Where does The Expanse go from here? Episode five is the kind of nerve tingling romp of an episode you’d expect from a mid-season finale.
Have the writers of SyFy’s flagship space opera shot themselves in the foot? It’s hard to see how The Expanse can get better than season two’s fifth episode ‘Home’. Read on to find out why.
Episode 5 | Home | Spoilers Ahead
Miller’s attraction to missing OPA sympathiser, Julie Mao, has seemed somewhat unsubstantiated throughout the entire first season and into the second. Whilst Julie has been referenced a lot, Miller met her for the first time, post-biological infection, aboard the space station Eros. So why the infatuation?
Episode four concluded with Eros evading destruction by inexplicably developing its own – physics defying – power source and propulsion. Stranded on the outer shell of the station is Miller with a bomb that has developed a faulty timer requiring a periodic manual reset.
Season two of Syfy’s flagship show ‘The Expanse’ is now in full stride and the writers have found the optimum balance between action and dialogue. Evidence comes in the form of the fifth episode, ‘Home’.
With Eros clearly under intelligent control, and with the station now on a collision course with Earth, a high sense of drama is created with the political negotiations and posturing of the U.N.
Their attempts to destroy the errant space station are rendered impotent as Eros once more exhibits an unerring sense of self-preservation. With a missile strike incoming, Eros enables stealth capabilities making the station invisible to targeting systems. A daunting solution is offered from OPA leader, Fred Johnson.
Making unprecedented contact with the U.N, Johnson reveals that the Rocinante is within visual range of Eros and could guide the missiles manually. A plan that will only succeed if guidance of all 150 missiles is handed over to the OPA.
Given his status as a perceived terrorist, the stakes are high. With no other recourse – and with the the ability to render the missiles useless as insurance – the U.N. reluctantly oblige. But with Eros outpacing the Rocinante and the crew’s lives at risk from the high G pursuit a contingency is required.
Earth’s safety could now rest upon the shoulders of Miller, a Belter, and an unlikely saviour of a planet who treats his kind like second class citizens.
Entering the station with his “Pet Bomb” in tow, Miller is as curious as he is resigned to seeking out the centre of the power source. What he discovers begins to answer his previously unexplainable bond with Julie Mao but raises many more questions as the episode concludes in dramatic and poignant style, implying the loss of the show’s first important character.
‘Home’ offers a multi-layered episode that reaches peak-tension throughout. Political drama, leaps of faith and unexpected alliances open up the potential for betrayal and keep you guessing who will seize the opportunity?
Your emotional investment goes naturally to the crew of the Rocinante who provide a very ‘human’ element to the story. They’re in the thick of the action, and although ‘The Expanse’ doesn’t provide dogfights in space in the way that shows like ‘Battlestar Galactica’ did, there’s still an abundance of action presented in clever and convincing ways.
The real beauty of ‘Home’ for me lies in Miller’s experience aboard Eros. The interior is now familiar from past episodes but very much changed into a beautiful, ambient, alien backdrop that sets up the big reveal as a stunning visual treat.
It’s difficult to see where ‘The Expanse’ goes from here. But trust me, episode six manages to open up a whole new and terrifying prospect. Episode six reviewed next week.