A Legitimate Salvage

Never seen The Expanse before and want to get in on the ground floor? Let some long-time podcasters, pop-culture journalists and Doctor Who fans join you as we visit—or revisit—one of the smartest streaming science fiction shows.

Podcast artwork by Antony Johnston; podcast theme by Shahid Kamal Ahmad.

All Episodes

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    January 19, 2022 Season 6, Episode 6, Series Finale
    41 “Babylon’s Ashes”

    We did it, everybody. The entire team reunites to celebrate a solid end (for now) to a great series. We check in on family dinners, missing (or not missing) pilots, when it’s time to turn down a job, and our hopes for the video future of the franchise. Chip makes one last Babylon 5 comparison (spoilers for a quarter-decade-old series). And, oh, yeah, we make plans to read some books.

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    January 13, 2022 Season 6, Episode 5
    40 “Why We Fight”

    Just in time for (Chip looks at his calendar) the last episode to air, we check in for the penultimate episode, the calm before the storm, as Chip, Jen, and Warren dread the prospect of life without The Expanse or, worse, life without proper closure to The Expanse. Will we have to—gasp—read the books…?

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    January 5, 2022 Season 6, Episode 4
    39 “Redoubt”

    Yo ho ho, a pirate’s life for Drummer! Manager of the Year Marco Inaros has a series of bad days, James Holden has a series of tough conversations, stuff is happening on Laconia—and we’ve only got TWO episodes left to resolve everything and get to a satisfying TV conclusion…?

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    December 29, 2021 Season 6, Episode 3
    38 “Force Projection”

    “Marco, a narcissist says what?” After unexpectedly invoking the reappearance of two old characters, your hosts engage in a second Cavalcade of Cameos, explore the bro-nemies relationship between Amos and Bobbie, examine Chekhov’s Vegetable, and evaluate whether the season’s heading for a properly impactful conclusion to the series.

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    December 24, 2021 Season 6, Episode 2
    37 “Azure Dragon”

    Over six seasons of protomolecular weirdness, intrasystem politics, and character conflict, it’s possible that The Expanse’s bread and butter has remained “pew pew pew” space combat. “Azure Dragon” returns to the show’s roots. Your hosts think about privateers, piracy, and whether the newest member of the Roci crew is Peaches or Poochie.

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    December 17, 2021 Season 6, Episode 1
    36 “Strange Dogs”

    We’re back, and Warren’s in rare form: “[Marco’s] totally that guy who works for a startup in crypto.” Hear your cohosts come to terms with the shortness of the series, unpack the new Roci team structure, and contemplate the Belters’ monstrous new status quo.

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    February 14, 2021 Season 5, Episode 10
    35 “Nemesis Games”

    The end of the season signals a shift back to ancient protomoleculish weirdness in Season 6, but before that a character walks into an open elevator shaft, Naomi’s story has the best possible payoff and the best sequence of the season, and we celebrate “beautiful purple ribbons of death.” And, yes, The Expanse IS feminist media.

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    February 4, 2021 Season 5, Episode 9
    34 “Winnipesaukee”

    As we gear up for the finale, Episode 9 features some of the most enthusiastic nitpicking your panel has indulged in for quite a while—and we still LIKED this one! But which character do we compare to Dr. Pulaski? What do we think of Marco’s 1980s Thriller look? How about one of the fastest political transitions in TV history? Who coins the regrettable phrases “tready-watery-ish” and “emotional manipulation bellgrande”? Seriously, we liked this one.

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    January 30, 2021 Season 5, Episode 8
    33 “Hard Vacuum”

    Being a discussion of the collective genius of Dominique Tipper and Cara Gee, a rumination of the finer points of Flock of Seagulls hair, a meditation on a fast apocalypse vs. a slow breakdown of society, and an exploration of the intersection of The Expanse and Kim’s Convenience.

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    January 20, 2021 Season 5, Episode 7
    32 “Oyedeng”

    We will mince no words in this podcast description: welcome to our favorite episode of the season.

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    January 15, 2021 Season 5, Episodes 5-6
    31 “Down and Out” and “Tribes”

    Two Expanse episodes for the price of one podcast, as your reviewers get back on track. Have we started caring about Clarissa Mao? Why didn’t Marco go all Khan Noonian Singh on Cyn and Filip? Is there nothing more perfect than Bobbie in armor? And are we getting closer to Holden doing something? Just…something???

