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Old 02-01-2017, 06:52 PM
TroutMan TroutMan is offline
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The Expanse season 2 episode discussion (spoilers as it airs)

In anticipation of the season 2 premiere of The Expanse tonight, let's start a new thread for episode discussions*.

I thought they were shooting themselves in the foot with such a long delay between seasons, but I'm happy to hear a little more buzz this time around. Not as much as it deserves, but I think a few more people got into it during the break.

*My proposal for the thread: open spoilers for episodes that have already aired. Mention of the books is fine for events already portrayed/skipped/changed in the show (but please spoiler these for people who might read the book later or don't want to know). Sharing details of the overall universe from the books (e.g., how did they spin up Ceres?) is fine. No discussion of what's upcoming in the show based on your knowledge of the books. I'm confident we can avoid GoT-type arguments.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:13 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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I only just watched season 1 on Amazon streaming a few weeks ago. Short wait for my wife and me. We are super excited.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:05 AM
Algernon Algernon is offline
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I recorded it but have not yet watched it.

I can't wait!!! I love the books and loved how they handled the first season.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:17 AM
Hypno-Toad Hypno-Toad is offline
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It's tonight?! Damn, I'll be playing Infinity at the game store. This is humorous since Infinity is a sci-fi game sort of reminiscent of The Expanse.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:19 AM
TroutMan TroutMan is offline
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The premiere was last night, but was a 90-minute episode starting at 10:00 pm, so all us old-timers have it taped to watch at a more reasonable hour tonight.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:27 AM
Hypno-Toad Hypno-Toad is offline
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Well, shit.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:12 AM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is offline
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A very good opening to Season 2! Love that they ended it on Miller shooting the Protogen asshole (that was one of my favorite moments from Leviathan Wakes).
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:19 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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The premiere was last night, but was a 90-minute episode starting at 10:00 pm, so all us old-timers have it taped to watch at a more reasonable hour tonight.
Did it really start at 10 and run until Midnight? I thought the first 2 episodes were airing, but I only watch stuff the day after or so.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:46 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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That was a very good start to season 2. I really hope we get to see more of Mars this season. And more of Chrisjen Avasarala.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:55 PM
Declan Declan is offline
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I thought Bobbi Draper was going to be more of a California Type
  #11  
Old 02-03-2017, 09:13 AM
Algernon Algernon is offline
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A very good opening to Season 2! Love that they ended it on Miller shooting the Protogen asshole (that was one of my favorite moments from Leviathan Wakes).
Ditto. I hope in E2 they have Miller explain why he shot him (for the non-book readers benefit). It would only take a few lines of dialog.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:37 AM
TroutMan TroutMan is offline
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Ditto. I hope in E2 they have Miller explain why he shot him (for the non-book readers benefit). It would only take a few lines of dialog.
There were a few things that seem like they would have been confusing without knowing the books. But it might also be the year break between episodes. I'll have to rewatch the last few from season 1.

Good episode overall. I got a chuckle from the Airplane callout, "do you like space gladiator movies?"
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:47 AM
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Good episode overall. I got a chuckle from the Airplane callout, "do you like space gladiator movies?"
And the FedEx container breaching pods. Good to know FedEx is still around.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:54 AM
MeanJoe MeanJoe is offline
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I thought Bobbi Draper was going to be more of a California Type
Yeah, I got to admit the actress they have for Draper is really not synching with the mental picture I had based upon the books.

Regarding the books - Anyone read the latest, Babylon's Ashes? Honestly I did not care for it very much. The story involving the Free Navy was just not up to par and I'd have preferred more focus on the larger protomolecule arc.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:55 AM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is offline
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Ditto. I hope in E2 they have Miller explain why he shot him (for the non-book readers benefit). It would only take a few lines of dialog.
Well I did think that making Fred look so obviously interested in making a deal sold it as well.
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:06 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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I thought it was very obvious why Miller shot that guy - someone would always be tempted to wield the power the protogen molecule has, and it was way too dangerous. The fact that even Fred was thinking about using it just sealed the deal. The guy had to die.
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:52 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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Yeah, I got to admit the actress they have for Draper is really not synching with the mental picture I had based upon the books.
How many 6+ foot muscle-bound polynesian actresses are there out there? I think they came about as close as they reasonably could.

