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saoirse

S01.E04: CQB

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Available online/on demand prior to broadcast premiere, so enter only if you have seen the episode, or don't mind being spoiled.

 

Holden and crew find themselves in the middle of a desperate battle. Miller’s partner goes missing.

 

 

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Looks like Jay Hernandez's character might not be dead after-all.  Impressive!

 

The doctor in Holden's crew though, is totally done for.  Surviving being impaled by a pole is one thing, but I can't see anyone coming back from losing their head!

 

Miller finds out that the body who was connected to his missing girl, has some kind of sophisticated fake ID, that only big-time criminals tend to get, so the missing girl is clearly into something big.

 

I'm assuming that this new character played by Chad L. Coleman is going to be important as well.  Sounds like he is also connected to the O.P.A.  Interesting to see that between this and episode three, the Mormon religion still seems to be practiced.  Kind of wonder how they survived compared to other known current religions.

 

Certainly the most action packed episode yet, with Holden and the gang escaping these new enemies.  Favorite part was Holden's inventive way to stop Naomi from floating off into space.

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Shed's dead, baby. Shed's dead.

 

I've been waiting to see how they'd execute that scene, because it was such a shock in the book. No ceremony to it, no reason. Shed just sat in the wrong seat and a gauss round turned his head into vapour. It was a cool way of showing that, with the low key 'thud' and the sound of air suddenly escaping through the hole, while the others just stared in shock. I like the little Wizard of Oz mag boots as well.

 

The Martians were far more human in this episode. Scared about being blamed for the Cant, trying to change the narrative. Then the battle going against them, but still doing their jobs admirably. Including getting Holden and co off the ship. Quite the about-face, and I remember that surprising me pleasantly when I read the book. Martians are people too! Lopez didn't look too healthy at the end, though.

 

The CQB was done quite well, showing off some nice CGI while keeping the attackers mysterious. I like the point defence guns, in particular. And I like that the ships are ugly and utilitarian. You don't need aerodynamics in space, after all.

 

Holden making sure he got the others out was a nice piece of character development. He calls them "my people", which is more than he'd have said in the pilot episode, I'm sure. I think that won him some credit with Naomi and Amos too. Plus, his quick thinking save both his and Naomi's lives

 

Mormons still thrive, and are building a big spaceship to take them off out of the Solar System. Ambitious. And the boss of Tycho Station, who is building it, has a less-than-sterling reputation, and also knows quite a bit about what's going on.

 

Miller's scenes still feel more like they're showing us the Belter culture, than they are about pursuing the Julie Mao case. And I think that's smart, because we need to know why the OPA are so pissed, and whether they might be right to have serious grievances. The squalor and unhealthy recreational activities are pretty grim.

 

What this episode confirmed for me, which I am delighted about, is that season 1 will not cover the whole of Leviathan Wakes. Only the first half. The book packs so much in, that trying to fit it into ten episodes would have meant skipping a lot of good stuff.

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Okay, so I'm completely foreign to the source material but since I'm completely hooked up, I think I'll remedy to that ! 

 

Some part of me is really pissed off because that's exactly the kind of show I've been dreaming to write and try to pitch for years ! ^^

 

I'll come back later to discuss it in more depth, but I hope the Martian Lieutnant (the one who came on board with Holden's crue at the end, cant remember his name - EDIT : Lopez, apparently from reading the post above) survives his injuries. I really liked the actor and the glimpses we've had at the character.

Edited by Triskan
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I hope the Martian Lieutnant (the one who came on board with Holden's crue at the end, cant remember his name - EDIT : Lopez, apparently from reading the post above) survives his injuries. I really liked the actor and the glimpses we've had at the character.

 

I rarely know/recognize actors from different roles, but that's Greg Bryk! His wife Danielle used to have a design show on HGTV that arose from a series that followed her own renovation of their Victorian house. He's a busy working actor according to his IMDB page but I know him mostly as a great husband and father (or edited to be).

 

I re-watched all four episodes and the three subplots have sorted themselves out better in my mind. I'm the least interested in the political intrigue with Chrisjen's character, but I suppose it does give us the necessary overall picture. I keep changing OPA to OPP in my head, which doesn't help.

 

Not Earth, not Mars, not Belters -- who is controlling those enemy tech ships!? I'll be watching to find out.

