S02.E13: Caliban's War 2017.04.19

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The Roci crew are forced to fight to save the ship.

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Glad Naomi came clean.

Yay for the Roci group working as a team!

Same for Bobbie, Avasarala and Cotyar.

Sorry, scientist team studying Venus.

Amos was shirtless!!!  Great episode :)

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THAT WAS WONDERFUL!  Sorry for screaming, but that was a great episode, this is by far my favorite series EVER.  Loved the books, love the show.

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So I'm guessing the research team is no more, huh? I tensed when they showed the proto-molecule inside their ship, but literally gasped out loud when the whole thing came apart. Definitely did not expect that to happen. I am glad that Naomi came clean, also didn't see her telling Fred Johnson of all people about her hidden sample.

I knew Cotyar wouldn't give up Avasarala. Bobbie was awesome, I loved her little shrug at the electrical guy asking for her to rough him up a bit.

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Well, that was an intense hour.  Surprised outside of the poor scientist team, everyone made it out of it in one piece.  After what happened to Miller, I was totally prepared for Holden to bite.  And then I thought Meng was going to take himself off the board to take out the creature. And I was 99% sure that Cotyar was going to sacrifice himself for Chrisjen and Bobbie once he got shot.  But, nope!  They're all still here!  Unless next season's premiere starts out with Cotyar suddenly dying due to blood loss, but I doubt that will happen.

Enjoyed seeing the Roci crew work together and get the protomolecule monster off of the ship.  Everyone played a significant part in the plan, and brought their own strengths (if some weaknesses too.)  Hope Meng continues to stick around; really enjoying his interactions with everyone else.  Amos continues to be my new favorite.  I love his blunt, but heartfelt (in his own way) words to Holden.  He's trying to be a better person!

I would have been more then happy to have several more minutes of Bobbie kicking ass and taking names, but I glad we got the moments we did get!  Really am loving this character and Frankie Adams.

Don't fully blame Cotyar for considering saving him and Bobbie for Chrisjen, but deciding not too.  Also Chrisjen being willing to offer herself up was a nice touch, even if it was not going to work.  Curious to see how the three of them are going to take on both Sadavir and Jules-Pierre.  Really can't wait to see more of this trio!

Glad Holden admitted that Alex deserved the lion's share of the credit for talking him down and getting him to save Naomi and Amos in the nick of time.  Of course, now Naomi confesses that she didn't destroy the weapon and actually gave the coordinates to Fred Johnson, so I'm sure that's going to cause some friction!

Shit's gotten real on Venus!  That scientist team never had a chance!

Meng's daughter is still alive, and the evil doctor is apparently keeping her on some secret lair on some kind of planet, with a whole bunch of other pods.  Have a feeling things are only getting started!

Glad we're getting a third season, even if we have to wait until 2018.  This has become one of my favorite sci-fi shows in quite some time.  Can't wait to see more!

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Throughout this episode I kept wondering one thing.  Would the creature show any sort of emotion or attempt to communicate.  In the end all it live for is to feed.  I really need to read the books!

best characters this episode go to Amos, Bobby and the electrician who let Bobby go.   Lol.  I've finally started to like the body guard who got shot.  He's loyal.  

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The protomolecule creatures don't seem very bright. Cunning, maybe, in hitching a ride with a ship and removing dead man's switch, but in leaping out into space to fetch the magic ball? Dog level intelligence. Once you've leapt off the ship, there is no "swimming" back to it, you have no way to propel yourself (maybe by huffing and puffing, but if you haven't got air in your lungs to expel, that isn't going to get you anywhere. Was really surprised Prax didn't try to talk to it.

Amos definitely had the best lines in this one as he tried to reach out to the people around him in his inimical Amos way.

Scientist guy and military guy should at least have gotten a final hug in, good buddies that they had become, instead of just rotating in Venus's deadly atmosphere with equal looks of surprise on their faces.

A fairly satisfying season end with a bunch of complicated bits to remember between now and A YEAR FROM NOW! Aggggh.

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Bobbie is magnificent. That is all.

On a purely shallow note, I may have paused and lingered on that shot of a nearly naked Amos for much longer than was seemly.

