The following are a few notes I took while watching The Expanse Season 3 Episode 11. 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 3 Episode 11, Drummer and Ashford find themselves trapped with few options for survival. Meanwhile, Anna tends to the masses as Melba continues to hunt her prey. And, the Rocinante crew struggle to survive as Naomi reunites with her true family.
As expected, we rejoin the story just seconds after the batshit crazy climax of last week. Needless to say, a lot is happening very quickly at the beginning of The Expanse Season 3 Episode 11, but if we’ve learned anything watching this show it’s that sudden changes in speed tend to have disastrous consequences for biological matter. It’s also odd that the Ring chooses limiting speeds as a way of defending itself from threats. Odd, but strangely satisfying. As fans of science fiction and fantasy, we are sometimes conditioned to expect much more explosive responses, but the choice made here has a certain narrative truthfulness to it. In the end, it’s just strange enough to be wholly alien, which I’m sure was the point.
Visual effects take center stage, eclipsed only by character moments, in The Expanse Season 3 Episode 11
The above heading might seem like a misnomer, only because the visual effects are always awesome on The Expanse. What I’m referring to specifically this time, however, was yet another amazing portrayal of low gravity. The sudden deceleration of last week’s climax predictably resulted in horrific casualties across the board. Huge numbers of people were killed and injured, and every vessel was virtually crippled, captured by the Ring. As viewers, this created a lot of drama for us to enjoy, but the aftermath was also visually amazing.
Blood droplets floated through the air, while we were conveniently informed wounds don’t heal properly in Zero-G. The thing that caught my eye (pun intended) the most, however, were poor Tilly’s tears. Hanging there, her tears could only pool back in her eyes, rather than fall, and it blew me away. I’m not even sure why I was surprised. It’s not like this show has ever left any of us with any doubt about its quality. At the same time, though, I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass without applauding such outstanding attention to detail displayed in The Expanse Season 3 Episode 11. Such a subtle moment might have even been lost on casual viewers, so the accuracy is all the more impressive.
Another slower-paced episode, and that’s okay
The Expanse Season 3 Episode 11 was another one of those slower episodes. For my money, however, I have no problem with that. There’s so much going on in this universe that sometimes we really need to take a breath and process things. It’s for that reason that I think it was great that the focus was shifted from the main characters this week to concentrate on more of the secondary cast. What we essentially got was a character episode, concentrating on how people react to a disaster. I thought it was really great.
The Belters continue to defy prejudices
Hands down, my favorite part of this week was the interaction between Ashford and Drummer. The dynamic between those two has been intriguing me more and more as the weeks have gone by. Truthfully, I think it’s because their differing ideas are a metaphor for the factions in their tribal culture. And, true to form, they proved they were capable of working together, which is exactly what their factions need. I won’t lie: watching Drummer make her sacrifice tore me up a little. I’ve made no bones about how much I like her character, so it was difficult to watch. Luckily, she appears to have survived, at least for now.
The most important thing that came from that, though, was Ashford’s subsequent wise decision to “spin the drum.” First off, that’s something I wasn’t even aware the Behemoth could do; and, secondly, how cool is that! Of course, considering it was originally built to be a Mormon generation ship, it makes perfect sense. Being able to create gravity via centripetal force on an interstellar journey would be pretty useful, after all. Especially when you’re trying to do things like farming in outer space.
So now, the Belters are in a position to act in a humanitarian fashion, taking in the wounded. One has to wonder if this will help change the view Inners have toward them. After all, Fred Johnson also used those nukes to save Mars from the hybrid attack back in Episode 6. Never mind they were stolen nukes. In the end, though, The Expanse is a show about human nature, so your guess would be as good as mine.