Season 6, Episode 2 of Amazon Prime’s The Expanse, entitled “Azure Dragon,” really ramps up the stakes! It’s an episode that flies as fast as the Screaming Firehawk.
Same as the last episode, the story begins on Laconia, where the settler girl attempts to save her little dragon, to no avail. We’re still not sure what these scenes on Laconia have to do with the rest of the show, though I’m sure it will both tie in at the end and be retroactively symbolic.
I will admit, as much as I felt terrible for the girl, I laughed so hard when the dog-like creature stole the bird’s corpse.
Like the last episode, Avasarala’s presence was reserved for a few simple conversations, but, as usual, what she says has a lot of bearing on the rest of the characters. She manages to manipulate Monica into crafting some propaganda for her but does it in a way that makes it seem she has humanity’s best interest at heart and not cementing her control. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, it’s impossible not to be in awe of her audacity.
And I never would have thought a dark green pantsuit with gold trim and a garish choker would look so good.
Back on Drummer’s ship, the Tynan, Camina meets with a Free Navy belter who is less than impressed with Marcos’ leadership (and sex appeal, which gave us probably one of the funniest lines in The Expanse). With the death of Ashford in season 4, I had been missing the presence of an old pirate, so this newcomer, Walker, filled that void. It also sets up what looks to be some fun piracy on Camina’s part (stealing water and other supplies from Inaros’ supply depots).
As I (and probably everyone else) hoped, we got to see Bobbie’s space marine armor in action! After arriving as a mysterious “mission specialist,” it’s clear Bobbie’s specialties involve snappy comebacks to Amos and withstanding a barrage of bullets with a disdainful glance.
Her mission is to capture the Azure Dragon, much to the crew’s reluctance. As usual with scenes involving the Roci, we get some cool special effects. More spacewalking, an entrancing chase scene, and Amos fighting against gravity with some grunting that would get him kicked out of a gym.
We also get to see Clarissa in action, albeit so quickly I had to rewind to clarify what happened. If you learn one thing from The Expanse, it’s not to activate your body mods while wearing a space helmet.
We also saw a PTSD reaction on Naomi’s part regarding going EVA. It was both important and realistic that Naomi is having an emotional and psychological response to her space jump and time on the Chetzemoka. So often in space operas, the heroes’ reactions to the trauma and violence they’ve experienced aren’t addressed. While the show doesn’t have space to get into the nuanced aspects of trauma, it was great they approached it at all.
It also shows the importance of having a loving and respectful partner who knows when to give you space.
Speaking of partners, are Amos and Clarissa a couple or what?
The Free Navy
If it weren’t already apparent how Marcos believes he’s above the law, he demands Filip be let out of jail. At first, it seems like Filip is getting off incredibly easy, but then Marcos calls him an embarrassment. While a lecture about “work hard, party hard” is hardly a fitting punishment for the crime of murder, it’s clear the guilt is gnawing away at Filip. I wonder whether these emotions will lead him to a breakdown or instead to another violent act?
It was also nice to see Marcos taken down a peg in two different ways. The first, when Guoliang calls him out on Filip, essentially telling him to focus up and keep his son in line, and the second, when it’s revealed they have lost control of the Azure Dragon and thus their primary weapon. In true Inaros’ style, Marcos decides to plan for a siege.
Will this battle be reserved for the season’s finale, or will it spawn something worse? The protomolocule, as Holden points out very briefly, is still a threat.