I really enjoyed the first 2 eps (or 2-part first ep). Good job of expanding the scale of what to expect in the season, I think.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:05 AM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Yeah, I don't get the mystery about why Miller shot the guy--at the beginning of the first episode, he says "Me, I don't care much if justice gets involved... I just want them dead."

Obviously, he wants revenge for the 100,000... and specifically Julie Mao. He doesn't strike me as a guy that puts much weight in vague claims about benefiting the species at some indefinite point in the future.

I liked these lines:
- I hate this part.
- You gotta do it. They'll be poking holes in us.
- Yeah, but this feels like we're agreeing to it.

Not just because it was funny, but because it seems a heck of a lot more realistic than magic shields or armor that stops bullets. Turns out that energy shields don't exist and armor plate is too heavy for a spaceship. Easier to just accept that you'll be pincushioned.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:31 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Dude, these first two episodes are kind of boring, and I loved, loved, loved the first season.

My wife and I are having a hard time parsing out what is happening. I may have to re-watch them some time just to figure out what was happening. I'm more lost than at any point in the first season.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:58 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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I think that's a fair criticism. They tried to pack so much into those first two episodes that it was a little incoherent at times.

Take that initial battle on Mars. What the heck was going on there? Who were they fighting? Or was that a training exercise? With live rounds blowing up real gun emplacements?

And why are Mars and Earth getting ready to go to war again? Just over Phoebe station? Or the attack on the Donnager? I thought that was sorted out last season.

There are many questions.
  #21  
Old 02-05-2017, 09:32 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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I think that's a fair criticism. They tried to pack so much into those first two episodes that it was a little incoherent at times.

Take that initial battle on Mars. What the heck was going on there? Who were they fighting? Or was that a training exercise? With live rounds blowing up real gun emplacements?

And why are Mars and Earth getting ready to go to war again? Just over Phoebe station? Or the attack on the Donnager? I thought that was sorted out last season.

There are many questions.
Amen x10.
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:33 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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It was clearly a training exercise given the mention of "you beat your best time". And much of what we saw was probably simulated--their helmets have the capability of overlaying simulated imagery over the real world (as they demonstrated with the green Mars view). We also already knew that the Martians rely heavily on combat simulations--it was mentioned that the Donnager crew only had simulation experience, and we saw this again with Alex practicing the station attack on the Rociante.

The Donnager attack wasn't sorted out, at least as far as the Martians are concerned. Earth and the OTA are still blaming each other and neither side has irrefutable proof. The Martian captain guy in the new episodes cited this as a reason to not go in with guns blazing.
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:28 PM
zwede zwede is offline
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I also found it confusing (even after reading the books), so I re-watched it. It does make more sense now.

Yes, the initial Mars battle is a simulation.

Earth and Mars have a long history of tensions. In the past Earth took (limited) military action against Mars and in response Mars reallocated terraforming resources to their military. Hence Bobbie hating Earth as their actions have delayed the terrforming to where she will never see a green Mars.

Sadavir, the guy in the UN council that keeps trying to escalate military action against Mars, meets with the father of Julie Mao who is one of the main drivers of the protomolecule experiments. Sadavir is redirecting UN attention on Mars, away from Eros.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:37 AM
Plumpudding Plumpudding is offline
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Dude, these first two episodes are kind of boring, and I loved, loved, loved the first season.

My wife and I are having a hard time parsing out what is happening. I may have to re-watch them some time just to figure out what was happening. I'm more lost than at any point in the first season.
I really liked it, but I needed a second viewing. A big reason for that was probably lack of sleep, though...
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Old 02-06-2017, 02:08 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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I needed a second viewing, but I think it was due to the audio. The show in general has a little bit of a problem with dialogue being clear over the ambient noise, especially with the range of accents and dialects.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:28 AM
The Pork-Chop Express The Pork-Chop Express is offline
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Is there a name for Thomas Jane's hair style in this?
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:27 AM
zwede zwede is offline
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I needed a second viewing, but I think it was due to the audio. The show in general has a little bit of a problem with dialogue being clear over the ambient noise, especially with the range of accents and dialects.
So true. I have the SyFy channel, but I watch it from a pirate source because the pirates have perfect subtitles. Tried watching with subtitles on Syfy but it's so badly synced I had to turn it off.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:39 AM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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It's back?!!!

YAYAYAYAY!! Some of the best Scifi in a looong time. Can't believe I missed this. But ever since Syfy left my cable lineup, it's been hard to keep up.

