Synopsis for Episode 1
In the asteroid belt near Saturn, James Holden and the crew of the ice-freighter Canterbury, investigate a distress call from an unknown derelict ship, the Scopuli. On Ceres Station, weary Detective Miller begins an off the book investigation to find a missing heiress, Juliette Andromeda Mao, and ship her home to Earth, but Miller’s seemingly simple job takes an unexpected turn.
The Expanse is a series that I’ve personally loved for quite some time. I first watched it during a time when there were a lot of really good sci-fi shows to choose from but I found an article that recommended this fantastic show. I was engrossed in every second of the Expanse and couldn’t believe how fantastic it was. A revolutionary series. Right now, I’m on season 5. I’ve decided to review the episodes back to back because I want to share the experience I had with you. The epic plotlines are well done. The writers have done an excellent job. I’m going into this show with no spoilers of previous seasons or episodes.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
For clarity, there is a monologue explaining the differences of this futuristic sci-fi show adapted from James Correy’s the Expanse series novel. Not to reveal too much in spoilers, but there are basically three factions. The one you must keep in mind is the Belters and then Mars to a lesser extent. The Belters are people who live on the Asteroid Belt but are basically deprived by their Earth masters who are known as Inners. They are not privy to fresh air or water, thus denting their physical growth and therefore that air and water is more precious than gold or fuel. A nice allegory as to what the future could become for Earth. Then you have Earth, run by your typical corrupt politicians with the same inequalities but a more accepting society of diversity. And then Mars, which is failing to grow as a liveable planet. There are no ifs or buts, there is a seeping rot inside of it. This sets the future for the next future seasons that come as a result!
The episode begins with a mysterious woman trapped inside a dense, large metallic ship that already evokes a sense of fear and mortality. A woman that you don’t know, who tries and survives. The music builds up to a glorious dark theme. And boom, you find out there’s a mysterious blue ball with twirling lights everywhere. A final scream. Very cinematic. There’s a lot of interesting angles and cinematic shots within the first opening moments of the scene which would be straight out of a film mind you.
Within the crux of this story in episode one, you are witnessed to James Holden and the crew of the Ice Freighter Canterbury. There’s Amos, a tough guy with a heart of gold.Wes Catham plays him brilliantly. Stoic and silent. I can instantly tell because people like Amos love to act tough on the outside but are generally good-hearted. Amos feels like he’s been placed before. A man that can survive the tough world. Naomi Nagata, outspoken and brash, confident and feisty, but also a woman with a warm heart. She doesn’t like Holden much at all in this episode. And Holden doesn’t like her either. But Naomi played by Dominique Tipper is a brilliant actress and instantly her charisma is established. I know Naomi’s prescene on the screen. All the actors’s main prescene is so good, that each character serves its purpose thus directly serving its goal in this episoode.
No storyline is wasted, and there are no loose ends in this episode either. We also get the introduction of cool guy Alex Kamal, which, I think, needs to be a future spin-off series. He’s played brilliantly by Cas Anvar. This episode brings a lot of nail-biting tension and the introduction of course, to the Belters and their way of living. Detective Josephus Miller is a Welwala, a traitor to his people. He’s a local cop that’s trying to make his way among the world. He knows its dangerous. He knows he isn’t liked. And he’s trying to hide from a past that he doesn’t want to bring up. Cue in the Julie Mao case which for him, has some personal stuff that isn’t brought up in the episode, but it is hinted.
Another thing about watching this episode again was, how much detail I was missing in this show. When you go and look at the worlds they’ve created, you can see people shopping, eating, going around towns, just doing their daily normal things which don’t affect any of the other characters in this episode. You do get to see Miller and his buddy from Earth (for now let’s him name that but he’s also a cop assigned to Miller) to see how the Belters get cheap air. The Belters’s growth is stunted, and therefore because they’re not used to normal oxygen you can see their defects. The Belter’s air supply often runs out causing children to suffer a lot. And then Holden and his team are soon going to be apprehended by what seems to be a ship with advanced technology as they hunt down this missing ship that’s been abandoned on this rock. Things get really exciting from here, and we witness the main character, Holden losing something dear to him. The Canterbury, the Captain, and the pilot who he was in love with.
All in all, this was a great way to recap the episode. A mind-blowing show and I like this. It got off to a strong start, had slow pacing issues in the middle, but ended up with a sharp foreshadowing conclusion at the end. See you next week for episode 2 reviews!