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S04.E10: Cibola Burn

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I think they handled most character arcs well, actually... not just Ashford's. Bobby's apparently seems problematic to some but even that one is an outcome I can see for her.

My issue a while now after finishing the season remains that it left me feeling incomplete! In terms of the arching story, and even character arcs, little really happened since the last season which itself was designed to be the culmination of its previous seasons so the pressure on this season was already high. I haven't read the novels but others have given the impression the eponymous novel also lacked in structure but that's no excuse because that's where good writing rooms come in... Amazon definitely helped with production values (the cinematography this season was amazing) but the writing should've been cared for more in terms of helping to move the story.

This is all made worse, to a fan, by the recent trend by most major players to release shorter seasons almost exactly a year apart... obviously in order to promote an air quality but correlation does not mean causation and it's really pointless in the long run.

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In very first shuttle landing scene of the season, even before the crash, Murtry came across as someone who embodied the worst traditions of British colonial “superiority”—and he did not disappoint. Kudos on creating an unrepentant, single-minded asshole. 

I hope we get more Roci crew together on the Roci next season. And Chrisjen and Bobbi together again. Not looking forward to Marco and Filip, though. 

Edited by ahisma · Reason: Typo
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On 12/30/2019 at 1:13 PM, Auntie Anxiety said:

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.

 

In one of the earlier episodes the character said something about how he had an evil face and I snorted because I've probably seen all the same shows you have.  Nice little wink for the actor. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 10:06 AM, TexasGal said:

In one of the earlier episodes the character said something about how he had an evil face and I snorted because I've probably seen all the same shows you have.  Nice little wink for the actor. 

He's always been the weird doctor in the Pacific Rim movies for me.

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I find myself to keep thinking back on Drummer and what she might do next. I hope she can finally find a cause she can get behind fully. So far she's kept leaving because she couldn't fully get behind the grand ideas. First Dawes then Fred, once he started to get tactical about Belter life.

Maybe something with a more narrow objective would be more meaningful. And something constructive rather than destructive. Like with Tycho station. I'm not sure what it could be though

 

 

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On 12/18/2019 at 9:47 AM, NeenerNeener said:

Damn, they killed off Strathairn/Ashford.

Literally the death of a middle way. I really liked this season's themes about the simply nobility of fighting compared to the messy compromise of peace and the inevitable politics. Life is simple and easy when you have a clear unconpromised goal to work towards - terraforming, Belter rights, defending Earth - but gets messy and complicated when you're forced to work together with other groups to try to achieve something together. From Mars falling apart because it lose its purpose, the OPA re-radicalising because it couldn't handle getting what it wanted, and Avasarala herself being compromised by the need to maintain a public image while doing her work, the season was about how we can't handle the muddy, complicated world of peace.

And then they contrasted it with Ilus seeming to be the problem in microcosm but eventually working through a combination of idealism, justice and sheer hard work. I don't think The Expanse has ever been so thematically on point or coherent (the pacing in this season was much better) but that doesn't mean it was as enjoyable to watch.

Which in itself mirrors the show's themes.

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On 12/17/2019 at 5:47 PM, NeenerNeener said:

Damn, they killed off Strathairn/Ashford.

Yeah.  

Never quite trusted him, but liked him nevertheless. 

Question?

At the end was he Recording? Broadcasting?  Transmitting?  If so, to who whom...for what purpose?

 

 

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On 1/18/2020 at 11:32 AM, PentaHookUp said:

Yeah.  

Never quite trusted him, but liked him nevertheless. 

Question?

At the end was he Recording? Broadcasting?  Transmitting?  If so, to who whom...for what purpose?

 

 

My guess is he was recording a message to send to Drummer so he could warn her about Marco's attack on Earth.

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31 minutes ago, Gillian Rosh said:

My guess is he was recording a message to send to Drummer so he could warn her about Marco's attack on Earth.

Let's hope.

Forewarned is forearmed. 

Really looking forward to Marco “meeting his Waterloo".

Maybe I’m misreading him, but I’m picking up “Dictator” rather than “Liberator” vibes. 

As for Ashford; he died with his boots on.

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Very sad Ashford is gone. I really grew to like him over the course of this season, especially knowing his history from the first 3 seasons. 

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I also will miss Ashford.

Reflecting on the scene where he was looking at the video of him singing to his baby daughter, I'm thinking now that it was part of his evolving from pirate to peacekeeper* In this episode, when Ashford tells some of his crew (paraphrasing) "Violence is indiscriminate; if you use it against your enemies it may also kill the ones you love most" I can't help but think that he's referring to himself and his (presumably dead) child.

His arc really was beautifully written and acted.

 

 

*shaky peace though it was

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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Finally watched s4 finale. I'd had a lower opinion of the season compared to the others, but having re-watched the rest of s4 in advance of watching the finale, I'm stoked again.

Poor Ashford. He kinda took a knife to a gunfight and paid the price. Hopefully his death was not in vain.

Murtry talked about the first wave of explorers being roust-abouts. I kinda like the idea of Avasarala and Frankie teaming up and going asskicking around the galaxy.

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On 1/18/2020 at 10:32 AM, PentaHookUp said:

At the end was he Recording? Broadcasting?  Transmitting?  If so, to who whom...for what purpose?

As Ashford dies in space, his wrist-device shows the oscilloscope of signal, which stops, then upside down the unit reads, "Message sent."

