[This is a review of The Expanse season 1, episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.]
It's all about war stories and confessions this week in The Expanse, with most of our colorful cast of characters revealing more about what makes them who they are. The ever growing ensemble continues to expand with addition of young Diogo, the "gutter punk."
While 'Rock Bottom' was the most plot-heavy episode of the season, it still felt essential to the overall story by giving us more insight into the world that these people inhabit. Diogo is someone who we briefly saw stealing water a few weeks back and now he's working with his Uncle Mateo on an asteroid. Even though we last saw Diogo floating in space, it doesn't feel like he's a goner. Either the Martians, or some other group will most likely pick him up. Otherwise that whole story seems like a waste.
Back on Tycho Station, Holden gets honest with his crew about how he was the one responsible for getting them mixed up in all of this. What's great about this turn of events, is the fact that the crew didn't immediately dismiss Holden, or quickly forgive him. They all needed time to think and drink. We finally learn that Amos grew up in bars and night clubs as a youngster, which is probably what makes him so distrustful and street smart. The pilot Alex Kamal is no longer married, but continues to carry a picture of his ex-wife and son wherever he goes. At his core, he's just a pilot trying to prove he has what it takes after the Martian fleet wouldn't allow him to pilot one of their gunships.
On a different part of the station, that we'll classify as the "chill bar" Holden and Nagata share drinks trying to drown out the past. Holden is in so deep he doesn't even know why he's pursuing this mission, expect that it's his fault everyone is dead. Guilt is a strong elixir, but fortunately he doesn't have to carry that burden alone. The crew is back together again and this reviewer couldn't be happier. Watching them develop over the course of this season has been a joy to watch.
If The Expanse has a puppet master, it would have to be Chrisjen Avasarala who is the most vicious character of the bunch. She is the one person who can play a deadly game of politics while simultaneously getting ice cream for her grandson. Watch that scene again and you can see Chrisjen waving her hand just like Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. You know you want some ice cream right now. While everyone is reacting to the events around them, Avasarala appears the be five steps ahead, planning for the big picture. What that is exactly, remains a mystery.
Dawes and Miller's relationship continues to provide superb moments between two veteran actors. Watching Jared Harris tell the story of his sickly sister was fantastic. Perhaps he's not a monster in the truest sense, but he's one of those "freedom fighters" who will do anything to get the job done. Even if that means sacrificing the ones he loves. Dawes figures out that Miller is in love with Julie Mao, but we still don't have the context to back that story up. From here on out, the former detective is on his own. Even the cops on Ceres on under Dawes' control.
There are only four episodes left in the first season of The Expanse and there's still so much ground to cover. What are you looking forward to seeing before the season finale? Keep watching to see what happens next.
The Expanse continues with 'Windmills' next Tuesday @10pm on Syfy. Check out an inside look at 'Rock Bottom' below: