The Expanse Season 1 Episode 4 Review: CQB

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I wish I could have seen an ocean on Mars. Me, too, Lopez. Me, too.

Watching The Expanse Season 1 Episode 4 made it very obvious why Syfy decided to put the first four hours of the series online to be binged watched. Watching this one alone left the stories feeling disjointed.

I binge watched. Then I watched this one alone again to review it. The two experiences were vastly different.

Right up front, let's find out. How many of you binge watched the first four episodes in the middle of December and are just waiting around for the new episodes? While it's fun to get blocks of programming like that, it's also frustrating. The wait can feel exhausting.

For those of us who review shows, binge watching isn't really appropriate. It pretty much means you always have to watch twice, because binge watching and writing do not go hand in hand. This stuff takes time; capturing quotes, writing a recap, generating thoughts for a review.

I've always been curious to find out what goes through your minds when offered a situation to watch four episodes early so wanted to find out. I hope you don't mind! Please share your thoughts in the comments. Now...back to the point.


Crisjen is our featured photo, but it doesn't seem her material was worthy of it. Likewise, Joe Miller was still trying to track down leads about the body, and even (temporarily) identified him as Bizi Betiko.

While that identification lead to a funny scene what seemed like a futuristic version of a drug den where people instead watch idiots with names like Bizi play games of human slingshot so they can BE dead when they're really only THOUGHT to be dead, it was hardly all that noteworthy.

The real dead guy was a data broker and will no doubt have information worthy of chit chat, but we're not quite there yet. For the briefest of seconds (seriously, like a wheezing breath brief), we discovered Havelock did indeed survive. Too bad that didn't receive more screen time.

All of those moments were nothing in comparison to what was happening on the Donnager. After everyone was interrogated, and all but Holden returned to a holding bay, it was attacked.

Now, there was another brief interlude between the Mormon representative and the project manager, Col. Frederick Lucious Johnson (thank you very much) building their ship (yes, the Mormons want to escape persecution by having their own place, and it's a ship) wherein Johnson afterward called a contact to put all eyes on the Donnager.

Right before the Donnager was attacked. All eyes are on it by the belter building it, Johnson. Chew on that.

The Donnager captain really thought she could handle the attack, but given what we have seen aboard the Scopuli and what, apparently, the Martians saw by way of the Phoebe, and she should have known better. 

I'm kind of a sick person and rewound and watched again (and again) the scene when Garvey was trying to calm Alex in the hold and his head was blown off. It was so shocking. Nobody even screamed. They just looked at each other. As you would. Shock.

Captain Yao wanted to scuttle the ship. The thing about doing that in space is that you die. There is no putting on a life vest and floating away (if they did that in the Navy...I'm spit-balling). What happened at the end leaves us with the crew who will be very important going forward. Exception? Lopez. 

Did he die? I think I might have missed that, but noticed he said he wished he could have seen an ocean on Mars. Did he make it the whole way to the Tachi only to die or was the Donnager the only way he could get to Mars? Help me out people!

The fight scenes were all kinds of awesome and all of the technology on The Expanse puts Minority Report (which was hyped to the max) to shame. This case blows me away and the story is intricate and intriguing. I'm in in in. 

Still, some of the scenes kind of felt more suited to binge watching. If you're going to hold the show on your DVR to watch all at once, let us know that, too. Did it feel strange do you to have that short scene of Crisjen on the roof? Almost as if it was thrown in at the last minute or belonged in another episode. And wouldn't you have liked to know more about Havelock being alive? Disjointed or no? Are you in or out?

Your turn! Comment. What else do you have to do this week?

Don't forget, you can always watch The Expanse probably already did at least once!

CQB Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Expanse Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Captain Yao: You look nervous.
Jim: I get that way when missiles are flying at me.

Who would be insane enough to take on the Donnager in CQB?