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    Five Thoughts on The Expanse‘s “The Weeping Somnambulist”

    By | September 30th, 2018
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    Hello Multiversity TV bingers! For this year’s Summer TV Binge, I’m tackling the SyFy/Amazon show The Expanse, based on the novels by James S. A. Corey. My boyfriend Frank joined me for our look at the first season, and as we move into the second season, I’m flying my own Rocinante all alone.

    The Earth-Mars summit finally happens, and the Rocinante crew takes steps to sneak on to Ganymede. Let’s dive into “The Weeping Somnambulist”- – and as always, spoilers within.

    1. Somnambulist?

    I had to look this up before the watching the episode, but a somnambulist is really just a fancy name for a sleepwalker. Let’s see how this plays into things.

    And we get our answer in the opening scene: The Weeping Somnambulist is the name of a relief ship en route to Ganymede station, piloted by a River Song lookalike . . . that is being searched in what looks like anything but a routine inspection. It isn’t an inspection at all – – the “inspectors” are Holden and Amos, looking to find a stealth way onto Ganymede to find Dr. Strickland, who has allegedly brought the protomolecule there.

    Amos is certainly right when he sarcastically says, “This is off to a good start.”

    2.  “Now is not the right time to go to war.”

    Bobbi is still adjusting (if at all) to her role as face of the MCRN on Earth. As if her Earth trip prep with the various drugs she has to take to adjust to Earth’s gravity (it makes going through airport security look like a walk in the park), she’s left her Purple Heart in her bunk. And her superiors are not pleased with this, as it’s part of the image they want her to project during the summit. She’s torn between duty and truth, but knows one thing: she does not want to be a pawn.

    3. Mind Your Manners, Amos

    I wasn’t very happy last week with how Amos was treating Prax by locking him in his room, and this episode, it just gets worse.  Prax wants to record a message to Doris’s family to recount the events of the Ganymede attack, and express his gratitude to them, as Doris saved his life.  Except: he’s blocked from sending the message. If this man is the supposed guide to the answers of Ganymede and the proto-molecule, why treat him like a criminal?

    But Amos goes and surprises me and decides to be honest with the doctor instead and tell him everything about the proto-molecule. With that, the barriers to trust are broken and Prax also explains his daughter’s connection with Dr. Strickland – – he had been treating her for a genetic condition that, without their presence on Ganymede, would have sentenced her to certain death.

    4. Nice Day For Some (Faked) Diplomacy

    The summit that has been the focus of the past few episodes is finally underway, and the fake smiles and trading of potshots on procedure are more blinding than the sun was to those Martians.

    Part of this diplomacy is Bobbi’s statement, and she hones close to the company line with her story, never wavering, even when thrown the curveball of one her fellow privates as the scapegoat for the entire attack: an Earther who emigrated to Mars and wanted to prove himself more Martian than Earther. But you can see in Avasarala’s eyes she’s not buying one word of it.

    Bobbi is angry as well that her late friend is shouldering this responsibility that tarnishes his memory, but she gets mansplained down by her superior officer (Martens) that this move may have prevented a war. Watching this – – nay, the entire summit – – in the week of the contentious (and that’s putting it mildly) Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh gives this scene a bit of an edge for me. Is Bobbi being dismissed by Martens for being “too hysterical” or “too emotional,” things many a woman (myself included) has heard about their behavior?

    5. Calling the Bluff

    Chrisjen being Chrisjen, she calls the bluff at the table and wants another conversation with Sergeant Draper. It’s not immediately clear where Avasarala is going with this line of thought; she brings up Martian military service and the Earth idea of basic government assistance. When the men at the table try their mansplaining on Avasarala, she shuts them down without as much as breaking a sweat:

    Continued below

    Pyotr Korshunov (MCR Minister of Defense): “With all due respect madam, where are you going with this?”
    Avasarala: “Wherever I goddamn like!”

    And the hits just keep on coming – – the big one being the accusation that Bobbi was manipulated by the MCRN to leave out certain details of the Ganymede events. Thus the truth about what really happened on Ganymede comes out, and everyone at those tables is now living with the ramifications of that truth (as well as the decisions to cover it up initially) on their plate.

    Lesson learned time and again: don’t cross Chrisjen Avasarala.

    – The gift of lasagna is the gift that always keeps on giving. Alex Kamal you can come cook for me anytime.
    – We find out in this episode that military service on Mars is compulsory, similar to military service in Israel.
    – “Reminds me of Baltimore.” – – Amos. No dear, I’ve been to Baltimore and it looks nothing like that.

    Quote of the episode:
    “Eros changes everything. Just like a solider on Ganymede without a suit.” – – Avasarala.

    See you next week for “Cascade” and tell me what you thought of this episode in the comments!

    //TAGS | 2018 Summer TV Binge | The Expanse

    Kate Kosturski

    Kate Kosturski is your Multiversity social media manager, a librarian by day and a comics geek...well, by day too (and by night). Kate's writing has also been featured at PanelxPanel, Women Write About Comics, and Geeks OUT. She spends her free time spending too much money on Funko POP figures and LEGO, playing with yarn, and rooting for the hapless New York Mets. Follow her on Twitter at @librarian_kate.


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