Will watch tonight.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:29 PM
The Pork-Chop Express The Pork-Chop Express is offline
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I needed a second viewing, but I think it was due to the audio. The show in general has a little bit of a problem with dialogue being clear over the ambient noise, especially with the range of accents and dialects.
^This.

Almost turned me off it. Really bad sound mix.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:03 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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I needed a second viewing, but I think it was due to the audio. The show in general has a little bit of a problem with dialogue being clear over the ambient noise, especially with the range of accents and dialects.
This is it. I missed the dialog about the training exercise results, and there were entire exchanges between people I simply couldn't make out. That led significantly to the confusion, I'm sure.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:09 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is online now
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I'm having a really hard time buying the crew of the Rocinante as anything but a bunch of schmucks with barely enough training to keep it pointed in the right direction. They're four space miners. Only one, Alex, has significant military experience (and wasn't he mostly flying transports?) Jim was in the Earth Navy, but got kicked barely after finishing Naval Combat 101: Space Is Really Big. They shouldn't be able to go toe-to-toe with the kind of Super Secret Stealth Ship that could take out the flagship Martian battleship.

Unfortunately, judging by the books, this is only going to get worse...

Ah well, there's still a lot of fun space battles and intriguing ideas even if the characters don't really fit the plot.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:15 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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I'm having a really hard time buying the crew of the Rocinante as anything but a bunch of schmucks with barely enough training to keep it pointed in the right direction. They're four space miners. Only one, Alex, has significant military experience (and wasn't he mostly flying transports?) Jim was in the Earth Navy, but got kicked barely after finishing Naval Combat 101: Space Is Really Big. They shouldn't be able to go toe-to-toe with the kind of Super Secret Stealth Ship that could take out the flagship Martian battleship.

Unfortunately, judging by the books, this is only going to get worse...

Ah well, there's still a lot of fun space battles and intriguing ideas even if the characters don't really fit the plot.
They're all experienced space "mariners", with several years or even decades of experience flying, operating, maintaining, and repairing spaceships. And their pilot was a pilot in the Martian Navy, which is helpful in flying their Martian warship.

In the battles, it's been the pilot who does almost all the work, so all we have to really believe it's that Alex is a very skilled and talented pilot.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:15 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Dialogue mix problems make sense. I always watch with subtitles for just that reason.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:47 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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I'm having a really hard time buying the crew of the Rocinante as anything but a bunch of schmucks with barely enough training to keep it pointed in the right direction. They're four space miners. Only one, Alex, has significant military experience (and wasn't he mostly flying transports?) Jim was in the Earth Navy, but got kicked barely after finishing Naval Combat 101: Space Is Really Big. They shouldn't be able to go toe-to-toe with the kind of Super Secret Stealth Ship that could take out the flagship Martian battleship.

Unfortunately, judging by the books, this is only going to get worse...

Ah well, there's still a lot of fun space battles and intriguing ideas even if the characters don't really fit the plot.
Several answers to that:

1. This is a space opera trope. The plucky heroes always have an amazing ship that can defy the odds, and the crew is always a band of misfits who nevertheless have skills way above what anyone recognized before.

2. Given the above, I think The Expanse has done an excellent job of making this plausible. Holden was the XO of a large spaceship before because of his abilities, even though he was a slacker. His gifts were recognized. Naomi has always been regarded as a top-flight engineer. Alex was good enough to be a pilot in the Martian Navy, the toughest service in the solar system, but was overlooked for reasons I can't remember. And Amos is so good at fighting and security that he's almost on the autism spectrum for violence and needs Naomi's calming influence just to keep him from rampaging.

3. The ship itself is a top-line Martian gunboat, heavily retrofitted with even more capabilities by a brilliant shipyard with almost unlimited resources. It's not a rag-tag freighter like Serenity. It's probably the deadliest ship of its class in the system, outside of the mysterious stealth ships.
  #35  
Old 02-07-2017, 01:56 AM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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In the battles, it's been the pilot who does almost all the work, so all we have to really believe it's that Alex is a very skilled and talented pilot.
Also, we see that Alex gets his ass kicked by the simulation over and over, but practices until he gets it right. He had the advantage of being able to plan for the attack, whereas the station defense was caught by surprise. That makes up for a big deficit in either skill or firepower.