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Amos is a conundrum to me. I was certain he would be angry at Naomi, but, nope, Amos does the exact opposite. I cannot get a handle on the guy.

Cotyar's expression after Chrisjen squeezed his wound was hilarious. It was a combination of, 'Shit, that fucking hurt!' and 'What the fuck, lady, why!' He looked so offended!

After watching Bobbie beat up those soldiers I looked up Frankie Adams and saw she's a boxer--and it shows in that scene. Damn.

I think Naomi did the right thing giving the protomolecule to Fred Johnson, because Earth and Mars are assholes and they wouldn't hesitate to wipe out the Belters if it's expedient. So handing Belters some of that sweet, sweet mutually assured destruction is a smart move, but I don't like the possibility Anderson Dawes could get his hands on the protomolecule.

So, 2018. Wow, okay. That fucking sucks.

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That was great!  So much action packed into an hour-- the Roci crew battling the protomonster, the Venus crew, the stand off on Mao's ship, and Bobbie with her side trip in the elevator shaft.  Every character was at his or her best and the plotlines took leaps forward.  Too bad the Roci is too far away to rescue Avarsala and co., but perhaps the universe couldn't handle so much coolness on one ship.

6 hours ago, Nukester said:

I really need to read the books!

Just one note about the book, but not a plot spoiler:

Spoiler

If you want to read the books but don't want to get ahead of the show, this wasn't the end of book 2.  There is still quite a bit more that will have to wait until season 3.

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9 hours ago, nekilarose said:

So I'm guessing the research team is no more, huh? I tensed when they showed the proto-molecule inside their ship, but literally gasped out loud when the whole thing came apart. Definitely did not expect that to happen. I am glad that Naomi came clean, also didn't see her telling Fred Johnson of all people about her hidden sample.

It was an oddly beautiful scene when the science ship came apart. Both shocking and visually stunning.

7 hours ago, WildPlum said:

Scientist guy and military guy should at least have gotten a final hug in, good buddies that they had become, instead of just rotating in Venus's deadly atmosphere with equal looks of surprise on their faces.

I know - I was thinking, look how they know and understand each other now and can tease without getting angry. They're the comic relief this episode. Until, nope, that's all she wrote.

6 hours ago, AlliMo said:

On a purely shallow note, I may have paused and lingered on that shot of a nearly naked Amos for much longer than was seemly.

Amos is not really my type, but yeah, that shot made me linger a bit (didn't pause, but didn't really look anywhere else during the scene).

2 hours ago, Haleth said:

Just one note about the book, but not a plot spoiler:

Thank you. That was exactly what I was going to ask about this morning.

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Wow, just wow!  I love these characters, and I'm really enjoying watching them grow as they deal with this complex world. I've gone from being meh about both Amos and Bobbie to them being my favorites.  Anybody catch Adam Savage on the science ship?  Ughh, it's going to be such a long wait to find out what Fred does with the protomolecule and how mad Holden is at Naomi.

Edited by ratSenoL. Reason: grammar
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8 hours ago, AlliMo said:

Bobbie is magnificent. That is all.

I may have let out a squee of anticipation when Cotyar told her that her combat suit was in the skiff.  I also love the "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." look on Chrisjen's face when Bobbie held out her hand. It also seems like this is the first time the show really emphasized her physical presence, casting and shooting angles to make the crew of Mao's ship seem noticeably shorter and slighter than her. (I suspect it was on purpose that they waited until this episode to do so.)

8 hours ago, WildPlum said:

Scientist guy and military guy should at least have gotten a final hug in, good buddies that they had become, instead of just rotating in Venus's deadly atmosphere with equal looks of surprise on their faces.

I thought the captain had a "Oh shit, I'm going to die." look on his face while the scientist had a "Oh shit, I'm looking at a god like being." on his.

So are the kids disease carriers? As he was locking Mei away, the doctor was whistling Ring Around the Rosie, a song that, in popular culture, is associated with the plague.

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I liked that Chrisjen's admonishment from last week came true: "if the sh*t hits the fan I expect you two to save me". Right up there with her warning to Cotyar "No one will ever find your body" LOL. On team Bobyar!

