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S01.E08: Salvage

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A derelict vessel holds a potentially devastating secret. Holden and his crew cross paths with Miller on Eros. Avasarala receives bad news.

 

 

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Eight episodes, and the meeting finally happened!  Holden and his crew bump into Miller (or Miller saves their asses, to be more accurate), and now they are teaming up!  At least for now.  Either way, I'm glad this is finally happened.  While I'm not wild about the Miller character, I think there could be some fun with the way he interacts with the gang.  Then again, it looks like they just found what is left of Julie's body, so Miller might not be the normal sarcastic wiseass that he tends to be.

 

So, if I understood all the stuff with the stealth ship correctly, it was carrying that same virus that infected the station episodes ago?  And Holden and Naomi think whatever it was is alive in some ways?  I have no idea what is going to come out of this.

 

Hey, the biggest revelation yet!  Apparently, that hat Miller was always wearing actually belonged to his former partner who is now helping him (the one played by Art from Orphan Black), and he wore it to keep his "head on straight."  So, I guess him no longer wearing it is suppose to signal that he's officially on the loose now.

 

Not sure what was the point of the brief Chrisjen scene.  Two episodes left, and she's still mainly waiting in the wings.  I'm guessing her big stuff will happen in a future season.

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The stealth ship stuff was too ambiguous, I think. I've read the series through book four and, although I know what it all meant, I didn't see it. I didn't get much from that reveal at all and I found it disappointing.

The shootout on Eros was exactly as I'd imagined though. The crew held their own as long as they could, and I really enjoyed Alex diving for cover behind the impermeable couch. He's become one of my favourite show characters. I like what Thomas Jane brings to Miller too. I think he's nailed the "otherness" of a Belter and I felt for him when he found Julie's remains. Which were disturbing.

I was a bit surprised by how dowdy Eros was. I'd pictured something far gaudier and Vegas-like. The depictions of Tycho Station, Ceres and the Rocinante make me so happy I was looking forward to seeing Eros. I also loved the Nauvoo figurehead and, while I lack that level of faith, the Mormon missionary talking to Miller was a nice moment. That's one trip I wouldn't sign up for.

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I actually felt the stealth ship stuff was almost annoyingly redundant.  There were a lot of things I enjoyed about the scenes exploring the Anubis, but there was very little new information learned.  Probably only the bit with the nuclear reactor was something new as it was providing us info about whatever that was we saw in the opening of the pilot.  Everything else was retreading.  Not for the characters, of course, but for the audience, since we've been pretty well hammered with everything the Scopuli and the Anubis have done since they took off from their home bases.

 

 At least they recovered a safe so the stop at the barren rock wasn't a total waste of time.  There's also the chance that nuking the ship might backfire seeing as the bioweapon thingy powered up when the reactor powered up.  Holden's newfound mantra of not taking chances could end up with him still making decisions that turn out poor in the long run.  Poor little leader man.  lol.

 

The shoot out was appropriately tense and I liked that each character's reaction was true to how they've been developed so far.  Amos was so Amos, Alex was so Alex, Miller was so Miller, and so on.  

 

Julie looked truly terrifying and grotesque.  

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I liked this episode a lot.  I think it was great that they had the characters make the connections some of us in the audience have already made and that they reminded us of all the events that are important thus far.  It felt like things were finally moving along.  I don't want all the mysteries revealed, but I don't like when characters are always in the dark.  I like that they now have connected all the dots and look forward to them figuring things out along with us.  That makes it more entertaining, somehow.  Like we are in the same boat the characters are.  It helps me connect with the people I'm watching on my screen.

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I'm liking this series so far. It's easily one of the best Sci Fi television series in years, and possibly the best TV series on Syfy....ever. As someone who never read the books it is based on, I haven't found it difficult to understand what it is going on.

 

I do have to wonder if maybe some of the more snarky posts in previous threads about the show being confusing, might have been from people who weren't all that interested in the concept or genre before tuning in. I could see details being lost if you're simultaneously playing with your cellphone or laptop or only half paying attention. 

 

My only major complaint with the series so far would be with the sound quality in some of the early episodes, where some of the dialogue wasn't always clear. It was never so bad that I couldn't make out what was going on in an episode, but on a rewatch I turned on the subtitles. The last few episodes seemed to be a bit better.

 

Anyway...

