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S03.E09: Intransigence

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6 hours ago, Hanahope said:

But I love the Roci people, Holden and Miller, what a duo. 

One question yet to be addressed on the show is this:  why does Miller only appear to Holden?  We know there's some blue goo on the Roci -- a little souvenir from the proto-monster that is still stuck between the hulls, which I assume is acting as a kind of "receiver" allowing Miller to transmit himself onto the Roci from . . . the ring . . . or Venus . . . or both.  Anyway, why is Holden the only one who can see him? We know Holden and Miller shared a misadventure on Eros with both of them ending up taking a mega-dose of radiation, but Holden was never infected by the proto-molecule (as evidenced by 30 medical scans.)  So why can he see Miller and no one else can?  I kind of hope that situation changes.  I love that Alex and Amos have taken it on faith that Holden IS actually communicating with Miller (or some . . . thing wearing Miller's face that wants to help them survive.)  But eventually I would get a kick out of Miller appearing to the rest of the crew and shocking the hell out of them when he does.

Edited by WatchrTina
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1 hour ago, WatchrTina said:

But eventually I would get a kick out of Miller appearing to the rest of the crew and shocking the hell out of them when he does.

Well, Miller-molecule told Holden that "the signal" is much better/strong inside the Ring, so who knows?

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1 hour ago, WatchrTina said:

One question yet to be addressed on the show is this:  why does Miller only appear to Holden?  We know there's some blue goo on the Roci -- a little souvenir from the proto-monster that is still stuck between the hulls, which I assume is acting as a kind of "receiver" allowing Miller to transmit himself onto the Roci from . . . the ring . . . or Venus . . . or both.  Anyway, why is Holden the only one who can see him? We know Holden and Miller shared a misadventure on Eros with both of them ending up taking a mega-dose of radiation, but Holden was never infected by the proto-molecule (as evidenced by 30 medical scans.)  So why can he see Miller and no one else can?  I kind of hope that situation changes.  I love that Alex and Amos have taken it on faith that Holden IS actually communicating with Miller (or some . . . thing wearing Miller's face that wants to help them survive.)  But eventually I would get a kick out of Miller appearing to the rest of the crew and shocking the hell out of them when he does.

My guess is that the investigator tool has picked Holden partially because Miller's memories show him having the "right stuff" for what they need. Not to mention he's the captain who's in charge of the tool that will get him to where the protomolecule wants him.

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9 hours ago, johntfs said:

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!

It cpould be worse -- one could be a [ugh!] Martian!

4 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

One question yet to be addressed on the show is this:  why does Miller only appear to Holden?

Holden wasn't infected by the blue goo, but he's come closer to The Work, by his time on Eros, than anyone else.  In addition to the other reasons.

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Maybe it's because Miller spent much more time with Holden and therefore had more memories of him than the others, so when the blue goo tried to reach out it remembered Holden.  Oh, yeah, that's the guy I knew.

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14 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

One question yet to be addressed on the show is this:  why does Miller only appear to Holden? 

 

"Oh, so you want to talk about the non-local quantum hologram? The phase-conjugate adaptive waves resonating in microtubules in the brain? Which of course require some closed timelike curves and a Lorentzian manifold, but… You catch up. I'll wait." 

As others have mentioned, I think it's most probably because Miller and Holden spend time together on the protomolecule infested Eros.

I like how the Martians in the Xuesen quickly caught up to the dynamics in the ring with regard to speed by observing the Roci and then later the Roci gets info about their speed limits from the Xuesen's probes. There's no comms between any of these ships but they are getting the information about the new physics inside the ring by observing each other.

Edited by anamika
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I think the Roci has too much riding on Monica and Creepy Camera Guy. After Amos threatened them, tortured them (?), and send them outside, they expect them to say nice things about Holden and his crew? Also, It must be hard to navigate around the Bubble with just a space suit. You can’t navigate by the stars because there aren’t any! So Monica and CCG have to float around until they reach the first ship they can find. What could possibly go wrong?

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On 6/8/2018 at 10:13 AM, Clanstarling said:

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.

