Wednesday, December 16, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Expanse' - Amos Examines the Life He Left Behind While Holden Uncovers a New Threat on Tycho in 'Churn'

Amazon's The Expanse - Episode 5.02 "Churn"

Holden and Fred deal with infiltrators on Tycho. Drummer's past comes back to haunt her. Amos returns to Baltimore. Alex and Bobbie's investigation on Mars leads to rogue soldiers.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Churn" was written by Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck and directed by Breck Eisner

Many of the ensemble were questioning their roles in protecting the universe. A lot of them have been forced to take a break. They are off on personal adventures. They are hoping to find relaxation and delve deeper into personal connections. And yet, it's not long before many of them are pulled right back into the drama. Drummer no longer wanted to serve as a political representative of the Belt. She strives to form her own independent fleet. However, she receives a clue towards Ashford's ship. That will entice her to return to the drama that nearly brought the Belt to destruction. It will throw her right back into the danger of confronting Marco. That's an ambition that many people want in this world. Avasarala is tracking him down. She believes he is responsible for the destruction of a science vessel near Venus. She doesn't know the motivation just yet. However, she feels the urgency to be the one to uncover this conspiracy. It's a personal responsibility for her even though she is no longer Security General. That leadership post has been passed to someone else. She still exists within the government. Her voice still has power. She can make things happen. Her family simply pleads for her to return to a simple life of pleasure with them. She refuses to do so because she still views her job as being important for the salvation of the universe. The narrative has overwhelmingly stated that to be true throughout the course of the series. As such, that may once again be the inevitable direction of this story. It's the life she has chosen for herself. She just doesn't want to recognize the loss she suffers from pushing her family away at this time. She sees more value in questioning the actions of others. She needs to know why Amos is returning to Earth. She needs to know why Marco is attacking a ship outside of his normal pattern of behavior. The mysteries don't line up for her. That unnerves her. She won't be settled until she receives some clarity. Some mysteries in the universe can't be known. The world is always changing. The leadership of Mars notes how every technological advancement means tactics and strategies need to change. Everything evolves in an instant. People have to be ready for that. It means the old guard of thinking and leadership may no longer be necessary. The Rocinante crew has brought in this new reality. They fear it because of what they have endured along the way. It still offers the idea of prosperity to so many as well though. That is a path of excitement that ensures the evolution of the universe may have nothing to do with the people who had power and helped make these advancements possible. But again, the action pulls so many of these players back in with the idea that they aren't done saving the world quite yet. Monica believes she has uncovered a plot to strike the protomolecule the Belt possesses. She is targeted because of that information. Holden has to race against the clock to save her before she runs out of oxygen in a shipping crate. That is a very precarious moment. The advancements in science bring her back to life. Holden can receive the information that immediately put a target on her back. Fred's promise that the protomolecule was safe and secure is immediately challenged through these actions. Holden will have to demand more because he has simply been assigned this responsibility. Monica trusts him only because of his prior interactions with the protomolecule. Trust forms between people who wouldn't normally get along. Bobbie needs Avasarala's resources to undercover the massive smuggling ring on Mars. She needs to know how corrupt the government has become. Alex is recruited into that mission as well. That means his return to Mars won't be entirely focused on trying to win back his family. He makes that choice yet again. He keeps wanting to be pulled back to the allure of the family waiting for him. He just can't grapple with the reality that he is no longer welcomed here. Amos operates with that clarity though. He knows he's not suppose to return to Earth. He lands in Baltimore because his mother has died. He checks in on her life and ensures that her partner is taken care of. When he receives that, he is willing to walk away knowing that he won't ever return. His presence only puts more lives in jeopardy. He still wants a favor from Avasarala though. These connections make an impact. New doors open because trust has been built. And yet, the world continues to evolve. What was once a comfortable thought may no longer be so. That creates a perilous future where former allies collide because their interests have realigned. The threats are constant too. So many don't need convincing to return to the action. It's not even a thought for many of them. These are the patterns of their lives. They accept that even if the season wants them to be more open to the possibility of peace and happiness elsewhere. That's difficult to achieve because of the daunting thoughts of looming destruction based on all that has been seen and experienced.