 

The gunfight in the motel was probably my favorite action sequence of the series so far, and I loved that Amos seemed to have an uncanny ability to sense that something bad was about to go down. He recognized the assassins before they even made a move. It will be interesting to see how things turn out now that Miller and the crew of the Rocinante have crossed paths, though Miller seemed to be in a bit of a head case even before finding Julie. He's going to need a new hat, ASAP.

 

Any fans of Deus Ex here? When Kenzo complained about being a canary in a coal mine, I heard, "I never asked for this." It took me a couple episodes before I realized where I had heard that voice. 

Edited by Scaeva
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The gunfight in the motel was probably my favorite action sequence of the series so far, and I loved that Amos seemed to have an uncanny ability to sense that something bad was about to go down. He recognized the assassins before they even made a move. It will be interesting to see how things turn out now that Miller and the crew of the Rocinante have crossed paths, though Miller seemed to be in a bit of a head case even before finding Julie. He's going to need a new hat, ASAP.

Speaking of Amos' uncanny ability, I loved the part where they are trying to figure out if Miller truly isn't foe and Miller tells Holden that he'll not hesitate to shoot him if Holden threatens him and Amos nods his head and gives the eyes that say, "Yup, definitely not foe, probably friend."  Like, he just knows.  I think his instinct about everything has been right so far.  Well, except Naomi, and that might have been really upsetting for him to come to terms with the fact that he was wrong about how much he could trust her and why he was a bit out of control last episode.  

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Now I'm worried that the Crew of the Roc was exposed to the virus/bioweapon thing that killed Julia. Because decontamination is never 100% effective. And I doubt Eros has state-of-the-art medical facilities.

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Speaking of Amos' uncanny ability, I loved the part where they are trying to figure out if Miller truly isn't foe and Miller tells Holden that he'll not hesitate to shoot him if Holden threatens him and Amos nods his head and gives the eyes that say, "Yup, definitely not foe, probably friend."  Like, he just knows.  I think his instinct about everything has been right so far.  Well, except Naomi, and that might have been really upsetting for him to come to terms with the fact that he was wrong about how much he could trust her and why he was a bit out of control last episode.  

Was that when they all started up to Julie's room?  I loved Amos's little shrug and expression like, "yeah, he's cool."  The actor is bringing a lot of nuance to the character.  He (both character and actor) reminds me of Chief Tyrol in BSG.

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Now I'm worried that the Crew of the Roc was exposed to the virus/bioweapon thing that killed Julia. Because decontamination is never 100% effective. And I doubt Eros has state-of-the-art medical facilities.

Eros truly looked like the armpit of the universe. So I agree with your doubt of state of the art medical facilities. Wasn't that bioweapon thingy glowing slightly when they were looking at Julie's remains?. I'm doubting Eros has the ability to contain her body properly as well.

Considering I knew nothing of this series from the beginning, I've hung in and watched each episode. The last few episodes were a slow moving for me but I'm glad we finally had Miller and Holden finally meet up to combine their knowledge.

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Yessss, this is the episode I've been waiting for since the series started (and I started rereading Leviathan Wakes) because this is where things start coming together. I wanted to yell a bit because they switched some things around from the books and I was going "wtf?!" but I think I can see where TPTB want to go visually and emotionally with it, so I'll just wait for the next two episodes before I complain (if I feel it's necessary).

The gunfight in the hotel was excellent-- pretty much lifted straight out of the book, including Alex behind the couch. (Alex has incidentally become one of my favorites in the (book) series and I think the actor is doing a great job with the character. I just finished Nemesis Games and maybe love Alex 1000x more now.) And finally Miller has hooked up with the Roci crew! Can't wait to see them take on the galaxy. The horror of finding Julie's body and what happened to it, after finding the stealth ship in the asteroid was good. Poor Miller.

I agree that Eros doesn't quite look as I pictured it from the book, but we've only seen a small portion of the station and should see more in the next two episodes. It's also possible the show runners decided to give the Belt a certain look, regardless of what it says in the books, to help distinguish it from Earth/Mars/Tycho.

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I actually felt the stealth ship stuff was almost annoyingly redundant.  There were a lot of things I enjoyed about the scenes exploring the Anubis, but there was very little new information learned.  Probably only the bit with the nuclear reactor was something new as it was providing us info about whatever that was we saw in the opening of the pilot.  Everything else was retreading.  Not for the characters, of course, but for the audience, since we've been pretty well hammered with everything the Scopuli and the Anubis have done since they took off from their home bases.

 

 At least they recovered a safe so the stop at the barren rock wasn't a total waste of time.

