are the other 1300 'rings'? Are they in our galaxy? Or is there only the one ring in our solar system and the other rings are only visible after passing thru 'primary' ring? It seems hard to imagine that Earth could be policing the entrance to all those rings. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha

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1 hour ago, shrewd.buddha said:

One thing that I'm still not clear on - where are the other 1300 'rings'? Are they in our galaxy? Or is there only the one ring in our solar system and the other rings are only visible after passing thru 'primary' ring? It seems hard to imagine that Earth could be policing the entrance to all those rings. 

 

The ring in our solar system leads to the weird bubble space they were in at the last half of season three. In that bubble space are all the rings to other solar systems. I don't know if the show has said or not if they all lead to solar systems in the milky way or if some of the systems are in other galaxies.

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1 hour ago, shrewd.buddha said:

I was okay with Avasarala taking a bit of blow to her career and shown to have flaws. (But election politics is a bit nausea inducing, no matter the time frame.) All characters that are going to be around for a while should have some ups and downs.

I think the election politics itself could have been more interesting if there also was some deepening of the world building. This is the government of the whole Earth after all, and way into the future. The election process should look different. But likely they wanted to focus on the personal story of Avasarala and therefore chose to go with a familiar kind of set up that people would recognize.

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Oh, Ashford, shoot first, then talk.  Classic mistake.  Everyone knows that.  RIP  

And RIP Miller.  I'll miss him and his hat.

Nancy Gao, good luck dealing with the giant invisible rock hurling toward earth.  At least Avasarala would look fabulous while doing so. 

And at least with Avasarala and Bobbie as free agents they can join up with the Roci crew.

I guess I'm in the minority but I loved this season.  I thought the action on Ilus was suspenseful and interesting.  I don't look forward to next season with Marco and Filip, who I hated, hated in the book, more than Murtry, more than Clarissa.

On 12/20/2019 at 3:02 PM, lidarose9 said:

Bobbi is the most ethical, hardcore person we've met in this story. She would never knowingly get involved with people doing crimes.

Eh, they were stealing and selling scrap ship parts left in storage.  Yeah, illegal but not hurting anyone.

On 12/20/2019 at 3:02 PM, lidarose9 said:

It felt like they were asking Bobbi to play-act being a typical girl getting feelings hurt by a guy, cuz that's what we do to female characters to "humanize" them. I feel sorry for the actress. No, it's not impossible Bobbi would develop feelings for a guy.

Bobbie was hurt that he was bailing on the dream of Mars.  She was disappointed that he had given up trying to build something.  She loves her home planet more than the guy.

Edited by Haleth
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3 hours ago, Haleth said:

I guess I'm in the minority but I loved this season.  I thought the action on Ilus was suspenseful and interesting.  I don't look forward to next season with Marco and Filip, who I hated, hated in the book, more than Murtry, more than Clarissa.

Agree with you on all points but then Cibola Burn is one of my favorites of the books which is definitely unpopular.

I really enjoyed both Bobbie's and Chrisjen's stories.   I like that Bobbie was shown as human and flawed and thought Frankie Adams' acting has really improved.  

The Chrisjen/Nancy conflict about exploring the rings was one of my favorite parts because I can see both points.  I understand caution and you don't want people running back to Earth infected with protomolecule but I can also understand the desire to explore and find something of your own.  

Though Ashford and Drummer working together was great, I found the Belter conflict the least interesting as I felt we'd heard those points before.  I'll definitely have to rewatch to have some more specific thoughts on that. 

Everything on Ilus worked for me as I really can't get enough of weird life forms and protomolecule stuff.   The actress playing Lucia was really good and had a nice chemistry with Alex, who was underused even if he did get to perform surgery.

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In spite of my complaints, I really liked this season too. One thing I love about this show is the way the protomolecule and its creators are always about six steps ahead of the humans. We're constantly confronted by our own mistaken assumptions. We see a world that looks a bit like earth so we assume it's earth-like, only to be assailed by stuff we could never anticipate. Which to me supports Avasarala's philosophy of "go slow". This is exactly what they have encountered time and again.

I like very much the way they focused on the effect of the Ring on Mars, how they've lost their bearings now. I would be tempted to chuck it all and go find a new home that already has atmosphere.

And I liked the do-or-die attitude of the Belters on Ilus. You can see how fed up they are with being told what they can and can't do, which inevitably results in extremism. McMurty was an over-the-top villain, and it all went on a bit long, but all things considered, I think they did a good job of telling the story on Ilus/New Terra. (I absolutely loved how everybody kept calling him the wrong name!)

 

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Like others, I enjoyed this season but thought it was subpar compared to others

Given how it unfolded, I don't see why Prax couldn't have featured. Bobbie was on Mars, Chrisjen on Earth, they could have followed Prax on Ganymede and we see the fallout from that perspective. Then all the Ilus stuff with the Rocinante.

