In the three-episode season premiere of The Expanse, the crew take the time off to attend to their personal affairs while the Roci is repaired. Amos heads back home to Baltimore following the death of someone close to him. Alex visits Mars to reconnect with his estranged family but is then caught up in investigating black market arms sales with Bobbie. Naomi searches for her son hoping to convince him to leave his father, Marco Inaris. Holden is left with Fred Johnson to smoke out a mole at Tycho Station. Meanwhile, Avasarala pieces together Inaris’ plan but is too late as the first asteroid impacts Earth.
Marco is quite the strategic genius has he implements a series of coordinated assaults throughout space. His stealth cloaked asteroids pummel Earth leading to devastation. Avasarala mounts a defensive from the moon but the damage has been done resulting in countless deaths and a leadership void on the planet. In a maximum-security prison for augmented humans near the Chesapeake, Amos visits Clarissa Mao before returning to space. Unfortunately, he’s still there during the barrage but maybe the penitentiary’s location deep underground is enough to protect those inside.
Similarly, the Martian Parliament is attacked destabilizing the other galaxy superpower. Meanwhile, Tycho Station’s mole reveals themselves during a smash and grab. Though Holden and Fred think they’re the ones setting a trap, the spy and their cohorts ambush the pair and go searching for the whereabouts of the protomolecule.
After all his strikes are successful, Marco is ready to officially declare the Belter’s rise to prominence. Not before his family reunion though as Filip arrives with Naomi in tow. The self-appointed leader broadcasts to everyone that he’s responsible for the Earth and Mars attacks and with his amassed fleet of spaceships and possession of the Ring Space and protomolecule, declares Belter’s coming out.
“Guagamela” is an explosive and intense episode of The Expanse in both the large and small scale. We witness the asteroids hitting Earth and the resulting aftermath with everyone scrambling to make sense of it all. The mood on Luna is so solemn and dreadful but at least their defenses are up now. Over at Tycho Station, there’s a suspenseful siege over the protomolecule and Holden comes up short. Both locations suffer great casualties including some of the most influential characters of the show.
Speaking of the Tycho siege, the special effects for the robot are top notch. The hulking juggernaut plows its way through and easily snatches up the protomolecule. I’m surprised people kept on shooting at it considering their pistols are no match for the heavy armor. I usually marvel at all the weightlessness effects (which there are in this episode) so it’s nice to see some great non gravity defying ones as well.
The fourth episode of The Expanse still suffers from spreading itself too thin. Although we receive a nice character moment between Alex and Bobbie explaining her motivations, they’re still pretty much sitting in space waiting. It didn’t necessarily add much to “Guagamela” storywise and the announcement of the Martian Parliament attack could have been divulged elsewhere.
“Guagamela” is a game changing episode filled with suspense and action that establishes a new status quo with Earth and Mars now crippled.
New episodes of The Expanse are released Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video.
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