Ricky Church reviews episode four of The Expanse season 6…
The Expanse is not wasting any amount of time delivering on its character and action moments as we’re now in the latter half of the season. ‘Redoubt’ sets the stage for the final two episodes in major ways, establishing conflicts within each of the factions that has changed the dynamics of the characters.
An important step ‘Reboubt’ made was advancing the personal conflict on the Rocinante. All season long Amos has been grumbling about being part of a war effort he didn’t ask to join, he’s only been along due to loyalty to Holden, Naomi and Clarissa, or Peaches as he so affectionately calls her. ‘Redoubt’ doubles down on these feelings through his and Peaches’ discovery Holden disarmed the missile for Marco’s Pella before it could strike the ship, forcing him to confront Holden as to what the whole point of their part in the war was if they don’t Marco when the opportunity presents itself. Wes Chatham expressed Amos’ anger very well and it led to another great scene between Holden and Clarissa where she offered another perspective as she emphasized with his decision through her own regrets about the many people she killed and Holden’s own role in turning her, telling him to never feel bad for not killing someone. Nadine Nicole has been fantastic this season and this scene may be her best yet with the unlikely friendship between Holden and Clarissa a standout aspect to these final episodes.
Amos wasn’t the only one though who Holden struggled with as he told Naomi the real reason behind the failed missile, telling her he couldn’t be the one to kill her son Filip. This was another great sequence between Steven Strait and Dominique Tipper where they got to show off their chemistry, but unlike the previous episode’s tender moment this was the complete opposite. Last season was Tipper’s to shine and she did so again here as she didn’t want Holden putting the responsibility of letting Marco go on her just to spare her feelings. Her statement that she tried to rescue Filip but he made his own choices and is at peace with whatever his fate may be is a strong one and ties in well with Filip’s own conflict onboard the Pella as he continues his internal battle between slavish devotion to his father and their cause against his sense of humanity. His growing friendship with his mechanic mentor Tadeo made some pretty clear parallels in their family stories and it is very significant how Filip seemed much more humble and at ease with Tadeo than he has been with anyone else in the series, including the friend he shot in the premiere. He even gets the significant information about the missile’s shutdown relayed to him, planting further seeds he might go back to Naomi. This new side to Filip didn’t last long, however, as Drummer made a startling system-wide announcement.
Whereas most of the action has been between ships, ‘Redoubt’ delivered a gun battle as Drummer and her team boarded Marco’s secret supply depots in a very cool way and encountered unexpected resistance. It was a little difficult to tell who was who in the sudden chaos of the gunfight as everyone was wearing very similar suits. At first it seemed perhaps Walker had betrayed Drummer with the intent to take the supplies himself, but it was merely Marco’s men who had gotten caught as they were prepping for a resupply. Even amid that little confusion, it was still exciting and created a sense of tension as Drummer and Josep were shot and nearly killed, only for Josep to have an unfortunate accident. After Michio’s hesitancy to battle and nearly getting sent off Drummer’s ship earlier, she really stepped up and proved herself by lending a hand (or rather, taking one – too soon?). Cara Gee once again showed why Drummer should be a feared badass during both the gunfight and her powerful message to Marco by calling him out to Belters everywhere.
With ‘Redoubt’ raising the personal stakes between the members of each faction – including Avasarala’s Earth and Mars alliance as the MCRN seem ready to do things on their own – The Expanse has made the tension much more interesting and conflicting as nearly everyone has opposing points of view. The complexity of the situation is definitely needed as this isn’t and shouldn’t be just a ‘good vs evil’ fight between everyone and the Free Navy and this season has done a tremendous job displaying that.
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