Topping last week's Expanse was pretty much impossible but last night's episode, "Paradigm Shift", written by veteran Star Trek writer Naren Shankar, was pretty good. A more low key episode than last week's fantastic large scale, it featured some quieter character manoeuvres while containing a big surprise or two.
Spoilers after the screenshot
No more Miller, Thomas Jane isn't even in the opening credits. I hope that's just a ruse and he pops back up later in the season though it'll be hard to think of a satisfying way to have him come back after the way he left. Maybe he'll have to regain his memories slowly while he and the Rocinante crew travel back in time to save a pair of humpback whales. Maybe not.
Steven Strait, who plays Holden, is so boring in comparison, such a typical television actor, most of the actors are. The exception is Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala, who is endlessly fascinating to watch.
There are so many ways in which she's like no-one and nothing else on television. An older woman whose indisputable beauty and glamour are part of her character on the show, a politician in a government of banal suits who wears a variety of stunning and elaborate outfits, and above all her mannerisms. She delivers fairly typical lines like, "I'm going to nail them to the wall!" in decidedly atypical ways. In her showdown with the guy who was working with Mao last night you would expect glowering and shouting and finger pointing but she uses elegant hand gestures and tilts her head in movements that reminded me of a Beijing Opera performer.
The ending of the episode was nice and intriguing and I appreciate the fact that this group of Martian marines was established to add shock to their killing and the reveal of what looks like alien life. Hopefully this all won't simply turn into another "We humans need to pull together to fight the aliens."
Twitter Sonnet #968
The nymphs on tricycles waylay the mail.
Recordings barely make it through the post.
A dream of breakfast much too good to sail.
I'd like the porridge warmer than a ghost.
A knife inside the toaster left too late.
Across a scalpy desert went the brain.
The wrongest foot began below the pate.
A million pirates drowned along the main.
The overstocked replacement shelves collapsed.
The many products much too bright weren't sold.
Security reports no time elapsed.
We shook the pudding and we called it bold.
The extra scoop occurred in dreams alone.
A pickle stuck when sliced may chill the bone.