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The Expanse - Delta-V - Review + Favourite Moment POLL

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As with any standard length episode that kicks off the start of a new book as dense as Abaddon's Gate, 'Delta-V' felt a tad bit cluttered and rushed. We are introduced to a whopping four new characters - reporter Monica Stuart and her creepy cameraman, the mysterious Melba, and Commander Ashford - that's not even mentioning the recently introduced Reverend Anna, poor, young Maneo, and all of the new situations our existing characters found themselves in.

Sadly, for some book fans, the show had to sacrifice Bull, Pa, and Sam - characters I personally did not care for much - but, in the case of Bull, this was admittedly a big loss as he was a POV character. Not having these characters meant giving Naomi more to work with, her storyline is already a lot more interesting in the show than the book, as well as upping Drummer's role.

These changes are very much welcome. In the case of The Expanse, it was necessary to separate Naomi from the Rocinante to give her character room to breathe whether than just being some love interest crooning over Holden. Though, after finally coming to terms with the crew of the Rocinante and making sweet love with Holden last episode, her deciding to leave them for the Behemoth felt unwarranted, despite it being somewhat understandable given her Belter pride.

Drummer being captain of the Behemoth makes sense for the show as she is a trusted friend of Fred Johnson, though this is a big departure from the book, which opened with Ashford randomly assuming the role of captain.

Cara Gee has been wonderful as Drummer these past two and a half seasons, so more screen time for her is always welcome. Gee, as the hard-nosed, stubborn Belter, had great chemistry and played very well off Straitharn's freewheeling and seemingly more reasonable Ashford.

Speaking of which, veteran actor David Straitharn was simply magnificent as Ashford. He was able to make the commander equal parts menacing, but yet goofy and humorous at the same time, and it was surprising to see him become the voice of reason, as well (though it is clear his true intentions are anything but altruistic).

Another new character introduced in 'Delta-V' was the reporter Monica Stuart and her shady cameraman. Having them aboard the Rocinante allowed the episode to explore the backstories of some of the Rocinante crew, as well as, their respective relationships with certain Book 2 characters.

It seems the recently divorced Alex has grown quite the soft spot for fellow Martian, Bobby, and their exchange was heartwarming to see. Even more heartwarming was Amos who admitted that Prax was his "best friend in the whole world," echoing what Prax said to him earlier. Chatham did a wonderful job delivering that line - it seemed the oft-emotionally withdrawn Amos struggled to speak those six words out, but yet the feelings could not be denied, evoking the strength of their friendship and making that moment so much sweeter. The feels are real when it comes to Prax and Amos, and it is too bad we won't be seeing much of the botanist for the rest of the season.

Amos had another memorable scene (he seems to have a lot of them in recent episodes) when confronted by Monica about his past. Again, the duality of Amos - we see the softer side in him when he is talking about Prax, but in this scene, we see the aggressive side in him as he is confronted with repressed memories. Amos' outbursts are always extraordinarily intense and it speaks to the talent of Chatham to portray a character so intimidating, but yet, so likeable in a teddy bear kind of way at the same time.

With regards to Monica, her character wasn't all too interesting (she wasn't either in the books), but Anna Hopkins is always a welcome sight for us sci-fi fans from her days in Defiance, and she did a good of a job as any for the role. Her character did serve her purpose in 'Delta-V' - bringing out the personalities of the Rocinante crew and freshing up the dynamics on the ship.

The last of the new main characters to be introduced was the mysterious Melba. I don't want to say too much to spoil who she is and what her intentions are, but it is clear she is up to no good and the scene in which she kills poor Ren was crazy intense. Based on appearance alone, Nadine Nicole is the perfect actress for this role, and it seems based on her limited time this episode, that she has the intimidating presence to make her character a force to be reckoned with, as fans of the book would know.

Elsewhere in 'Delta-V' was Pastor Anna on the UN Ship Thomas Prince heading towards the ring, and the young racer pilot, Maneo, who unfortunately will not be getting any motorboating any time soon, having lost his head by going through whatever the ring is. His shortlived story this episode provided some chuckles, while also setting up the dangers of this newly formed protomolecule ring.

Lastly, how about that final scene! Book fans knew it was coming, so this was an anticipated moment for many. Thomas Jane's pork pie hatted detective had been sorely missing these one and a half seasons, and so it will be great to see some resemblance of him in this show for the foreseeable future.

Overall, 'Delta-V' was a jam-packed episode that managed to be thoroughly engaging from beginning to end. Yes, it felt a bit cramped and rushed, but it could have been worse. The writers did a standup job keeping viewers up to speed via newsfeeds in the background and through dialogue, while also intriguingly setting up the events of the third book to come.

There were some big changes from the page to the screen, including, most especially, Naomi's storyline; however, the changes worked well within the context of the show. Moreover, all of the new characters are as interesting as their book counterparts, though I worry what more time for them means for such characters as Bobbie, who in the book took a backseat. She is too well liked by fans to get the same treatment in the show. The same can be said for Prax, whose friendship with Amos is something special, and continued to grow in 'Delta-V' despite him not being seen. At least we get Miller back! Those who haven't read the books will be pleasantly surprised at how this is even possible.


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