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S03.E09: Intransigence

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The Rocinante seeks a new game plan as they attempt to avoid capture; Melba's true motives are revealed; Naomi is torn between identity and ideal; Anna seeks a way to stay aboard the Thomas Prince.

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I love this show and parts of tonight's episode were excellent (I love it that Amos IS that guy) but I kind of hate Melba and her Daddy issues.  I also found the actress to be weak, though admittedly the writing for her was not good, especially the conversation with Julie by the tree.

I'm delighted that Naomi is headed back to the Roci (maybe she can fix what the blind wanker broke) but there sure seem to be a lot of ships and random people floating around in that bubble now.  And does anyone else find it surprising that none of the Mars or Earth ships tried to stop the Behemoth from going through the gate?

Are we supposed to assume that Anna borrowed that annoying woman's blackmail scheme in order to stay on the earth ship?  If so, isn't that kind of ethically dubious for a woman of the cloth?

I'll say it again, ruthless Amos is best Amos. Holden said "You should have checked with me" but no, he shouldn't have.  Amos did exactly what Holden needed him to do (tossing those two out an airlock to go hand-deliver a "don't shoot us" message) and by not checking first, Amos allowed Holden to hang on to his identity as a "good" guy. 

Holden staring silently at Alex, only to shut the door and shout "Miller!" was comedy gold.

Edited by WatchrTina
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By the established physics of the situation, it should be impossible for Naomi to catch up with the Roci, unless they slow down (in which case the Martians will catch up well before she does).

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1 hour ago, ACW said:

By the established physics of the situation, it should be impossible for Naomi to catch up with the Roci, unless they slow down (in which case the Martians will catch up well before she does).

Well, Roci needs more times inside the ring, so couldn't it fly circles inside the ring to avoid going out of it? that way, maybe Naomi would have a chance to board the ship before the Martians did?

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This show needs award recognition stat!!!

That Naomi/Drummer goodbye scene hit me in the feels. Damn you dominique Tripper and Cara Gee for making me love this sisterhood these two have/had. Plus, that was basically Drummer’s only true friend/ally in her corner. 

But, I am so excited for Naomi to go back to the Roci and get these men back in shape. They really need her now, especially holden. I can’t wait to see her reaction when she sees what holden is going through right now.

Holden/Alex scene where Holden just stares at Alex for a minute and then yelling Miller might be one of the funniest scenes of the series ( up there with Amos telling Holden that even though Naomi is like a sister to her, he’ll still do her if she asks).

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Every week at some point on Wednesday I remember that it's Expanse Day and I get excited. It's a rare show that I absolutely HAVE to watch as soon as possible.

That being said, I was kind of mixed on this episode. Loved everything on the Roci and with Naomi on the Behemoth. So glad Naomi is heading home (these guys are family; no more separating, please--although looks like Holden will be gone when she gets there). However, I really didn't like all the stuff with Anna and Melba. I don't care that the civilians are being sent away and Anna and whoever that other woman is extorted their way into the ring. Just don't care. And the Melba flashbacks took way too long. All I needed to know was that she was Mao's daughter and was seeking revenge on Holden for "destroying" him. They took too long to get there; I would have preferred that take like less than half the time it did. Every time we went to those scenes I just wanted to get back to the Roci or to Naomi.

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Holden/Alex scene where Holden just stares at Alex for a minute and then yelling Miller might be one of the funniest scenes of the series ( up there with Amos telling Holden that even though Naomi is like a sister to her, he’ll still do her if she asks).

This cracked me up. I had to rewind and watch that bit a few times. I also liked that when Holden told Amos that he wished he would've checked with him first, it was very matter of fact and sort of good-natured, like something an indulgent older brother would say. There was absolutely no anger or real scolding behind it. I thought it was representative of how close all those guys are now. Love it.

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Also, what I love about this show, is the growth. The way they have written the Amos/Holden relationship was been brilliant From Amos only seeing Naomi as the true captain, to now these two really trusting one another and having that love for each other.

And, I used to not be pro Holden/Naomi, but since rewatching and this season, I really am pulling for those 2 and I can’t wait for when they are finally reunited. Holdn really needs Naomi back.

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I've heard plenty of rousing speeches on various television shows, but damn, if Drummer almost didn't make me go "Woo, Team Belter!" there for a second.  Cara Gee is that damn good!

So, Melba is the oldest daughter of good old Jules-Pierre Mao, and this is all a) revenge on Holden for what he did, but probably even more importantly b) to prove to daddy that she can do something Julie couldn't.  I guess dad/sister issues don't go away in the future!  I almost wish they didn't show Julie though, because while the actress playing Melba is fine, Florence Faivre really does just have more of a presence about her.  To be fair, some of that could be on purpose since Melba is apparently suppose to be the boring child of the Mao family.

