But our attention is rightfully locked on Marco and Earth for the time being, and Marco’s unhinged leadership is both terrifying and undeniable. It’s particularly interesting to watch him run afoul of his own crew when it comes to his attitude towards Naomi. Cyn’s refusal to space his dear friend despite her betrayal is quite telling, as is Filip’s desire to learn more about his mother’s time on the Behemoth.
It would almost seem that this small dissent within his ranks might provide an out for Drummer, who finds herself unable to refuse Marco’s offer to join the Free Navy. Once again, the closeness of her new family only strengthens our sympathy despite their helplessness and worry, whether over Drummer’s potentially rash behavior or over Marco’s devoted lieutenant, Karal, joining their crew as a diplomatic exchange. This unease skillfully puts The Expanse viewers on the edge of their seats.
These feelings are strangely balanced out by the drama unfolding on Earth, despite the fact that the situation Amos and Clarissa find themselves in is just as desperate, if not moreso. Even as The Expanse sprinkles in details about the characters’ backstories, it poses a very compelling question that plays out in two very realistic scenarios: can you live a good life without being a good person? With the first brief encounter with the stranger by the campfire, the answer was yes, but the opposite may have been true at the survivalist compound.
The beauty of the dual situations is that neither Clarissa nor Amos judge each other harshly, and their mutual sense of protectiveness is extremely endearing despite being completely non-romantic. Clarissa acknowledges her flaws through her mantra that “killers are monsters, and monsters aren’t afraid,” but we know — and Amos knows — that his lack of fear makes him prone to monstrous decisions (remember “I am that guy”?). Clarissa thus wonders if killing the survivalist was the right move even though she was the one who executed him.