The crew of the Rocinante encounters MCRN survivors on the way to Io and Sorrento-Gilles escalates his rhetoric by calling for a solar system united under the UN flag in this week’s episode of The Expanse
The systemwide war between the United Nations and the Martian Congressional Republic rages on in this week’s episode of The Expanse, and it continues to tear the solar system apart. After working with the Secretary-General (Jonathan Whittaker) on a speech to help justify the war, Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) is horrified when she hears that the speech has been heavily modified. Who’s the guilty party? Our good friend Undersecretary Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle), of course. Through the Secretary-General, Errinwright calls to reunite the solar system under the flag of the United Nations, which is bound to anger Mars and terrify the Belt.
On the way to Io, the Rocinante (currently renamed to Pinus Contorta) encounters an MCRN debris field. Due to running low on supplies, Holden (Steven Strait) decides to conduct a salvage mission. While onboard the MCRN Kittur Chennamma, the crew discovers survivors. They take the three Martians aboard the Roci. Before long, the Martians discover that they’re onboard the ship formerly known as the MCRN Tachi and attack Alex (Cas Anvar) in an attempt to take back the ship. Luckily for the crew, Bobbie (Frankie Adams) is able to calm the situation enough to take back control of the ship. Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) formulates a plan to use the Martians to send the evidence she has on Errinwright’s activities to Anna back on Earth.
The opening scene of “Reload” features the return of Drummer (Cara Gee) and her mission to recapture and retrofit the Nauvoo. They successfully recapture the former Mormon generational ship and begin turning it into a warship for the Belt. Naomi (Dominique Tipper) also attempts to smooth over tensions on the Roci by agreeing to cook a Belter dish, known as red kibble, for the crew and their Martian guests.
On Io, Jules-Pierre Mao (François Chau) and Dr. Strickland (Ted Atherton) make a shocking discovery about the protomolecule through one of their child test subjects. Katoa (Jaeden Noel) has continued to be transformed by the protomolecule and begins to restructure his former nurse, by spreading organs and body parts all over the floor. He must continue the work.
With so many subplots and exciting developments, “Reload” gives us plenty to talk about. Let’s meet our guests and discuss the latest episode of The Expanse!
TJ (@ohplzlol) – Busy mom, reviewer, loving science and anything science fiction.
Pirate (@OaktownPirate) – Da Pirata im rowmwala ere wowk, Belta ere kori (“Pirate is a bartender at work, Belter at heart”)
Kiddle (@kiddle) – Lover of cats, photography and smart (or witty, or simply entertaining) television
Carlos (@carlostk1) – #TheExpanse contributor and member of the #ScreamingFirehawks
Belinda (@Jetcitygirl1) – Love sci-fi, animals, the universe, underdogs and The Expanse!
1. Even though Anna worked with the Secretary-General on his speech, Errinwright swooped in without her knowledge, made some major alterations, and escalated Earth’s rhetoric even more. Given how easily Sorrento-Gillis is manipulated, do you think that Avasarala’s assessment that he’s a “foolish bobblehead” is accurate? Does he actually want to do the right thing or does he just want to do the right thing for his political career?
TJ (@ohplzlol): When Avasarala claims that someone is a “foolish bobblehead,” I’m sure she is right. She can read people like no other. And I think Sorrento-Gillis doesn’t have the (donkey) balls to stand up for what is right instead of giving up the status he has now. He has lost Anna’s trust and I think without her input he will not even consider to do the right thing…
Pirate (@OaktownPirate): Da Sorrento-Gillis im fosho fosho im wanya du gut. Im tili pensa ere “legacy” im. Amash im na fosho fosho ere sif. Déradzhang, im vedi fo Anna. Im vedi fo Avasarala. Im vedi fo Errinwright. Im vedi fo Anna wamotim. Im natim xalte solo unte vedi ere da “mirror” fo da ansa. Dédawang da radzhang im “bobblehead.” (Sorrento-Gillis absolutely wants to do good. He thinks about his legacy a lot. But he has no surety in himself. Therefore, he looks to Anna. He looks to Avasarala. He looks to Errinwright. He looks back to Anna. He never stands alone and looks in for the mirror of the answer. That’s the reason he’s a bobblehead.)
Kiddle (@kiddle): Anna was horrified and infuriated that she was suckered again by the Secretary-General. Avasarala was 100% correct that the SecGen was easily led, and this just confirms it. I think that the SecGen is the worst combination of ambition and gullibility. People like him are extraordinarily dangerous.
