The Expanse Season 1 Episode 2 Review: The Big Empty

at .  Updated at . Comments

The destruction of the Cant was devastating, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

The Expanse Season 1 Episode 2 not only picked up where we left off, but it felt very much like the second half of the pilot. I'm assuming since the series airs at 10/9c, going with a 2-hour premiere would have run too late. Folks have to work Tuesday after all.

So, Syfy did the next best thing by airing the second episode the very next day. Thanks for that guys! The intricate worldbuilding continued, and we got to know our cast of characters better. I can't wait to see what twists and turns await us.

While I loved the Ade dream sequence and learning her little coffee trick, I never expected to see her again. That was a fun moment, right? Do you think we'll understand her final words to Holden at some point? What is that "something" she wanted him to know?

I'm not counting on flashbacks, but I think they can be an important storytelling device. Watching certain events unfold is always better than just being told what went down.

Anyway, the destruction of a ship the size of the Canterbury would naturally leave behind considerable amount of debris. It was great to see Holden and his crew deal with their own life-threatening situation. Not only did we get to see Alex do his thing, but the damage forced the team to work together in order to survive. They also had their first major disagreement.

Holden is a pretty emotional guy. I was surprised he wanted to chase down the "Martian" terrorists.

Holden: They just dusted 50 of our friends.
Naomi: Well let's not make it 55.
Holden: Alex, I am telling you to go after that ship.
Amos: What if they don't like being followed?

While the Martian's could have easily blown the tiny craft out of the sky, they spared them. Clearly, they wanted someone to witness the destruction of the Cant and report back. In other words, Holden played right into the terrorist's hands. This is a guy that wears his heart on his sleeve, but he's got to get those emotions in check. Otherwise, they're going to be the death of him (not to mention his crew).

With only 4 hours of oxygen left, the survivors were in big trouble out in the middle of nowhere. To make matters worse, the radio had been damaged so they couldn't call for help. Amos didn't seem to respect Holden much at all, good thing he follows Naomi's lead. Why that is, I'm sure we'll learn soon enough.

Is he jealous of Holden? I liked the way Holden handled himself, especially when Shed flipped out. The guy may not be perfect, but he gives a damn. I got a sense he'd do whatever it takes for his people to survive, plus he leads by example. Holden may not want to lead, but he's good at it.

Shed got his chance to play the hero, and I'm glad he stepped up to save Alex. I wasn't sure he had it in him. The buddy breathing scene was intense, as was the shot from inside the helmet. It reminded me of my scuba diving days. There's nothing scarier than taking that last breath and remaining calm until your buddy returns his regulator. Yeah, it's not that fun.

Naomi reminding the guy he was a medic was priceless. She's ballsy, that one, and quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I'm curious to learn how she ended up on the Canterbury and her history with Amos. Again, flashbacks would be a killer way to connect the dots.

Ultimately, a good kick from Holden got the radio going. That was a very Han solo/Millennium Falcon moment.

Our ship was destroyed answering a bogus S.O.S. mission by the Scopuli. We recovered a false beacon and identified it as Martian Naval technology. It was a trap.


Back on Ceres, Detective Miller continued investigating Julie's disappearance. The voice conversion bit was cool, but I couldn't help wonder if anyone could do that on their handheld device? I'm assuming that's a cop thing, otherwise it would be too easy to hijack someone's life.

Julie's father was a bit of a jackass, no wonder she took off. Miller seemed quite impressed with her, didn't he? Will this case become personal for him? He managed to get the ship name Scopuli, so he's getting closer.

The power struggle/class issues affecting Ceres become clearer with each installment. Apparently, the Griega (a local crime syndicate) abandoned ship and some amateur punks took over. Where the hell did the big bosses go? Are the involved with the OPA movement? When Miller confronted the water thieves, I couldn't believe that kid spilled so much precious water to get away. Miller scared the kid, but he's not such a bad guy after all.

Undersecretary Avasarala was reprimanded for her gravity torture, so she dumped the Belter in a tank of water. You've gotta love that 23rd century torture, but now I'm curious about the interrogation techniques used on Luna. Ouch!

Of course the guy denied being OPA, yet Avasarala's gut warned her this Belter was something more. Was he involved with the stealth technology? If so, that connected him (and the OPA) to the ship that took out the Canterbury. We'll probably never find out now since the terrorist took his own life. Still, a few of the seemingly random pieces started coming together.

In the final moments, Holden and his crew were picked up by a Martian ship. At least his message got out, or did it?

Holden: It just needs to reach one ship, one station and it will spread.
Alex: Don't count on it. The jammers were in range.

The MCRN Donnager was pretty damn impressive. Again, the visual effects on this series are seriously blowing my mind. I love the fact the ships leak, that they're grungy and rattle. It all feels much more grounded in reality than most sci-fi shows. So, what are the chances Mars is behind this conspiracy? At this point, doesn't it seem more likely the OPA is involved?

We've got some interesting interrogations coming up, that's for sure. Will the Mars Navy come clean regarding their role in all this? Or will they do their damndest to get to the bottom of things? Being Martian born, will Alex's word carry more weights than his crewmates?

I'm thrilled Syfy chose to air these first two episodes back to back. Well, within a day of each other anyway. Though I hear this season is very much like a 10 hour movie, this installment was definitely a continuation of the pilot. As a Netflix fan, I find waiting a week for new episodes not only frustrating but old school. If I could binge-watch The Expanse, I'd be done by now.

What did you think of "The Big Empty"? Did Holden just start a war by accusing Mars of the Cant's destruction? Do you have a favorite character yet? How do you feel about the worldbuilding? You're up, go ahead and sound off in the comments below.

Relive all the excitement when you watch The Expanse online via TV Fanatic.

NOTE: The Expanse Season 1 Episode 3 is titled "Remember the Cant" and airs Tuesday, December 22.

The Big Empty Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (23 Votes)
Tags: ,

The Expanse Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Holden: They just dusted 50 of our friends.
Naomi: Well let's not make it 55.
Holden: Alex, I am telling you to go after that ship.
Amos: What if they don't like being followed?

Our ship was destroyed answering a bogus S.O.S. mission by the Scopuli. We recovered a false beacon and identified it as Martian Naval technology. It was a trap.