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    December 30, 2020 Season 5, Episode 4
    30 “Gaugamela”

    As we continue to butcher the pronunciation of Gaugamela, Warren Frey rejoins the team as we debate whether it’s reassuring or depressing that The Expanse’s future is just as screwed up as 2020! We debate Season 5’s special effects, marvel at Amos Burton the Nurturer, indulge in yet another Babylon 5 reference, and come to terms with the fact that the legs have been kicked out from under the solar system’s status quo.

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    December 26, 2020 Season 5, Episodes 1-3
    29 “Exodus,” “Churn,” and “Mother”

    We’re back with a comparatively fast, character-focused overview of the first three episodes that dropped on Dec. 16, including a couple of characters who can’t help being who they are, a couple that react to a loss of positions of prestige and influence VERY differently, and the show’s return to the early seasons’ three-way political struggle now under a new context: the land rush through the Ring Gate. We’ll be back soon with Season 5 Episode 4!

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    May 13, 2020 Season 4, Episode 10
    28 “Cibola Burn”

    Despite all of the pandemic’s distractions—we made it, everybody! Join the full crew as we celebrate Ashford’s blaze of glory; consider a season finale that is 10 percent resolution, 50 percent complication, 40 percent setup for Season 5; and spend a disproportionate time lovingly nitpicking Season 4 to death. We love The Expanse, but what worked and didn’t this time around? We’ll be back occasionally between seasons, probably taking our first steps into the printed universe….

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    April 27, 2020 Season 4, Episode 9
    27 “Saeculum”

    Triangle Man, Triangle Man, doing the things Miller can…. It’s a packed action-movie penultimate episode for Season 4, where The Expanse’s theme of interdependence is brilliantly illustrated with gunfights, railguns, last-minute rescues, and an Eye of Sauron. We compare “Saeculum” to PROMETHEUS and of course find the latter wanting, and Kayti gets her Majel Barrett on.

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    April 14, 2020 Season 4, Episode 8
    26 “The One-Eyed Man”

    We’re back after a long absence and set for the home stretch for Season 4. In an episode recorded just as New York’s governor announced a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, your loyal podcasters reflected on just how CATHARTIC it was to see the disasters on Ilus and in orbit solved with SCIENCE and HOPE. Also: there was a hell of a lot of plot in this episode!

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    March 18, 2020 Season 4, Episode 7
    25 “A Shot in the Dark”

    How would you rather die on Ilus: green microbes to the eyeballs or green murder slugs falling from the sky? (Sorry, we only have options in green.) Jen, Kayti, and Warren also discuss the elegance of Chrisjen’s loungewear, Murtry’s wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing act, and whether or not we can relate to Okoye’s The Investigator Envy (also green). Oh, and Amos might just be Jen’s favorite TV character OF ALL TIME.

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    March 2, 2020 Season 4, Episode 6
    24 “Displacement”

    Maybe recording an episode at a Doctor Who convention made it inevitable: there are SO many accidental parallels drawn between British TV and The Expanse! Kayti reveals the secret connection between Ilus and Narnia. Chip reveals the secret connection between Holden and Harry Potter. Warren and Kayti GO TO A DARK PLACE when it comes to a Tiny Tim character and the tsunami. Kayti pitches a new Call the Midwife series. Also: Has the protomolecule’s mastery over the laws of physics leaped into self-parody?

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    February 10, 2020 Season 4, Episode 5
    23 “Oppressor”
    Hosts Jen Burt and Warren Frey

    We discuss Holden’s terrible mediation skills, Avasarala’s equally bad campaigning skills, and Alex’s audition for an episode of Space ER. And, left to their own devices, Warren and Jen question how does universal basic income work in this show?

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    January 23, 2020 Season 4, Episode 4
    22 “Retrograde”

    This “beginning an episode in the aftermath of a Murtry killing” thing seems to be recurring, no? We establish D&D alignments for a few of our characters (some of us are sorrier than others), explore the limits of OPA governance, and see just how much mileage Shohreh Aghdashloo can get out of a bare few minutes of blistering cussing.

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    January 18, 2020 Season 4, Episode 3
    21 “Subduction”

    A tabletop showdown “from one killer to another,” followed by one of those killers leaning into the title. Holden reverting to form in dealing with the Protomolecule: “Blow it up real good.” Electoral troubles on Earth. Messing with Aunt Bobbie when messing with Aunt Bobbie is STRICTLY PROHIBITED by the A Legitimate Salvage Bobbie Draper Appreciation Society. There’s not a lot of idealism to be found in the third episode of Season 4!

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    January 2, 2020 Season 4, Episode 2
    20 “Jetsam”

    We call this meeting of the Bobbie Draper Appreciation Society to order (club motto: “Don’t Mess With Aunt Bobbie”), compare Earth and Mars to Athens and Sparta, question whether Naomi’s operating on stoicism or denial, and debate the Second Coming of Diogo.

