The Expanse: "Retrofit" Review



Miller continues to piss everyone off.

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Judging by the reaction of Anderson Dawes and his muscle this week it seems Miller is close, very close, to blowing the search for Julie Mao wide open. Unfortunately for Miller, he isn’t exactly playing by the playbook that Dawes laid out and now has to somewhat tactfully survive a violent interrogation and make it out alive with the information he’s carrying.

What was really fun about the interrogation with Dawes was watching Miller attempt to skillfully keep the data chip hidden in his hat safe. It was definitely touch and go for a while there but Miller used what he does best, pissing people off, in order to keep Dawes from discovering what he was hiding.

The show continues to portray the OPA as a complex organization with so many moving parts and ideals that it’s hard to keep track of it all. As I mentioned a few reviews ago, there is absolutely a need for the OPA and as the series continues independence for belters and those who don’t fall under jurisdiction of the UN or Martian government seems like a step in the right direction. As we see again this week, anyone working in the belt is treated like dirt so it makes sense when we see them lashing out to the extent that they are.

The OPA still goes too far at times though. Throwing Miller in an airlock and paying off his boss in order to suppress the information he found seems dangerous, especially when we’re potentially talking about a dangerous biological weapon. The picture being painted right now is that the OPA is trying to carve out their own independence and are resorting to dangerous methods to make that happen. Julie Mao, an Earther, was willing to fight for that cause and got tangled in something far greater than she was expecting.



That brings us to the flipside of this story and Fred Johnson meeting up with Holden’s group. Holden and Johnson were locked in a power struggle for the first part of this episode as each tried to get the upper hand on the other. They both appear to find a middle ground with Holden keeping control of his ship on this mission Johnson requires of them. It was good to finally see the former crew of the Canterbury getting some rest and relaxation aboard Tycho station as they’ve been bounced around from one dangerous situation to the next.

The scenes on the Tycho station space club let some of the regulars open up a bit. We learned a bit more about Alex’s family and Amos’ life growing up. The friendship between Naomi and Holden developed a little more. Naomi opened up regarding her disdain for soldiers blindly driven by their uniform and little else. I really like how laid back Holden can be at times and how he recognizes the heroism in everyone. His love of coffee is starting to become apparent as well. Space coffee must really be that good.

As expected, Fred Johnson presents himself as the last best resort to the crew of the Rocinante. Right now, Johnson continues to be a hard man to read. I haven’t been able to figure out yet whether or not he’s directly involved with what Dawes is doing on Ceres or not. Johnson did collect a chip from Lopez’s uniform that he seems to be keeping to himself for now so he’s obviously not being entirely honest with Holden.

Chrisjen had a slight bit more to do this week than she had last week. Throwing her political muscle around appears to be what she does best as she bullies one of her contacts into loaning her a spy on Tycho station. Chrisjen is ruthless when she needs to be, which seems to be all the time. Considering her son was killed by OPA it’s not hard to understand why she is so driven to keep an eye on Fred Johnson, especially considering the situation.

The conversation regarding the ship he’s building was interesting as well. Apparently the ship Johnson is supposedly building for the Mormons is the largest ship ever built in human history, which would make sense considering it’s supposed to be traveling to another solar system with hopes of colonizing a planet there. Still, it seems that some are suspect of that being the true intention for the ship. It’s a fascinating new piece to the puzzle that this series has been presenting but I’m not sure how it fits just yet.

Back to the discovery that Miller made on that chip he found. The bioweapon is definitely an important revelation and could be the MacGuffin that finally draws Miller off Ceres station. Considering he’s now been fired from his job and has enemies just about everywhere on Ceres station I wonder if we’ll see him move on sooner rather than later.

The Verdict

“Retrofit” revealed a few important pieces of information but we’re definitely still in the building phase right now. Miller carefully keeping the information in his hat out of Dawes’ hands was fun to watch and it feels like his time on Ceres station may be almost up.

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