Title: Paradigm Shift
Director: David Grossman
Writers: based on the novels by Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (as James S.A. Corey), written by Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham
Starring: Frankie Adams, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham, Shohreh Aghdashlo, Nick E. Tarabay, Shawn Doyle, Chad L. Coleman, Andrew Rotilio, Elias Toufexis, Athena Karkanis, Paulo Costanzo, François Chau, and more
Episode length: 42 minutes
The Paradigm Shift of the title refers to how things have been affected on Earth, Mars and the Belt in the aftermath of the Eros event.
Yes things are different now that all of the factions know about the protomolcule and how it nearly crashed Eros into Earth. New mysteries replace older ones as a direct result of the occurrence and everyone’s scrambling to get the upper hand in a solar system where everything has changed overnight.
So Thomas Jane is gone and I will miss him, I really got to like the quirky character with all the attitude and what he contributed to the show with his presence. He went out like a hero and died for love. It doesn’t get much better than that. I can only hope I am that lucky
This episode has a somewhat split personality. The first half includes a history lesson, along with a lot of talk as the different factions adjust to the situation and make decisions based on what they know and what they don’t. The second half suddenly plunges us into an action packed situation that will doubtless determine what happens going forward on the show.
Like most of the other episodes in the series, this week’s episode divides its time between what is occurring on Earth, Mars and the Belt. Last week’s sepisode had little regarding Mars, because the narrative focused mostly on the events taking place on Eros, The Roci , Tycho,and Earth, but the Martians do make an appearance this time around. It was a good episode that played the role of being a segue from what has happened, to what will come in future episodes, with a big payoff at the end that teases what is yet to come.
Here’s a recap, with some comments (*warning, spoilers follow*)
The episode opens at the advent of a historical event where a Martian colonist (Stephen Farrell) who has been tinkering with his ship.s drive in order to make it more efficient accidentally sets himself off on an extended one-way trip into deep space when he accidentally improves his ship’s drive way more than expected, and in doing so makes it possible for the rest of humanity to explore space and colonize the solar system. Unfortunately for him he has no way to slow or stop his ship from accelerating, so that the event that makes him famous also results in his death.
The Roci has returned to Tyco and the crew finds themselves receiving a hero’s welcome home by the occupants. Col Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) reveals he’s in a lot of trouble regarding the Nauvoo and is being sued by the Mormons for the loss of it. The Roci crew discovers that while most of the missiles launched from Earth self destructed a good thirty of them did not and are unaccounted for.
Col Johnson reveals he has them and that they may come in handy as leverage or a deterrent if the situation should arise. We are treated to a shot of some drone ships with an enormous net extended between them collecting the missiles in question. His only concern is the OPA going forward and the other factions are assuming the same posture of looking out for themselves above all else.
In what starts out as a minor disagreement between Alex (Cas Anvar) and a drunken local, Amos (Wes Chatham) intervenes and brutally beats the local unconscious, leaving him bloodied on the floor reaffirming his brutal and violent nature. As if we needed reminding.
On Earth they are discussing the missiles too, and are aware that some of them are missing in action. The UN decides to launch a mission to Venus to explore the surface as well as they can to determine the results of the Eros crashing on the surface.
Meanwhile the crew of the Roci discuss what to do with the sample of protomolecule they stashed in the torpedo they hid and they decide to destroy it and send it into a trajectory that takes it into the sun. Naomi (Dominique Tipper) is opposed to that decision and only pretends to comply with actually carrying it out, so that the stash of the stuff remains where it is.
In a sudden shift of locations we find ourselves on the Ganymede Agricultural Station where Roberta ‘Bobbie’ W. Draper (Frankie Adams) is on patrol with a small squad on the surface. They are all wearing the armored suits we have previously seen in action earlier this season. Suddenly she spots some figures off in the distance and she receives orders to back off from her location.
The situation suddenly escalates as we are treated to a sample of future warfare infantry style on an alien planet. The rapidly approaching figures are somehow jamming her communications. She gives orders to one of personnel helmet to helmet, and she is shown preparing to stand her ground along with her remaining troops.
At the same time in the sky above there is action taking place with ships firing on one another, and suddenly a large mirrored array is seen destroyed and the fragments begin falling towards the moon’s surface where we see what left of the patrol on the ground. A bloody unoccupied helmet is the first indication that things did not end well for the Martian soldiers. Another shot shows the Gatling type gun on another shattered set of armor still spinning after being fired. Until finally the panning camera settles on Draper’s fallen figure, she is unconscious and her helmet’s visor is cracked and leaking air. She is not dead and slowly begins to waken as a drone ship passes by overhead.
As she continues to gain consciousness and attempts to focus she is approached by a figure that has strange looking eyes that are the same sort of glowing blue we have seen before from the protomolecule. It isn’t clear who or what attacked Ganymede or why and who or what it is that approached the semiconscious Draper. That is where the episode ends, so any answers will have to wait until the show’s creators let us know what it is we have just seen.
The show continues to keep things as puzzling as ever. If their goal was to get us curious and engaged, it worked.