Episode three of The Expanse opened with exactly what I’d been waiting for, seeing our three major storylines starting to come together. Over on Ceres station, not only do we see that the recorded message that the surviving Canterbury crew put out is being seen by absolutely everyone, but Detective Miller is also well aware that the girl he’s looking for was on the ship that the Canterbury had stopped to save. And even though he’s being waved off the case, both his and our curiosity is peaked.
The crew of the Canterbury has been taken in by the Mars crew and are being treated mildly better than they expected. No one was seriously injured, but the Mars crew went straight to work in testing the loyalty of the crew, namely in hinting that Naomi might be a spy for the OPA (which as far as I understand is a group working for belters rights? I could be way off base on this though). And the crew’s loyalty to one another seems all too quick to crumble. This is just a near randomly selected group of five from a much bigger crew, they don’t yet have the type of loyalty to one another that we’re used to seeing in sci-fi space opera crews. I am starting to like the crew of the Mars ship though, and I’d love to see the Canterbury group get absorbed into their numbers at least while they try to get to the bottom of what seems to be this season’s central mystery.
For what feels like the first time, this episode spent some time letting us get to know some of the players on Earth and from the Mars ship, political leanings we’d only touched on in the first two episodes. Earth, specifically Chrisjen Avasarala, has no problem figuring out that Mars was not the group that destroyed the Canterbury, even though they aren’t yet aware of the surviving crew members yet, and start to work in trying to figure out who it is that is trying to start a war between the systems major factions. I’m not sure I quite understand Chrisjen’s motivations yet, but she’s been an interesting character to get to know so far. Honestly, I’m already thinking that season one is going to require a complete rewatch after it finishes (should The Expanse be picked up for a second season) if I ever hope to understand all of the different political leanings going on here as well as the world building surrounding them.
Back on Ceres, two plot lines are co-existing though not in equal balance. Along with Detective Miller’s search, the people of the belt are starting to revolt because of the video from the Canterbury crew, practically convinced that both sides are out to get them, or at least giving them the very raw end of the deal, which does seem to be the case. They aren’t getting their water, and tensions reach a boiling point both in terms of riots, and the death of a character who I liked, but whose name I never quite picked up.
This may have been the best episode of the group so far, and it was definitely solid TV, but I’m not hooked yet. Maybe I’m just not used to the slower burn plotting, but after three episodes I think it’s fair to say viewers should have a slightly more solid grasp on what’s happening, rather than simply a collection of half-formed puzzle pieces that could still come together in more ways than I can count.