Carlos (@carlostk1): “Foolish bobblehead” would be a nice way of putting it. I call Errinwright something completely inappropriate that rhymes with sick. Errinwright will say and do anything to strengthen his political career. Remember, he did poison Korshunov.
Belinda (@Jetcitygirl1): The Secretary-General doesn’t want to do the wrong thing or rule the system. That’s why Avasarala’s “bobblehead” is so accurate. He’s swayed by whoever gets the last pretty words in his ear, which makes him even more dangerous.
2. The Martians that the Rocinante crew rescued in this episode attempted to take over the ship. Multiple characters played a role in stopping them (poor Amos missed all of it) but Bobbie was able to get through to them. What did you think of the scene where she confronted the Martians?
TJ: I think Bobbie showed leadership and I think her role in creating peace will be bigger in the near future. She oozes “You better do as I say” more than any of the other members in this new mixed crew.
Pirate: Da Bobbie im na ta ere ying ding im, na ta tenye tungeting. Ye da Sinopoli ta showxa “Na du shuchok wit da sodzha da rekong! Im kang gif da tungeting de fo to asilik fut sili im mebi wanya.” Dédawang ando showxa wating. (Bobbie was not in her armor, didn’t have a gun. Yet Sinopoli said, “Don’t mess with the recon soldier! She can feed you that gun if she wanted to.” That’s saying something.)
Kiddle: Bobbie did a pretty good job of (i) convincing part of the Martian crew that things were not as they seem and (ii) that she would prevail if they didn’t agree. Plus, ultimately she convinced the young Martian that he could be a part of something bigger and better than just a war.
Carlos: Well played by Frankie Adams. The writers did a fantastic job with that scene. Very believable scenario. Cooler heads always prevail in any confrontation. I think it may have been Naomi’s red kibble. There’s an old saying on Mars: “Never argue with a hungry Martian.”
Belinda: One of my favorite things in this episode was Amos strolling in, delivering a one-liner and then strolling back out. “Sh-t did I miss it?” Frankie Adams was so, so good. What a gem she is! I love watching Bobbie’s evolution so much. I thought those scenes were perfect!
3. “Reload” opened with an involved scene showing Drummer and other Belters capturing the Nauvoo in order to retrofit it as a warship for the Belt. What are your thoughts on that scene? How do you think the Mormons will react to their sacred generation ship being retrofitted as a warship? Would a single warship even do much to help protect the Belt from the Inner planets?
TJ: In the right hands you can do a lot with a single warship, but I’ve doubts if the Mormons will accept this. Even when this warship can be used to protect the Belt.
Pirate: Détim da “drone” imalowda ta go fo da Nauvoo, ta kang pochuye im ando wameku, “Oye, kopeng mali mi! Fosho fosho na ta gonya vedi tolowda námotim! Kom xalte wit mi.” Ere da tim da wow, da imbobo da got imalowda na séfesowng natim fong da túngeting. Imim finyish du dewe fong da wow da fosh, unte fong da imbobo da got da fosh. (When the drones went for the Nauvoo, I could hear it shouting, “Hello, my little friends! I was positive I’d never see y’all again. Come give me a hug.” In times of war, the houses of God have never been safe from the guns. It’s been that way since the first war, and the first house of God.)
Kiddle: One of my very most favorite things about The Expanse is that I have so little trouble believing that this is happening in space. I thought that the efficiency of the action and fidelity to the equipment was wonderful, and the Nauvoo remains gorgeous, one of the prettiest spaceships. The OPA has so little the Nauvoo is essential for it to have any hope of leverage.
Carlos: Cara Gee is a goddess! I love seeing her on screen. Everything about her performance is perfect. The Mormons can yell all they want. They sure as hell can’t take back the Nauvoo from a bunch of angry Belters. Besides, the Mormons don’t even know that the Belters have the Nauvoo. Fred’s plans may be to ride the war out on the Nauvoo because he knows that Tycho Station has become a prize for either side in the war.
Belinda: Wow! I loved every second of the Nauvoo stuff!! From the amazing portrayal of Drummer by Cara Gee to watching the Belter crew floating through the Nauvoo! Drummer, my Belter queen! I have no comment on if the Nauvoo matters. By the way, where are the Belters and the Nauvoo? That could turn out interesting. The Mormons, what can they do? Not much I’m guessing.
