The characters of The Expanse are constantly surprising me by doing and saying the unexpected, and “Paradigm Shift” kept with that theme. I was especially surprised (and excited!) to see a brand new character played by one of my favorites, Sam Huntington.
Indeed, I was shocked to see Sam Huntington in the role of Solomon Epstein (I had not been spoiled), and although the role was small, it is clear that the character was integral in creating the “present” universe that we see on The Expanse. It was a pleasure to also get a glimpse into the history of the Mars and Belt colonization. Although Epstein was gone almost as quickly as he showed up, I hope we get to see more of him (or at least learn more about his story) in future episodes. I am sure that for those viewers that binge the season instead of watching week-to-week, this bit of flashback fits in nicely as a palate-cleanser from losing Miller.
Alex and Amos definitely took the news of Holden and Naomi hooking up well. I wasn’t expecting the two of them to have a bet, so that was a really fun addition to the scene and just goes to show why I love the Roci crew so much–their relationships are just so realistic. But let’s face it, even though they are a crew, their loyalties still seem to lie with where they are from. Alex still got defensive about Mars, Holden and Amos tend to favor Earth, and Naomi firmly showed the audience that the Belt/OPA is still her main focus. In fact, Naomi’s actions were the most surprising in this episode. I have always felt like she has some mystery behind her, but outright lying about not really getting rid of the protomolecule really threw me for a loop, and for the first time, I am not sure that the rest of the Roci crew will support her decision when they find out…especially Holden.
Chrisjen continued to be force to be reckoned with in “Paradigm Shift”. It is such a pleasure to see Shoreh Aghdashloo in this role because she absolutely nails the characterization of Chrisjen. The character has always been in the background pulling strings, and this week she is continuing to put it all together. The way that she is working Errinwright into possibly giving up his involvement with Mao is so awesome to watch. We very rarely get to see female characters portrayed in this way, and it is so great. But, on a shallow note, I need to mention that the costume design for Chrisjen in this episode was superb! Her costumes always stand out to me, but every single was so beautiful that it sometimes made me forget how serious all of this story is.
Coming off of the somber yet beautiful tones of last week’s “Home”, “Paradigm Shift” took that sharp turn back into more of a season one feel. Part of that tonal shift came from the focus on Draper’s Martian team and their encounter on Ganymede. And how creepy was that? I do have a criticism here for how the scenes were edited though. I think it would have been more effective if that entire Ganymede sequence was shown altogether instead of cut and shown in snippets among other story lines within the episode. It took the urgency out of it, and unfortunately made it a bit boring. And there are aliens. Since there are people on Mars now, do we call aliens Martians? Let’s go with aliens. I am interested to see what stakes these aliens have and how that will further complicate the politics of impending war between Earth and Mars.
Another solid episode of The Expanse which continues to be one of the best science fiction shows on TV. I just want to know what is going to happen next, and I really want to see more aliens.
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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