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    December 22, 2019 Season 4, Episode 1
    19 “New Terra”

    We’re starting our walk through Season 4! Which Expanse characters sound like they ought to be an R&B duo, and does that mean it’s time for a BUFFY-like musical episode? We talk about what a difference it makes to spend so much time on not one, not two, but three planets in a single episode, and so little on spaceships. Also on the docket: the dangerous animal magnetism of Burn Gorman, Steven Strait’s plus-10 modifiers to smiling, a couch-surfing former gunnery sergeant, and a couple of bold predictions from the podcasters who have only seen the first episode of the season…

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    December 8, 2019 Season 3, Episodes 12-13
    18 “Congregation” and “Abaddon’s Gate”

    We made it! Just in time for Season 4! The whole band is together to evaluate the season finale and look back on the last three seasons. FUN FACT: Diogo Harari embodies the ethos and consequences of The Expanse’s universe. FUN FACT: It all comes down to screwing in a light bulb backwards. FUN FACT: We still can’t hate Ashford. FUN FACT: A Legitimate Salvage will continue through Season 4 (with weekly recaps because we can’t record 13 episodes in one day). Be seeing you!

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    December 1, 2019 Season 3, Episodes 10-11
    17 “Dandelion Sky” and “Fallen World”

    Fair warning here: We’re going to talk a LOT about Melba Koh on this one, because even when Clarissa Explains It Allâ„¢ she is still the most opaque, SIMPLE character in all of The Expanse. On more positive notes, we talk about the easiest work week Steven Strait ever had, what happens when you trap two great antagonists in a room with farming equipment, the place of Kubrickian psychedelia in our formerly grounded SF drama, and the lesson Anna Volovodov learned.

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    November 25, 2019 Season 3, Episodes 8-9
    16 “It Reaches Out” and “Intransigence”

    Thirty-five protomolecule scans don’t lie: Holden doesn’t have an infection, he has a Miller! We watch an increasingly coherent Thomas Jane-shaped holographic projection get into an increasingly edgy Holden’s head. Meanwhile, Melba’s feeling really conflicted about being a vengeful murderer (poor thing) and ships are starting to pour (very slowly) into the Ring. Listen, enjoy, and feel sorry for Kayti and Jen as Warren makes it his personal mission to work Canadian Content into every part of the conversation.

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    November 17, 2019 Season 3, Episodes 6-7
    15 “Immolation” and “Delta-V”

    The return of a particularly glorious hat. A slingshot racer’s need for a broader social circle. The end of one chapter (and also of a whole lot of mustache-twirlers), but also the beginning of a seriously bonkers new era for THE EXPANSE—one that blessedly avoided being cut short when Amazon stepped in.

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    November 11, 2019 Season 3, Episodes 4-5
    14 “Reload” and “Triple Point”

    Submitted for your approval: Redefining “We.” Determining who the “real” enemy is. Space Con on the Rocinante. The Mustache-twirlers of the Cosmos. Just WHO would make DR. STRICKLAND their commercial spokesmodel? And where’s that Prax-watching-FRIENDS crossover fanvid Kayti’s been looking for?

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    November 4, 2019 Season 3, Episodes 2-3
    13 “IFF” and “Assured Destruction”

    As the war between Earth and Mars intensifies, we ask what kind of leader is Secretary General Gillis, and do we need air quotes around “leader”? Who would win in a fight, Amos or Bobbie? Does ANYONE win when Chrisjen and Naomi face off? (The viewer!)

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    October 27, 2019 Season 2, Episode 13 and Season 3, Episode 1
    12 “Caliban’s War” and “Fight or Flight”

    Our intrepid podcasters generate a truly ludicrous number of multi-camera sitcom Expanse spinoffs, and the Arboghast mirrors reality as brief encounters with Adam Savage are related in both. Plus, oh yeah, we’re only talking about the Season 2 finale AND the Season 3 premiere. Pound for pound, you won’t find a better value in Expanse rewatch podcast episodes this week.

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    October 22, 2019 Season 2, Episodes 11-12
    11 “Here There Be Dragons” and “The Monster and the Rocket”

    Bobbie seeks political asylum on Earth and joins up with Chrisjen and Cotyar. We could watch a whole show of these three eating finger sandwiches and swearing. Naomi attempts to save as many people as possible from a dying Ganymede while James “Ahab” Holden hunts the Protomolecule Man. And Kayti Burt asks the REALLY pressing question: “Who cares about the Arboghast, anyway?”