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Several answers to that:
Not to mention the ever-useful anthropic principle of stories: we aren't watching the show about the plucky band of misfits that didn't quite have the right combination of skills, or had a bad run of luck, because they died immediately.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:29 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Not to mention the ever-useful anthropic principle of stories: we aren't watching the show about the plucky band of misfits that didn't quite have the right combination of skills, or had a bad run of luck, because they died immediately.
There's an Oglaf panel I can't quite find about this. Kid wants to be an adventurer. Dad tells him no, most of them are killed by the first highwayman they come across, says the stories are just 'survivor bias'.

Kid goes out and is immediately stabbed by a highwayman.
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:19 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is online now
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Good points on the tropes. I just feel a lot of dissonance between the "plucky band of misfits" trope and the (relatively) hard scifi setting.

I should probably shut up, quick my nitpicking, and enjoy the set piece explody action scenes with reasonably accurate physics.

To be positive, I should say that I'm really impressed with the portrayal of Amos in the show. He's like a rottweiler puppy with a gun... so eager to eliminate any threats to his "pack".
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:29 PM
Horatius Horatius is offline
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To be positive, I should say that I'm really impressed with the portrayal of Amos in the show. He's like a rottweiler puppy with a gun... so eager to eliminate any threats to his "pack".


I always like how mater-of-fact he is about it, no pointless melodrama. "Okay, so I killed your friend, and I understand that you're likely upset about that, so if you want to have it out, I'll be waiting, but otherwise don't be all pouty about it..."
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:50 PM
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I always like how mater-of-fact he is about it, no pointless melodrama. "Okay, so I killed your friend, and I understand that you're likely upset about that, so if you want to have it out, I'll be waiting, but otherwise don't be all pouty about it..."
Really shoulda given him that first hit for free.

Maybe even spot him another one, just to be sure he got it in right.
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:47 PM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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Loved the first double episode. The season is starting out in tip top shape. As someone who doesn't have the Syfy channel (I bought the season on Amazon - pretty steep price, but I considered it a birthday gift to me) on what day do the new episodes actually air? Not sure when to go looking for new episodes.

Couple of niggles though:

- Not enough of reaction to aliens I thought. That's some fucking huge news.

- Why was the ship designated a stealth ship? The crew didn't seem to have any problem spotting it. I guess it's it's radar profile that's stealthed? Not visible in long range? But if that's the case how did they know the ship was at the station?

Also, I kind of agreed with the scientist fellow. Not with his methods, but yeah it does look like something has designs on our solar system. We need to find out what those designs are somehow.
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:00 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Couple of niggles though:

- Not enough of reaction to aliens I thought. That's some fucking huge news.
Good point. It did seem to get hand-waved away a bit too easily.

Quote:
Also, I kind of agreed with the scientist fellow. Not with his methods, but yeah it does look like something has designs on our solar system. We need to find out what those designs are somehow.
Well, there's a big difference between, "Let's try and understand what's going on", and "Hey, let's infect thousands of people with this virus that the aliens were obviously trying to infect us with, just to see what happens!"

I mean, the scientist says that it appears that the proto-molecule was sent here by aliens with the specific purpose of finding life and mutating it into something - something that we have no clue about. You would think the very first rule of studying this would be, "Make sure it doesn't mutate anything!". Because that would be bad.

And assuming that Eros was completely isolated and therefore would be a 'safe' experiment was also daft. What if the mutations make infected people decide to take a ship and head for Earth to spread it there? What if the mutated molecules can survive vacuum and just blow themselves off Eros like spores, to eventually land on earth and every other planet? If you don't know even roughly what that molecule is and what it will do, you don't do something incredibly stupid like that. You keep it highly contained and study it very, very carefully.
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:00 PM
TroutMan TroutMan is offline
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on what day do the new episodes actually air?
Episodes are broadcast on Wednesday night and generally available to stream the next day.

Last edited by TroutMan; 02-08-2017 at 01:02 PM.
  #43  
Old 02-08-2017, 01:03 PM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
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Couple of niggles though:

- Not enough of reaction to aliens I thought. That's some fucking huge news.
I generally agree, but it has been a big few weeks for them. Plus, it's not like they have any proof it's intelligent alien life.

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- Why was the ship designated a stealth ship? The crew didn't seem to have any problem spotting it. I guess it's it's radar profile that's stealthed? Not visible in long range? But if that's the case how did they know the ship was at the station?