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My bet is either on dissidents of the Belt (not OPA !) secretly aided by that seemingly genius building the station for the Mormonts. Either industries who have secretly developed even better technologies than Mars and explored the solar system beyond Jupited and Saturn.

 

Except if Uranus and Neptune (or, to be more precise, their satelites) are already exploited, but I dont remember getting any intel on the situation further Saturn.

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Awww, man! I was starting to like the Martian crew. Bummer they are gone already. Ditto headless doctor.

I've reserved the first book at the library. I don't necessarily like space operas (BSG excepted) but I'm hooked. How many episodes are there?

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Awww, man! I was starting to like the Martian crew. Bummer they are gone already. Ditto headless doctor.

 

It would probably make an interesting personality quiz: "Which Expanse world are you?"

 

I'm leaning towards Mars at this point. The Martian crew seemed purposeful and organized while Earth is coming off as kind of disreputable and louche. The Belt would make me claustrophic.

 

I was having trouble disassociating headless doctor Shed from his character on Royal Pains, so I'm okay with him being gone.

Edited by lordonia
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How big is the part the Mormans play in this show?

 

It's hard to answer this clearly without spoilers but I'll say, as an organisation they're not one of the narrative driving elements. They're more an example of the disparate groups that make up humanity as a whole, even within the clearly defined power blocs.

 

 

It would probably make an interesting personality quiz: "Which Expense world are you?"

 

I'm leaning towards Mars at this point. The Martian crew seemed purposeful and organized while Earth is coming off as kind of disreputable and louche.

 

When I read the books I leaned towards Mars as well, for the reasons you state. In the book you get the same ominous feeling when the Donnager picks them up, but I think the turnabout is done even better, when Lopez and some other marines go out of their way to keep Holden and his crew safe, simply because they've been told to, and these guys do their jobs at all costs. Their professionalism is seriously impressive.

 

But both Earth and the Belt have some appealing facets as well, which should become clearer as we meet more people from those two cultures.

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I was having trouble disassociating headless doctor Shed from his character on Royal Pains, so I'm okay with him being gone.

 

Me too.  I'm fine with Evanargh getting his head blown off.   

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I was having trouble disassociating headless doctor Shed from his character on Royal Pains, so I'm okay with him being gone.

Probably because there was very little difference between the two characters. Not sure if the actor picked a character that had similar qualities or if he just acts the same way regardless of character.

We were shocked by that scene.

Thanks, Danny Franks. I was hoping it wasn't going to be a huge part of the storyline.

Edited by Noirprncess

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I didn't like the doctor, so I'm totally okay with his untimely demise. Really, I'm only attached to Holden and Naomi so far, I would've been okay with Alex or Amos too, but the doctor was rally annoying.

 

I wish there was more traffic in this forum. One, because I'm really enjoying this show and like to read everyone's thoughts. Two, more traffic could justify additional threads like book vs show threads. Even background info and explanations fleshing out characters, situations, or dynamics can be spoilery. Usually, i'd rather not know anything, even which storylines will ultimately be important or not. In this case though, I have started reading the books so the spoiler aspect doesn't matter as much to me, but it might benefit others and we could also discuss changes.

 

Plus, I'm curious how the show differs for people who have read the books vs not. I found the first episode very confusing. Once I read the first few chapters of the book, everything was way more clear. Book readers might have more of a positive reaction because they see things in the episode as obvious, but it's probably only obvious due to book knowledge.

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I wish there was more traffic in this forum. One, because I'm really enjoying this show and like to read everyone's thoughts

 

 

I think you'll start to see more as these continue to air on Syfy and word of mouth spreads. It's a very good show, the best SyFy has done in a very long time and I'm hoping it attracts a loyal following.

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This story only works if Earth, The Belt and Mars all have good and bad sides. I haven't read the book but this looks like a world that I might enjoy if it keeps up its pace. I like that everything is falling apart and everyone seems to be a shade of gray.

The first episode was confusing but by episode 4 I am getting a sense of things and the deep routed politics is intriguing.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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This story only works if Earth, The Belt and Mars all have good and bad sides. I haven't read the book but this looks like a world that I might enjoy if it keeps up its pace. I like that everything is falling apart and everyone seems to be a shade of gray.

The first episode was confusing but by episode 4 I am getting a sense of things and the deep routed politics is intriguing.

