Friday, December 13, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Expanse' - Holden and the Roci Crew Land on a New Planet to Research Its Grand Mysteries in 'New Terra'

Amazon's The Expanse - Episode 4.01 "New Terra"

The crew of the Roci investigates a strange protomolecule ruin on an alien planet. Bobbie copes with civilian life on Mars. Drummer and Ashford battle with piracy in the Belt.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of Amazon's The Expanse.

"New Terra" was written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and directed by Breck Eisner

The Expanse is exploring a new world. That is the actual text of this premiere with the Rocinante crew traveling through the Ring and landing on a new planet to explore its dangers and resources. However, that's also what's going on behind-the-scenes with the drama moving from Syfy to Amazon Prime Video. It was a rescue mission that proved successful with this show. The storytelling isn't inherently any different though. It still aspires to be the same show that it always was even though there are less restrictions airing on a streaming service versus a basic cable network. The run time is extended a little bit but it's not too irksome. In fact, the concluding moments may propel the viewer into delving into the next episode right away. That may be a structural change apparent this season. But that was always a quality in this show. It has always been in awe of space exploration while also being perfectly aware of just how devastating the potential costs will be for humanity overall. The first three seasons largely featured the system comprising of Earth, Mars and the Belt at war. They may have united against a common mystery surrounding the protomolecule. But now, there is the chance at expansion even if it may come with the fear that a massive extinction event is on the horizon. The protomolecule through Miller showed Holden what may have happened to the other civilizations that were visited by the mysterious technology. There is no longer any hope of returning to a life before this science was discovered. It has the potential to revolutionize the world. However, it's still a mystery that no one quite understands. As such, it's thrilling for the system to delve into the exploration hoping to create better lives for themselves. Belter refugees are eager to burst through the Ring and land in a new world where they can be the force in charge. Avasarala may have the right impulse to try to control who enters the Ring in order to avoid any more mass casualties. She wants to do things the right way. That just may present as controlling behavior that reflects how the powerful will always try to oppress those at the bottom of the system. People should have the freedom to decide what should happen in their lives. If people are willing to explore the unknown, then that should be their decision to make. The government in charge may be trying to monitor too much. That may come at the expense of humanity on a grand scale. Wars and battles have been fought across this system. Lives have been lost. More people die here. A research vessel has a crash landing because of the mysterious creatures present on new planet Ilus. Belters have named this place in honor of their fallen brethren on Ganymede. They have respect for the lives lost along the way in the name of creating something better. The balance between Earth, Mars and the Belt is always tenuous. Drummer and Ashford remain in positions of power. They have unique postings around and inside the Ring. They just have to always be mindful of how their actions come across when the Belters they represent may disagree with their methods. All leaders inherently face that pressure. It just may be more profound with the Belters because they don't quite know what to expect. They have always operated with independence even though it came with the disrespect from the two looming governments lording over them. War was the way everyone saw to the future. It was inevitable. It occurred. But now, the future may be different. People are fighting for those different opportunities and outcomes. It's absolutely beautiful to watch as Naomi lands on the ground of a planet for the first time in her life. She wants to take this step knowing that she won't be left behind. She has always been a strong and fierce character. She lets her voice be heard. She is just as powerful and respected as her friends on the Rocinante. They can take this journey together once more. They are seen as experts in this particular field. That may be a burden if the world doesn't expand to adapt to all of these changes. Trying to control that expansion may be too daunting for any one person and may spell out ruin. But that won't stop people from trying to take power when they see a shiny opportunity open up. People can certainly improve their standings in life. It just can't come at the expense of their humanity. That may be the near constant internal battle happening within each soul though which is a thrilling place for the drama to explore.