The following are a few notes I took while watching The Expanse Season 1 Episode 2. Warning: mild spoilers may be included, though I’ve tried to stay away from including anything too glaring. Either way, consider yourself warned.
As with last week’s premier, I can say definitively that The Expanse Season 1 Episode 2 did not disappoint. As should’ve been immediately obvious, we are witnessing a serialized storyline. These are not going to be standalone episodes, but rather parts of a greater whole. In the end, The Expanse Season 1 Episode 2 moves that larger story forward, even if only a little.
What it does manage to do is ratchet up a lot of tension.
Building off of the last moments of the previous episode, much of this installment concerns the survivors of the Canterbury attempting to stay alive and somehow get themselves rescued. Remember, they are in a short-range shuttle, stuck out in the deep solar system, away from established shipping lanes. A limited air supply and a damaged ship enter the mix with volatile personalities to make for some great drama.
Meanwhile, the other storylines taking place are much more sedated, yet each helps fill in more of the larger picture.
We watch as Avasarala, a U.N. official, continues her investigation into a Belter captured with secret stealth technology. It’s unclear where things are headed (which is fitting so early in the series), but it’s already becoming intriguing. That alone speaks volumes, and I’m very interested in seeing how all of these pieces eventually fit together.
The most interesting of the ancillary storylines, though, involves Detective Miller’s investigation on Ceres Station. Thomas Jane is an amazing actor. The Expanse Season 1 Episode 2 begins to give us a little perspective on his character. Specifically, I’m referring to his stance with respect to the whole Belters versus Elites dichotomy. His character’s storyline is all the more engrossing for the way it reveals details about the lives of the Belters. The mounting tensions between the haves and have nots are only worsening since the previous episode, exacerbated by a water shortage.
A callback to a Sci-Fi classic
One thing I really loved was the scene where Miller discovers the missing girl hasn’t used her water ration. It makes sense, considering she can’t use the ration if she’s not home, but it helped cement the difficulties of life on Ceres. This was foreshadowed earlier when his ration was depleted before he was able to finish his shower. As a result, you instantly understand his motivations for taking advantage while he can.
This actually reminded me of a scene where Charlton Heston’s character acted similarly towards the home of a rich victim in the film Soylent Green. Seeing a character act in such a way, helping the viewer to understand how they live, was really great storytelling. A writer can tell a reader things all day long, but there’s nothing like showing them. I thought that was a really nice touch.