Alex going from Holden yelling for Ghost/Proto-Miller to hurry up and show himself, to Amos casually getting ready to space Monica and the camera guy, was hilarious.  Poor Alex just can't avoid crazy!  And, of course, I love that Amos was all "I thought I was being easy on them?" about it.  And he's correct because the fact that he didn't just kill them does mean he was being extremely lenient for him!

Glad Naomi is going back to the Roci, even if that probably means Drummer has no allies left now, and you just know Ashford is going to find some way to make this work in his favor.  The Naomi/Drummer farewell scene was perfect.  She put on a strong face, but you could just see that it hurt Drummer that Naomi's trust in her was so broken that she couldn't even tell Drummer what she wanted to do, and was trying to sneak out.

Proto-Miller does seem more stable inside the ring.  Although I do love that he is still using crime analogies, because trying to explain the actual science behind what is going on is just going to confuse Holden.

You're really testing the patience of your wife there, Anna.

No Bobbie again, but at least she'll be back soon.  And Chrisjen got to appear on the video monitors at least!

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I was glad that Naomi left the ship. I think that Ashford manipulated her into leaving, but it was for the best. It is only a matter of time before he instigates a mutiny against Drummer or kills her and if Naomi is there when that happens, she would be killed too. 

Naomi was wrong to give Fred Johnson the protomolecule. All she did was give potentially dangerous material to another bunch of people. She wants to believe the Belters are something that they are not and don't want to be.

As bad as it was, I laughed when Amos sent the two journalists into space. Alex's face was priceless when Holden was yelling for MIller.

I hope Melba dies a painful death for killing Skanke from Forever Knight.

Edited by SimoneS
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9 hours ago, showme said:

Well, Roci needs more times inside the ring, so couldn't it fly circles inside the ring to avoid going out of it? that way, maybe Naomi would have a chance to board the ship before the Martians did?

Since the Martian ship is chasing them, any turn will cut the Roci's lead.

Speaking of which: Even after they accelerate to match the Martian's speed, the Roci is still shown moving tail-first.  Maybe they're going slow enough that they could get the necessary acceleration from front-facing maneuvering thrusters; but I suspect an FX error.

Edited to add:  Though if their main concern at this point is not eventually hitting the far wall of the bubble, I suppose it could make sense to go back to a tail-first configuration after they sped up.

Edited by ACW · Reason: Afterthought.
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Elizabeth Mitchell’s Anna is growing on me. I also like that her denomination of religion is not specified. I assuming she’s Christian, please correct me  if I’m wrong. She obviously belongs to a branch which is fine with same-sex marriages.

4 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

And Chrisjen got to appear on the video monitors at least!

With another great outfit!

Edited by marinw
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Amos, Alex and Holden on the Roci felt like a comedy show to me with Amos pleasantly sending off the reporters into space, Alex's reactions to Holden and Holden's reactions to Miller. I can't wait for Naomi to get there and save the guys, sad as it was to see her and Drummer part ways.

Cara Gee is excellent as Drummer as is David Strathairn as Ashford. Liked his little talk with Naomi about Nostalgia and Naomi realizing that was what joining the OPA was to her.

Melba's pretty annoying. We never got to hear what Chrisjen thinks of Holden's confession. 

Edited by anamika
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10 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

And does anyone else find it surprising that none of the Mars or Earth ships tried to stop the Behemoth from going through the gate?

Are we supposed to assume that Anna borrowed that annoying woman's blackmail scheme in order to stay on the earth ship?  If so, isn't that kind of ethically dubious for a woman of the cloth?

I did indeed find it strange that no one tried to stop them.

As for Anna, I think she more hitchhiked than borrowed on the woman's blackmail scheme. And yeah, I think it's pretty morally grey. I also wonder about the sudden shift in the priest (since he had a family -maybe not Catholic?). IIRC, he was still pretty happy to be there, even after the explosion. It was only in line that we saw him get nervous.

 

5 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

I've heard plenty of rousing speeches on various television shows, but damn, if Drummer almost didn't make me go "Woo, Team Belter!" there for a second.  Cara Gee is that damn good!

She was great - and the writers wrote a great speech. But the stomping feet and thumping fists - whew, that brought shivers. Generally, it's not a good thing when people do that - but yeah, I was on board.

5 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

So, Melba is the oldest daughter of good old Jules-Pierre Mao, and this is all a) revenge on Holden for what he did, but probably even more importantly b) to prove to daddy that she can do something Julie couldn't.  I guess dad/sister issues don't go away in the future!  I almost wish they didn't show Julie though, because while the actress playing Melba is fine, Florence Faivre really does just have more of a presence about her.  To be fair, some of that could be on purpose since Melba is apparently suppose to be the boring child of the Mao family.

And if I followed her reasoning, which I don't guarantee I did, she seems to have a basic misunderstanding of Mao's position on the protomolecule.

7 hours ago, redpencil said:

Every week at some point on Wednesday I remember that it's Expanse Day and I get excited. It's a rare show that I absolutely HAVE to watch as soon as possible.

Me too. I watch nothing live because of my schedule, but this I watch first thing the next day. It's the only show I do that with consistently.

