“The Weeping Somnambulist” is taking its name off a humanitarian supply ship en-route to aid in the relief effort for Ganymede Station at the beginning of this chapter.
The opening of The Expanse Season 2 Episode 9 doesn’t hesitate to remind you there are large and looming questions this season.
What really happened on Ganymede—during the Earth-Mars military engagement AND prior to those events?
And what is happening on Venus since Eros crashed there?
The title is a wordier way of saying “a crying sleepwalker" and that is almost an omen for how well-answered the lingering questions will be in this chapter.
Yes—the characters are all moving around the board, but they really won’t be passing “Go” just yet.
Well, this ship is a Grade-A piece of s*** but she’ll get us to Ganymede. I wouldn’t bet on it in a race, though…Amos Burton
From the Rocinante, James Holden (Steven Strait) and Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) commandeer the titular relief ship, hoping to bring newcomer Prax Meng (Terry Chen) closer to finding answers about the whereabouts of his daughter Mei.
That, and learning what was happening on Ganymede Station proto-molecule in terms of research, prior to the military incident that devastated the Jupiter farming colony.
Back in the core, the Martian delegation, led by a supposed-Chaplain, Captain Martens (Peter Outerbridge) arrives on Earth via the M.C.R.N. Scirocco.
This ship’s name offers another portent—instead of delivering details of about the alien presence at the shoot-out on Ganymede, the intention is to just blow a hot, dusty wind towards Earth. We already knew that was the plan, as the perpetually-angry Sergeant Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) is forced to testify at the Peace Talks.
And, as we hoped, she does let enough of that alien cat-thing out of the bag while under questioning by Deputy Undersecretary Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo).
Sergeant Draper: We thought we were under attack.
Deputy Undersecretary Avasarala: Under attack..? So you were fired upon?
Sergeant Draper: No… He was trying to kill the enemy. I didn’t even know what it was, nobody did. He wasn’t wearing a Vac Suit--.
Captain Martens: Sergeant Draper has been through a severe traumatic event, she needs to rest--.
Deputy Undersecretary Avasarala: Whoever the f*** you are, stand down and let her speak. Unless there is something you don’t want her to say..?
So, while the Rosi crew try to get where they are going and the Government representatives move at a pace only considered brisk by legislative standards, there remains one avenue for new developments.
The U.N.S. Arboghast, an Earther research ship en-route to Venus, offers some hope that the episode will reach beyond what is already known.
Namely, what happened to Joe Miller (Thomas Jane) and Julie Mao (Florence Faivre) after they eloped off to a Venusian destination wedding with Eros, the too-aptly named former-space-station-turned-Love-Boat?
But that’s as far as we get—there's a moon-sized hole on the surface of Venus.
No sign of the return of Thomas Jane (who I'm really missing at this point). And no neon Julie Ghost-in-the-Proto-Shell Mao, who we never got enough of in this series.
We did confirm what anyone would have safely assumed—something survived the planet-fall of Eros.
And, from the look of those scans, I’m guessing Venus now has a world-class Spaceport and a Trump-branded Resort Golf Course.
For me, this episode was another finely-produced contribution to the greater story, but the writing itself wasn’t very productive.
There was a lot of exposition of established story, some catching-up for more distant characters on what the viewers already knew.
And some unpleasant, episodic adventuring (really just time-wasting) on the Somnambulist.
Maybe that’s harsh, but this one started selling me hope of finding out more about Ganymede. Instead, the entire crew of the Rocinante was trapped in an awkward, Uber rideshare moment for the hour.
What was the Vac-suitless presence running about on Ganymede? Was this pediatric Doctor Strickland experimenting on children with some form of proto-molecule genetic therapy?
Will his research lead to a break-thru in getting lazy Taker children off to school in the mornings? (Ok—maybe not everyone is asking that last one, just Earther parents.)
Two bonus takeaways for me I'm happy about—I finally realized Cotyar is played by Nick Tarabay, who was Ashur on Spartacus. This—oh, this was bugging me…
And Peter Outerbridge is now the Sci-Fi TV version of bringing Jimmy Smits into the later seasons of a network series.
Eh—it’s a small consolation for not finding out where “Regenesis” was taking us, but I am always happy to see Outerbridge.
What did you think of the episode? I’m guessing it isn’t going to crack many folks’ Top-5 list for this show.
But was it a good advance of the overall tale, or some episodic sleepwalking instead of fresh story-telling?
Be sure to watch The Expanse online to revisit any of what's come before.
Jeff Reid is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.