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I'm a little confused about the conflation of a Nuclear War head with a Nuclear Reactor. There is no nuclear reaction (fission or fusion) until the bomb is detonated, so how would the creature sense its presence outside the ship. What was in the ball Prax tossed?

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Meh, 24th century science. Amazing also that Prax could hold what must be a highly radioactive source in his hand and not die - of course, they've already shown they can fix radiation damage (and that does explain why the people in the metal room, along with Miller and Holden, were hit with a high dose of radiation - food for the protomolecule).

I don't think Cotyar ever meant to sell out Avasarala, I think he was just buying time for Bobbi in the most long-winded way possible. Although I did love the look Cotyar gives Chrisjen when she jostles his wound to wake him back up.

The long setup for Errinwright's presumptive suicide (they tried to sell that one fairly hard) was apparently a setup for Errinwright to give Chrisjen the medal which was also a tracking device.

And even in the 24th century they make maintenance/air shafts large enough for people to escape through. You'd think they'd learn that one eventually.

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1 hour ago, Eulipian 5k said:

I'm a little confused about the conflation of a Nuclear War head with a Nuclear Reactor. There is no nuclear reaction (fission or fusion) until the bomb is detonated, so how would the creature sense its presence outside the ship. What was in the ball Prax tossed?

There's no chain reaction (which leads to a boom), but both nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons rely substances that provide a high (and detectable) rate of radioactive decay. Meng was tossing a nuclear pit, which contains the radioactive material that, when detonated, will lead to an explosion.

Edited by xaxat.
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12 hours ago, AlliMo said:

Bobbie is magnificent. That is all.

On a purely shallow note, I may have paused and lingered on that shot of a nearly naked Amos for much longer than was seemly.

Agree on both points. I never found the Amos actor that hot before (I thought Alex and Holden were hotter) but damn, that scene of Amos with no shirt on...made me an Amos fan.

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Love the show, loved this finale.  Amos is a fascinating character.  The entire crew of Roci are awesome.

I had to chuckle when Bobbie escaped through the ventilation passage, because that took me back to the much less accomplished old series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (which I used to watch for the hoots) where on almost a weekly basis, they would climb into the air ducts to get the drop on whatever adversary had taken over the Seaview.  Expanse is so far superior a series that I did not expect to encounter that cliche.

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I really like this show and recommend it to anyone who might enjoy it, but I have to say that every since Eros, this season kind of sucked. Way too much back and forth with Mars, way too many character jumps (Holden' going Ahab made no real sense to me, nor did Fred Johnson's ultimatum, nor did Niami giving the protomolecule to Johnson), way too many simple answers on a show that looked like it was going to be as much about difficult questions as space porn. 

Last night had a lot going on, but not really. We spent half the show with characters pinned down and talking to each other in vague platitudes, and the other half shooting at something and then watching Holden die as he was pinned to a wall. And then on Venus we had more of the same we've had for three weeks -- a couple of guys jokingly arguing about how to investigate the crater. Just didn't feel like much happened at all to move the story or to move the plot.  Aside from Ganemyde (which which the implications have never really been explained except in passing) in the episodes since Eros and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED OF CONSEQUENCE. Maybe that Bobby's no longer a gung-ho Martian badass, and that's enough. But it seems to me the entire second half of the season has been in stasis.

I'll keep watching but I found myself a little more bored than I had been in season one. 

Edited by whiporee.
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Well that was really, really great. Starting from Holden giving credit to Alex (and Alex getting a kiss from Naomi for being awesome) to Amos further explaining how he sets his moral compass (and acknowledging that Holden is a good man) to team Avasarala with all its complex loyalties.

I think my favorite character moment was Bobbie talking to the electrician - it was mostly played for comic relief but her speech about making sure you give your life only for someone worth the sacrifice reflected everything she's been through since her introduction in the first episode this season. She probably had the best character arc. I'm also glad Meng finally snapped out of it (with a little bit of nudging) and started to think like a scientist.

RIP UN Arboghast - just when I thought we were getting some good old buddy comedy *sigh* though the shot of the ship just breaking apart was beautiful, it looked more like a flower opening (geez, I'm starting to sound like Cortazar).