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I hadn't realised quite how large the ring was until we saw the Behemoth looking tiny while entering it. 

I can't stand Melba so far. You can still love your family even when they do bad things but don't excuse their crimes when those crimes include experimenting on children. It did make me wonder how much the general public knew about what had happened with the protomolecule experiments and the resulting protomolecule creatures. 

Edited by snowwhyte · Reason: Auto correct caused errors
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I haven't read the book but it looks to me like Melba is being set up to be a major character and I think we're supposed to sympathize with her (the poor, neglected, not-favorite daughter of Jules Pierre Mao.)  But in the two episodes where we've seen her she has:

  1. Cold-bloodedly murdered her boss -- a guy who had treated her decently, and
  2. Blown up a ship which, presumably, had crew on it, so now she's a mass-murderer.

They kept showing how she was struggling with her mission last ep so I had assumed that she had been manipulated into doing what she was doing -- perhaps a loved one was being held hostage.  I assumed something would be revealed to let us feel a degree of sympathy for her situation.  If not, I had to assume (last ep) that she was some kind of zealot/suicide-bomber prepared to sacrifice herself for some cause because of deeply-held beliefs.

Nope.  In this episode we learn that she's just seeking vengeance on Holden because of his role in bringing her horrible, photomolocule-dealing, kidnapping, murderous father to justice.  The show can stop showing me scenes of her sniffling in the hallways now.  Melba is garbage.  I hope Bobbie takes out the trash.

ETA:  I did think it was interesting when the blind wanker immediately confessed to what he had done and said he didn't know about the plot to set Holden up as a target.  I believed him because if he HAD known then he was basically setting himself up to be blown up.  Last episode I had thought that maybe he and Melba were part of the two-person suicide mission, with both of them expecting to be blown up on their separate ships.  Since it's been revealed that Melba is NOT a suicide-bomber I'm willing to believe that the blind wanker also did not expect the consequences that resulted from his actions.  He got played.  Was it Melba who played him?

Edited by WatchrTina
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I'm not feeling the Melba story line : jealous sister, unappreciated daughter, self-taught saboteur. Those flashbacks did not help, either - but it was nice to see Julie again. 
Fortunately, Melba left a nice confession on the phone of the man she killed - but referring to Mao as 'Daddy' was embarrassing. 

Why is security so lax in the future? First on the Rocci, then with Melba. Facial recognition and DNA analysis should have prevented her from ever getting on the UN ship to begin with.
Melba should have been toast by now. (It's just too easy..)

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1 hour ago, marinw said:

Elizabeth Mitchell’s Anna is growing on me. I also like that her denomination of religion is not specified. I assuming she’s Christian, please correct me  if I’m wrong. She obviously belongs to a branch which is fine with same-sex marriages.

With another great outfit!

I'm not sure if her denomination has been established on the show.  In the books, she's a

Spoiler

Methodist pastor.

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1 hour ago, marinw said:

Elizabeth Mitchell’s Anna is growing on me. I also like that her denomination of religion is not specified. I assuming she’s Christian, please correct me  if I’m wrong. She obviously belongs to a branch which is fine with same-sex marriages.

As I understand it, we begin The Expanse in the year 2350, so a good 332 years from now.  If you go back a few decades, especially in the American South, you'd likely find quite a few pastors railing against the evil of miscegenation - AKA Black people marrying White people.  This was actually a prosecutable crime in many states until the 1960s.  Figure at this point any pastor preaching against miscegenation in most church would get shit-canned immediately unless said church was already part of some KKK nutcase hate group.  

Churches evolve.  So it's not that much of a stretch to believe that 300+ years in the future Christian churches accept gay marriage as any other kind of marriage.

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Guess I'm going to express the unpopular opinion and say that when Drummer gave her big, rousing speech I was almost waiting for a gigantic shark to jump up and swallow her. A space shark.

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1 hour ago, johntfs said:

Churches evolve.  So it's not that much of a stretch to believe that 300+ years in the future Christian churches accept gay marriage as any other kind of marriage.

Or religions can regress into fundamentalism. Not the case with Anna’s congregation.

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For those who watch Game of Thrones, Naomi's departing The Behemoth felt like Sam's leaving Jon at the Wall at end of season 5. Drummer has few friends and a possible threat from her subordinates. Both she and Jon just looked so alone.

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Shivers when Drummer was doing her speech! Actual shivers! Cara is just that awesome. I love that Naomi is heading back to the Rocci, but I am so sad that she has to leave Drummer to do that. I so believe in their bond, and love their interaction, I will miss it until they finally find each other again. 

I've grown pretty fond of Anna (even if her wife is gonna be pissed real soon) but I already cant stand Melba and her daddy issues and smug attitude. Oh, I wanted to smack the crap out of her when her work buddies were talking about how they never trusted Holden, and she was like "I wonder what else he was lying about" like her bullshit isnt leading to the death of innocent people, and might plunge the system into the war they just barley avoided like a month ago and get tons of more people killed. I cant wait for this chick to meet up with Amos, is what I’m saying. 