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    October 14, 2019 Season 2, Episodes 9-10
    10 “The Weeping Somnambulist” and “Cascade”

    Listen. It’s hard enough to SAY “somnambulist.” But then you have to TYPE it. REPEATEDLY.

    Oh, and Gunny sees the ocean.

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    October 6, 2019 Season 2, Episodes 7-8
    9 “The Seventh Man” and “Pyre”

    The whole system seems on the verge of chaos, but no one knows which way it will fall. We meet Prax, get annoyed by Diogo again, see Naomi and James use the “L” word while at least ONE of them promises “no more secrets,” and we get a crash course in Belter politics delivered by the formidible Anderson Dawes. Oh, yeah, and we find out that Alex’s superpower is pissing off people who have Seen Some Stuff.

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    October 1, 2019 Season 2, Episodes 5-6
    8 “Home” and “Paradigm Shift”

    Midway through Season 2, The Expanse finally makes it through all of the events featured in Book #1, Leviathan Wakes. We can’t imagine not having had Chrisjen around this whole time, so: good job, show! Not so sure about that Epstein vignette, though. Or the scene that ties up Miller and Julie’s storylines. What can we say? Our podcast contains multitudes.

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    September 22, 2019 Season 2, Episodes 3-4
    7 “Static” and “Godspeed”

    Miller faces the consequences for summarily executing the protomolecule scientist—by convincing Fred Johnson to hijack the Mormons’ generation ship to destroy Eros. Miller has a definitely interesting career arc these days. Meanwhile, Holden emotes a lot, Amos’s lack of emoting pays off huge dividends, and everyone finds out in the end that you just Can’t Stop the Rock, with apologies to Apollo 440.

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    September 17, 2019
    6 “Safe” and “Doors and Corners”

    Season two begins with new cast members, new relationships, near-murder, murder-murder, spycraft, subterfuge, and Diogo. Again.

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    September 8, 2019 Season 1, Episodes 9-10
    5 “Critical Mass” and “Leviathan Wakes”

    The first season is already over! We have a name for our pain, and that name is “protomolecule”—as The Expanse takes a turn from conspiracy thriller to straight-on horror. Meanwhile, the nature of the conspiracy—or at least the players behind it—is laid bare, and Holden and Miller become buddy cops, except that they’re neither buddies nor cops, but they are irradiated, so…twinsies?

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    September 1, 2019 Season 1, Episodes 7-8
    4 “Windmills” and “Salvage”

    Many Meetings! Plotlines and characters converge! Holden tries on a “tough guy” demeanor; it doesn’t fit too well. Amos and Joe Just Are. Chrisjen Avasarala encounters Elise Holden and it’s anything but your traditional Mommy Meetup—but Chrisjen knows how to rock a cape, so it’s all good. And did we mention plotlines and characters converge? The tone for the next two years of The Expanse is set…right…here.

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    August 25, 2019 Season 1, Episodes 5-6
    3 “Back to the Butcher” and “Rock Bottom”

    Backstory, backstory, backstory! The conspiracy becomes more evident—at least to Joe Miller. Pity he’s kind of a jerk! What kind of housewarming gifts do you give to the new owners of a Martian corvette? Naming rights? MORE COFFEE?

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    August 18, 2019 Season 1, Episodes 3-4
    2 “Remember the Cant” and “CQB”

    DEBATE: Which of our detectives on Ceres is becoming an interesting character, and does that mean decreased job security and/or lifespan? Is James Holden becoming James Holden, or is he just Forrest Gump? We get to know what increasingly resembles a core group of characters, and a Legitimate Salvage is properly salvaged.

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    August 12, 2019 Season 1, Episodes 1-2
    1 “Dulcinea” and “The Big Empty”

    Our three-season rewatch of THE EXPANSE begins! Do our lead characters resemble the characters they will become three years from now? Who should be the captain anyway? How do we feel about Detective Joe Miller? What about Amos’s get-to-know-me conversational acumen? Have a listen and enjoy—but jump off at the spoiler break at 39:30 if you’re watching for the first time!

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    August 10, 2019 Teaser trailer for The Incomparable’s new THE EXPANSE podcast
    0 Coming Soon: A Legitimate Salvage

    Coming soon to The Incomparable Network, four Doctor Who nerds embark on a tour of Mars, the Belt, and Earth for a rewatch of their second favorite thing in the universe(*), The Expanse. Each podcast will cover two episodes of The Expanse all the way up to the season four debut in December.

    (*) The Expanse may not in fact be their collective second favorite thing in the universe but hey look, now we sneaked in a Babylon 5 reference as well.