Saturday, December 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Expanse' - Corrupt Intentions Prop Up Disaster as Various Situations Grow More Dire in 'A Shot in the Dark'

Amazon's The Expanse - Episode 4.07 "A Shot in the Dark"

Naomi and Alex work to keep the Barbapiccola in orbit amidst a power outage. Avasarala faces a tough decision. Holden and Elvi race to find a cure for a disease spreading on Ilus.

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.

"A Shot in the Dark" was written by Dan Nowak and directed by Sarah Harding

Corporate greed is so corrosive especially when it comes at the expense of humanity - both those working for the company and those dealing with the effects of their actions. Profitability is all that RCE genuinely cares about. Murtry explains as much when he informs Chandra about his plan for surviving the current dire circumstances within the protomolecule structure. Everyone essentially has to rally together in this place because the water isn't receding as quickly as Naomi and Alex first calculated. Again, the science and technology of the world is constantly changing. That forces people to be more creative in coming up with solutions to the various problems. Some of them are facing threats that can't be easily understood. Other times, it's clear that corruption is the clear motivation in the pursuit of making a huge difference in a person's bottom line. Murtry has been killing for RCE for a long time. That's what he expects when he is sent out to the field. He gets a kickback from the company for the valuable resources they can then mine after he secures a planet or asteroid. Again, it's all about the profits. Murtry is more than willing to share that luxury with Chandra. He realizes that this planet is rich in resources. That's probably true for so many planets throughout the various systems that have been opened up thanks to the Ring. Ilus just happens to be where all the conflicts are currently being fought. It's the only planet that has been visited by any explorer. As such, the factions are fighting it out to see who can survive and make a claim for everything that they discover here. That will set the precedent for what the rest of the world can expect when the floods of exploration officially open. Avasarala tries to control that process. She sees it as her responsibility in order to protect as many people as possible. That is the burden of her job. She may be fighting this political battle because she needs to win no matter. Arjun points out that it may not be so bad if she lost. She could still relax comfortably into a life with their family without having to worry about the stress of these massive life-or-death consequences. That's still her position within her government though. She still has to decide whether or not to send troops into battle here. She takes everything into account knowing that it will likely have fatal ramifications. That's exactly what plays out as well. Drummer and Ashford have also traced Marco to this ship. They chose to monitor it in order to see what happened. Avasarala chooses to attack in the hopes of getting to put the terrorist on trial for trying to attack Earth. She isn't lucky in that pursuit though. Instead, it only ends in disaster. That may be the basis for her story this season. She is determined to make things better. And yet, her leadership may no longer be what's best for Earth. She has to reflect on that. This is her existential crisis. She was reluctant to take this job once upon a time. She did so because her planet needed better leadership. She has been so effective at rooting out corruption and exposing the criminals working within her government. That still invited so much danger and disaster to the planet. The protomolecule has changed everything. Everything has become the wild west when it pertains to that mysterious substance. Everyone may look to Holden for answers because he proclaims having a special connection through Miller. And yet, that has been lost since the protomolecule structure has been activated once more. There may be salvation thanks to the protomolecule. The citizens on Ilus are safe within the structure. However, threats keep presenting themselves in numerous ways. The food and water supplies may only last for a few days. Infections are growing within the eyes of everyone except Holden. And finally, toxic slugs have invested the structure and kill anyone they contact. It's such a perilous time. It may be too much overall. But it certainly paints a dire picture of just how much can be lost in the exploration of something new. The systems aren't in place to actively help the people trapped here either. Murtry largely thinks about the future profits. That's what's driving him forward. Holden is looking out for everyone's safety. And yet, he still may have to make tough calls in order to survive. That will be devastating when it actually occurs. Will salvation come before that? The protomolecule could do something more. But that too would infer some kind of deep respect for humanity when it has only proven to be disastrous so far.