I just hope Prax is back in S5.

 

From the new characters I only liked Murty, because the actor did a good job even though the character himself was unlikeable. And Marco, who is very easy on the eye. His plan for the belters has me intrigued, he keeps talking about others not seeing the big picture, well what is that?

 

 

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So the protomolecule is "dead" on Ilus (along with the planet), but what about the other 1,299 planets? The stated goal seemed to be killing the planet again by getting rid of every last bit of the protomolecule on the planet, implying that it was the protomolecule trying to bring to planet back to life - to do what?

I never quite got Miller's "two masters." One was the protomolecule and the other was ... what?

 Elvi and Holden agree that there is some other "presence" that seems to inhabit the interstices, is that just some Big Bad for later seasons? I doubt we're going to get a Season 6, I hope Season 5 has an end that is NOT "and they all died horribly."

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"Oh how the mighty have fallen."

Ashford's words to the rogue Martian naval officer could well be applied to the circumstances of several people in this episode: Avasarala losing to Gao, Esai & Co.'s mission going south, and of course Ashford's own sacrifice at the end of the episode.

On second watch, this episode really is incredible. The beginning was just stunning visually. And Elvi's terror at being sucked into that protomolecule-killing hole was palpable. I hope we get to see her and Fayez again.

And the episode not only wraps up storylines from this season (Bobbie's story, the election on Earth, the disasters on Ilus), it deftly sets up season 5. The scene between Ashford and the rogue MCRN officer in particular is laying a ton of groundwork while also showing how much Ashford has grown and changed since season 3. These writers really should be commended.

Jakob to Felcia: You be careful. Lot of things go on in a Belter port that a teenage girl should not know anything about! Aw, never change Jakob.

So, Marco has launched rocks toward Earth. I wonder if Gao will survive that attack. And Arjun as well...

This season has been great, and this show is just breathtaking visually.

Edited by Gillian Rosh · Reason: Edited to reflect that Marco has launched multiple rocks at Earth.
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3 hours ago, Gillian Rosh said:

So, Marco has launched a rock toward Earth. I wonder if Gao will survive that attack. And Arjun as well...

I think the screen showed there were around 5 rocks launched at the Earth all at hard to detect trajectories.

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12 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I think the screen showed there were around 5 rocks launched at the Earth all at hard to detect trajectories.

And they were all painted with the stolen Mars stealth paint . . .

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Amos, as ever, the voice of understatement - "I'm a little messed up." But that smile on his face, after Murtry hit him... and Murtry's expression as he belatedly realised that he didn't know who Amos was at all.

So Elvi saved the day, by trusting a crazy, talking pile of metal panels. I'm so pleased that Holden gave Lucia a pass. Even if it was for Naomi's sake, more than Lucia's. That's progress for him - the realisation that not everything is black or white, and that the correct thing isn't always the right thing.

Looks like we got a final send off for Miller, which was surprisingly poignant, considering he's been a Proto-Molecule ghost since the middle of season 2.

I'll be honest, I still don't care about anyone in Bobbie's storyline except Bobbie. I don't think they devoted the best writing to this subplot. There was too much tell and not show, and I think it would have worked better if Bobbie had stumbled onto the Martian traitors on her own, and tried to get to the bottom of it without becoming a criminal.

I had a bad feeling about Ashford, as soon as he went off without Drummer. David Straithairn can't be cheap, and it looks like the world passed poor Ashford by. He was truly committed to a new peace, between the Belt and the Inners.

Meanwhile, Marco is a shithead, and his son is sure to be everything I'd expect a narcissist like him to raise - a lifetime of being told he's special, simply because of who his father is. Using asteroids as weapons seems very apt, given that the original threat of Eros was what brought Earth and the OPA together in the first place.

I'm guessing Nancy Gao won't be UN Secretary General for very long, and Avasarala will end up in charge again.

This season had a very different feel to the previous three. Mainly, I suppose, because so much of it took place on a planet. It wasn't an unwelcome change, because we got to see more of the scope of this series. As Holden said, humanity is now a galactic civilisation - they have escaped the Solar System and started to colonise the stars that those Mormons dreamed of. But I imagine what Miller said will end up being true, that the stars really would be better off without us.

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I rewatched Season 3 before binge watching Season 4 and it really helped me understand who was who and what was going on. You’ve all covered it well, so I’ll include my own shallow notes:

1. I’ve seen the actor who played Murtry in a lot of shows and movies (mostly British) and he always plays a villain. He just has that look, I guess, but it’s getting to the point where it just skips over character development because you know he’s a bad guy from the jump.

2. I swooned when Chrisjen was checking going through her closet. Those outfits were magnificent. Wow.

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