Saturday, November 26, 2016

THE EXPANSE (S1E08): "Salvage"

The eighth episode of season 1 of The Expanse was titled "Salvage" and aired for the first time on January 26, 2016.  Here (finally!) is my review of this episode. I rewatched "Salvage" again the weekend after Thanksgiving

S1E08: Salvage.
The title of the episode most likely stems from the fact that the crew of the Rocinante finds a deserted ship, the Anubis, attached to a barren rock at the remote coordinates Fred Johnson sent them to on a rescue mission. On boarding the craft, which looks identical to the powerful and stealthy space ships which destroyed both the Canterbury in episode 1 ("Dulcinea")  and the Donnager in episode 4 ("CQB"), the crew discovers that it is abandoned and deserted. However, when they turn the power on, a strange blue glowing organism (which looks alien to my eyes but which no one on the show describes as such) appears to start growing (and glowing) more energetically. They hurriedly leave the ship and over the objections of the spy/hostage/stowaway Kenzo they fire a missile at the Anubis, turning it to fiery slag as they head towards Eros. 

Eros is where Miller is going, having been fired in episode 7, he is continuing with his obsession with finding out what happened to Julie Mao, albeit now as a private citizen with a lot of friends in law enforcement due to his status as an ex-cop himself. He runs into Sematimba, an Eros cop, who bails him out after Miller beats up a guy to get information on where Julie's ship, the Anubis 1A is docking and where the registered owner, "Lionel Polanski" is holed up. Of course, that's the same name of the person that Holden and crew are looking for and they both arrive at a flophouse where a bunch of very heavily armed thugs attempts to put bullets through every member of the crew. (Earlier in the episode we had seen that Errinwright on Earth confirmed to Avasarala that his attempt to assassinate Holden was going to take place on Eros, which he referred to as the murder capital of the Solar System.) Holden and his crew are saved by Amos' quick instincts and Miller's entry into the battle at a crucial moment. Finally, Miller and Holden,the two protagonists of the two key threads of the story meet, and of course immediately clash. The entire crew (plus Miller) go up to Polanski's room and there they find Julie, clearly dead for days, with very strange (clearly) alien growths coming out most of her orifices.

  • The fight sequence at the Blue Falcon Hotel is really well done, as the tension rises higher and higher as the audience knows that a "hit" is going to happen and so we view every passer-by with suspicion (which appears to be what Amos does as standard operating procedure). The eventual gun battle is bloody but exciting.
  • The dialogue between Holden and Naomi as they navigate through the eerily empty (but clearly dangerous) environment of the Anubis is a fun signal of future development in their relationship because it shows they have clearly moved from blatant hostility to grudging respect and perhaps even camaraderie.

  • Avarasala only appears in one scene this episode but she infuses it with great emotion as she discovers that her friend, the former Ambassador to Mars (whom she betrayed in order to get useful intelligence for Earth about Martian intelligence) has been found dead, listed as a suicide.

GRADE: 8/10.

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