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The Expanse - The Monster and the Rocket - Review

In the penultimate episode, 'The Monster and the Rocket,' Avasarala and Holden each confront two very different monsters, while Naomi and Errenwright find themselves in moral dilemmas, giving the two characters more screen time than they ever had in episodes past.

As has been throughout the series Naomi is driven by making the right choice. Last week, however, through sacrificing her life to save others and through witnessing the reaction of the Ganymede citizens to her actions, we see that she begins to fully understand the role she will have to play in these times of chaos. As Champa says, "your work is not yet done."

The most important reveal in Naomi's actions is the hope that is shown. These people, all desperate to get on the ship, were willing to sacrifice themselves for the kids and young women and men, when realizing only 52 could get on the ship. Amidst all the greed and corruption in this world, there will always be those who represent and remind us the good humanity is capable of. In this moment we see that good and Naomi herself realizes just how worth it is to fight for these people. In a show that can get very bleak, Naomi's story is vital as it depicts the rare glimmer of hope that keep things in The Expanse from getting too drear.

Another character arc that drives the plot in 'the Monster and the Rocket' is Errenwright's path of redemption, though his actions are in direct contrast to Naomi's. Overcome by regret over his actions working for Mao, we see him possibly preparing for his suicide, following a cliche but touching speech to his son to "follow your heart". However, it is not his own life he takes, but the Martian ambassador's and those on board the Martian ship, ending Mao's partnership with Mars. Errenwright did what he saw as the right thing to do, but instead of putting his life on the line like Naomi, he took lives.

Errenwright's actions affect Avasarala's meeting with Mao. His message to the two diplomats sees him proudly taking matters into his own hands and it was a frighteningly inspiring moment. There was not much to write about Avasarala's meeting with Mao, though Bobbie's hilarious reaction to the cucumbers cannot be ignored, as well as her amusing banter with Coytar. We finally see a Bobbie who is no longer held back by the strict rigours of Marine life and it is great to see her loosen up a bit in this episode.

One character that needs to loosen up is Holden. This episode sees the Rocinante's captain driven to obsession. His uncompromising drive to track down and kill the monster, despite it possibly being a frightened child experimented on, was downright unsettling. It was great to see him finally letting up and allowing Alex to help Naomi, as his attitude was starting to get overbearing. His actions in this episode reenforce the importance of Naomi - he needs her to ground him and to make him see reason. Without Naomi, Holden is lost and with only the company of "plant boy" and Alex, we see him slowly and sadly losing it.

'The Monster and The Rocket' was really a Naomi centric episode. We see her come to the full realization of the role she will have to play in these times of madness. We also see the effect that her absence has on Holden - she is the glimmer of hope and reason that keep things sane and without her, Holden is a shell of who he was.

The episode was a thoroughly engaging and inspiring character study - one that also set up the finale perfectly. With the monster attaching itself to the Rocinante and Avasarala and crew caught at a standstill on Mao's ship, things will surely be a lot more tense in the final episode.


What did you guys think? Leave your comments below?!

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