Season 3 of The Expanse has been phenomenal, and “Fallen World” is yet another example of this show at its best. From the complex characters to the attention to detail to the plot surprises, this episode is sci-fi television at its finest.
After the events of “Dandelion Sky”, the protomolecule has lowered the speed limit in the Ring, bringing almost all of the ships in the area to a sudden and catastrophic stop. Last week’s episode was a flurry of action; in contrast, “Fallen World” has brought everything to a literal standstill – yet it still manages to keep the plot moving. Characters that I was ambivalent towards (like Anna) or even downright suspicious of (Ashford) have moved up in my estimation by leaps and bounds.
That scene between Drummer and Ashford was unbelievable. For most of this season, I’ve suspected that Ashford was there to cause problems for Drummer, but “Fallen World” made me realize that he has good (perhaps even honorable) intentions, and I think what did it for me was Drummer obviously realized that as well. That she was willing to sacrifice herself to save him was such a diversion from her attitude earlier in the season, there must be something good about him. It’s also such an amazing Belter scene – their camaraderie while dying.
I’m not sure what it is about Mars that seems to produce people with really stupid opinions, but the soldiers with Bobbie really take the cake in this episode. First, there is their misguided belief that Holden is responsible for what happened to their commander; I can respect how it looked, but there is no way Holden has that kind of power, and their insistence on killing the only person who may be able to provide any answers is extremely short-sighted. Not to mention, the Belters risked destroying their ship to get gravity, proceed to open it up to everyone to heal the wounded, and they still have an attitude about it. For science fiction, sometimes this show gets just a little too real.
Let me tell you – that opening sequence aboard the Thomas Prince was stellar. We rarely get to see the effects of zero-g, even in shows set entirely in space, and those effects were amazing. The statement that with no gravity, wounds can’t drain, so internal bleeding can’t be stopped, was something I had honestly never considered before. We even got to see what happens to tears in zero-g (RIP Tilly, I thought she would live longer than that), which was a nice little detail. Fire in zero-g! Naomi had to vent the hull to put out the fire, but it looked so cool. Plus, that shot of Anna in the corridor of corpses was haunting, and I really hope this special effects team gets a raise when the show moves to Amazon.
For me, the best thing about “Fallen World” by far was Anna. I’ve not particularly cared for her since she arrived on scene, but she was just fantastic in this episode. She has such a drive and desire to help – finding “Melba”, comforting Tilly in her last moments – but following after Clarissa, all the way to the Roci, and popping in at the last second to save Naomi from being strangled…I gasped at that moment. I’d been expecting Amos to pull his usual eleventh hour save, but it’s such good story-telling to have it be Anna. She was a real badass in this episode.
I am so over Clarissa and her “mission”. It’s one thing if you want to kill one person, but she’s proven multiple times that she’s willing to murder innocents in her ridiculous quest for vengeance, and I can’t wait for someone to smack her.
What did you guys think of “Fallen World”?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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