And at long last it all comes together! During the second last week of the season (next week will be a two part finale), The Expanse‘s many plots finally seem to be meeting up and quite likely coming to a head, which is exactly what this show needed. While I do think we didn’t need to take quite so many detours before we reached this point, I’m glad I stuck it out as “Salvage” was the most enjoyable episode yet. If you haven’t watched this week’s episode yet, I highly suggest you do before reading on as you can expect some spoilers.
Remember back at the beginning of episode one when there was the mystery ship with the mystery girl and the mystery anomaly? Then how we spent seven episodes trying to figure out what exactly was supposed to be happening? Well, if you stuck it out this long, The Expanse has finally rewarded you. Not with answers exactly, but with the sense that things are starting to come together at long last. And not only that but Detective Miller meets up with close to the rest of the cast, leaving the show feeling more cohesive than ever. Earth/Chrisjen’s story line this week was the most minor, stepping back to give the other’s the space they needed to properly collide. All you need to know on that front is that Chrisjen is pro keeping Holden alive.
The crew of the Rocinante is continuing their mission for Fred Johnson, bringing them right up close and personal with the ship that started it all. This made for quite a few of this episode’s big tension moments. This is the ship that is responsible for the destruction of the Canterbury, this crews first ship together and the one that started it all. The crew splits up, some heading for the flight deck and the others for engineering, bringing Kenzo the spy along with them as a safety precaution. I know this guy is betraying them left, right and center but I kind of want him to become part of the gang. Soon they learn that this is the Anubis (which they, like everyone else, struggle to pronounce) while also discovering the glowing crystals that we saw in episode one, which clearly don’t belong anywhere on a space ship and give off a strange sense of life while also absorbing power from the ship. All generally not good.
Meanwhile, Miller is on his way to Eros, chatting briefly with a Mormon missionary who makes a monthly ferry trip in order to prepare for the much longer flight on the generational ship that his people are preparing for. It was a quieter moment in a packed episode but I very much appreciated the chance to get to know Detective Miller a little more before he arrives on Eros and is promptly thrown in haul. He’s quickly reunited with an old friend (and the man who gave him his stupid hat) while Miller continues to obsess about Julie Mao.
And this is when things get interesting. The Rocinante crew blows up the Anubis, only taking an unopened safe with them, and quickly hightail it for Eros… which is where Detective Miller already is. Is this it? Is it finally happening? I briefly thought that they would make us wait until next week before everything came together in the Blue Falcon. Both groups were looking for Julie Mao, though at this point only Miller knew her pseudonym, but the Earthen swat team was also looking for the crew of the Rocinante. An intense shootout took place, though of the variety where lots of bullets fly and all the main characters come out unscathed. Plus now Detective Miller is part of the gang. I’m curious how they’ll handle the inevitable clash between Miller and Holden, but for now there are bigger things to worry about. Specifically, who is waiting for them in Lionel’s room.
The final reveal of this episode was my favorite moment of the series so far. We find Julie Mao (likely dead) in a shower, covered in blue crystals, not unlike those on the Anubis. It’s disturbing, a little gross, but also beautifully done. How did she get here? What exactly are the crystals? Who is responsible for what’s happening and where is it headed? I can’t wait to find out!