Saturday, December 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Expanse' - A Disaster on Ilus and the Surrounding Orbit Could Destroy All Humans There in 'Displacement'

Amazon's The Expanse - Episode 4.06 "Displacement"

The Roci crew prepares for an incoming disaster on Ilus. Ashford and Drummer close in on an enemy within the Belt. Bobbie takes on a dangerous job.

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.

"Displacement" was written by Hallie Lambert and directed by Jeff Woolnough

The human existence can be terrifyingly fragile at times. A natural disaster can wipe out an entire community. Everything that people built can be destroyed in an instant. Culture and identity can be lost entirely. That is so devastating. The survivors may be able to pack up and start over anew. That isn't always a guarantee though. Sometimes, it feels like the system will continue to hurt the same people over and over again. Every person may have to embrace some pain. These explorers have to take those risks in order to be rewarded. However, it may all come at the expense of humanity. During the Secretary General debate, Avasarala was asked how she would protect Earth from another Eros event. That was the greatest existential threat that Earth has faced in its billions of years in existence. All human life could have been lost if the station made direct contact with the planet. Meanwhile, on a planet a whole system away, human beings are facing that same threat. Avasarala and the other government leaders are completely in the dark too. They have lost all communication with Ilus. They don't know if information is being withheld on purpose in order to cover up what has been happening on the planet. The Belter message has been released detailing the crimes Murtry has committed in order to exert control. That paints a dire situation ripe with conflict. The leaders don't want this speculation to lead to even more conflict and possibly even war. Drummer and Ashford understand that they have to do the right thing and arrest Marco because of his continuing terrorist activities. Avasarala had to act quickly to ensure that the clear attack on Earth wasn't ultimately successful. But power continues to shift in this world. Marco appears to be working with the Martians. The Mars identity has always been deeply rooted in service and science. They worked towards achieving the goal of teraforming the planet so that they could live just like Earth. But now, that goal may be pointless because the citizens can simply explore new planets and systems. There is no longer the need for Mars to become Earth. That makes the lives of Martians more aimless than ever before. Bobbie knows how to spring into action when it comes to a perilous journey where her oxygen levels are running out and she faces potential criminal consequences. She is more adrift when it comes to finding her personal passion. Right now, she has found a lucrative profession. It just comes with significant risk to her life and those she cares about. These debates remain existential in nature though. Meanwhile, the planet has literally turned against the settlers on Ilus. Even then, the leaders of the various fractions are using this pending disaster in order to argue for greater political power. The leader of the original Belter settlers wants Holden's assurances that he will back up their claim for independence in the system. Meanwhile, Murtry only agrees to provide ships to carry people off the planet if the Belters release the payloads of resources they have mined from the planet. That shady dealing makes him come across as a man who doesn't care about the survival of the great human experiment. He only cares about those who remain loyal to him and follow his orders. Chandra doesn't have to exact his most dire order yet. She may ultimately have to because the settlers are now trapped within the protomolecule structure. That is the only way to guarantee their survival on the planet. The protomolecule continues to change the laws of physics. The ships in orbit are incapable of providing salvation. They may soon fall out of the sky and kill everyone onboard. The tension is increased to such an extreme level here. Miller has abandoned Holden. The protomolecule may not want the human race to survive. It is so indifferent. Holden is fighting to protect everyone. He sees that as his responsibility. People still die on Ilus though. This natural disaster claims numerous lives. The threat isn't solely confined to that either with Elvi discovering some kind of eye infection as well. The world remains mysterious even for those who are willing to brave the harshest conditions. Life on Ilus has been confined to one small space. Those trapped will be able to survive for awhile. And yet, it will only force more and more unfortunate decisions to be made about who deserves to survive and thrive in a world where these disasters continue to occur with no overwhelming explanation at all.