The Expanse recap: Season 2, Episode 3, “Static”, Aired Feb. 8, 2017
This week on The Expanse, tensions were, if possible, even higher. We left the last episode in a huge mess containing the fallout of the attack on Eros and the raid on the satellite/data center, Earth and Mars at each others throats after Mars destroyed Phoebe Station, and the Belters and the OPA struggling to keep disparate factions together in support of a common goal.
And the hits just kept on coming.
We kicked off with Earth’s destruction of Mars’ moon, Deimos, in an attack that killed 17. Earth claims it as a just retaliation for the attack Mars carried out last week. But you know, is also basically, a declaration of war.
The political situation on Earth is, thankfully, becoming a little clearer. Chrisjen is skeptical about Mars’ lack of response to their attack, either diplomatically or militarily so she decides to go ahead with her plan to contact Fred Johnson and ask for his help. She sends him a sweet little video message, casually committing some light treason, admitting that she’s been lying to protect herself, a shield for whatever corruption is happening in the government. She wants him to help prevent an all-out war, which she recognizes is the best way to protect everyone from the Big Bad that’s pulling strings. What she really needs is some evidence this Big Bad exists.
Fred Johnson receives her message and wants to help, even though if the OPA found out they would probably kill him. Chrisjen receives a message containing the coordinates of a stealth ship, but it isn’t clear if Johnson is the sender.
Elsewhere, Holden is super pissed at Miller for shooting Dresden and it’s complicating a lot of his relationships. Especially his relationship with Naomi because even she thinks he’s going a little overboard on this one. Dresden was a mass murderer. Plus, they detained another scientist, Cortazar, who could effectively stand in for Dresden by providing the same information or help formulate a vaccine.
Bringing Cortazar into the mix took everything up a notch. Their initial interrogation gets them nowhere. Then Amos of all people provides a little insight. After observing his behavior, he makes a telling comparison between Cortazar and a pedophile, changing the interrogation team’s tactics. We also learn the reason for this detached behavior. Cortazar’s brain has been altered by a magnet rendering him incapable of empathy. They found he had this in common with all the other scientists working on the project. They also learned that all the scientists had previously worked for Earth-based company Protogen. Coincidence? Conspiracy.
Amos excites Cortazar by offering twisted details of Julie Mao’s death, the deaths of the people on the Anubis, and on Eros. It works like a charm and suddenly we get all kinds of information about the Protomolecule.
This is where everything gets real. I had to pay really close attention to the phrasing of the dialogue, which was fascinating and I’m falling in love with The Expanse writing team. I still have so many questions. But this is what I gathered. At one point Cortazar says the dead are in fact, “not dead, becoming.” WHAT? Apparently the Protomolecule is some type of seed crystal that feeds on energy. That’s why they found it frozen around the reactor on the Anubis, why Julie Mao smashed all the electronics in her motel room. Depriving the Protomolecule of electricity starves it. It also, evidently, preserves parts the host it infects. The consequences of this are as of yet, unclear.
The interrogators play a sound recording from Eros for Cortazar and he gets all kinds of amped, as if he can understand the noises. The sounds are the Protomolecule counting down. He says it’s building something. We might not know what the Protomolecule is building on Eros, but I do know that this show is building up to one hell of a climax.
Questions, Comments, and Concerns from this week’s episode of The Expanse:
Miller is missing from the recap above but he made some moves this week. He did a little soul-searching brought him to the Mormon Temple. He claims to need salvation but instead goes to Fred Johnson with a plan to return to Eros, and to destroy it using the Navoo, the ship Tycho Station is building for the Mormons. So, he’s crazy, right?
Also missing above is my girl Draper, the Martian Marine Sergeant. After the Deimos attack she’s ready for war but her crew gets sent out to protect the food supply, farm duty. This makes me think there’s a Big Bad player in the Martian military that’s keeping a cap on this situation. But who is it?
Lastly, can we talk about the music from this week’s episode for a second? Amazing. Someone on Tycho Station makes an electronic remix of the noises coming off Eros and it’s banging. Can I get that on Spotify? Let me know. Also, I can’t help but make this reference. Does anyone remember when the aliens in Zenon: The Zequal used Protozoa’s music from the original Zenon movie to call for help? Just me? Okay, I’ll be sitting in my corner until next week.
(Featured Image Courtesy Kurt Iswarienko/Syfy)