Well, this was all from the book, so I don't think the show was thinking about spoon-feeding viewers - it was a pretty straightforward dramatization of the book. Yes, this was information we knew from watching previous episodes (which is true for the book as well), but what was important for us to learn here is what the characters made of what they came across, the conclusions they drew, because they might not necessarily have come to the right conclusions. After all, Holden's already started a war through erroneous accusations.

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Well, this was all from the book, so I don't think the show was thinking about spoon-feeding viewers - it was a pretty straightforward dramatization of the book. Yes, this was information we knew from watching previous episodes (which is true for the book as well), but what was important for us to learn here is what the characters made of what they came across, the conclusions they drew, because they might not necessarily have come to the right conclusions. After all, Holden's already started a war through erroneous accusations.

In the book we didn't spend the first half learning every little detail about what Julie was doing, where she was going and the flight paths of all the ships involved.  And, of course, the sequence of events was quite different in the book.  

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I really liked it. It was tense, things started moving and we found Julie. Well, what's left of her.

Amos was Amos and he is really my favorite character at the moment. Naomi wasn't cryptic, yeah! Holden was Holden, so he's still annoying me. I finally can remember Alex's name but I still don't know what the spy''s name is. Loved Amos' instincts. Holden really needs to lay off him. He needs him. And I need him to not die.

 

I thought the stuff on the stealth ship was tense but then I I couldn't see anything until that stuff started to glow, so eeks! Blowing it up was probably the stupidest thing  they could do. That someone took the time to turn everything down didn't give you a clue? I expect glowing stuff all over the galaxy soon.

 

Julie's remain were gross and disturbing, so bravo! And at least Miller can no refocus his energy away from his odd obsession to something. And that I can be on board with.

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I liked the opening scene with Miller and the Mormon (could be the name of a crappy indie band). The contrast of cynicism and faith was interesting, and seemed to give Miller something to think about as well.

 

I like the way they show the movement of objects in space. It's a world away from the dogfights of BSG and Star Wars. Technology hasn't given them the ability to zip around like that yet, so they can burn hard in a straight line, or they can use maneuvering thrusters to gently reposition, like the Roci did while investigating the asteroid. And I like that stealth is stealth as we understand it. No cloaking devices, just a design and materials that give it no heat signature and nothing for scanners to lock on to.

 

Amos definitely has the right aura, even if he doesn't look like the book version. His awareness of the hit squad, his assessment of Miller, the fact he can go from smiling to violence instantly. Wes Chatham has clearly done his required reading for the part.

 

I liked the little scene between Holden and Naomi. They're still pretty careful and way around one another, but it's clear that they're both happy with the way that the command structure is shaking down now. Naomi's not challenging him if he's being sensible. And I like the way they use Alex as their 'eye in the sky'. It incorporates him more in these 'away missions' than I remember the books doing. And the reveal of the stuff coating the reactor on the Anubis was effective, even without it being clear what we're looking at. Whatever it is, it's messed up, and slithery, scuttling noises will never not be creepy and unnerving.

 

I sort of agree that I thought Eros would be more colourful and upmarket. But like the spy guy said, the place "used to be the jewel of the Belt", and they did say that the flophouse where Lionel Polansky had checked in was in a bad neighbourhood. We might see better parts of it next episode.

 

I like Miller's buddy, Semmy. A guy who seems to have been able to evolve as the security services have, which Miller has patently failed to do. And Miller's obsession with Julie Mao sure came to a sudden and icky end. The shot of her corpse in the shower was pretty gross. That infection looks like it did a number on her, and I bet it was not a pleasant way to go.

 

The gunfight was executed well, and highlighted how out of their depth Holden and co are. They have no idea what they're doing, other than Amos. And them meeting Miller was a moment that was played very nicely. Miller the cynical asshole, Holden the wide-eyed rookie.

 

As for Avasarala? Ouch. Her friend kills himself because of what she did. I like that they're showing us the cost of her machinations, but also that she's one of those 'for the greater good' types who just can't back away from this.

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The CGI of Tycho Station and the Nauvoo rock my world. It exceeded my expectations and left my own vision of those places in the dust. I loved what the effects crew did with Ceres as well. When I read the book I struggled to see in my head how the place would look. It sounded so odd: levels of habitation and work and engineering carved down into an asteroid. Seeing it onscreen made it real for me. It really is a terrifying way to live: dependant on technology for breathable air and potable water. And the Mormons are signing up for a century-long journey into the complete unknown with all their faith in their God and their ship. I'll happily wave from the dock. If it were on Earth. You'd have to sedate me to get me off the planet!

