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The Expanse - IFF - Review

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The title 'IFF' refers to Identify Friend or Foe, and the episode continued this season's theme of war by playing with the question of who is on our side and who is not.

This question mainly applied to the newly named Pinus Contorta and the Razorback, and to a lesser extent, with the allegiances of new character Pastor Anna, portrayed by Elizabeth Mitchell.

Mitchell was perfectly cast. The veteran actress effectively took us through the journey that Anna was going through from her disbelief at the chaos on Earth to her resolve when expressing her moral framework around the war and the protomolecule. We also got to see a softer side as Pastor Anna spoke on video with her wife and daughter, and then an edgier side when we learn of her complicated past as a speechwriter.

With Avasarala now off in space, someone needed to replace the role the diplomat played on Earth as a menacing, speak your mind figure with influence and good intentions. Pastor Anna immediately filled that void to a tee, it was great to see her put Errinwright in his place, something we hadn't seen since before Avarasala took off.

Another villain in The Expanse, Mao, who Erringwright was way too busy messaging, also made a brief appearance in 'IFF.' Dr. Strickland has made advancements with the protomolecule, which seems to mix well with the immunodeficiency that Prax's daughter, Mei, and other children have. It is predictable that Holden and crew will eventually reach Io in time to save the young girl, though that doesn't take away from the haunting revelations of what the protomolecule can now do to a human being as we saw with Mei's friend from Ganymede.

Before Holden can reach Io, the Pinus Cortorta diverted on a rescue mission. It makes sense for Alex, always the loyal to mars do-gooder, and Naomi, who didn't want to go to Io in the first place, to want to save Bobbi on the Razorback. On the flip side, it also made sense for Holden, committed to Prax, and a loyal to command, Amos, to want to stick to the mission of saving Mei's daughter.

It all boiled down to Prax, who we find out agrees to save the Razorback, due to him losing hope in his daughter being alive. Amos' speech to him to never give up on the people he loves was very inspiring. Amos has shown to have a heart of gold, despite his rough edges, and we see that in this scene.

Prior to delivering this message to Prax was a breathtaking scene where Amos rescued Prax who's oxygen tube was cut loose. This was a fabulous moment that showed the effects of gravity as the ship manoeuvred. It would have been good enough to see the space battle only as the Pinus Contorta fired its PDCs at the enemy, something The Expanse has consistently excelled at, but adding Amos' rescue of Prax heightened the excitement while adding some strong relationship building between the two characters.

The events of this episode would eventually lead to the meeting of Bobbie and Avarasala with the Rocinante crew, leaving us on quite the cliffhanger. The perfect ending to another thrilling ride of an episode.


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