War is brewing in the solar system. As pretty much anyone could have predicted, Earth’s destruction of Mars’s moon Deimos, with 17 people on it, isn’t being taken well. The Martian news calls it a cowardly act by Earth, and Gunny’s squad start’s training to fight. One of her squad members is on the receiving end of some abuse. Since he immigrated to Mars from Earth. When the teasing becomes too much and he lashes out, and Gunny has to punch him to end the fight. While speaking to her commanding officer about the incident, she again makes clear her desire to go to war. Instead, she’s told her crew will be protecting farms. Not quite the excitement she’d been hoping for.Things aren’t going well for the crew of the Rocinante either. It turns out Holden wasn’t too happy with Miller’s decision to shoot Dr. Dresden at the end of last week’s premiere. Miller is off the ship and drowning his sorrows in a bottle. Amos stops by to drop off Miller’s stuff and ends up sharing a drink with him. With nowhere to go and thoroughly drunk, Miller ends up crashing with a fan who approaches him at the bar. The guy think’s Miller’s a Hero for what he did to Dresden. The next morning, Miller is trying to concentrate on his shave, but his host is listening to some truly awful music. He asks what that noise is, and the kid tells him. It’s being broadcast from Eros.As for the rest of the crew, Holden and Naomi have a disagreement over whether Miller actually did the right thing. Naomi has a point: Dresden was a mass-murderer. Naomi makes a new friend and spends the day working off the tension with a game of handball and some beers. Alex, on the other hand, spends the episode suffering from post-traumatic stress. He’s built a simulation of the raid on the lab. He blames himself for letting one of the pods full of soldiers get shot, and runs the simulation over and over again, trying to prove to himself that he could have saved them.Thomas Jane as Detective Joe Miller. (Photo via Syfy)The most interesting part of the episode focused on Holden trying to figure out what to do about the Protomolecule. With Dresden dead, they try to get information from Paolo Cortazar, the scientist that knew most about the experiment. Unfortunately, he seems to think a lot like Dresden. He doesn’t care about the deaths he caused; he only cares about furthering his research. We learn that it’s because all the scientists working on this project had the empathy centers 0f their brains wiped. They don’t care about anyone but themselves.With no other option, Amos and Holden decide to give him what he wants: information. They tell him exactly what they saw, both on the Anubis and on Eros. In return, he tells them everything he knows about the Protomolecule. It’s not a disease. It’s an interconnected living organism. It can create a brain and heart for itself, and more importantly, it can learn. The point of the Eros experiment, Cortazar says, was to see if it could be controlled. Needing more information Holden plays him a broadcast from Eros. Amos recognizes it as the music from the bar the previous night. Cortazar says it’s the sound of the Protomolecule counting down. It’s building something.Meanwhile, Miller stops by the Mormon church to learn all about the Century Ship they’re building. It’s a gigantic ship, capable of sustaining farms and, hopefully, human life for centuries while they search for God. Has Miller found religion? Well, not quite. When he visits Colonel Johnson, he reveals that he wants to go back to Eros and destroy it. And he’s found just the ship for the job.Steven Strait as James Holden, Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata and Chad Coleman as Fred Johnson. (Photo via Syfy)Sadly, Avasarala didn’t have a whole lot to do this episode, but her developments will probably prove valuable as the series goes on. Recognizing she’ll need all the friends she can get in the coming war; she sends a message to Johnson. He feels the same way she does and decides to help her out even if it means the Outer Planets Alliance might put a price on his head. Later, towards the end of the episode, she receives coordinates that point to a stealth ship.After last week’s two-hour premiere, this episode was about setting a tone and structure for the rest of the season to follow. There wasn’t a whole lot of action, but that’s not what we watch The Expanse for anyway. It was also a little light on the political intrigue, but what was there had promising implications for the future of the season. Instead, this episode focused on the characters. A lot has changed in the past few episodes; the show needed this episode to establish where everyone stands now. It may not have been as exciting as last week’s premiere, but thanks to the show’s impressive, diverse cast of characters, it worked. For this episode, anyway. Here’s hoping it can get back up to last week’s pace soon. Stay on target Top Movie and TV Trailers to Watch From SDCC 2019No Game of Thrones This Year: 11 Shows to Watch While You Wait
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