The following are a few notes I took while watching The Expanse Season 2 Episode 4. Warning: mild spoilers may be included, though I’ve tried to stay away from including anything too glaring. Either way, consider yourself warned.
In The Expanse Season 2 Episode 4, Miller devises a dangerous plan to eradicate what’s left of the protomolecule on Eros. To be plain spoken about it, it’s a batshit crazy plan, but it’s also pretty brilliant. It also set up some of the most amazing visual effects of the series thus far. Most importantly, however, The Expanse Season 2 Episode 4 featured an unexpected twist that leaves you reeling.
The visuals are jaw-dropping
Honestly, it’s difficult to put into words just how epic this series truly is. One thing sci-fi usually fails at is communicating the overwhelming scale of outer-space. I mean, it’s not really something you can fault anyone with. Something like that is often less important than getting across the story a creator is trying to tell. As a result, it’s understandable for it to go by the wayside, but The Expanse goes a different way altogether.
The visuals in The Expanse Season 2 Episode 4 were amazing overall, but it’s hard not to focus on the sequence of the huge Mormon generation ship debarking from Tycho Station. Described as 2 km long and half a kilometer wide, the ship is big. Like, “BIG” big. It’s not banking corners anytime soon, and I think it’s great the show was so realistic about it. Watching it moved into its trajectory by a swarm of automated tugs, before firing its own thrusters, was pretty impressive.
Through all of this, what’s not lost on the viewer is the scale I mentioned earlier. Space is big. Like, “BIG” big. That’s (thankfully) a concept that The Expanse Season 2 Episode 4 had no trouble communicating. The viewer immediately understands the scale of the Mormon vessel, watching it move away from the station. Likewise, the scenes on Eros successfully communicated how massive the setting was when compared with we tiny humans. I was blown away by it. It was just magnificent.
Golden boy growing up
I think it’s pretty clear that James Holden is meant to be the moral compass of the group. Arguably, Alex might play the same role, but Holden has thus far been the de-facto leader. That’s why I find it a little disconcerting when he plays the do-gooder. Maybe that’s not a fair assessment, but his anger with Miller over killing the mad scientist seemed a bit Pollyanna. Of course, it stems from his hopes of finding a cure, but at some point realism has to rear its ugly head. Doing the truly difficult thing is what makes a leader.
That’s why I thought it was great to see him put aside his plans to effectively shitcan Miller from the previous episode. Like him or don’t like him, a willingness to put personal differences aside and listen to his plan was the right move. Taking out the ship full of foolish humanitarians at Eros was the right move as well, though a painful one. Assuming they truly were attempting a relief mission, killing them was a hard pill to swallow, but allowing the infection to spread would have been even worse. And that doesn’t even touch on the fact that doing so lead directly to the drama that played out over the last few minutes of the episode.
All in all, I think we are witnessing the growing pains of him coming into his own.
Antagonists having a bad day for once
The Expanse Season 2 Episode 4 also depicted how the proverbial noose is tightening around the bad guy’s throats. This comeuppance arrives courtesy of Avasarala, who—knowing what she knew—devised a simple yet brilliant plan to make sure it went public. Of course, she only discovered the truth with the help of Fred Johnson. It was her willingness to effectively commit treason by opening an authorized back-channel that made it possible, though. She’s definitely much more than we might have expected after the first couple of episodes.