The Expanse: Season 3 Episode 4, “Reload” (Review)

Episode Grade: A-

What a weak-willed POS the UN Secretary-General is.  A “bobblehead” if you will.  Last week certainly showed us that enough, but it’s still disheartening to see him, in the wake of the destruction of Goiás Major, going all-in on Errinwright’s war-mongering.  In Earth’s political scene, Anna has of course taken over Avasarala’s place as “only sane woman,” but Chrisjen never did seem anywhere near so powerless and isolated.  Volovodov’s just a speech-writer, after all, and her words are only useful to Esteban to give a veneer of civilization over the UN’s new declaration of purpose:  To bring Mars and the Belt to heel under the control of humanity’s cradle.

Thank heaven for that last scene of her getting Errinwright’s incriminating message, then.  It’s been good that over the last couple of episodes we’ve seen Anna at her limits, because for one thing it makes sense, and for another it makes it all the more satisfying that she may be able to help bring that evil sunofabitch down.  By the same token, “you don’t get to speak to me, not ever again” was probably the most cathartic line of the episode.  Mitchell continues to kill it; I’m just looking forward now to her actually interacting with more than three other actors.

The Contorta plot is outstanding this week, mainly for how it (mostly) respects the motivations of the three young Martian officers.  Sure, they’re kind of idiots, and they really didn’t need to beat Alex as viciously as they did, but we aren’t ever led to think of them as “bad guys” in any real way.


They’re antagonists sure, but even before Bobbie lays it all out, we know that these guys are just looking for some payback, to help deal with the trauma they’d just been through.  I was glad the three were able to be talked down by a combination of Holden’s gun and Bobbie’s… Bobbie.  The scene between one of them and Chrisjen was nice, as well, as it reinforced the idea that these great differences could be put aside if only people would put down their guns and give peace a chance.  Funny, too:  “This is going to be very tedious if you remain this dim.”

Speaking of Bobbie, “hey fellas.  So what’s all the ruckus?”  Is the most kick ass line of the night, without a doubt.  And I’m suddenly realizing that along with the aforementioned Anna, as well as Avasarala, this show’s giving almost all of the best lines to the women.  (Give or take the odd Amos)  I especially loved Bobbie’s talking to Avasarala about the “big hole in [her] head.”  Actually, the relationship stuff on the Roci was pretty solid this week.  Bobbie and Avasarala are a delight, but we knew that, same with Amos and Prax.  But I liked the scene with Bobbie and Alex towards the end, integrating the newest inhabitant with the crew.  And I didn’t even mind Naomi and Holden that much.  Again, a strong episode aboard the good ship Pinus Contorta.  (Though like others, I really was hoping they’d rename the ship every other week to avoid detection.  Would’ve been a great running gag)

That leaves us with the two minor plotlines:  We finally see the OPA, commanded by Drummer, commandeer the Nauvoo, in a visually great sequence.  And that’s all there is to that.  Then there is Io.  And seriously screw you, Jules-Pierre.  I’m sure at this point, Mao’s probably going to end up trying to look after Mei (though Meibe not), because of their personal connection, but sacrifice all the other children to the Protomolecule.  This guy’s worse than Strickland, whom I’m pretty sure underwent an empathyotomy.  Jules-Pierre flat-out called this torture of children last week, and now he’s all on board.  While, I might add, looking at Katoa’s good handiwork that is made up of the disassembled parts of what used to be his nurse.


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There’s no villain quite like the one who seems like they’re going to turn towards a redemptive arc but then throw it away like “nah.”  Can’t wait for him to get his, though I doubt it’ll be so soon as next week.  Here’s hoping!

Sorry about the delay.  Should have done this Thursday, because Friday was a mess.  Next week should be less hairy, Inshallah.