The Expanse returns! Season Two improved on Season One, establishing the show as possibly the best, more-or-less pure SF series on television.

Director: Breck Eisner
Writer: Hallie Lambert
Adapted from the novels by Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (as James S.A. Corey)

Frankie Adams as Bobbie Draper
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala
Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal
Curtis Caravaggio as Captain Malik
Wes Chatham as Amos Burton
François Chau as Jules-Pierre Mao
Terry Chen as Praxideke Meng
Shawn Doyle as Sadavir Errinwright
David Patrick Green as UN Admiral
Samora Smallwood as U.N Naval Attache
Steven Strait as James Holden
Nick E. Tarabay as Cotyar
Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata
Jonathan Whittaker as Sec-Gen Gillis

Premise

The existence of an alien life-form as a weapon destabilizes the solar system, and war appears imminent.

High Points

The episode does an excellent job of revealing character in the context of an ongoing story. While we lose no one of significance this week, that outcome never feels certain. People we care about will die.

Low Point

The show remains a bit awkward, with several excellent, connected stories that have been placed together. The choices do not always cohere, even when we see where the plots seem likely to connect.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The show, like its source material, has always been a bit tropey. This season premiere does nothing to change that perception. The ragtag band of heroes wins our approval, despite inner tensions and difficult decisions. We applaud the kickass female space marine, and understand the decisions of the world’s politicians, and their concern for their place in history, will affect everyone else in great and terrible ways, throughout the recognizable colonies and cultures.

Effects: 6/6 The effects remains excellent. Few shows have made the rest of the solar system look so real. And while we would be foolish to expect complete scientific accuracy in televised SF, this show attempts to address the implications and physical realities associated with the subject matter.

Acting: 5/6 Overall, the performances remain strong.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Story: 6/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6

In total 35/42

Forthcoming Reviews

That’s our “Fight or Flight” response. Future discussions will be posted, if readers want them. Otherwise, we’ll review the rest of the season in two distinct halves. The series consists of story arcs, and we’ve many of those do not finish within a given season.