In The Expanse’s “Static,” every character had to deal with the fallout from their actions in the Season 2 premiere. A lot went down, so most of Wednesday’s episode consisted of all the characters gathering their thoughts and bringing viewers up to speed. But even if this was a bit of a breather episode of The Expanse, it was a hell of a baited breath. Holden and the Roci crew had to decide what to do with Miller after wasting Dresden on the abandoned space station, but the real key to this episode is the Trump-level isolationist politicking from the UN on Earth and the Martian grunts on the Scirocco.
As payback for the Martians blowing up Phoebe Station, Earth destroys the small Martian moon of Deimos (appropriately named after the Greek god of terror), and Errinwright and Avasarala wait for a response. Earth and Mars have been teetering on the brink of war for the entire series, but this is the moment where it could all break.
“Did you know that Martian marines always train at 1G — Earth’s gravity?” a tense Avasarala tells Errinwright in a UN board room. “They fly at the speed of war. It won’t end out there.”
Avasarala is already privy to information implicating Errinwright in the Canterbury explosion, but her last-ditch effort to persuade him to scale back his warmongering with words ultimately fails. This episode was clearly completed months and months ago, but Errinwright’s response is eerily close to the type of fearful rhetoric currently heard in real life by President Donald Trump. “This could be our last chance to win,” Errinwright tells her. “Earth must come first.”
Bobbie Draper gives an equal and opposite reaction. “The sooner we have it out the better,” she tells her Scirocco commander. “We trained all our lives for this.” Bobbie wants war because it’ll validate all that Mars has sacrificed in terraforming the planet. To her, its “Mars first.” But the Scirocco isn’t going to invade Earth. Instead, the commandos are sent to Ganymede to secure Martian food supplies. It’s not the blaze of military glory Bobbie had hoped for. Instead, it’s, as she says in disgust, “farm patrol.”
These are two opposing but extremely strong female characters representing their home planets in a future fiction. But it also says something about our own world. There’s sadly no consideration for opposing viewpoints because the assumption is that any other opinions is inherently wrong. That in itself is inherently wrong.
Because of the information she has, Avasarala is already well aware that Earth shouldn’t necessarily always come first. In her potentially treasonous olive branch communique to the de facto OPA leader, Fred Johnson, she pleads: “There are people in my government willing to take us to the brink of annihilation for reasons I still cannot fathom.” It’ll be up to figures of power like Avasarala and Bobbie in future episodes to look at the grand political situation and weigh the ramifications of its interconnected personal scale.