I'd also say he's transmitting a warning to Drummer.  He starts Marcos talking about hurling the boulders, but Marcos has something even bigger up his sleeve. 

Edited by JZL
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11 hours ago, JZL said:

As Ashford dies in space, his wrist-device shows the oscilloscope of signal, which stops, then upside down the unit reads, "Message sent."

I'd also say he's transmitting a warning to Drummer.  He starts Marcos talking about hurling the boulders, but Marcos has something even bigger up his sleeve. 

Thanks.

I watched the scene again. This time I saw "Message sent".  Without knowing where to look, I may never have picked up on it.

 

As for the recipient, I think you are right that he most likely sent it to Drummer.  But, it also could have been:

 Naomi: Marco is her ex. She knows him best, how he operates, and may have a better idea of what he is planning. 

Holden (less likely): The Golden Boy who has a knack for overcoming odds-and-obstacles and succeeding, even under dire circumstances.

 

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4 hours ago, PentaHookUp said:

As for the recipient, I think you are right that he most likely sent it to Drummer.  But, it also could have been:

 Naomi: Marco is her ex. She knows him best, how he operates, and may have a better idea of what he is planning. 

Holden (less likely): The Golden Boy who has a knack for overcoming odds-and-obstacles and succeeding, even under dire circumstances.

 

I didn't even consider it had one certain recipient, I just thought he sent it on a wide beam to anyone who'd pick it up. I don't think those small message devices have particularly strong signals? He'd have to just hope someone close by would pick it up.

However if I'm wrong, and he was sending it to someone specific, my guess then is Dawes and/or Johnson.

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4 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I didn't even consider it had one certain recipient, I just thought he sent it on a wide beam to anyone who'd pick it up. I don't think those small message devices have particularly strong signals? He'd have to just hope someone close by would pick it up.

However if I'm wrong, and he was sending it to someone specific, my guess then is Dawes and/or Johnson.

Yes, I can see him sending it to Dawes or Johnson.  But, I can't see him sending it on a wing and a prayer hoping that someone would pick it up. 

(1)    Wouldn’t Ashford be concern that the “someone” picking up his message could be a Marco coconspirator/henchmen/sympathizer?

(2)    Would Ashford leave the delivery of such crucial information to chance?  

Ashford died grinning and singing…the demeanor of a man who has gotten the last laugh.  His was the face of a person who knows he pulled something off; and not the face of a person who was merely hoping….

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On 1/1/2020 at 5:52 PM, ahisma said:

In very first shuttle landing scene of the season, even before the crash, Murtry came across as someone who embodied the worst traditions of British colonial “superiority”—and he did not disappoint. Kudos on creating an unrepentant, single-minded asshole. 

Yeah that was probably deliberate. A lot Canadians are very cynical about British colonialism considering we are a direct product of it. It probably because a lot of us wound up here because colonialism screwed things up so much worse where we came from. The Clearances in Scotland, The Famine in Ireland, Opium in China all the way up to Partition in India. Even most of English immigrants to Canada were from the lower classes and were exploited by the English system. So yeah Murtry being a posh dick was probably a deliberate choice by the Canadian casting director. I do wonder what the actor thought about it.

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8 hours ago, Emily Thrace said:

I do wonder what the actor thought about it.

Burm Gorman has made a career of playing posh dicks.  He never disappoints.

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He, I wish someone would cast him as a kitty-loving leading man in a rom-com (and pulling off a Walt Goggins). The disconnect would be epic. But I guess no casting director is willing to take the risk. That said he was the perfect choice for a character that you're allowed to hate from the moment he opens his mouth for the first time (that's a compliment).

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On 12/26/2019 at 3:00 PM, raven said:

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. 

This is a good point. I really enjoyed Drummer and Ashford's scenes, but I can't help thinking the Belter conflict would've had more impact if we'd seen more of Fred Johnson and Anderson Dawes.

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I'm late to the party -- somehow I never got around to watching the last two episodes of this season until now.  I think the claustrophobia-inducing episodes inside the pyramid (with contagious blindness and fatal, incandescent, cave-dwelling leeches!) may have had something to do with my failure to finish watching the season.  Anyway, I finally watch the season-ender tonight and . . . I'm going to have to re-watch it again.  I got the main stories but right now I cannot tell you why Naomi's baby-daddy wants to launch asteroids at the earth.  In related news, that asteroid launch scheme is making me recollect something called a "mass-driver."  Is that a term The Expanse has used in the past or am I confusing this show with another SciFi drama?  I definitely recollect a story in which a planet is decimated due to bombardment from space by mass-drivers.

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On 12/16/2020 at 10:19 PM, WatchrTina said:

Is that a term The Expanse has used in the past or am I confusing this show with another SciFi drama?  I definitely recollect a story in which a planet is decimated due to bombardment from space by mass-drivers.

The show hasn’t used the term—I don’t know about the books. It’s a term of heard in other sci-fi, though.

Edited by ahisma · Reason: Typo

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On 12/17/2020 at 4:19 PM, WatchrTina said:

In related news, that asteroid launch scheme is making me recollect something called a "mass-driver."  Is that a term The Expanse has used in the past or am I confusing this show with another SciFi drama?

This sounds like B5 to me. If I remember correctly, mass drivers were banned because of the damage they could do. 

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