Not sure I'm entirely convinced by Naomi's argument. She does not really know who has or hasn't the protomolecule (I'm not even sure I know). And having the protomolecule in goo form and having it in hybrid form are two entirely different things. Does she expect the OPA being able recreate Dresden's and Strickland's research? Or is Fred Johnson going to wave that container around as his ticket to the adults' table? I'm glad she came clean to Holden but her rationale wasn't that convincing - especially not in light of her previous disdain for Fred Johnson and the OPA.

Anyhow - show's done it now. I'm seriously considering to pick up the books.

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At least Johnson is capable of thinking like an adult.  I was afraid she'd given the thing to Anderson Dawes.

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13 hours ago, steelyis said:

Amos is a conundrum to me. I was certain he would be angry at Naomi, but, nope, Amos does the exact opposite. I cannot get a handle on the guy.

 

Alex lacks compassion, by and large, and he knows he does, so he uses people like Naomi (who he's known for a long time) and now Holden to tell him what to do.  We know for certain now that he didn't get the operation to remove empathy.  It takes empathy to say "I'm glad I didn't have to shoot you".

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6 minutes ago, johntfs said:

At least Johnson is capable of thinking like an adult.  I was afraid she'd given the thing to Anderson Dawes.

Yes, of all the bad choices he was the best. But since Dawes had Cortazar snatched from Tycho Station I sense a very unholy alliance coming along. Maybe she should have given it to Drummer (except Drummer's so fiercely loyal to Johnson it wouldn't have made a difference).

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Show. Thoughts. Words. Can’t.

19 hours ago, nekilarose said:

I tensed when they showed the proto-molecule inside their ship, but literally gasped out loud when the whole thing came apart.

That was STUNNING.

My only real complaint was that Alex didn't have a huge arc. He was mostly the Martian guy who really loves flying his ship.

That scene at the start of the ep with Naomi and Holden hugging was simple but so visceral. 

1 hour ago, jhlipton said:

Alex lacks compassion,

Do you mean Amos?

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3 hours ago, Apocalypso said:

Expanse is so far superior a series that I did not expect to encounter that cliche.

I took some comfort in the fact that unlike other series, the ventilation shafts weren't equipped with lightbulbs every few yards -- presumably so the ventilated air could find it's way.  They overcame the problem of darkness by routing some fiber-optic cable through duct.  While fiber-optic cables generally don't illuminate their surroundings, I could more easily handwave future-fiber more easily than incandescent bulbs.

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2 hours ago, marinw said:

Do you mean Amos?

If I only I could read the text I'm quoting...  LOL, yes.

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Wow, that was good. Good looks from Bobbie and her shrug at the electrician who wants to be roughed up, and Cotyar when Chrisjen wakes him up. Both needed humor in a tense situation. Is it Prax? Anyway, plant-guy really came thru with a solution. I also really liked Amos slapping Holden's leg on the way out. He totally meant to. Naomi comes clean, although it was a very good time to come clean. Dude thought he was dead, and survived. Should be on a pretty good high. I'm not sure the science crew is dead. Guess that's for next season.

"Oops."

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4 hours ago, Netfoot said:

I took some comfort in the fact that unlike other series, the ventilation shafts weren't equipped with lightbulbs every few yards -- presumably so the ventilated air could find it's way.  They overcame the problem of darkness by routing some fiber-optic cable through duct.  While fiber-optic cables generally don't illuminate their surroundings, I could more easily handwave future-fiber more easily than incandescent bulbs.

It was actually referred to as a maintenance shaft not an air duct. So more like Star Trek's Jeffries Tubes than an air vent. (Although they are still used the same way do fit the trope.) Which actually does make sense on a ship like that you would want all you electrical and other mechanical  tucked away so the VIPs on board don't have to trip over the electricians.

 

7 hours ago, MissLucas said:

Yes, of all the bad choices he was the best. But since Dawes had Cortazar snatched from Tycho Station I sense a very unholy alliance coming along. Maybe she should have given it to Drummer (except Drummer's so fiercely loyal to Johnson it wouldn't have made a difference).

