The Expanse S6E02: Azure Dragon

So I guess we’re going to check back in on Laconia for a single scene per episode? Cool cool cool. It means the “Strange Dogs” of the first episode’s title are a bit more deserving of that pride of place. Cara’s probably in for it when she gets home having destroyed the family drone, as if the poor kid didn’t feel bad enough. I like that they establish the different fauna would not be able to eat Earth food: I don’t remember that being part of the books. Maybe it is, or maybe one of the screen-writers has been playing Mass Effect and liked the Quarians and the Turians.

Aw, don’t feel bad Michio! It looks like Drummer’s getting your storyline anyway

Back in the Solar System, Camina Drummer’s making plans. I liked Liang Walker as someone who’s fine with taking the piss out of Marco, and I didn’t remember that the sole ship Drummer has, the Tynan, was actually Klaes Ashford’s. That’s really nice, as is the respect in the voices of the two pirates talking about him. And now, as Marco’s focused on the imminent threat of the newly-freed Earth and Mars fleets, it looks like these two, and Walker’s Golden Bough buddies may be the forgotten arm, keya?

On Ceres, Filip and Marco deal with the aftermath of the murder and… I’m not interested. If anyone else wants to talk about these guys in the comments, go for it, but I know we’re going to have to spend time getting Filip to where he needs to be story-wise, but I consider every minute with them to be one less we have with better characters, so I’m not going to waste space in this column about these two and their baggage.

So on to the Rocinante! And there were some fun times on the good ship. I liked last week’s spacewalk of Amos’, it looked cool, and they’re doing more cool-looking stuff this time out. One thing I liked is the little locking mechanisms they use to secure cargo.

What Amos and Naomi are fiddling with, here.

But the real good news is that Roberta Draper is back aboard! I love Gunny. I also love that she has a plan, and executes it, and has about zero patience for all the drama on the Roci. One thing that got me a bit about her briefing about the plan of attack was when Bobbie confidently stated she’d make short work of any Free Navy crew, Naomi had the gall to get snotty with her. While Bobbie was civil about it, I found myself wondering if Naomi had forgotten there was a war on, and that she was serving aboard a ship that’d probably ended a lot more than four Belter lives. “Happy crew…” Bobbie says sarcastically, and the lady ain’t wrong.

The taking of the Azure Dragon was pretty fun stuff all told. I thought it a bit hilarious that Holden told everyone to “brace” before hitting the gas, and then told everyone to “brace” again. Like, they’re pinned to the floor Holden. They’re as braced as they’re gonna get. Good thing the show didn’t go back inside the Roci while Holden was doing his stunt flying to track the Belter ship, though. Because I imagine if it were going to be realistic, all of the crew except Bobbie would’ve become mush.

Naomi’s panic attack made sense, and happily Peaches saved the day, though I found myself wondering: When she went Turbo and smashed that fella, what was going on with her feet? I don’t think super-speed really works when you’re mag-booted onto a ship. I mean, if both feet ever leave the surface, you’re gonna have a very bad day.

Violence is festive, though

That’s a quibble though. I liked this episode. I liked Holden’s mini-arc with Clarissa (the first time he contacts “Peaches” on the line, her “Holden?” makes it clear that he probably hasn’t spoken to her like at all), I liked both Holden and Bobbie establishing their respective authorities without being true dicks about it. I liked Avasarala and her dealing with Monica Stuart. This might not have been an all-time great, but at least stuff happened, and (the Inaros stuff aside) it seemed pretty essential for the most part.

So that’s it for me. How about you all? Oh, and as promised, here’s the link (to come every week) for the Spoiler Space for book readers who’ve gotten to Leviathan Falls (I’ve just read the intro this morning):