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Yeah, no kidding. The vast landscape of Montana was a lot more appealing. Especially if you have a fabulous red outfit.

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They definitely don't make space an attractive place to be. But then, the 18th/19th century American frontier (amongst many other places) was dangerous and terrifying and mysterious, but people were more than willing to go and find their livelihoods out there. People can be surprisingly daring and adventurous.

 

As I've said before though, the thing that really hit me about these books when I read them was just how difficult space travel was. Yes, the Roci can get from Tycho to Eros without much incident, but if anything did go wrong, the people on board would be totally screwed. You never really got that with Star Trek or Star Wars, or the grand old space operas that were set in the far flung future. 

 

I suppose the Nauvoo, being new and expensive, would be safer than the Cant, but the bit that I can't quite get my head around is them all just getting on board and going. Leaving the solar system, exploring the unknown in the knowledge that they'll never return. It's not the question of whether God's providence will find them somewhere (as they believe), but just the fact that they're abandoning everything that has ever been known.

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I'm doubting Eros has the ability to contain her body properly as well.

 

 

A good point. A bioweapon/virus in an almost entirely sealed yet not well-maintained and densely populated environment could be disastrous.

 

 

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I liked the opening scene with Miller and the Mormon (could be the name of a crappy indie band). The contrast of cynicism and faith was interesting, and seemed to give Miller something to think about as well.

Me too! For once I found him to be an actual character, not just a walking cliche with angst I don't know the reasons of. Maybe it's the lack of the hat. I also liked that it was a gift from his former partner. I guess that's what that guy was?

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Nice to get Miller and the Holden crew face-to-face.  The shootout was great.  I consistently love the look of the space scenes on this show.

 

I also liked the scene with Miller and the Mormon.

Edited by benteen
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I loved this episode. The hotel scene was beautifully done. It feels like we've all been waiting for Miller's and Holden's stories to converge and it did not disappoint.

While the Anubis scenes felt a bit redundant, I'll give it a pass since it was directly out of the book and is important to the plot. Besides, I'm guessing that most of the reason it felt so slow to me is because I'm a book reader and knew what they were going to find and exactly what's going on. I do enjoy how the show manages to make those types of scenes feel so strange and claustrophobic. Plus, it gave the crew time to interact. I really liked Holden and Naomi together and Amos with the spy was kinda hilarious.

The only thing that disappointed me was Julie's reveal. I don't expect it to match up with what I pictured in my head, but I was hoping it would be shocking and repulsive. For me, it just wasn't.

Also, it just looked like she was covered in something, not like she was transforming into something.

Edited by cynic

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I liked the way this episode started to tie some things together and refocused the plotlines. I'm really looking forward to the conclusion.

 

Oh, the only way that Julie Mao scene could have been any creepier is if she moved a little while they were looking at her. Well done.

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I was rewatching season 1 and this episode it struck me that the guns seems a bit outdated. If a government wanted someone dead in the future, couldn't they just make some tiny drone with poison which they fly and stick them in the neck with? I suppose in this case they wanted it to look like just a unplanned shoot out. It seems like hand weapons would have had to evolve more than in this show.

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Binging this on Amazon Prime right now and sad to see I missed some of this commentary by 2 years. Only comment threads for this episode and Episode 1? Am I reading that right? A shame.

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5 hours ago, Tabasco Cat said:

Binging this on Amazon Prime right now

I'm happy you are discovering The Expanse! It really is the best show nobody watches.

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7 hours ago, Tabasco Cat said:

Binging this on Amazon Prime right now and sad to see I missed some of this commentary by 2 years. Only comment threads for this episode and Episode 1? Am I reading that right? A shame.

???  Scroll down.  They're all there.

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9 hours ago, marinw said:

I'm happy you are discovering The Expanse! It really is the best show nobody watches.

The characters and story are most excellent. I was sad Lopez didn't make it. They presented him as a menacing character who would interrogate and then, perhaps, torture his captives. He turned out to be a humane professional officer doing his job. Very sad when he didn't make it. "I'd always hoped to see oceans on Mars!"

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This episode is still my favorite of season 1. The shootout is epic, and I love Miller just appearing, helping the Roci crew out, then saying "James Holden. Shit just follow you around, don't it kid." Whew - if ever there was a motto for James Holden, that'd be it.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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