THE EXPANSE - "Godspeed" Episode 204

The Expanse Review: Hijacking The Nauvoo

Fred Johnson was very P.C. using the word “commandeering,” but our heroes hijacked the crap out of the Mormon’s generational ship/temple on this week’s The Expanse… And all for naught.

Courtesy of Syfy
Miller’s line helped put things in perspective, “The stars are better off without us.” Wasn’t it surprisingly easy to commandeer such a massive and expensive ship though? No shit the Mormons were going to be pissed, wouldn’t you be? A radiation leak, eh? A likely excuse that was clearly fooling no one. Johnson putting his name on the line easily inspired Holden and company to sign-up. Despite how he felt about Miller, the plan was a good one. If something’s evolving on Eros, knocking it into the sun should end it. What could possibly go wrong?

Well for starters, how about an unknown ship hanging out on Eros? I had a feeling those Marasmus guys got inside, which proved to be true. Having read Leviathan Wakes, it’s nice to see the creative team throw in twists that weren’t in the book. Otherwise, fans of the books would know exactly what is coming. Which makes me wonder if certain characters will have different fates on the show.

Then of course, Miller was struck by debris and took Diogo’s place holding the detonator safety timer. Eeeek! How’s he going to get out of that one? The scene was another deviation from the books, since I don’t even remember Diogo appearing in Book 1. Showrunner Naren Shankar tweeted that, “We loved Andrew Rotilio in ep102 and his character and story grew.” Although Miller proved himself not to be an a-hole, the character was lacking a connection with someone other than Julie Mao. In the book, he and Holden grew closer than they have on the series. Diogo helps humanize the rough around the edges detective, making him a more sympathetic guy. Those adjustments get zero complaints from me. Plus, Diogo serves as comic relief and he had fun at Miller’s expense, which the series needed in order to lighten the mood. Did you know Rotilio gives Belter lessons on Twitter? Follow him!

Courtesy of Syfy
Back on Earth, Avasarala connected the dots between Protogen and those mysterious stealth ships. Well, thanks to Fred Johnson’s tip of course. The master politician certainly made Jules-Pierre Mao squirm, though Julie’s dad had a comeback for every accusation she threw his way. Ultimately, it was Errinwright who felt Mao’s wrath. Unlike Mao he definitely underestimates Avasarala. What other options will Mao explore? It’s crazy to think none of those major players have any clue what’s taking place over on Eros. As far as attempting to use the Nauvoo as a battering ram, I mean.

Courtesy of Syfy
By the way, let me just touch on the special effects of the show. The Nauvoo’s launch was one of the most visually stunning sequences I have ever seen on television. How do these guys manage to dazzle us week to week on a TV budget? Sci-fi fans not tuning in for fear the series will be cancelled early are doing themselves (and us) a disservice. The VFX alone are worth the price of admission. I hope more folks discover The Expanse sooner rather than later, because it is arguably the best sci-fi show currently on the air.

Ultimately, we learned Eros was generating heat from inside. Some kind of organism is alive in there, that much is undeniable. Miller was prepared to go out a hero, until the Nauvoo passed the station by. Will Miller enter Eros in the next installment? Will we learn exactly how the rock changed course? I for one am dying to see what the Protomolecule has evolved into.

To wrap things up…

This was another solid episode, setting up a plan to destroy Eros and having it fail miserably. Our heroes obviously have no idea what they’re dealing with, and they are starting to realize it. Holden stepped up, annihilating the Marasmus to prevent the spread of the virus. It was a tough call for him, but undoubtedly the right one. Miller showed a softer side by saving Diogo’s life, and his connection to Julie Mao has brought him full circle. I love that he sees her from time to time. Is his mind playing tricks on him, or is the Protomolecule somehow communicating? Avasarala was not f**ckin’ around, and she’s going to get to the bottom of what’s going on. If/when Eros is destroyed, there’s still the hidden stash of Protomolecule to deal with. I can’t help think saving a sample was a bad idea. What did you think of “Godspeed?” Do the VFX continue to blow your mind, as they do mine? Is the story easier to follow this season? Hit the comments below.

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The Expanse airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Syfy.

  • kd94025

    HI Hank! Nice to read your reviews!

    Interesting thoughts. I thought the show had deviated in some ways (and Diogo was one of them) until i went back to look up who Naomi hooked up with when she was pissed at Holden. And, lo and behold, I could NOT BELIEVE how close some of it was to the book. I think the early introduction of Diogo was the variation. (Plus, a little of how Miller ends up stranded on Eros is different – although the flavor is just the same.)

    in my reviewcap, i noticed the following aspect to the show that I love is the parallels in character motivation. In this episode, we saw Avasarala make a decision about releasing information, which parallels Holden’s original decision. We see Holden make a decision to destroy the Marasmus, and innocent people, for the greater good, which parallel’s Miller’s decision to kill Dresden (not for revenge, but to protect people). It adds layers to the show for people who pay close attention.

    I like the question about Julie and Miller. I know initially that connection could NOT be from the protomolecule. But, I think so far, it’s his reconnection to his humanity and self-worth that she personifies.

    Finally, it’s ironic that they used the radiation leak excuse to empty out the Nauvoo after Eros. I know that as far as the launch was concerned, that’s the best sequence I’ve ever seen on a TV show. Ever.

    I can’t wait – there’s so much more coming.

    • Yay!!! You finally made it here. Man, I have missed your feedback. Wait so Naomi hooked up with Diogo in the books? I don’t remember that character at all. I agree some of the variations are subtle, but still work 100%. I am finding this season easier to follow than the first. One of my biggest complaints last year was that Season 1 was made for fans of the books. Your average TV viewer could not possibly catch all the stuff a book reader did. This season, that’s not the case at all. They have managed to strike the perfect balance, in my opinion. Yep, The Nauvoo launch blew my mind. This is television… what?!?

      No spoilers, but episode 205 is massive and the best hour of tv for me this year. I am actually up early working on my reviews for this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Expanse. Having fun writing again. It had become a drag at TVF.

      Thanks again for visiting the new site. Hope to see ya here more often 😉

      • kd94025

        Hi Hank – Just to clear this up, No, Naomi hooked up with the person in charge of repairs to the Roci (there’s some debate if this is Sam or Drummer in the books). She hung out with her for weeks before finally coming back to Holden.

        But, I was surprised that Diogo was in the books too. I honestly can’t remember if last season i thought he was new or not. But, in doing a quick scan of book one towards the end, Diogo IS in there. (It was fresher in my mind last year).

        Anyway, the show is remarkably true to the books. They did do a video which explained why they tilted more to showing naomi and miller being close. The books had more time to develop the miller/holden relationship and in the show, it just would look weird because Holden was so mad at him for shooting Dresden. (More time elapsed in the book with Miller wandering around Tycho.)

        Love it so far, and I can’t wait until next week, because I’ve been waiting for this for awhile!!