I love the antics of the three guys on the Rocci, and their interactions with each other. They've become so close to each other, and just totally get each others quirks, it makes for great drama, as well as great comedy. Alex talking to Holden through the door, only or him to just open the door, stare at him, and go back to screaming MILLER!!! was a comedy highlight of the series. As was Amos dealing with the documentary crew,which was intense, as well as funny, just because Amos gonna Amos, and Holden and Alex's reactions. "I told you to run it past me" just in the most long suffering big brother way. Naomi, these guys need you ASAP. Holden is talking to dead people, Amos is spacing people, and Alex is just doing his best. 

If we hadn't already been picked up for another season, Drummers awesome Belters Unite speech would have been a solid basis for a Save Our Show rallying cry. Thank God we dont have to worry about that now though!

Edited by tennisgurl
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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I cant wait for this chick to meet up with Amos, is what I’m saying. 

See, that might be interesting for a different reason.  Melba is treating her father as her "North Star, taking the actions she's taking for his sake."  I suspect that there have been times that Amos has followed the wrong "North Star" and done some pretty awful things himself.  Amos might be the one to help "Melba" (I can't believe someone named Jules-Pierre would bestow such a plain name to one of his offspring) find some level of redemption for her actions.

Or he'll just murder the fuck out of her.  Either way.

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4 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

Melba should have been toast by now. (It's just too easy..)

Ha ha, I saw what you did there. 

I'm a huge fan of the show, and the books, but I found it a bit confusing.  Who was the dark-haired woman staying on the UNN ship - have we seen her before?  At first I thought she was Melba, but that made no sense.  I wish they used a few more identifiers, like mini expositions when being spoken to.  Or, of course, I'm just old.

Loved Drummer's speech, maybe she is growing into a leadership position.  Hope we see MUCH more of her.  Speaking of which - I miss Bobbie. 

Love

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8 hours ago, johntfs said:

Churches evolve.  So it's not that much of a stretch to believe that 300+ years in the future Christian churches accept gay marriage as any other kind of marriage.

The priest mentions that he “Has a family”.

I bet the Pope is a woman!

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7 hours ago, mjc570 said:

I'm a huge fan of the show, and the books, but I found it a bit confusing.  Who was the dark-haired woman staying on the UNN ship - have we seen her before?  At first I thought she was Melba, but that made no sense.  I wish they used a few more identifiers, like mini expositions when being spoken to.  Or, of course, I'm just old.

That's Tilly, Tilly Fagan. Basically she's a rich socialite with no particular skills (other than being a socialite) and a bit of a drinking problem. This actually was stated and shown, but it was one of those moments where you had to be listening to every single word of dialog, because it went by very fast. She appeared briefly in last week's episode, where she was chatting with Anna at the end of the table while Hector Cortez (the religious leader who got scared this week and bailed) was pontificating about this and that. Then, in this week's episode, in the conversation she has with Anna about staying on the ship post-evacuation, she admits that she is an "aging debutante" and that she's doing this stuff essentially because she's bored with her life.  Beyond that, I imagine we'll find out more about her soon.

 

12 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

I haven't read the book but it looks to me like Melba is being set up to be a major character and I think we're supposed to sympathize with her (the poor, neglected, not-favorite daughter of Jules Pierre Mao.)

 

Spoiler

Melba, is, I think it would be fair to say, a controversial figure,among book readers and even among some of the other characters in the story (being vague here to avoid spoiling people).

She definitely has daddy issues, and she's definitely impulsive and childish and justifies horrific behavior with pretty flimsy excuses. But there's also a core of decency in there, which is why she does feel remorse for (at least) the collateral damage she induces.

It's definitely paradoxical, but then, actual real-life people who have done the sorts of things that Melba did can be pretty enigmatic, too. Obviously, Melba is not thinking very clearly, and I think any judgement of her worth as a human being should probably start there.  Beyond that, though, how much of a free pass you're willing to give her is up to you. My personal take on her is that she's fundamentally a good person in that she knows the difference between right and wrong, but her world view, which is likely based on a fair amount of misinformation, has warped her thinking significantly, resulting in quite aberrant behavior. She either doesn't know or isn't willing to face the truth about her father, so she has substituted a whole bunch of wacky conspiracy theories, leading her to believe that James Holden is basically part of a big system-wide conspiracy to bring down her dad and ruin his family. Given that context, her actions can at least be understood, if not forgiven. Just remember, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Melba is woefully misinformed, and probably too eager to accept some of the crap she's been told because, essentially, it's all she has left to hold on to. That's my theory, anyway.

