QCB is an odd episode for me. While it’s one of the best in terms of raising the stakes and tension that is ever-present across all the Expanse’s seasons, it’s also one with which I have a few issues. This episode continues where we left off, the crew of the Canterbury interrogated by the Martians on the MCRN Cruiser, Donnager. There were a lot of uncomfortable truths revealed in the past episode. And here’s the thing: Almost every character that comprises the Canterbury, (Alex, Shed, Amos, Holden, Naomi) are holding back something. There is something to their story that we don’t know. Also, a lot of the events that happen in this episode will set up the foundation for future seasons. So keep an eye when you watch this one.
Cue in: The MCRN Donnager is attacked by advanced technological ships which are far smaller than the massive MCRN Cruiser, Donnager. A lot of impressive CGI and post-production work shows the effect that the smaller ships have against the Donnager. However, since it was a TV show with a limited budget during this time, there are elements not clearly shown: Like how each smaller ship is being handled. There are a few shots shown on the action. Sure, the battle itself is visually impressive, but it’s following a restraint. There are events shown of Crisjen’s role, which I feel didn’t contribute much to the scene, Detective Miller’s continued attempts to discover Julie Mao’s acquaintance’s role, and Bizi Betiko trying to uncover a government encrypted file. These events should have been separate episodes by themselves. Because note that there are only three set pieces for the MCRN ship.
There’s the Captain’s Command Centre, there’s the prison, and there’s the one room where prisoners are kept. It’s impressive that with those three unique set pieces, you feel like you’re part of the ship. Had the show more of a Hollywood budget, it would have expanded the into the larger size that the MCRN Donnager deserves to be. Lo and behold, the ship is attacked and Captain Yao finds that under-estimating these advanced ships were a massive mistake. Shed is removed from the show and I just didn’t like it one bit. Because in the last episode you had Shed saving Amos, yet in this one, in my opinion, didn’t work. While Shed is blown off, to say the least in their prison, the air inside has to be sealed as the oxygen runs out thanks to the attacks occurring on the ship. Amos and Naomi share in what they believe is their last moment, but Naomi says she wishes she could say goodbye (Keep a good eye on this. This has something very massive.) while Lopez struggles to handle these advanced tech ships and their crew. She orders Captain Lopez to take Holden and to get him out of the ship to state that Mars was not behind the attack on Canterbury. That happens thanks to Holden recognizing the advanced tech ships attacked Canterbury! Geez. I wonder how easy that was because that should have been harder to figure out, to be honest. Lopez says that he wishes to see Mars being made into a livable planet and that the Earthers are selfish. Except we know that the Mars experiment has already made. It is freaky, however, that the Expanse predicted this, as I read that plans were being unveiled to make Mars a living breathing world, which I think is impossible when you actually look at the planet’s size. You’d need to do a lot of work. Work on the city will begin in 2024 in our timeline. Freaky coincidence, isn’t it?
I am impressed by the writer’s ability to write scenes that should be impossible to even look at on a TV screen. For example, you have the OPA leader Fred Johnson conversing with the Mormon delegate on Tycho Station, as they go through a monorail lift and you can see the individual machines on the station. But notice there are no humans outside on the perimeter. Inside there could be. This tiny detail explains a lot. The CGI department really does an outstanding job complementing what the writers want to accomplish in terms of vision. Also, the Mormons want to escape in a new world which Fred points out: Space is dangerous. It’s a horrifying reality.
It’s still in my opinion, a fantastic episode. I really enjoyed this one!