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….
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.
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!
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.
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?
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?
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.
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!
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.
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…
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!
Fair warning here: We’re going to talk a LOT about Melba Koh on this one, because even when Clarissa Explains It All™ 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.
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.
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.
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?
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!)
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.
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?”
Listen. It’s hard enough to SAY “somnambulist.” But then you have to TYPE it. REPEATEDLY.
Oh, and Gunny sees the ocean.
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.
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.
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.
Season two begins with new cast members, new relationships, near-murder, murder-murder, spycraft, subterfuge, and Diogo. Again.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
August 10, 2019 • 1 minute • Teaser trailer for The Incomparable's new THE EXPANSE podcast • Chip Sudderth