Great episode. Tense all round. Having Clarissa back on the scene is definitely an interesting element. I felt for her previous story despite her very extreme methods.
Didn't Clarissa's implant stuff use to look better? :thinking:
Knowing this show, I'll file this under filler episode.
At first this episode might seem like a filler, but it serves as a good episode for the characters to breathe and immerse in the moment they just experienced.
One thing I liked from the episode is contrast.
On the cold Earth we get to see Amos and Clarissa walk through a forest the kids planted on field trip. Clarissa spoke of field trips, saying that her dad was one that donated his money to plant that much trees, and throwing references like "Schroedinger's parents", unaware of her upper class upbringing. Amos never went to field trip and didn't catch her reference. He asked instead, what does her dad get in return for planting those many trees? For Amos who grew up in the streets of Baltimore, the idea of charity field trips where people give something (plant a tree) for free is unimaginable. Clarissa then talked of her time with her distant father, and how a caretaker should be a good person. Amos rejected this idea: “There are ways that you can live a good life without being a good person.”
Other character arcs that weave the threads the plots in this episode similarly have that contrast. Avasarala struggles with uncertainty and seemingly loss of husband, as the acting secretary-general calls her for other duty. We get to see Holden aboard Rocinante, a place he would call home, but his home is manned by strangers, none of his families. In a way, Holden is alone in his home. Similarly, Filip asked Naomi how could she betray her family and if she doesn't think them as her family anymore. Naomi retorted shortly, "I guess I don't." He "family" is no longer them - but one of Rocinante crew.
Speaking of Naomi, her relatively sluggish plot line in previous episodes pays off decently in this episode. Drummer's coming to terms to temporarily ally with Marco, the one who killed two of her friends knits nicely with Naomi's story.
And there is of course Filip's story. All he has ever known in his life is the (delusional) grandeur of his dad: the swashbuckling rebel of OPA who fights for his people. Marco portrays himself a determined, righteous hero of the Belt, and his son knew no better. He never saw Marco as someone would do wrong, until Cyn - Marco's own crew - confronted him, trying to assert his duty as a supposedly foster father Naomi believed him to be. "I've never seen the two of you like that before," Filip, shaken, told Cyn. "Wouldn't be the first time," Cyn replied. And then there was the line when Filip was told that Naomi "saved everyone" during her time in Behemoth.
Filip was (is?) still a naive young boy, seeing the world only through the lens of his self-proclaimed hero of a father. He sees his father's quest as nothing but a struggle of one man to do things right where others failed. A firebrand agitator, Marco blamed everyone else as wrong, and he as right. It was the first time Filip sees the possibility that Marco himself might be as wrong. As Filip desired to know further, Marco snooped on Filip's conversation with Naomi in disgust, but unable to intervene as doing so would prove that Naomi does hold a grain of truth. And that seems to be why Filip might still worth saving - after previous episodes showing him as no better than a hard-headed boy - free from the clutch of his ambitious father.
All these are achieved with very good acting of every cast members. There were some minor slopes and disappointments, such as Clarissa's modded fight that was choreographed very poorly (they did it better in Season 3), and Bobbie and Alex's minor, relatively swiftly resolved win. But this is still a pretty decent episode, and one that has nice character development.
"No need, I can tell-" That scene did it for me. Hopefully she understood.
Marco's overacting is really annoying. It's like the guy is constantly on the brink of breaking down to tears or have some hysteric episode. Other than that Season 5 has been pretty solid.
That ever so slight catch in Drummer's expression when she realised what Filip's slip up meant. I was waiting for her to find out that Naomi was on board. Great scene and acting.
Lots of development for characters here but the high point has to be that Chrisjen wasn't handed back the Secretary General position on a silver platter (though it's unlikely she won't be back there soon enough). Being right when it comes to security while ignoring people's legitimate grievances by believing that the lottery is a perfectly balanced game with no exploits has to bear some consequences.