Friday, December 13, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Expanse' - Holden Explores the Protomolecule Structure While Amos Tries to Help the Settlement in 'Jetsam'

Amazon's The Expanse - Episode 4.02 "Jetsam"

Avasarala is blindsided while on a visit to Mars. The Roci crew continue their protomolecule investigation while tensions between the RCE and Belters reach a tipping point. Drummer and Ashford track down a terrorist.

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 next episode of Amazon's The Expanse.

"Jetsam" was written by Laura Marks and directed by Breck Eisner

From Avasarala's perspective, it's going to take years in order to map out the potential colonization of the other worlds made available to the system by the protomolecule. That possibility has only amplified the wild west style of the space drama though. For those citizens who have lost their homes or felt shunned by Earth and Mars, this presents as an opportunity to make their claims to their own worlds. It's a place to belong and thrive. That is a hopeful message. It also paints the traditional power structure in such condemning terms. Avasarala wants to rule through peace. She knows just how vital resilience and respect is in conducting diplomacy. However, there are huge scars that haven't completely healed after a truce has been met between Earth, Mars and Belt. Drummer and Ashford may continually feel the pressure to prove themselves as a legitimate entity in this system. That was the pressure they endured last season after the war ended as well. The Belt has long wanted to be on equal footing with Earth and Mars. They have that chance at legitimacy now. Any hateful action taken by someone from the Belt though is seen as a condemnation against their entire existence. It's horrifying and only increases the tension. Drummer and Ashford may be able to identity the pirate attacking the blockade. However, it's going to be a daunting task to capture him and potentially bring him to justice. That may be the right thing in order to improve relations throughout the system. It proves that the other governments can trust their continued cooperation. Avasarala conveys that same mission by attending her first summit on Mars. It may just be a way to bring her back to Bobbie's orbit. Bobbie has suffered immensely after returning to her home. She stands by Mars and will do anything to protect its best interests in the system at large. However, she may be forever condemned by her fellow citizens for turning her back on the planet and being stripped of her title. She faced that disciplinary action. She is trying to build something new. Others may continually be trying to use her and her family as pawns in their grand schemes. She won't allow that to continue. She pushes back at Avasarala trying to create a good image by inviting her to this dinner. She also attacks the gang forcing her nephew into making something mysterious for them. All of this highlights how people are still desperate in this world. They are taking drastic actions out of a sense of self-preservation. They feel they have to do this in order to protect themselves or advance their agenda. The reason Avasarala is so cautious with the Ring though is because it still presents as the great unknown. A colony has landed on Ilus. Exploration has begun. And yet, the protomolecule is doing things that no one quite has the words to explain or understand. The scientists may be in awe of the way this ecosystem was created. However, this is a planet that has already endured the loss of civilization. Answers may be found within these massive structures that predate anything else on the planet. That showcases just how long the protomolecule has been around. It was only recently in the history of the galaxy that humanity became aware of it. Miller may just forever be teasing Holden with information. It's important for him to enter this structure and trust that it won't lead to even more damage and destruction. But Holden is almost locked inside with no way out. When he does escape, it's not to a potentially better world because lightning bolts keep striking the ground. That is absolutely terrifying. But again, the most dangerous threat may come from humans themselves. Their inability and refusal to drop old resentments may condemn this civilization as well. Murtry is more than willing to kill a man after a veiled threat. That shows just how explosive some people can be to act and how devastating that can be. This isn't an ally. Alex proves that he genuinely wants to help this settlement. He earns that support. Meanwhile, Murtry tries ordering people around believing that he knows what's right because his orders come from a higher place in the system that has existed for generations. This change to the universe may upset all of that and people in power may not be so quick to give it up to embrace a new way of life. The protomolecule may want to investigate what happened on this planet. But that too may come with lethal consequences as humans are fighting it out for control.