The Expanse S03E02 IFF Review
After Westworld and Altered Carbon, The Expanse is probably the best Sci-Fi show around. Now into its third season Syfy has continued to expand the story and its cast. Based on current book series by authors James S. A. Corey, the show features a cold war style standoff between Earth and Mars – after the latter has been colonized. Tempers easily flare, especially as powers are manipulating both sides towards a war.
Some have compared The Expanse as a Game of Thrones type show set in space. I think that is fair. Just like GoT it is based on a book series that is unquestionably better. And just like GoT there are multiple story arcs – but the one focused on the crew of Rocinante is the principal arc. Its crew members Jim Holden, Alex Kamal, Naomi Nagata and Amos have commandeered the Martian gunship and are more than ready to interfere with anyone who is plotting a war throughout the solar system. Another major arc is that of Chrisjen Avasarala – UN under secretary – who is desperate to maintain the peace.
At its best
The Expanse is at its best when it shows realistically what can happen in space. In ‘IFF’ the Rocinante attempt to save Bobbie and Chrisjen, Alex shows his skill at maneuvering the ship. Though the decision to go on the rescue mission came only after two tiresome scenes in which arguments rolled back and forth. The Expanse still has problems depicting drama – especially scenes that start to feel like more of the same.
Meanwhile as Earth and Mars at war the UN Secretary General Sorrento-Gillis calls in the help of an old friend. With reluctance due to a prior conflict Rev. Dr. Anna Volovodov accepts to help him write his speeches. Played by Elizabeth Mitchell it is palpable she disapproves of the war. I think the introduction of the character is too gimmicky. With Chrisjen gone a third character had to be inserted to incite mistrust between Sorrento-Gillis and Errinwright.
Meanwhile Jules Mao is hell-bent on stopping the experiments with the proto molecule. Dr. Strickland convinces him otherwise by suggesting the ‘special’ children taken from Ganymede can become controlled hosts for the molecule. Slowly Jules Mao’s story arc is moving towards his end. It is only a matter of time before everyone realizes that he and Errinwright are the men behind the curtain.
The Expanse is not without its flaws. At times it does feel as if the story is dragging. The character arc of Chrisjen and Bobbie Draper pursuing Jules Mao has been going on for nearly half a season. Only now both have been rescued by the crew of the Rocinante – hopefully the combined story arc will be more exciting. Meanwhile little attention has been paid on the what is going on in The Belt. ever since the death of Joe Miller the story has shifted away.
I hope The Expanse third season will be as good as the first two, but at times I am becoming desperate enough to think the books do a far better job at storytelling. This was my The Expanse S03E02 IFF Review.