Yeah that's a scary thought but I like the idea of Fred clinging to power. 

I knew Holden wasn't going to die but I liked his speech to Naomi. I almost laughed when he referred to the rest of the crew as "the boys". It made them sound as they are 5 and 3  instead of more like 35.  It did underline the whole crew as family aspect nicely. I liked Amos's goodbye too, I wonder if Alex just never got the chance or if he actually might still be a little pissed Holden going all Ahab.

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15 hours ago, whiporee said:

Last night had a lot going on, but not really. We spent half the show with characters pinned down and talking to each other in vague platitudes, and the other half shooting at something and then watching Holden die as he was pinned to a wall.

I enjoy the show also, but the situation with Holden trapped by the Proto-molecule man felt like it went on for too long. It seemed that if Amos could get out then they could go back in and pull Holden out without enraging the creature. Plus, the rest of the crew seemed to be taking their sweet time discussing and debating various rescue and ejection options. 

I also expected that Proto-molecule man might turn into an 'E.T' type alien who could be reasoned with, instead of an 'Alien' alien. It was confusing since we know the creatures are created from children so there is an element of sympathy towards them and questions about how much of the child victim is still present in the creature. It made it difficult to cheer for the Roci crew to be all "kill it, kill it, kill it". 

With regards to not much going on since Eros, I figure it is an expensive show to produce and the showrunners tend to stretch out a lot of talking scenes to save money. It is odd that they never got back to the situation with Dawes and the proto-molecule scientist he ran off with. 

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Really enjoyed the finale and looks forward to Season 3.  This is a tremendous show and I really liked all the characters.

Amos was pretty awesome in this one.  Poor Holden seems to have one terrible thing had to him physically.

I really like Meng's addition to the crew.

Cotyar "Plus she's really old."  I'm glad to see that he survived.

I guess that's it for the poor scientist crew.  I liked that storyline and the Star Trek feel to it.

Edited by benteen.
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Strickland's dying assistant said they finally got the protomolecule to do as they wish, "in our own image". So I don't expect the same type of hybrid to be what is on Venus. And Fred Johnson only has the raw material, not anywhere near the hybrid that Strickland, Martens , and Mao developed for the battle on Ganymede.

I guess Fred has to go after Dawes to get back the "de-empathised" scientist.

Notice the similarity of the shots of the hybrid dying and the way the Alien died in Aliens?

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Amos' tone and facial expression in reading  the line "you had to put me down", was masterful. You really saw how ashamed he felt. Normally he would be the one putting someone down for Naomi.

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52 minutes ago, Eulipian 5k said:

Notice the similarity of the shots of the hybrid dying and the way the Alien died in Aliens?

I thought it looked like that annoying overlong metaphorical shot of Sandra Bullock as embryo in 'Gravity' but an Alien reference makes more sense.

Also: Just realized that a throwaway line by Holden was clearing up some of last week's confusion about what's going on around Ganymede and how Errinwright managed to take down the Karakum.

Quote

They're engaging over Ganymede again.

So there were UN ships in orbit too and Errinwright must have ordered one of those to take down the Karakum. And instead of helping people to get away from Ganymede both forces are now engaged in open hostilities, great.

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The Proto Creature chasing after the nuclear sphere like a dog after a ball was funny and sad at the same time.

So Mei lives. What moon was she on? Jupiter has a lot of moons.

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1 hour ago, Eulipian 5k said:

Notice the similarity of the shots of the hybrid dying and the way the Alien died in Aliens?

I thought of Gollum so enraptured by the ring he was unaware he was dying in a pit of lava. (Spoiler alert, heh.)

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11 hours ago, marinw said:

So Mei lives. What moon was she on? Jupiter has a lot of moons.

It was Io, wasn't it?

This is probably now my favorite show ever.  What a fantastic interweaving of the characters, the multiculturalism, and good ole space opera, hard sci-fi interplanetary hostility.

Kudos to Emily T. for the Jeffries Tubes reference.

I don't think the Arboghast crew is dead, at least not yet-- it seemed like they went to some lengths to show that they were still eyes-wide alive.