Finally, some folks (here and on other boards and reviews I've read) have expressed ambivalence (at least), or even downright hostility to those flashback scenes, calling them cliche and formulaic and slow and, thus, poorly written. And I suppose a case can be made for that, but do keep in mind that these are not necessarily particularly bright, insightful, or eloquent people we're talking about here. People have said that the conversation between Melba and Julie under the tree was particularly poorly written because it seemed like a carbon copy of every other similar scene that's ever been acted before. And I can see that, but I would counter that neither Julie nor Melba is presented as a particularly eloquent person, nor is their father. Not everybody in real life speaks in Shakespearean/Aaron Sorkinian/Woody Allenian prose. Some people talk like they're in soap operas, because they lack the vocabulary or creativity to speak any other way. I think Melba chides her sister with tired platitudes because she lacks the ability to say it any other way. I thought it was in character, and for me, it worked.

Edited by btp · Reason: added spoiler tag
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2 hours ago, marinw said:

The priest mentions that he “Has a family”.

I bet the Pope is a woman!

That was definitely a Catholic clerical collar he was wearing. Its actually been predicted in a few places that the Catholic church will have accept married priests in the next generation or so to boost their numbers. They already accept widowed priests whose children are grown. 

I wish we had gotten more Avarasala in this one. Using her as an announcer seems like a waste. I get she wasn't a big presence in this part of the books but I think it would be interesting to see Earths reaction to this.

I was wondering if there is a temporal effect to the ring how they were going to make that work with Naomi. Its good she is coming home.

I feel like there is more to Melba's story. I wouldn't be surprised if this is happening because her father planted the idea in her head. Someone gave her those mods and pointed her in Holdens direction.

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Btp, I think you should reeeeally spoiler tag a whole bunch of your post.

So did none of the Roci crew ask the blind journalist who he was working for or why he agreed to mess with the Roci's comms?  Seems like question 2 (why?) and 3 (who?) after "what did you do?"  

Ari Millen looks better with facial hair than he did on Orphan Black. 

Thank goodness Naomi is on her way back to her real family, although Drummer might need her support if Ashford decides he'd be a better captain.

Love the new Miller. It was funny when he demonstrated how crime analogies would be more understandable than alien science.

And Avasarala looked fabulous as usual.

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30 minutes ago, Haleth said:

Btp, I think you should reeeeally spoiler tag a whole bunch of your post.

Sorry. I thought the stuff I mentioned was really, really inconsequential, but obviously you thought otherwise, and if anyone thinks otherwise, I have no problem removing it. Which I did. If there's anything left in my edited post you find objectionable, feel free to PM me and I'll take care of it.

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12 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:


Melba should have been toast by now. (It's just too easy..)

 

I've spaced people for less :)

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56 minutes ago, Haleth said:

So did none of the Roci crew ask the blind journalist who he was working for or why he agreed to mess with the Roci's comms?  Seems like question 2 (why?) and 3 (who?) after "what did you do?"  

The blind guy said it was supposed to get them private logs and comm info the crew wouldn't want known.  Monica does ask him who his contact was and he says he doesn't know, which though probably true raises questions like "where did you get it from then?" Someone at the media outlet they work for?

Loved all the Roci stuff; Alex/Holden/Amos have gelled well and cryptic Miller hanging around is fun and intriguing.  Holden's frustration with Miller's unreliability is pretty funny too.  Cas Anvar as Alex sort of low key steals his scenes; there's of course Holden's "MILLER!!" and then Alex "important safety tip" when Holden tells him to stay away from the edges of the Ring, which make you disappear. 

Though Naomi needs to be back on the Roci, I am sorry to see her split from Drummer.  Cara Gee and Dominique Tipper really sold that scene.  Naomi isn't a soldier; a warship isn't where she wants to be.  She wasn't shouting and pounding during Drummer's speech like everyone else.

It was nice to get the background on Melba but those scenes went on a bit too long.  It was a blink and you'll miss it moment, but Melba recognized Tilly.  When Tilly is laughing with Anna and Hector in the galley, Melba turns around and remembers the party, and we see Tilly at the party with I guess her husband, laughing the same laugh.  After the flashback, Melba quickly exits from the galley.

I can't decide if it's my pro-David Strathairn bias or what but I'm really enjoying his performance.  He is true to the Belter cause but Drummer is right not to trust him.  I definitely thought he was manipulating Naomi to leave, but then he was the one who told Drummer to lock down the skiffs, which essentially stopped Naomi until Drummer let her leave.

Quote

And Avasarala looked fabulous as usual.

Just one quick fabulous shot.  Why are we so undeserving??

"So, a crime scene?"  hee hee

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21 minutes ago, raven said:

I can't decide if it's my pro-David Strathairn bias or what but I'm really enjoying his performance.  He is true to the Belter cause but Drummer is right not to trust him.  I definitely thought he was manipulating Naomi to leave, but then he was the one who told Drummer to lock down the skiffs, which essentially stopped Naomi until Drummer let her leave.

I have the same bias. I was so excited when I heard he was going to be on this show; he's always been one of my favorite character actors. I have to admit that his Belter accent is a little wonky and sort of comes and goes, but it's a small point and his awesomeness in every other area more than makes up for it.

