The following are a few notes I took while watching The Expanse Season 3 Episode 8. 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 8, an old friend thought lost taunts Holden with the answers he seeks. Meanwhile, Naomi struggles to fit in. And, elsewhere, a mysterious low-level tech aboard the UNN Thomas Prince enacts a terrifying plan.
One thing The Expanse Season 3 Episode 8 accomplished was giving us some idea about the nature of the strange return of Detective Miller last week. Of course, what I just typed was a bold-faced lie. The real truth is that everything at this point is still bonkers crazy, and none of us could possibly know what’s going on. In the end, this episode felt like a continuation of last week, inexorably moving the story forward.
One mystery (sort of) solved; a million others up in the air
The only thing I feel pretty comfortable assuming is that Miller is actually just a projection of the protomolecule. The title of the episode is telling: “It Reaches Out.” It’s also not very subtle. Rather than being some sort of play on words, this seems to be exactly what’s happening. I‘m assuming this is being accomplished via the small amount of blue goo hidden deep within the ship. In Miller’s disjointed mumbling speech, he pretty much spells it out. He’s “just an investigator now,” quite literally “a tool that finds things.” Holden, on the other hand, is “a tool that goes places,” since he has a ship at his command. On its face, this may seem like a weird way of dealing with the idea that the protomolecule is a sentient thing, but it’s also strangely believable in the way it’s presented. In the same way it pulled apart the ship on Venus, remolding it for its own purposes, it’s now using “tools” to set things in motion.
Great storytelling on display as different plotlines converge
Frankly, I can’t complement the writers of this show enough. Even with an episode like The Expanse Season 3 Episode 8, which could seem a bit disconnected on its own, it’s clear all of the disparate plot points are coalescing. Melba’s seemingly reluctant sabotage of the support ship didn’t make much sense to non-book readers last week. Now, however, we see that it was all part of a ruse to implicate Holden and the crew of the Rocinante in an act of terrorism, even including the broadcast of a faked message claiming responsibility that also falsely ties them to the OPA.
This puts the Behemoth in the position of needing to fire on the Roci to keep from looking complicit. Just for added drama, Naomi is currently serving as chief engineer there, witnessing all of this. Imagine her terror as her new ship may be about to destroy her old one, which is still full of her friends. Meanwhile, creepy blind camera guy has obviously tampered with the Roci’s communications, so they can’t broadcast the truth. Oh, and lest we forget, Holden’s own crewmates have been wondering if he’s a little off his rocker. This sets up a situation where even they have to wonder if the faked video is real in the midst of trying to dodge missiles.
That’s just some good writing, right there.