Well, you can plainly see current stealth aircraft, they're not cloaked. So it's hard to spot at a distance, but not impossible to see once you know where it's at. In this case, it was hanging around something they could image visually, and it was nearby, so they noticed it. It was still difficult to spot when they were attacking the station, and it was aware of them before they were aware of it.

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Also, I kind of agreed with the scientist fellow. Not with his methods, but yeah it does look like something has designs on our solar system. We need to find out what those designs are somehow.
That was the hardest part of this for me to swallow. If it ended up in Saturn's gravity well, then they either missed or it was a wild shot that accidentally ended up there. That it would be unintentional, not from anywhere and still catastrophic seems as likely a hypothesis as it being a weapon from an alien civilization.
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:48 PM
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- Why was the ship designated a stealth ship? The crew didn't seem to have any problem spotting it. I guess it's it's radar profile that's stealthed? Not visible in long range? But if that's the case how did they know the ship was at the station?
Book explanation:

SPOILER:


Stealth ships in the books are only only stealthy when they are sitting dark. They're designed to absorb radar energy and radiate as little heat and 'radio'/EM as possible. Once they start moving engine radiation becomes detectable, once they start targeting their targeting lasers are detectable. This is evidenced in season 1 in the Donager battle. The Donager could see the stealth ships that destroyed it just fine as they were burning towards it. When the Roci crew finds the Anubis a couple episodes later though, they don't see it until they're right on top of it because it's sitting dark on an asteroid. Naomi even comments that she's 'pouring radar into it and the Roci doesn't see a thing'.

As far as how they knew it would be at that station, I thought they made mention of tracking it based on transmissions it made as they were both fleeing Eros in the season 1 finale.

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Old 02-08-2017, 04:14 PM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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Book explanation:

SPOILER:


Stealth ships in the books are only only stealthy when they are sitting dark. They're designed to absorb radar energy and radiate as little heat and 'radio'/EM as possible. Once they start moving engine radiation becomes detectable, once they start targeting their targeting lasers are detectable. This is evidenced in season 1 in the Donager battle. The Donager could see the stealth ships that destroyed it just fine as they were burning towards it. When the Roci crew finds the Anubis a couple episodes later though, they don't see it until they're right on top of it because it's sitting dark on an asteroid. Naomi even comments that she's 'pouring radar into it and the Roci doesn't see a thing'.

As far as how they knew it would be at that station, I thought they made mention of tracking it based on transmissions it made as they were both fleeing Eros in the season 1 finale.

Interesting, makes since. Though I thought that's how they tracked the station, not the stealth ship. Also not explained is - these things were brand new, right? How did they have enough info to create a simulation for battle training?

Nitpicking here for sure, but it's fun to do that too

Last edited by Kinthalis; 02-08-2017 at 04:15 PM.
  #46  
Old 02-08-2017, 06:14 PM
MHaas MHaas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinthalis View Post
Interesting, makes since. Though I thought that's how they tracked the station, not the stealth ship.
You're right on this. Maybe they just expected it to be there based on the transmissions? Not sure...

Quote:
Also not explained is - these things were brand new, right? How did they have enough info to create a simulation for battle training?
The only thing i have here is that in season 1 Fred Johnson orders the Navou's sensors to be pointed at the Donager battle. Perhaps they gathered enough data on tactics and capabilites to build a simulation.

Quote:
Nitpicking here for sure, but it's fun to do that too
Agree...
  #47  
Old 02-09-2017, 10:30 AM
MeanJoe MeanJoe is offline
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Good episode last night. I think they could have done a better job explaining the "static" coming from Eros. It was a bit more clear what it was and more chilling as explained/described in the books. Considering "Static" was the episode title, they didn't really present it in a significant way IMHO.

MeanJoe
  #48  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:03 AM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is offline
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I did like that they let Miller explain himself at the end. Showing that what he did was necessary, before he made too much sense.
  #49  
Old 02-09-2017, 04:06 PM
zwede zwede is offline
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Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
And assuming that Eros was completely isolated and therefore would be a 'safe' experiment was also daft. What if the mutations make infected people decide to take a ship and head for Earth to spread it there?
That's why they dosed all the people on Eros with enough gamma radiation that they'd all be dead within hours. The protomolecule just needs biomass, doesn't have to be alive.

Side note: Audio was much better this episode
  #50  
Old 02-09-2017, 07:12 PM
by-tor by-tor is offline
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I got a Matrix 3 vibe during the techno dance scene. Other than that it was a good, if slower episode.
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