So far, his character is really inscrutable, and I like that. Everything he says seems reasonable and responsible and mature, but there's something a little threatening and dangerous lurking just below the surface, I think. Or maybe I'm projecting from other roles Strathairn has played. Regardless, I love the fact that he's somebody I feel like I should trust, but there's some glint in his eye or something that suggests that trust might be misplaced. Good stuff.

Agree on the Drummer & Naomi stuff. Good catch on Naomi not buying into all the military pounding and chest thumping; I hadn't noticed that. Not only is she obviously not into it; that right there might have been the moment where she realized the Behemoth was not the place for her. Also, there was so much subtext in their goodbye scene - they're talking out loud about Naomi's love for Belters and the Belt, but they both know that they are really (or additionally, anyway) talking about their personal relationship as well. Such a sad goodbye, couched in talk of loyalties and battles and politics. Well done, and definitely well sold by Tipper & Gee.

Edited by btp
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10 hours ago, johntfs said:

Or he'll just murder the fuck out of her.  Either way.

Yeah, its always hard to tell how Amos will react to people. Unless its kids (I like you) or people who hurt kids (you gonna die), you never really know what your gonna get with him. I mean, unless your Holden, Alex, or Naomi, who seem to have a decent enough handle on his moods. Sometimes. Occasionally. 

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3 hours ago, raven said:

I definitely thought he was manipulating Naomi to leave, but then he was the one who told Drummer to lock down the skiffs, which essentially stopped Naomi until Drummer let her leave.

I think he was manipulating Naomi to leave, but had Drummer lock down the skiff because he felt they deserved to say good-bye to each other.  He's not ALL bad!

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I love that the show continues to showcase how utterly fucked the guys are without Naomi, especially Holden. I can’t wait to see when/if they reunite this season. And what her reaction will be whenever she finds out about Holden talking to Miller.

I am also hoping when Naomi come s ack we get a proper scene between her and Amos. They really need to talk it out and fix their shit. We got one with Alex/Naomi and Holden/Naomi, we just need Amos now.

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I think Drummer is head for a "Beltalowda! Remember our brave Captain Drummer, a true Belter, let us avenge her" moment after whats-his-name kills her/gets her killed. I think he manipulated Naomi into leaving and manipulated Drummer into locking the skiff so that she lost the trust she had in her last ally. Naomi's face when she listens to the fascist brown shirt rally is pretty telling, she is already done with them.

The Melba/Clarissa gets even worse than I thought it was last week. Let us just skip those parts of show the Roci crew and the Ring next episode, shall we? All of this death and destruction so that Daddy will love his little girl? Meh.

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23 hours ago, johntfs said:

As I understand it, we begin The Expanse in the year 2350, so a good 332 years from now.  If you go back a few decades, especially in the American South, you'd likely find quite a few pastors railing against the evil of miscegenation - AKA Black people marrying White people.  This was actually a prosecutable crime in many states until the 1960s.  Figure at this point any pastor preaching against miscegenation in most church would get shit-canned immediately unless said church was already part of some KKK nutcase hate group.  

Churches evolve.  So it's not that much of a stretch to believe that 300+ years in the future Christian churches accept gay marriage as any other kind of marriage.

That is a good point. I hadn't thought about how far in the future this show is - despite it being way beyond our tech. Someone mentioned regressing as well - which also happens. I knew one woman who was going to join our church, but ultimately didn't because it seems like she really wanted to be told harshly that she was a sinner. She ended up in a local church that prides itself on being a 1st Century church.

14 hours ago, btp said:
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Melba, is, I think it would be fair to say, a controversial figure,among book readers and even among some of the other characters in the story (being vague here to avoid spoiling people).

She definitely has daddy issues, and she's definitely impulsive and childish and justifies horrific behavior with pretty flimsy excuses. But there's also a core of decency in there, which is why she does feel remorse for (at least) the collateral damage she induces.

It's definitely paradoxical, but then, actual real-life people who have done the sorts of things that Melba did can be pretty enigmatic, too. Obviously, Melba is not thinking very clearly, and I think any judgement of her worth as a human being should probably start there.  Beyond that, though, how much of a free pass you're willing to give her is up to you. My personal take on her is that she's fundamentally a good person in that she knows the difference between right and wrong, but her world view, which is likely based on a fair amount of misinformation, has warped her thinking significantly, resulting in quite aberrant behavior. She either doesn't know or isn't willing to face the truth about her father, so she has substituted a whole bunch of wacky conspiracy theories, leading her to believe that James Holden is basically part of a big system-wide conspiracy to bring down her dad and ruin his family. Given that context, her actions can at least be understood, if not forgiven. Just remember, one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Melba is woefully misinformed, and probably too eager to accept some of the crap she's been told because, essentially, it's all she has left to hold on to. That's my theory, anyway.

