The Expanse Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Remember the Cant

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Not only did Holden's message spread like wildfire, but we learned Mars is innocent.

I've read complaints from viewers that feel the series started off too slow and has pacing issues. I totally disagree, because if we don't get to know these characters and give a damn about them... what's the point? This is only the third episode and Mars is already in the clear. So, is the OPA responsible for the Cant's destruction? Or is someone else behind all this?

The MCRN interrogation scene in The Expanse Season 1 Episode 3 delivered tons on fascinating character background. As Holden and his crew learned more about each other, so did we. The exposition was delivered cleverly.

Dealing with Riots on Ceres - The Expanse

The question of whether or not Holden's broadcast reached anyone was answered rather quickly. Not only was his face peering out from every huge screen on Ceres, but on handheld devices as well. Apparently, the MCRN Donnager failed to jam the transmission and even Earth was in the loop. Hey, at least Holden's little insurance policy worked out. He may not have been thinking of the bigger picture and starting a war, but his broadcast got the right people talking. It became clear that Mars was not behind the attack.

Havlock taking those "Belter" lessons showed us what a great guy he was. Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised by his impaling in the final moments of the installment. They get us to like him, only to kill the dude off dramatically. I was surprised an actor like Jay Hernandez was only around for 3 episodes. Is it possible he survives somehow?

Miller made the connection between Julie Mao, the Scopuli and Holden. His Captain seemed to lose interest in Julie's case rather quickly. If I were Miller, I'd probably continue digging as well. Meanwhile, Holden's crew was locked up, but Martian-born Alex was shown preferential treatment. That's the kind of thing that divides crewmates. It was clear the MCRN's goal was to get the survivors to turn on one another. Throughout their ordeal, we learned what each person was made of. Again, this helped us get to know our heroes.

Speaking of which, thankfully Avasarala was given more to do. She's something else, isn't she?

Dawes: This isn't your beat. What you want?
Miller: Juliette Andromeda Mao. She's OPA. Parents want her found.
Dawes: What'd you say her name was?
Miller: Julie. Julie Mao.
Dawes: She any relation to Jules-Pierre Mao?
Miller: Well, you crewed her up on a ship called the Scopuli. You know, the one Mars used to kill the Canterbury.

Not only do I love the strong female characters on this series, but the diversity overall is phenomenal. It was terrific meeting Franklin Degraff, the UN Ambassador to Mars, and learning very nonchalantly about his husband. Of course, Avasarala played him beautifully to get the information she required, yet she's one of the good guys. The writers are painting a pretty realistic picture of the world, which I think genre fans can appreciate. We can only hope mankind is as evolved in this regard in two hundred years, though there will always be class struggles and war. We're only human after all.

Holden's interrogation was interesting. We learned he had 5 fathers and 3 mothers (full genetic mix), and came from money. It was a cruel to be called "a tax break," but I'm really curious to meet his family now. We were told about his dishonorable discharge. Alex later informed Holden he served and was honorably discharged. All these details help flesh out our characters. Personally, I don't find those moments boring in the least. Anyway, Holden's broadcast caused quite a stir on Ceres, eventually leading to a major riot. It was just a matter of time before the Belters had had enough. This installment helped us understand their point of view much better.

It was brilliant meeting Anderson Dawes (Jared Harris from Fringe). You could just tell he is going to play a pivotal role moving forward. With Mars in the clear, we've got to wonder if the OPA is innocent as well. So, who the hell is behind all this then?

Dawes: This isn't your beat. What you want?
Miller: Juliette Andromeda Mao. She's OPA. Parents want her found.
Dawes: What'd you say her name was?
Miller: Julie. Julie Mao.
Dawes: She any relation to Jules-Pierre Mao?
Miller: Well, you crewed her up on a ship called the Scopuli. You know, the one Mars used to kill the Canterbury.

The actors on this show are so strong. It was a real pleasure watching the exchange between Thomas Jane and Jared Harris for example. I found myself clinging on to their every word. "I think that under that ridiculous hat, there's a Belter yearning to find his way home" Dawes told Miller. That was such a wonderful scene and I can't wait until the next time the two come face to face. Shohreh Aghdashloo is fantastic as well, and I can't take my eyes off her when she's on screen.

UN Ambassador Degraff's story about young Avasarala and the card game was telling. She's going to do whatever it takes to defend Earth, but lost an old friend in the process. It was rough the way she manipulated Degraff. However, Avasarala was right, she single-handedly helped stop a war between Earth and Mars. She's going to make a ton of enemies before this thing is over, but I trust her decision-making. There's no doubt she's in a position of power for a reason.

Ultimately, Holden's crew turned on each other a bit, until he agreed to talk to the Donnager's captain. Why the Martians were so convinced Naomi was OPA isn't clear. Did I miss something? Is it simply because she's the only Belter in the group? And what about that ship that is approaching the Donnager? Are they there for Naomi? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Holden: Even if Naomi is OPA, without her I'd be dead.
Captain Yao: She saved her own life too.

While this installment wasn't as fast-paced as the previous two, it did help flesh out the storyline as well as our characters. Not every episode has to be action-packed. Like with Game of Thrones, it's the quieter moments that help establish depth and those important connections. I hope folks are patient and don't give up on The Expanse. Having read "Leviathan Wakes," I can promise you the payoff is huge.

For those of you that thrive on the action stuff, don't miss the next episode. It's a massive one guys!

What did you think of "Remember the Cant"? Were Avasarala's actions justified? Is Naomi OPA and will Holden turn against her? Have we seen the last of Miller's partner? You're up, go ahead and sound off in the comments below.

Don't forget, you can watch The Expanse online via TV Fanatic at any time.

NOTE: The Expanse Season 1 Episode 4 is titled "CQB" and airs Tuesday, December 29.

Remember the Cant Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (18 Votes)
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The Expanse Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Ceres is our station. The key to the belt. With those resources Mars could finally cut the cord to Earth.

Avasarala

Dawes: This isn't your beat. What you want?
Miller: Juliette Andromeda Mao. She's OPA. Parents want her found.
Dawes: What'd you say her name was?
Miller: Julie. Julie Mao.
Dawes: She any relation to Jules-Pierre Mao?
Miller: Well, you crewed her up on a ship called the Scopuli. You know, the one Mars used to kill the Canterbury.