The following are a few notes I took while watching The Expanse Season 3 Episode 9. 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 9, the Rocinante crew seek a new gameplan, while attempting to avoid capture. Meanwhile, the true motives behind last week’s act of terrorism become more clear. And, elsewhere, Naomi finds herself torn between identity and ideal, and Pastor Anna seeks to remain aboard the Thomas Prince.
First, before I get into anything else about this episode, let me just say I truly love the way they accurately portray science without it hurting the story. Previously, I’ve been an advocate that story should trump accuracy with respect to science in science fiction. I still stand by that. What’s truly beautiful, though, is when writers are able to satisfy both. If for nothing else, The Expanse should score points simply for the concept of the “breaking burn.” Rather than having ships inexplicably decelerating in a vacuum, this show stays true to science, showing them flip and burn in the opposite direction in order to slow down. Heck, they even work it into the plot. One more reason to adore this show, as far as I’m concerned.
But, technically, that centers on last week’s climax. So, now let’s get down to talking about The Expanse Season 3 Episode 9.
Things slowed down this week in more ways than one
Just like the Ring apparently limits speeds in the strange pocket of space those that enter it occupy, so did The Expanse take advantage to slow things down this week. Honestly, I think that was a smart move. I know sometimes folks dislike the slower-paced episodes, but sometimes it’s good for the narrative to take a breath. It’s important for putting things in place as we move toward the finale. To be honest, it was necessary in order for Holden to reach the point he needed to reach and to help viewers understand Melba’s motivations.
And speaking of Melba…
As someone who hasn’t yet read the books upon which The Expanse is based, I really enjoyed this plotline. Honestly, I had it in my head that she was simply working for some other extremist faction. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised to discover a much more poignant story unfolding. Not only does the discovery of her true identity help to tie things together, but it also makes perfect sense. She was the good daughter, but also the one who garnered the least respect from a father who valued drive. She was also keenly unhappy about anything damaging to her family’s reputation. We learn all of this through a series of flashbacks in The Expanse Season 3 Episode 9, and it’s impossible not to be drawn in. Not only was it a great way of tying the early seasons into what’s happening now, but her motivations are also very believably human. I thought it made for a great addition to the story.
I’m also loving what they are doing with the Belter storyline this season
I’m also finding myself very drawn in by the plot aboard the Behemoth. I’ve always been a big fan of Drummer, happy to see her being better utilized this season. Placing Naomi in that sphere of the story felt right, and helped bring things together. It’s allowed us to see a deeper side of Naomi as she struggled with the competing loyalties in her heart.
Further, the introduction of Ashford has been great as well. I must admit, I find him a bit of an enigma at the moment. On the face of things, he seems completely reasonable, and he’s played perfectly by David Strathairn. He seems to have just the right combination of gravitas, while remaining a bit mysterious. And, no matter how many times I find myself agreeing with him, I can’t set aside my suspicions. Let us not forget that, no matter what else he is, he is a creature of Anderson Dawes. In fact, that relationship is what got him assigned as first officer of the Behemoth in the first place. It was a power sharing gesture, aimed at bringing Belter factions together as one nation. Still, part of me keeps looking at that guy side-eyed. I’m sure I’m not the only one.