Last week on The Expanse, a seismic shift in power occurred thanks to the calculated strikes of Marco Inaros. First, he attacks the Martian Parliament dealing a devastating blow to the planet’s leadership. Over at Tycho Station, his moles procure the only sample of protomolecule killing a fan favorite character in the process. Then his stealth asteroids finally reach Earth leading to devastation. Unfortunately for Amos, he’s visiting Clarissa Mao in prison when one of the rocks crashes in the United States.
Amos and Clarissa survive the initial impact but the prison’s foundation may crumble at any moment so the pair team up with surviving prison guards and an augmented inmate to escape to the surface. It’s an uneasy alliance since their only hope is a convicted criminal who isn’t to be trusted. Meanwhile, Alex and Bobbie tail their lead on the black market arms deals and confirm their suspicions on how the Belters obtained their arsenal.
Speaking of the Belters, Marco wastes no time in trying to unify his people. He sends out invitations to all the faction leaders for a sit down. That includes Drummer who is conflicted because she had the power to prevent all that’s happened but she accepts the invitation. On Marco’s ship, Naomi’s attempts to change her son’s mind have failed and in fact, it’s Filip who wants to save her from the Inner’s influence. In acts of desperation, she attempts to kill Marco and is thwarted. Later, she assaults her old friend, Cyn, under the guise of helping with repairs. Before she’s imprisoned, Naomi manages to send a message to Holden warning him about the Rocinante being sabotaged.
The Expanse slows the pace in “Down and Out” to allow viewers to gather themselves after the previous explosive episode. There’s a lot of set up for things to come hopefully later in the season. Confirming the Martian’s involvement in arming the Belters, raises the questions about their motives whether it’s merely a money grab or something more. Naomi contacting Holden brings a sliver of hope to her lover that she’s alive and you know he’s going to make a rescue attempt. Then, with Clarissa out of prison and with Amos, what role will she play in the future? Is this the beginning of a redemptive arc for her?
Moreover, unlike last week, all the separate storylines contribute better to the overall narrative. Alex and Bobbie do more than merely sit and wait in space. Even the short scene with Drummer represents the shift of power with her conceding to the legitimacy of a former adversary.
There’s an interesting dynamic brewing between Naomi and her son. It’s a slight deviation from the book where her kidnapping is orchestrated by Marco. Here, Filip decides to abduct her with the hopes of saving her. However, as Cyn points out, little by little, the younger Inaros is changing for the better the longer he’s close proximity of his mother.
Though it predictably slows the pace following some volatile events, this episode of The Expanse effectively progresses the story and sets up things to come.
New episodes of The Expanse are released Wednesdays on Amazon Prime Video.
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