‘The Expanse’ 2×6 recap: “Paradigm Shift” changes course

The Expanse Season 2, Episode 6 recap: “Paradigm Shift”, Aired March 1, 2017

Last week’s episode of The Expanse saw the end of one of the longest outstanding plot lines when Eros crashed into Venus with both Julie and Miller inside. So this week was going to be a bit of a mystery. As the title suggests, we’ve ever so subtly changed directions. Instead of looking outward from the Protomolecule, this week we find ourselves looking inward at the relationships between both the characters we’ve come to know and the parts of the Solar System they represent.

“Paradigm Shift” features a flashback to Solomon Epstein inventing (or discovering accidentally) the Epstein Drive, the technology that made colonizing space possible. This is a great working metaphor for the impact humans have had since that moment, how technology and invention have been a driving force, pushing humanity farther out into the universe. It was inevitable that they would find things they didn’t like.

On Earth, Chrisjen is asserting some dominance. She gives her blessing for her former man-friend (?) to look into finding Eros on Venus. Thankfully, she also finally has it out a bit with Errinwright, demanding that Mao turn himself in for all the Protogen stuff and basically almost killing Earth. She’s got a point. It’s nice to see her anger hitting the right target. What she did was pretty brilliant. Patience was her virtue. She put herself in the best possible position, demanding Mao come forward without revealing how much she knows about him conspiring with Errinwright. Her reward is keeping her place as a power player.


While Chrisjen is showing us exactly where she stands, Fred Johnson is doing the same thing…kind of. After Earth’s missiles were rendered useless in the attempt to destroy Eros, 30 of them went missing. These 30 missiles turn up in a giant space net, no joke. Turns out, little old Fred decided to save some for himself. He claims this is just a contingency plan, but tensions are rising and belters are more pissed off than anyone. Where Martians and Earthers seem to reach common ground from time to time, Belters don’t feel any of the camaraderie. Earth and Mars have habitually taken advantage of their work and their resources. They’re not going to forget it.


This has an interesting consequence for Holden and Naomi. Naomi is a belter, through and through. She shows her allegiance when she deviates from Holden’s way of thinking. There’s no doubt that even though she’s with Holden, she still thinks for herself. She decides to help the Tycho Station crew with the destruction of the nukes. Fred Johnson sums up this tension nicely when he tells Holden to, “pick a side!” Everyone is going to have to pick a side. It’ll be interesting to see where people choose to place their allegiance. And if I know The Expanse writers at all, it won’t be what we’re expecting.


Hands down the most shocking bit of this week’s episode was the incident on Ganymede. I feel like I don’t even know enough about what happened to write about it, but I’m going to give it a go. It seems that our crew of Martian Marines gets attacked by what I can only imagine is some sort of alien force. Whether or not it has anything to do with the Protomolecule is unclear. It’s also slightly unclear whether there are any survivors of the attack, but my money is on our girl Bobbie making it through. There’s no way we spent so much time getting to know her earlier this season just for her to die in the blink of an eye.

Overall, this week’s episode was brilliant for the subtlety and characterization. We changed course, but players are still dropping into their spaces all across the board. I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next week.


(Featured Image Courtesy SyFy)


Elle Uecker

Elle is a Portland based writer interested in all life's curiosities. She gets a little too enthusiastic about well-timed puns and space, the final frontier. She has also been known, from time to time, to crack a joke.

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