 

What I've enjoyed so much, and what has been more noticeable here than when reading the book, is the sheer pace of Holden's storyline. It's rocketed along, in just four episodes. They've been on five different ships, been almost killed more times than I can count, fallen out, aired dirty laundry, made up and built new trust. And they've left behind a trail of dead people that probably numbers in the hundreds (not their fault of course).

 

But in that time, I feel like a lot of good groundwork has been laid in terms of establishing the world and the politics in it. Mars sees itself as the future, Earth as a dying relic of man's hubris. Earth sees itself as the most important power, the home of humanity. The Belters feel oppressed and angry, and seem to have some grounds for it.

 

Regarding changes made from the book, I've not picked up on many. Even a large amount of the dialogue is lifted verbatim from the book. In this episode, when Holden is on the bridge of the Donnager during the battle, he was actually locked up with the rest of his crew in the book. But that's minor, and having him on the bridge helps give the battle more context. I also find Amos a bit more quarrelsome and difficult, but it may be that he was just like this in the book, and I've forgotten.

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Just a side note but I love how the realities of space are depicted in this show - particularly, decompression and gravity.  This episode really showcased it.

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Just a side note but I love how the realities of space are depicted in this show - particularly, decompression and gravity.  This episode really showcased it.

 

Speaking of CGI, I thought the depiction of the gravity-impaired Gumby belters were very well done. It was uncomfortable watching the OPA smuggler hanging by those hooks under his arms.

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Just a side note but I love how the realities of space are depicted in this show - particularly, decompression and gravity.  This episode really showcased it.

I know! While it's not the main reason I'm still watching, it's something I find rather fascinating. I don't normally think about these things but it's cool to have it be part of the show in such a prominent way. And that was some trick Holden did.

 

RIP, Captain Yao. You were awesome and I will miss you!

 

That headless medic.....I couldn't suppress a giggle when the pressure came back on and the slowly revolving pillar of blood and ....stuff just sort of splashed down. I'm a little sad since I only started to like him.

 

Amos keeps me intrigued and I am wondering what his deal with Naomi is.

 

Havelock! You're alive! Although I find that hard to believe. Lopez on the other hand doesn't look so good. Are all the Canadian actors going to die? Does that mean Octavia is next? Is she Miller's ex? I wish I could care. I like the actress but Miller is such a bore and she only seems to provide his character with some background. And occasionally sigh exasperatedly into his general direction. I hate female characters like that.

 

Was that the future of reality TV with Bizi Bitiko?

 

I might be missing something but how do they all know it's not the OPA? Does anyone really know what they can and can't do? I still don't know what they are.

 

With all that unknown superpowered enemy stuff, I'm getting serious Mass Effect and Babylon 5 vibes. Not a bad thing in my book.

 

Damn, I will miss Captain Yao. Awesomeness personified.

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Just a side note but I love how the realities of space are depicted in this show - particularly, decompression and gravity.  This episode really showcased it.

 

I know! While it's not the main reason I'm still watching, it's something I find rather fascinating. I don't normally think about these things but it's cool to have it be part of the show in such a prominent way. And that was some trick Holden did.

 

It was grizzly and ick, but when the Martian ship began to accelerate and this floating globule of blood/fluids just instantly went from freefall, to splash down over the body?  I was like <¡swoon!>  Never seen that effect before, and it was so well done!  It's little things like that that make it seem all the more real.

 

Another example:  Pouring tea in a coriolis field.  (Or was it whiskey?)  Little details that I would not have missed if they had been absent from the program, but once seen, they really do make for a better final result.

Edited by Netfoot
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One thing has just occurred to me, what exactly was the Martians' plan? Lopez says he's not a pilot, Holden doesn't seem to be one either, and they weren't going to get the others until Holden made them. So, who was going to fly the shuttle originally?

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Just finished watching the episode. I think Lopez had a number of other Team Martian guys with him who were supposed to get Holden off the Donnager, presumably one was a pilot, but those guys got killed. I think?

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At the end of LW there's a little Q&A with the author(s) who make very clear this is space opera and not science fiction. Which is why they don't bother explaining how the drive works even though there is lots of actual physics and effects included. I feel it's going to develop like in a fantasy series when something happens because, magic!, here it will be non-explained by being 'space opera'.

Like an ancient alien protovirus that becomes a station and then terraforms (xenoforms?) an entire planet.

 

If Syfy really wants to go the space opera route, EE 'Doc' Smith is just ripe to be picked up. The Lensmen series deserves some love.