4. Naomi found herself cooking instead of Alex in this episode. She introduced the crew and the Martian survivors to red kibble, a Belter dish. While more will clearly need to be done, do you think small gestures like cooking for the crew will play a role in helping to repair the damage Naomi did to their little family? How can she repair her relationship with Holden?
TJ: I’ve no clue how Naomi can repair her relation with Holden. He is so stubborn that he might ignore how she is reaching out to him. Maybe the rest of the crew will appreciate that she is trying, but I really think her steps must be bigger to get the trust back.
Pirate: Ando du fut for wamang im wa ting da manting, unte “Mi ta du da fut da mang mi fo to” dédawang ando showxa mo pash “Mi na wanya to du det fong nadzhush.” Da Amos ta showxa “Desh ting déting imim na kang finyish ‘fix'”. Dédawang da sheng. Fo du wa ting nu dédawang da ting da solo imim kang du. (Making food for somebody is a human thing, and “I made the food of my people for you” is saying something more than “I don’t want you to die of hunger”. Amos said, “Some things can’t be fixed. That’s the truth. The only thing that can be done is to make something new.)
Kiddle: Her shipmates were more receptive to the food. The Martians are actually kind of a pain in the ass. But, I think that Naomi is slowly defrosting the rest of the crew. Alex, in particular, is willing, even eager, to accept her back into the fold because he longs so much for his “family” to be restored. The only real way Naomi can win Holden over is likely for him to decide he needs to forgive her. (In other words, she can’t.)
Carlos: Naomi has proven herself time and time again. The crew will slowly begin to love her again. But love isn’t the same thing as trust. As for Holden, well sex is a great way to iron out any differences. Another airlock moment and everything will be right as rain.
Belinda: I’m not worried about “Nolden.” They’re going to be fine! “Namos,” however, I’m not at all sure how you get back in Amos’s good graces once fallen but I’m looking forward to finding out.
5. Anna called home to talk to her wife Nono and in the process she started to have a bit of a breakdown due to everything she’s been dealing with. What did you think of that scene? Would you like to see more scenes with the two of them?
TJ: I would LOVE to see more of Anna and Nono and their precious daughter.They’re like a lil island of love in the middle of all those power hungry people. It hurts me to see her sad, but I fear much more sadness will be on her path and that she might lose her family…
Pirate: Gif fo mi KOWL da Nono/Anna! Képelesh Nono unta dowta imalowda bi, dépelesh da xom da Anna, dépelesh da kori da Anna. Milowda du mowteng WANG “stable relationship” fo vedi. Nono sasa da sheng: to du xom wit gótemang, da Got bossmang im. Unte fong tim fo tim, da Got im tili showxa “Mi ando leta-go gótemang mi fongi fode. Mi tenye wowk fo im.” (Give me ALL the Nono/Anna! Wherever Nono & their daughter is, there is Anna’s home, there is Anna’s heart. We need ONE stable relationship to watch. Nono knows the truth; you make a home with a God-person, God is their boss. And from time to time, God has a habit of saying, “I’m taking my god-person away from here. I have work for them.”)
Kiddle: I love their relationship! I guess it remains to be seen if we will see face-to-face interaction, because I can’t imagine Anna ignoring that information she was sent and actually received. She knew Errinwright was evil, but now she has proof. What does she do with it?
Carlos: Elizabeth Mitchell has found a new home on The Expanse and she’s an absolute pleasure seeing on screen. Anna and her relationship with her wife Nono just adds to the diversity of the show. More is always better.
Belinda: I’m still struggling to make a connection to the early introduction of this character. I love Anna in the books but this book to show character has been rough for me. I completely trust and have faith in the writers and Naren so it’s not a big thing for me. I look forward to more.
6. Avasarala struggled with coming up with a method to distribute the evidence of Errinwright’s involvement in Project Caliban. She eventually came up with the idea of sending the information to Anna. Is that a good plan? Anna has shown to have strong morals and ethics but do you think she’ll be able to succeed in countering Errinwright?
TJ: Anna is a strong woman, strong enough to overrule Errinwright. I think she will take the risk to do so if she can bring her family to safety first. And I also think that if Errinwright hurts or tries to hurt her family, she will kill him. So, Avasarala made the right choice.
Pirate: Da sowngit finysh du sheru, bera da Errinwright na kang pochuye im; Im gonya gut fo vedi im dansa détim da Anna ando du adewu. (The music has begun, but Errinwright can’t hear it. It’s gonna be good to see him dance while Anna is singing.)
