Wednesday, December 30, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Expanse' - Every Discovery About Marco's Plan and Support Further Showcases His Power in 'Down and Out'

Amazon's The Expanse - Episode 5.05 "Down and Out"

Amos and Clarissa are trapped in a collapsed building. Naomi contends with her old family. Holden assembles a new crew on the Roci. Alex and Bobbie make a dangerous discovery in 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.

"Down and Out" was written by Matthew Rasmussen and directed by Jeff Woolnough

The Rocinante crew have saved the world several times already. Holden, Naomi, Amos and Alex work very well as a cohesive unit. And yet, humanity as a whole is defined by more than the actions of four people. They have the noble intentions to protect the system from the unknown threats that are constantly appearing. The world sees new potential because of the Ring and the exploration of new worlds. The Rocinante crew fears what is lurking beyond these new horizons. Plus, the animosity and divisions of the past are still driving conflicts at the moment. All four of them are caught up in different parts of Marco's grand terrorist plot. They each reflect a different piece of the puzzle. Amos is on Earth dealing with the aftermath of the asteroid attacks. He and Clarissa emerge from the underground prison to a completely changed world. One that offers some new freedom. But one only brought forth by destruction and uncertainty. This fate befall Amos because he chose to stay on Earth another day. He had to reach out to Clarissa. That bond was important to him. He protects her here as well. They fight to survive. And yet, it's still essentially the two of them left in a desolated environment as they try to make sense of what the world has suddenly become. Meanwhile, Alex and Bobbie are realizing just how daunting Marco's army has become because of the support from Mars. Their home planet has been destroyed as well. It has been a much more cultural destruction. The ideals of the planet have died. Some politicians have been targeted too. However, it doesn't compare with the devastation that has occurred on Earth. All of that is possible because of the people who back Marco's vision of the universe. He gains so much support because he positions himself as the only leader from the Belt who is representing the Belt's best interests. For too long, the fate of these people have been decided by Earth and Mars or by those fleeing circumstances elsewhere in the hopes of making a difference with this group. Fred Johnson always had noble ideals. He refused to listen to Holden when it came to eliminating his sample of the protomolecule. He was still fundamentally a good person. Drummer honors that here before she accepts Marco's invitation to discuss the future of their fractions in the Belt. Holden occupies a similar space. He is seen as a hero throughout the system. He commands respect and authority on Tycho Station. And yet, he also fulfills the same narrative of a disaffected citizen of Earth fleeing to the Belt and deciding what's worth accepting in life for its citizens. The core argument can be compelling. It has simply been corrupted by the violence that dictates Marco's politics. He views that as the only way to command and lead. He is disappointed when Filip shows compassion and empathy for his mother. That action revealed that he may not have the conviction to see this mission through to its end. Naomi knows that she has to either kill Marco or send a warning out to the world to protect her friends. It's still a dire situation for so many. Of course, it's also foolish that Holden didn't think to inspect the Rocinante's repairs since Sakai was in charge of them. The Rocinante is the ship that can do significant damage. She had the access to sabotage it before it could launch an attack. That seemed like a reasonable thing that could have happened. Instead, it takes Naomi reaching out at the last possible moment for Holden to question just how hindered his capabilities truly are on Tycho. That too reveals just how daunting the world has become for the members of the Rocinante crew. Together, they could conquer so much. They had each other's support constantly. They couldn't always handle everything that happened. However, they always ensured that they could all survive long enough to find a resolution to their tragic circumstances. And now, those support systems are spread out across the universe. The world has expanded so much and sent them all on these separate journeys. Again, they are all still connected. It will take a lot of hard work to get back to each other. That could provide enough ammunition to strike Marco. But that could doom the world as well and ensure the fractions are cemented throughout the system in addition to all the unknown threats coming as a result of the protomolecule. They have allies. The future hasn't been set in stone just yet. They hold themselves to honorable standards. They can easily rally against this common threat who is drastically reshaping the universe. However, these problems just continue to increase in scale which has become too much for any individual or team to handle by themselves. Marco is still seen as a terrorist. The world hasn't surrendered to him yet. The power he has amassed may ensure that inevitability shortly. He may control the future of the system. It's a new era for humanity. One that so many are fighting against but are doing so in increasingly fractured ways unaware of just how deep the divisions have always been. That puts things in sharp context for the people across the system.