Finally, some folks (here and on other boards and reviews I've read) have expressed ambivalence (at least), or even downright hostility to those flashback scenes, calling them cliche and formulaic and slow and, thus, poorly written. And I suppose a case can be made for that, but do keep in mind that these are not necessarily particularly bright, insightful, or eloquent people we're talking about here. People have said that the conversation between Melba and Julie under the tree was particularly poorly written because it seemed like a carbon copy of every other similar scene that's ever been acted before. And I can see that, but I would counter that neither Julie nor Melba is presented as a particularly eloquent person, nor is their father. Not everybody in real life speaks in Shakespearean/Aaron Sorkinian/Woody Allenian prose. Some people talk like they're in soap operas, because they lack the vocabulary or creativity to speak any other way. I think Melba chides her sister with tired platitudes because she lacks the ability to say it any other way. I thought it was in character, and for me, it worked.

At this moment (with no additional information than what I see on the screen), I'm not particularly willing to grant Melba a "core" of decency given that she murdered a shipload of people simply to set Holden up. Her tears don't move me at all. That may change during this season, or next. Or when I read the books.

I didn't mind the flashbacks and am not quibbling about the writing (though it is the writer's job to make even dull and insipid people seem interesting, and many have managed - I guess that is a quibble, sorry). I found them a bit dull mostly because of the acting (except for Papa Mao). From what I've seen so far, the actress is fairly expressionless - which may be on point for the character. I guess we'll see.

As for one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, I can't disagree with that. Though I've always thought the expression was a little glib, and shrugs off atrocities as simply a matter of perspective.

11 hours ago, raven said:

I can't decide if it's my pro-David Strathairn bias or what but I'm really enjoying his performance.  He is true to the Belter cause but Drummer is right not to trust him.  I definitely thought he was manipulating Naomi to leave, but then he was the one who told Drummer to lock down the skiffs, which essentially stopped Naomi until Drummer let her leave.

I'm not a fan of Strathairn in the sense that his name won't make me take a look at a show because he's in it. But I have always enjoyed his performances, and I think he's excellent in this one. I still am not hearing the Belter accent problems others are, so I can be unequivocal in my praise of his performance.

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On 6/6/2018 at 10:54 PM, WatchrTina said:

ethically dubious for a woman of the cloth?

That's funny!

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On 6/6/2018 at 9:54 PM, WatchrTina said:

I love this show and parts of tonight's episode were excellent (I love it that Amos IS that guy) but I kind of hate Melba and her Daddy issues.  I also found the actress to be weak, though admittedly the writing for her was not good, especially the conversation with Julie by the tree.

 

I'm guessing that it's not so much that the actress is weak as Melba is weak.  Her only real complaint seemed to be that Julie embarrassed them.  I wonder if Julie was just sick to death of trying to explain it all to Melba.  I think their father gets Julie and just think she's wrong.  Melba doesn't seem to get any of it. 

Edited by Ziggy
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16 hours ago, marinw said:

The priest mentions that he “Has a family”.

I bet the Pope is a woman!

 

14 hours ago, Emily Thrace said:

That was definitely a Catholic clerical collar he was wearing. Its actually been predicted in a few places that the Catholic church will have accept married priests in the next generation or so to boost their numbers. They already accept widowed priests whose children are grown.

Catholic priests are not the only ministers who wear collars, so he may not be a priest.  But, there are Roman Catholic Priests today who are married with families (not many).  Usually this is because they were ordained in a different denomination and then converted to Catholicism. 

Interesting that we don't know what denominations (if any) he and Anna represent.

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16 hours ago, btp said:

And I can see that, but I would counter that neither Julie nor Melba is presented as a particularly eloquent person, nor is their father. Not everybody in real life speaks in Shakespearean/Aaron Sorkinian/Woody Allenian prose. Some people talk like they're in soap operas, because they lack the vocabulary or creativity to speak any other way. I think Melba chides her sister with tired platitudes because she lacks the ability to say it any other way. I thought it was in character, and for me, it worked.

I’m down with a 23rd century iteration of Dynasty. I’m not sure if The Expanse is that show. I was impatient with the Moa Family Drama, but YMMV.

I noted that Melba/Clarissa was taken aback by the positive aspects of her performance review. That was probably far more praise then Dad ever gave her. She would be a good technician, except for the part where she’s a mass murderer.

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21 hours ago, mjc570 said:

Who was the dark-haired woman staying on the UNN ship - have we seen her before?  At first I thought she was Melba, but that made no sense.

I was honestly wondering if Melba cared about her at all?  When the woman started laughing, it caused Melba to recall her laughter from the party, which began Melba's flashbacks.  But is it important that she was at the party?

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2 hours ago, Clanstarling said:

She ended up in a local church that prides itself on being a 1st Century church.

Except that they're not a 1st century church.  Early Christian churches tended to see the Bible(well, the Torah, since there wasn't really a Bible until some time after the Council of Nicea)  as allegorical instead of literal and rejected what we think of as fundamentalism as an absurd, heretical view of God.  While it masquerades as the Christian tradition, fundamentalism as actually a fairly recent development, first coming to the fore in the mid 19th century.