Something interesting (at least I think so :)) about Melba's tears: Based on posts I've read in various forums, comments made by reviewers and their like, quite a few people seemed like they were convinced by the tears at first - most people assumed that Melba was being somehow forced or coerced to do the things she was doing, and so they saw her as a sort of tragic figure, crying genuine tears of regret and frustration. Then, when they realized who she actually is and why she actually did this stuff, all the same people declared the tears to be crocodile tears after all and are now convinced she's a villain. I guess I fall somewhere in between, largely because I think one could make a case that she actually is, in a sense, being coerced to do what she's doing. The coercion in this case is not from an actual person, though; rather, it comes from somewhere deep within her wounded psyche, and it's telling her all kinds of convenient lies (because she can't accept the idea that her father is a bad guy). But in her mind, it's as if James Holden is literally holding a gun to her father's head, and she feels she must act. It's wrong-headed for sure, and I'm not sure it's forgivable. But I do continue to maintain that it's understandable.

 

On 6/8/2018 at 10:13 AM, Clanstarling said:

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.

Yeah, I kind of attributed her somewhat flat affect to ... well, a couple of things. In the flashback, at the party, I think she was trying to keep up appearances and not make a scene, as her parents no doubt trained her to do. I think it's in the official socialite rule book. Then, later, once she became Melba, she realized that she had to be measured in her "performance," to avoid raising suspicion. She's trying to blend in as much as possible, and doing that means not making any waves.

That's my guess, anyway. As you say, we'll see.

 

On 6/8/2018 at 10:13 AM, Clanstarling said:

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.

Heh. First I called Melba not very bright or eloquent for her tendency to fall back on cliches... and then I throw out that old chestnut a few sentences later. Ah, the irony. :)

Shameless though I may be, I do think the idea that perspective figures pretty heavily into people's decision making is pretty much a given. I do also think she did not set out to commit atrocities. Not, again, that that excuses anything, but it does make Melba marginally more sympathetic in my book.

 

On 6/8/2018 at 11:30 AM, marinw said:

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 guess, in the end, I was willing to accept those flashback scenes as the only way (short of a long-winded exposition dump of a speech) to reveal Melba's true identity and motivations. The scenes were, perhaps, tonally a little out of place in this show, but maybe that's actually a good thing, because it helps show what a fish out of water Melba is. Everything else aside, she is clearly out of her depth in just about every way right now, and the almost palpable contrast between the fancy party scenes and the gritty space scenes certainly drives that home.

 

On 6/8/2018 at 3:16 PM, johntfs said:
Quote

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.

This, times 100. I think this is the best explanation I've seen for how I view Melba's actions. Thanks, JOHNTFS, for expressing that so well, and so concisely (which is definitely something for which I don't have much of a gift for!)

Edited by btp · Reason: Clarity. And better words.
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7 hours ago, btp said:

I think one could make a case that she actually is, in a sense, being coerced to do what she's doing. The coercion in this case is not from an actual person, though; rather, it comes from somewhere deep within her wounded psyche, and it's telling her all kinds of convenient lies (because she can't accept the idea that her father is a bad guy). But in her mind, it's as if James Holden is literally holding a gun to her father's head, and she feels she must act. It's wrong-headed for sure, and I'm not sure it's forgivable. But I do continue to maintain that it's understandable.

Wow.  Really?  

That's like saying that the next guy to shoot up some school isn't really to blame because deep down inside he believes Mickey Mouse told him to do it, so the blame must be with Walt Disney!

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46 minutes ago, Netfoot said:

Wow.  Really?  

That's like saying that the next guy to shoot up some school isn't really to blame because deep down inside he believes Mickey Mouse told him to do it, so the blame must be with Walt Disney!

Not really, but there is a reason why we here in the real world allow for verdicts of "not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect."  Now, I don't think Melba meets that criteria.  She knows what she's doing.  She knows what she's doing is wrong - at least in terms of killing her co-worker, but she feels that that's the price she must pay to get justice/revenge for her father.  Melba is responsible for her actions and those actions are evil.  That said, I don't really hate her so much as feel bad that her father's toxic influence has warped and damaged her to the point that she's willing to do those evil actions to gain his approval.

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12 hours ago, Netfoot said:

That's like saying that the next guy to shoot up some school isn't really to blame because deep down inside he believes Mickey Mouse told him to do it, so the blame must be with Walt Disney!

