Wednesday, December 23, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Expanse' - Devastation Looms as the Entire System Learns the Scope of Marco's Attack in 'Gaugamela'

Amazon's The Expanse - Episode 5.04 "Gaugamela"

Marco's grand plan shocks Earth, Mars and the Belt.

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.

"Gaugamela" was written by Dan Nowak and directed by Nick Gomez

It's shocking when someone comes to the realization that the guiding principle that used to define and lead society no longer seems to be true. People hold their ideals firmly in the hopes of always creating a better society. The reality hasn't always lined up as such. Tragedies and oppression have always occurred. People have long had to reckon with those heinous actions in order to make any progress whatsoever. And yet, it's stunning when people see the world radically change right in front of them. This show has always been so expansive with its exploration of the universe. It has dramatically altered the world and all that is possible. Those discoveries have forced governing principles to change immediately. The Belt has always fought for its independence. It had a new sense of purpose because of Fred Johnson and gaining control of the Ring. And now, all of that hard work is destroyed by Marco Inaros and the Free Navy. He believes that violence is the only way that he can commend respect from the powers that have long oppressed him and his people. This has always been his mission. He wants his enemies to suffer. That is the only way to secure a changed world in his eyes. It's not good enough to trust that new forms of leadership will rise up and trust the treaties that have been signed in the hopes of establishing new peace. An election was decided on Earth entirely based on how the leaders would handle the Ring and the exploration of new worlds. Public opinion is constantly shifting. New opportunities are on the horizon. People boast claims of newfound prosperity that can usher in a new era of bliss and prosperity. Marco remains focused on seeking retribution for the past. He kills millions in order to secure the system under his control. He stages a coup of the power structure that has defined life in the universe for centuries. The battle for control was always between Earth, Mars and the Belt. And now, those systems are starting to fade away. Marco contributed to that implosion by having several asteroids collide directly with Earth. Moreover, he stages attacks on the government leaderships of Mars and the Belt. It's not good enough that people in his own faction want to negotiate and be a co-equal ruling party with these other planets. Marco has viewed Fred Johnson and his leadership as false. He was betraying the identity of the Belt. And yet, what place does Marco have to tell someone else what their experience is? He proclaims that this violence is the only way to bend the world to respect his cause. He also wants to preach about being a changed man because he has been a father. Naomi sees that he is still completely the same. It's just more tragic now because Filip has also been radicalized in this way. It's no big deal that millions have been killed. Naomi reacts in horror to the news. It's devastating. In one swift move, Marco has completely changed the world. He broadcasts his message for all to hear. The system has been at war previously. This fight is something new altogether. It promises a radical shift that has nothing to do with the protomolecule and the threats that could still be on the horizon from other species.

The scope of Marco's grand plan is massive as well. People betray the ideals of what used to be known and familiar to them seemingly because these changes will allow them to maintain some power. Alex can't believe that high ranking Martian leaders are willing to sell technology to Marco so that he can implement this plan. It's a betrayal of their core identity. And yet, Bobbie pinpoints that the dream of Mars is dying. The expansion of the universe means that the recreation of Mars no longer has to occur. People can escape to new frontiers where they can achieve their goals right now. The Martian identity has been shattered. It's important to mourn that loss. The damage has to be mitigated as well. Mars had so much influence over the system for a long time. All it takes is this technology falling into the wrong hands for mass destruction to occur. Any person who doesn't respect Marco's reign will immediately be labeled as the enemy who must be eliminated. All the progress that may have been made is lost. The focus can no longer be on the expanding horizons. Now, it's right back to a fight to survive every day. Naomi hopes to save her son from all of this as well. That's a daunting prospect because Marco already has his hooks in so deep. Holden wants to save the world from imminent destruction from aliens. He can't control the supply of the protomolecule though. People always envision that they will be the ones who use it responsibly. It has brought about destruction everywhere it has been discovered. Battles are being fought over it. Marco has to secure it in order to silence any doubt that he is now in control of everything throughout the system. That unification will be difficult though. He leads through intimidation and fear. Sure, it's told through a tone of passionate rebellion where the people just need to rise up from their oppressors to embrace a better world. Millions have died in the process though. No one knows what the leadership is anywhere else in the world. Now, that may offer Avasarala the opportunity to lead and be respected once more by her home planet. And yet, she is completely in the dark about how her family is doing. She needs them to be safe. However, she doesn't know. The only assurance she has is that Nancy Gao's final order to scan for stealth technology went out and prevented further destruction. The damage has already been done though. The rules of society have been altered where no one can make sense of what can happen next. Everyone remains scattered. These like-minded individuals could eventually form some presence that condemns Marco as the criminal. But his supporters are just as enthusiastic and emboldened in their beliefs. Amos and Clarissa may escape from the rubble that currently traps them. Holden and Avasarala may find a way to establish governments for Earth and the Belt once more. Alex and Bobbie may disrupt further sales of this dangerous technology. That won't allow things to go back to what they were. That hope may still be worth fighting for in the end. This scale of damage only proves that Marco is capable of doing even more heinous actions to those who challenge him for control. More lives could be lost as well. That dire state of the world only intensifies the narrative as everyone has to fight for their own survival first essentially.