Title: The Monster And The Rocket
Director: Robert Lieberman
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
Episode length: 42 minutes
As things deteriorate on Ganymede, things change everywhere else too.
“The Monster and The Rocket” was an episode that brought the series characters into sharp relief. Has Holden always been such a hot head? Alex who has steadily emerged as my favorite character of the series remains the show’s most level headed, and while everyone else has been going through emotional upheavals, he simply embraced the idea of being the ship’s pilot and has been continually working to perfect his skills in that role, making him eminently pragmatic.
Naomi is suddenly brought into focus as the heroic idealist and romantic that she is. She is stubbornly clinging to the Belter code of conduct, the sort of code poor people adopt because they have nothing else to cling to with pride.This edition also highlighted her relationship with Amos to a degree. He follows her around like a dangerous puppy still wounded and she occasionally does something akin to nursing when he needs attention.
Chrisjen likewise is shown exhibiting her dual nature as both no-nonsense bad ass bitch and a skilled diplomat. It’s no secret she’s cranky and out of sorts because she has been forced to travel off-world in order to meet Mao, and when she does she responds to his polite banter by being rude, crude and lewd by telling him to get to the fucking point.
Shohreh Aghdashloo is remarkable in her portrayal of her role she sweeps into a room like royalty, which always makes me giggle a little, and her presence is almost palpable. I love watching her use the smallest inflection and/or gesture to accompany her dialogue. She has the remarkable ability to ham it up without making it apparent she is doing so. I get the impression she is well versed at stealing a scene when she wants without exerting any perceptible effort.
As for Mao himself, he remains enigmatic and now openly admits experimenting with the protomolcule in conjunction with Mars. he comes off as smug in the knowledge he is untouchable and makes no attempt to hide his obvious contempt for anyone that is not part of his present plans.
This was an eventful episode that left any intended seasonal wrapping up for next week’s finale, it had the requisite dramatic developments that kept it quite interesting without ripping off the roof to expose everything the series still has in store with its multiple storylines. For example, we did not hear from Venus this week, although a lot was revealed in other ways regarding the show’s narrative.
Here’s a recap, with some comments (*Warning, spoilers follow*)
The crew of the Roci, now reduced to Holden (Steven Strait) and Alex (Cas Anvar) are accompanied by Meng (Terry Chen), are on the hunt for the escaped proto-being that killed a roomful of people on Ganymede and Holden seems almost bloodthirsty in his desire to find it and kill it, So much so he is willing to risk the ship and the lives of the others, while Alex attempts to get him to calm down little and mend, s spouting stuff about being compassionate and sitting down and talking with the deadly creature.
The creature is proving to be remarkably elusive and continues to elude their attempts to catch and kill it.
Back on Ganymede Naomi has returned to the Weeping Somnambulist to offer her help getting the ship space worthy, the captain (Valerie Buhagiar), still bitter about the death of her partner refuses her help, but Naomi (Dominique Tripper) manages to insinuate herself into the situation anyway, maybe because the captain recognizes that she is lot like her, a tough Belter woman determined to be involved and help.
Meanwhile desperate locals in need of a way off the deteriorating situation are starting to get dangerously anxious and may become a danger to each other and themselves in a desperate attempt to escape that is threatening to become violent The captain finally picks the biggest guy in the crowd to help keep order in a chaotic situation that continues to escalate
Panic sets in when the fragments of an exploding ship in orbit crash onto the area. Naomi finishes her repairs but there’s not enough air for everyone to board, and while everyone else is calling to leave the refugees behind, she refuses and even medicates Amos into submission when he tries to physically restrain her.
She offers to stay behind trading places with the big guy if he can get the crowd calm and accept the reality that here simply isn’t enough air for everyone, the situation begins to resemble one of several movies about the last moments aboard the Titanic as everyone begins to cooperate. The big guy doesn’t allow Naomi to make her grand gesture but decides to stay behind hinself, because code of the Belters,
As the ship leaves the Martian authorities announce the no fly zone is till in effect, and unless they stay they will be fired upon and subsequently fire a missile at the Somnambulist, but at the last moment the Roci arrives and destroys the missile, saves the ship, and everyone onboard.. They also prevent the Martians from firing again by threatening to fire on them.
On another front Sadavir Errinwright who has proven to be somewhat villainous in the past now reemerges as true villain by killing the Martian Defense secretary and ordering the destruction of martian ship over Ganymede. He has chosen to murder and ezcalae the situation over being thrown under the bus for his bad behavior in his role as apart of the protmolcule experiments he was involved in with Mao, instead of taking his medicine like a man.
We have to wait until next week’s finale to find out what repercussions will result from his villainy, and how the Martians will respond, but we can be sure it won’t be good. the show’s creator apparently thought it might be fun to give us a cliffhanger while we wait for the big one that’s sure to be waiting for us next week.
Another great episode with some surprising developments and with a lot of stuff up in the air as the season nears coming to a close. next week it looks like the fertilizer hits the ventilation system. Too soon say I. We want more of this great genre tv.