By the end of the latest episode of The Expanse, Gunnery Sargent Bobbie Draper of Mars is facing the most important decision of her life. And, depending on what she decides to do with some new information, the entire solar system could turn on a very unlikely alliance.
Spoilers ahead for Season 2, Episode 10 of The Expanse: “Cascade.”
While the crew of the Rocinante race to track down Prax’s missing daughter Mei, Bobbie Draper grapples with being caught between her own government and the people of Earth. After accidentally revealing that she saw a creature moving around in the vacuum of space, Bobby gets busted by her Martian superiors. She wasn’t supposed to reveal any of the “truth” to the Earth tribunal, so she’s effectively locked up. Despite this, and the oppressively heavy gravity on our planet, Bobbie manages to escape and head out into the wide world of Earth.
Unlike Mars, where everyone is conscripted into compulsory military service, Bobbie sees firsthand how the economy of Earth functions. Essentially, those who don’t meet certain standards eek by on “basic income,” resulting in massive slums just steps from the U.N. building where Bobbie was being held. While wandering wistfully in search of the ocean, she meets a friendly drug dealer named Nico who is also kind of a doctor, trying to scrounge up supplies for people who live in the future slums. He pegs her for a Martian because of the way she carries herself in the heavy gravity; “walking like the sky might fall in on you and the ground is going to bite you you.” But it’s when Bobbie reaches the ocean at the end of the episode that things start to get interesting.
In the book Caliban’s War, U.N. undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala recruits Bobbie into her cause by chatting her up in a bar. But now, TV Bobbie is taken into Avasarala’s confidence dramatically on the beach. So far, no one was been willing to believe Bobbie about the monster she saw wipe out her squad on Ganymede, but now, Avasarala has evidence the damn thing exists. She tells Bobbie that this supersoldier was a weapon designed by the Mars government and that the two of them “can no longer afford to be enemies.”
In Caliban’s War, the alliance between Avasarala and Bobbie is one of the most satisfying and creative aspects of the entire series. Having a high-leveled political baddass of Earth team up with a grunt from the Martian infantry is an easy symbol of why The Expanse spins original and unexpected science fiction storytelling. With only three episodes left in this season, Avasarala and Bobbie’s team-up will probably become one of the narrative high points of the entire season. Assuming their relationship unfolds the way it does in the books, this is totally the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The Expanse airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern on Syfy.