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I don't feel like they need to explain it. Any number of fantasy and scifi books and movies don't explain how in-universe tech and magic work to any satisfactory degree. Like they said, this is space opera not science. And it's a damned good space opera too.

 

I definitely don't remember Star Wars, for example, ever explaining blasters, lightsabers, lightspeed, space flight or... anything else.

Edited by Danny Franks
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It was grizzly and ick, but when the Martian ship began to accelerate and this floating globule of blood/fluids just instantly went from freefall, to splash down over the body? I was like <¡swoon!> Never seen that effect before, and it was so well done! It's little things like that that make it seem all the more real.

"Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country" had something similar following the assassination scene. Which was well done for 1991. :)

Now that I think about it, the "splash" may have been a practical effect. Better to just ignore me. ;)

Edited by eelpout

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I devoured the books. All three of them. Are there more?

Somehow I managed to miss the third episode but caught the fourth one last night. I'm bummed I didn't get to see more of the Martians and their ship before the surviving crew scuttled it. I like that the sailing terms live on in space travel. It grounds things for me, like the ship's crew being Navy and Marines. The grim results of deceleration makes me side-eye Star Trek and its seamless transition from Warp 10 to just cruising around. On this show, that wouldn't end so well.

I am finding a lot of changes from book to show but nothing I've found jarring. I absolutely loved that the CGI nailed Tycho Station. That gave me chills. I didn't realize I was so attached to the place until I saw it on screen.

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The spacebound scenes continue to be the absolute best thing about this show by a mile.  The space battle and the fighting was excellent.  Thought the various members of the crew were well-acted and well-rounded characters.

Edited by benteen

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Yes! Five total so far, and another one this summer.

 

 

You also have short stories under the Kindle format, like "The churn" about Amos youth and

Spoiler

"The butcher of Anderson station" which is about Fred Johnson.

Edited by saoirse · Reason: Spoiler tag added

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So I'm finally caught up on the first four. Episodes 3 and especially 4 were pretty great! But I almost didn't watch them because the two nigh premiere didn't do much for me. And still, the apparent death and actual survival of, um, Junior Cop would have meant more if I cared about him or if he'd distinguished himself at all in the first couple episodes. As it stands, the only character names I can remember are Naomi (because Naomi Harris) and Julie Mao because Detective Tom Waits mentions her name every five minutes. I even know here middle name is Andromeda and she's only been on the show for 5 minutes.

 

The world building is glorious but the lack of character development limits my investment tremendously. It's only really in CQB that we see how people react in a crisis that I start to care about them. I may not be able to remember Guy Who Logged the Distress Signal's name, but the fact that he won't leave without his crew when given a way out makes me respect him, even though so far the plot is driven by people getting killed due to his bad choices (answering the distress call, sending the broadcast blaming Canada Mars for the attack.

Also a plus - since I have never even heard of the source material and have no idea what's going to happen, I don't know who's going to be an important character. So the sudden deaths of Captain Martian and Super Hot Martian XO were oddly affecting, mostly because of the XO actress' very well played rising panic as she confronts her impending death. It was a great bit of acting in a tiny role, but it was also effective because I really thought the crew of the Martian flagship were going to be important characters, and then they died. Which is too bad, because they reminded me of BSG in a good way.

 

Anyway, I signed up for a Season Pass on my TiVo after watching this one, but I'm sure the show lost some prospective viewers on the first two, both because they didn't do much character development (characters are important on TV, plot can wait a few weeks), and because it was paired with Childhood's End on SyFy, which I gave up on after the first night.

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This was my favorite episode by far! I thought it was excellent, especially the effects around Shed's death and really, everything revolving around being in space . Even though I knew what was coming, I thought the tension in this episode was perfect and I was on the edge of my seat (ok, tensed up on the couch) throughout.

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I love all the weird small stuff that's never explained. Like in this episode, the dead guy had a pancreas pump. What's that for? No idea, but it's great. Really makes the world feel real.

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Ugh Shed, that was gruesome.  I really like the whole future setting that has been created, and the whole government/military conspiracy.  It's interesting to see the depiction of a more plausible and realistic future of 250 years from now, as opposed to the space fantasy of Star Trek with everyone zipping around at warp speed and a hundred different alien races at the same technological level and within shouting distance of each other.  It makes a ship battle.much more tense when you can't divert power to shields and one critical hit can turn your ship into space junk.

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