Can't say I agree with your analogy, but you're welcome to it. I will point out, one final time, that I did not ever claim that Melba was good or blameless, just that I can understand her actions. I can certainly understand them as much as I understand the actions of enemy soldiers, and we forgive those sins when hostilities cease all the time, do we not? And really, I'm not sure how I feel about that, either. My point is that this is not black and white. Few of these things ever are.

In any event, this horse we are beating has long since expired. I think it might be time to agree to disagree. :)

Edited by btp
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On 6/8/2018 at 1:55 PM, Haleth said:

 

On 6/8/2018 at 12:03 PM, 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. 

We've seen hints that the Earth is overpopulated (with some people living in the streets having established a barter economy for scarce resources) so it makes sense that the show proposes that over the next couple hundred years the pendulum of main-stream public opinion will swing to fully embrace relationships and family units that tend to lead to lower population growth.  After all, there are no "oops, we're pregnant" moments in gay relationships and Holden's conception, which presumably could have happened naturally, instead happened as the result of a team science project.  The acceptance of gay relationships that we're seeing in this vision of the future MIGHT be the result of people finally evolving enough to embrace the notion that "love is love is love is love" (TM Lin Manuel Miranda) but it might also just be the result of rational self-interest in the face of an overpopulated planet.

Edited by WatchrTina

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I’m sorry to say that the thread here is a little bit tl;dr.  Can anyone tell me where Melba got the strength to kill her crew mate?  That was out of left field.  (I also loathe her her storyline.)

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2 minutes ago, Captanne said:

 Can anyone tell me where Melba got the strength to kill her crew mate?  

It hasn't been explicitly explained in the show.  We see her clicking something in her mouth which presumably gives her some kind of extra strength.

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I didn't have time to watch this episode until now so I watched it back to back with 10. I'm kinda glad for it now, I would have been pissed to just get this one. So much set up!

Also I agree with those who don't care about Melba.

I did like Naomi's arc a lot. And her scenes with Drummer. It's nice to have a character unsure about where they should be going. I think Naomi really did want to be a Belter, part of this new nation. But ones she experienced it she just couldn't feel part of it. Either because of her previous experiences or because she's just the type of person who will stand a bit aside from any movement. Someone posted above about her not belonging on a war ship, and maybe that's part of it too. It'll be interesting to see how she feels about her role in this going forward.

I'm also interested in where this Belter state is going, and Drummers faith tied up in it. She's so alone right now that Naomi has left!

Edited by Holmbo
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2 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I didn't have time to watch this episode until now so I watched it back to back with 10. I'm kinda glad for it now, I would have been pissed to just get this one. So much set up!

Also I agree with those who don't care about Melba.

I did like Naomi's arc a lot. And her scenes with Drummer. It's nice to have a character unsure about where they should be going. I think Naomi really did want to be a Belter, part of this new nation. But ones she experienced it she just couldn't feel part of it. Either because of her previous experiences or because she's just the type of person who will stand a bit aside from any movement. Someone posted above about her not belonging on a war ship, and maybe that's part of it too. It'll be interesting to see how she feels about her role in this going forward.

I'm also interested in where this Belter state is going, and Drummers faith tied up in it. She's so alone right now that Naomi has left!

Those are all great reasons, and I'd add that maybe she just can't stick around and watch the inevitable power struggle between the Belter nation Drummer represents and the the thugs Strahthairn and Diogo represent (forgotten the acronym, it's early - OPA?), and doubting its outcome.

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On 6/8/2018 at 10:13 AM, Clanstarling said:

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.

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.

RE: The bolded comment. I disagree that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. I used to think that too, but I read something years ago (so I don't remember the source) that changed my mind: a terrorist specifically picks civilian targets to kill and destroy with a goal of inciting as much terror as possible among people. "Freedom fighters" are, presumably, fighting a corrupt government or fighting for change in government and might primarily target government installations. Of course, there would still be collateral damage, but a freedom fighter's goal is not the creation of terror.

