The Expanse Review: “Down and Out”

“He was a good man. Period.”

This season of The Expanse isn’t letting up.

Title: “Down and Out”

Cast and Crew

Director: Jeff Woolnough
Writers: Matthew Rasmussen
Adapted from the novels by Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (as James S.A. Corey)

Steven Strait as Jim Holden
Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal
Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata
Wes Chatham as Amos Burton
Frankie Adamsas Roberta “Bobbie” W. Draper
Cara Gee as Camina Drummer
Nadine Nicole as Clarissa “Peaches” Mao
Keon Alexander Marco Inaros
Jasai Chase Owens as Filip
José Zúñiga as Bull
Natalie Brown as Rona
Sandrine Holt as Oksana
Brent Sexton as Cyn
Bahia Watson as Sakai
George Tchortov as Leveau
Olunike Adeliyi as Karal
Arnold Pinnock as Morris
Thomas Mitchell as Sullivan
Boomer Phillips as “Tiny” Konecheck
Samer Salem as Josep
Stephen Tracey as Bertold
Vanessa Smythe as Michio
Wilex Ly as SergeMatthew Rasmussen

Premise

Carmina is not happy about Inaros, but she is willing to meet.

Naomi tries to escape her captivity, and makes a desparate attempt to save Holden and the current crew of the Roci, who don’t realize they’re in danger.

Draper and Kamal locate the Belters’ Free Navy.

Amos Burton, Julie Mao, some prison staff, and an enhanced criminal try to escape the ruins of the underground prison.

High Point

You don’t need a whoosh in space to make the story exciting, and an asteroid belt can look like an actual asteroid belt, and not a videogame. You do need a good story, rooted in the characters, and yes, appropriate effects can enhance that.

The Expanse delivers.

Low Point

Amos behaves more-or-less in character, but I do wonder whether he needed to deliberately irritate Konecheck, given how much relied on him completing his task. It’s a tiny point, but a valid one.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 6/6

Acting: 5/6 The Expanse gives us strong principals, but it sometimes lags, just a little, with some of the extras. The prison sequences work—they’re certainly suspenseful– but the new characters (some of whom don’t stay around for long) could have been a little better-performed.
Dominique Tripper gives a nuanced performance, capturing Naomi’s situation.

Emotional Response: 6/6

Story: 6/6 This episode does an excellent job of handling the various plots.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 6/6

In total, “Down and Out” receives 38/42

Happy New Year! We’ll be back in 2021 with reviews of Star Trek: Discovery and Doctor Who:”Revolution of the Daleks.”

2 replies on “The Expanse Review: “Down and Out””

  1. zocalo says:

    I was wondering on the constant ragging on Konecheck too. My feeling was Amos had already decided to breakout Clarissa Mao/Peaches, and given the attitude of the guards to just having her leave her cell that likely meant he’d need to either win the guards over or remove them from the picture. Amos being Amos, he was going to try and make that happen one way or another. Once Konecheck was in the party riling him creates opportunies for Amos – mostly likely tension that leads to a confrontation with the guards, reducing the number of people Amos would need to overcome/evade. Even if passive, he’d also quite be likely try and make a break for it at some point, making the guards attention more likely to be on Konecheck rather than Peaches and Amos, potentially making it much easier for Amos and Peaches to just slip away in the night.

    Still, it’s pretty minor issue, and it says a lot about the show that things like this are usually the most significant low points that can be found.

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