Kiddle: Avasarala knows Anna’s background and is justified in her belief that Anna will at least try to exert some control. The question is whether Anna really has any, considering Serpent Errinwright is so deeply embedded in the SecGen’s head. Would the SecGen listen to her at this point?
Carlos: Avasarala’s keen sense of justification allows her to see the good in people. I can’t say that she’s ever done the wrong thing. Well except maybe for that one time using gravity torture to poor old Heikki Sabong. Anna will do the right thing with Avasarala’s intel and make Errinwright eat his own words.
Belinda: HA HA HA HA ERRINWRIGHT, F–K YOU FOREVER!! Seeing his recording pop up on all those screens was so YESSSSS! Avasarala was absolutely right and thank you, captain, for seeing that!
7. By the end of the episode, the protomolecule had mostly taken over what remained of Katoa’s human side. This was further demonstrated by Katoa taking apart and rearranging his nurse in a gory mess on the floor and Katoa himself having greatly enhanced senses. Do you think there’s any chance that the protomolecule can actually be controlled? Or will it always return to “the work” no matter what?
TJ: I think Katoa will save Mei from Errinwright’s plans but also will kill anyone who stands in his way. I don’t believe the protomolecule can be totally controlled. I do believe that humans who are “infected” with the protomolecule will stay emotionally attached to the ones they love. (In the back of my mind I keep thinking about Julie and Miller.)
Pirate: Imim kang leta-kom bek da Mila fo DU TUNG KOWL DA “SCIENTIST” DA PAGAL? Kowlmang sabakawala, fong da fosh fo da ultim, asilik ere Thoth. (Can Miller be brought back to SHOOT ALL THE MAD SCIENTISTS? Every f–king one, from the first to the last, like on Thoth.)
Kiddle: We are dealing with something so vastly superior that the arrogance in trying to control it is breathtakingly stupid. After giving us just a nibble of his humanity, Mao was instantly seduced by its potential, with no regard to the consequence of the protomolecule escaping human control – or really considering the nature of what sent it. I guess Julie really was right about her dad.
Carlos: You can’t control what you don’t understand. The protomolecule will always do what its intended purpose is, to consume and evolve. It’s too early to tell what the protomolecule will do in the long run (book readers know) but one thing’s for sure, it won’t be nice and I can’t wait to find out.
Belinda: First, can we agree that he is. Not. Katoa anymore? Second, THE HORROR. I loved it! All I can say is, “It reaches out…113 times a second” AND “can’t stop the work.” Loved it all!
“Reload” offers plenty of plot advancement without sacrificing great character development
Each week, The Expanse escalates the conflict between the two superpowers of the solar system and inches Project Caliban forward. That project continues to be a ticking alien time bomb that has the potential to completely destroy humanity. “Reload” continues that trend. The episode starts with an elaborate and gorgeously rendered sequence of Drummer and the Belters recapturing the Nauvoo. Like with the original launch of the Nauvoo, its recapture is appropriately memorable and beautiful.
After Anna appeared to regain a degree of control over Sorrento-Gilles last week, Errinwright manages to steal it away from her by rewriting key portions of the Secretary-General’s speech. That single speech undermines everything Anna was attempting to accomplish and it causes her to lash out at the Secretary-General and Errinwright. What follows is a fairly straightforward yet highly emotional and beautifully acted/written scene between Elizabeth Mitchell and Raven Dauda, who plays Anna’s wife Nono. So far, Anna and Nono’s scenes haven’t been a frequent occurrence, but we’d love to see more of them in the future.
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The dysfunctional family of misfits on the Roci continue to be dysfunctional in “Reload.” But there’s one major difference this week: they have three MCRN crew members attempting to take the ship by force. Frankie Adams is especially on point in this episode and is able to convey Bobbie’s dangerously calm demeanor perfectly. Not only is the scene well-acted but it’s especially well-written as well. All of the tension is hilariously broken with Amos (Wes Chatham) discovering that he missed all of the action. “Sh-t. Did I miss it?”
“Reload” nudges Naomi toward being reintegrated with the crew but not much progress is made this week. It’s understandable that the crew would still have problems with what she did and their behavior is completely believable. Still, it’s difficult to see this kind of dysfunction. Hopefully, Naomi will take some larger steps in the near future to help regain the crew’s trust. We’d love to see the crew on better terms again.
Now that Holden and his crew have resupplied their ship and the protomolecule experiment has reached a critical stage, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a major confrontation on Io. We don’t know about you, beratna y sésata, but we can’t wait to find out what happens next!