I hope it's OK but teepublic has some neat Expanse gear, including this among others.

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This was a great season finale.

I have really enjoyed everyone's comments, they fill a need for ...comradeship. It's such a marvelous experience being here, with other Expanse fans enjoying all the thoughtful responses that stay on topic. Thank you all. 

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4 hours ago, refugee said:

It's such a marvelous experience being here, with other Expanse fans enjoying all the thoughtful responses that stay on topic.

Seconded. I haven't geeked out this much over a show since the original 24.

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On 4/21/2017 at 11:23 AM, benteen said:

I guess that's it for the poor scientist crew.  I liked that storyline and the Star Trek feel to it.

The "Star Trek " feel is accurate. It's not that the crew was oblivious to the political machinations of Earth. Mars and the Belt, but they seemed more focused on the science and exploration. 

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I like that in The Expanse if you boldly go where no one has gone before and seek out new life and new civilizations you'll die horribly instead of getting alien nookie.  Unless you're Miller.  In which case you'll die and get alien nookie.

Edited by johntfs.
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On 4/21/2017 at 1:58 PM, Eulipian 5k said:

Amos' tone and facial expression in reading  the line "you had to put me down", was masterful. You really saw how ashamed he felt. Normally he would be the one putting someone down for Naomi.

That should definitely put the kibosh on whether he had the operation.  I agree -- it was a thing of beauty.

On 4/22/2017 at 2:58 AM, JZL said:

I don't think the Arboghast crew is dead, at least not yet-- it seemed like they went to some lengths to show that they were still eyes-wide alive.

They looked like poor Doris to me.  On the other hand, they were exposed to the protomolecule, so anything is possible.

============================

 

BTW, shouldn't it be called a proto-virus?  Calling it a molecule has always seemed off.

Edited by jhlipton.
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That was quite the season finale, especially shirtless Amos with his jumpsuit pushed oh-so-low on his hips.

If the evil scientists are using the protomolecule to make children into hybrid soldiers, shouldn't the monster on the Roci have been child-sized?

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While some of you have been thinking about Amos and taking cold showers, I've been wondering about where they could take him.  It'll be interesting as he constructs his own moral compass.  For now he seems content to merely dip his toe into the pool of self-responsibility and self-actualization, and the mystery with him may be whether he decides to wade in slowly or jump in head first. 

The portomolecule will have its hands [glowing blue bubbles o' plasma?] full if it ever gets ahold of him.

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9 hours ago, JZL said:

While some of you have been thinking about Amos and taking cold showers, I've been wondering about where they could take him.  It'll be interesting as he constructs his own moral compass.  For now he seems content to merely dip his toe into the pool of self-responsibility and self-actualization, and the mystery with him may be whether he decides to wade in slowly or jump in head first.

There's no reason we can't appreciate him for both his body and his mind. ;)

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14 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

There's no reason we can't appreciate him for both his body and his mind. ;)

When is Bobbie going to strip off so the rest of us can appreciate her... mind?

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On 4/22/2017 at 6:43 PM, johntfs said:

I like that in The Expanse if you boldly go where no one has gone before and seek out new life and new civilizations you'll die horribly instead of getting alien nookie.  Unless you're Miller.  In which case you'll die and get alien nookie.

Yes, space is a big, scary place. We'll still kill each other, even when faced with an alien weapon that will do it for us. 

On 4/20/2017 at 6:33 PM, jhlipton said:

[Amos] lacks compassion, by and large, and he knows he does, so he uses people like Naomi (who he's known for a long time) and now Holden to tell him what to do.  We know for certain now that he didn't get the operation to remove empathy.  It takes empathy to say "I'm glad I didn't have to shoot you".

Are you referring to Amos's discussions with the scientist on the station from season 1? I never got the impression that he was interested in having an operation to remove his sense of empathy, as all the scientists had done to them. I took Amos's interest as wondering if such an operation had been done to him because he seems to lack a conscience; that's why he relies on Naomi (and now Holden) to point him on the right path.

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1 hour ago, SmithW6079 said:

Yes, space is a big, scary place.

Space, is big.  Really big.  You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.  I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.  Listen...

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