Taking this back to the topic of The Expanse, it's reasonable to assume Anna situation as a married lesbian and a religious leader are as accepted in the setting as any married (male) heterosexual religious leader would be today.

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I was honestly wondering if Melba cared about her at all?  When the woman started laughing, it caused Melba to recall her laughter from the party, which began Melba's flashbacks.  But is it important that she was at the party?

It is if she eventually recognizes "Melba" as the daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao.  Hopefully she won't for a while, because that would mean that poor Genelle Williams got murdered on two SyFy shows as she was also Leena on Warehouse 13.

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4 minutes ago, johntfs said:

Except that they're not a 1st century church.  Early Christian churches tended to see the Bible(well, the Torah, since there wasn't really a Bible until some time after the Council of Nicea)  as allegorical instead of literal and rejected what we think of as fundamentalism as an absurd, heretical view of God.  While it masquerades as the Christian tradition, fundamentalism as actually a fairly recent development, first coming to the fore in the mid 19th century.

There are many, many churches claiming to be more traditional that have very little, if any, real knowledge of the Early Christian Church or how Christianity has evolved.  One of my grad school professors mentioned a minister she knew that claimed the King James Version of the Bible was the only real Bible because "If it was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for us."  Except Jesus didn't speak English and the King James Version was authorized by King James I of England in 1604, but whatever.

9 minutes ago, johntfs said:

Taking this back to the topic of The Expanse, it's reasonable to assume Anna situation as a married lesbian and a religious leader are as accepted in the setting as any married (male) heterosexual religious leader would be today.

I love the idea that homosexuality and gay marriage is just normal in the 24th century.  There are other types of prejudices depicted, so it's not a perfect society, by any means.  I think it shows that humans can evolved, but we are still human and have flaws.

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I have to wonder whether Melba even listened to the crimes Mao committed.  It wasn't just financial, it was killing children, it was killing an entire planet of people (well at least that's what everyone thought - but who knows, if Miller is 'sort-of back').  And she seriously believed Holden created the whole thing?  She really must have a low IQ.  And I also don't buy her crocodile tears, after she killed a whole ship load of people.

But I love the Roci people, Holden and Miller, what a duo.  So glad Naomi is going back to them.  

And I hope the belters do ok, especially Drummer.  I agree that Strathairn has something up his sleeve and will angle to take over.

So this 'bubble' is some sort of pocket universe?  Can't wait to see for what purpose.

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How did Melba get her job? Officially Amos won an apprenticeship. Maybe a person can buy an apprentice? Maybe Melba bought an apprenticeship along with a new identity.

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1 hour ago, Ziggy said:

I love the idea that homosexuality and gay marriage is just normal in the 24th century. 

As are polygamy/polyandry, given Holden's family with 6 or 7 (?) parents. 

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6 hours ago, Ziggy said:

I love the idea that homosexuality and gay marriage is just normal in the 24th century.  There are other types of prejudices depicted, so it's not a perfect society, by any means.  I think it shows that humans can evolved, but we are still human and have flaws.

There would likely be plenty of people, including other inter-racial couples(even inter-racial homosexual/lesbian/bi/trans couples) who would be horrified/disgusted by the Holden/Naomi romance.  A Belter and an Earther?  That's just unnatural!

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And I also don't buy her crocodile tears, after she killed a whole ship load of people.

I think I do.  Figure due to her father, Melba sees herself at war with Earth in general and Holden in particular.  She was planning to strike back by blowing up a ship full of faceless tools dedicated to enforcing Earth's injustice on her father.  Except that along the way, Melba met some people from Earth who treated her like a human being.  And she ended up murdering the person who treated her with more esteem and respect in a few weeks working together than JPM did in his entire life. 

Guilty as she felt, Melba still went through with blowing up the ship because otherwise she'd have killed that man for nothing, so she had to follow through to make his "sacrifice" worthwhile.

So while I certainly blame Melba for the horror she chose to unleash, I lay further blame on Julies-Pierre Mao for being such an utterly shitty father and human being.

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50 minutes ago, johntfs said:

Except that they're not a 1st century church.  Early Christian churches tended to see the Bible(well, the Torah, since there wasn't really a Bible until some time after the Council of Nicea)  as allegorical instead of literal and rejected what we think of as fundamentalism as an absurd, heretical view of God.  While it masquerades as the Christian tradition, fundamentalism as actually a fairly recent development, first coming to the fore in the mid 19th century.

Taking this back to the topic of The Expanse, it's reasonable to assume Anna situation as a married lesbian and a religious leader are as accepted in the setting as any married (male) heterosexual religious leader would be today.

Oh, you're absolutely right. They pride themselves in being one - which doesn't mean they are, for all of the reasons you mention. They also put a Russian Orthodox spin on it. Their tiny church is pretty, I'll have to say that.

It's pretty staggering, if you really think about it, to think about 300+ years of societal change. 300 years ago was 1718. 

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