Regarding Melba in the books:

Spoiler

Her motives are revenge, pure and simple -- to get back at James Holden for her father's incarceration and shame. She gets what I think is a completely undeserved redemption arc and forgiveness by some of the Rocinante crew. I have never hated a character in literature more, and honestly, it is this sympathetic treatment that contributed to souring me on the series.  I never even finished Nemesis Games, the book where she shows up again.

 

I agree with you about Strathairn's "accent." I'm not sure how one actor's interpretation of a patois of a nonexistent society set three hundred years in the future can be "wrong."

 

On 6/8/2018 at 3:16 PM, johntfs said:

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.

Melba's actions and decisions are her own entirely. Plenty of people have shitty fathers who are shitty human beings. They don't turn into mass murderers for revenge. She murdered her crewmate because he caught on to her scheme and was going to turn her in. Fuck her and her "guilt."

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2 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:
On 6/8/2018 at 7:13 AM, Clanstarling said:

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.

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.

RE: The bolded comment. I disagree that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. I used to think that too, but I read something years ago (so I don't remember the source) that changed my mind: a terrorist specifically picks civilian targets to kill and destroy with a goal of inciting as much terror as possible among people. "Freedom fighters" are, presumably, fighting a corrupt government or fighting for change in government and might primarily target government installations. Of course, there would still be collateral damage, but a freedom fighter's goal is not the creation of terror.

Regarding Melba in the books:

  Reveal hidden contents

Her motives are revenge, pure and simple -- to get back at James Holden for her father's incarceration and shame. She gets what I think is a completely undeserved redemption arc and forgiveness by some of the Rocinante crew. I have never hated a character in literature more, and honestly, it is this sympathetic treatment that contributed to souring me on the series.  I never even finished Nemesis Games, the book where she shows up again.

 

I agree with you about Strathairn's "accent." I'm not sure how one actor's interpretation of a patois of a nonexistent society set three hundred years in the future can be "wrong."

On 6/8/2018 at 12:16 PM, johntfs said:

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.

Melba's actions and decisions are her own entirely. Plenty of people have shitty fathers who are shitty human beings. They don't turn into mass murderers for revenge. She murdered her crewmate because he caught on to her scheme and was going to turn her in. Fuck her and her "guilt."

Ahh, thanks for putting another spin on the freedom fighter vs terrorist discussion. That does hit right at the heart of why I felt it was glib, though accepted I'd accepted the saying over the years without much consideration.  Maybe it became synonymous because the targets of freedom fighters always call them terrorists, regardless of the tactic and goal.

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On 6/8/2018 at 10:13 AM, Clanstarling said:

she murdered a shipload of people simply to set Holden up.

That's the thing.  Bad enough if she'd blown up the ship to get Holden directly, but she did it simply to have an atrocity to blame him for!  This indicates that even in her own eyes, she recognizes the act to be an atrocity.  All to punish him for stopping her father from pursuing his megalomaniacal, mass-murdering ways.   

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4 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

I agree with you about Strathairn's "accent." I'm not sure how one actor's interpretation of a patois of a nonexistent society set three hundred years in the future can be "wrong."

Yeah it actually makes sense especially since he's a generation older than the other. With Belter being such a newly emerging accent a difference between generations would make a lot of sense. Not too mention with how spread out the belters and isolated they are its almost weirder if they all have the same accent. Like the reserves up north. I'm sure to outsiders we all have pretty much the same Cree accent but a lot of the locals can tell which rez your from by your accent.

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3 hours ago, Emily Thrace said:

Yeah it actually makes sense especially since he's a generation older than the other. With Belter being such a newly emerging accent a difference between generations would make a lot of sense. Not too mention with how spread out the belters and isolated they are its almost weirder if they all have the same accent. Like the reserves up north. I'm sure to outsiders we all have pretty much the same Cree accent but a lot of the locals can tell which rez your from by your accent.

I agree. I grew up around a lot of accents - southern accents which are/were very region specific (hill vs flatlands vs coastal, vs various states, etc.) and German accents which were also determined by region - and had different dialects, not just accents. So I tend to shrug off what seem to be minor differences.

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I have to say how much I enjoy Drummer and Klaes.  The writing for their dialogue is done so well, and both actors really deliver.  Great moment between Drummer and Naomi as she left the ship.

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