The Expanse - Pyre - Review + POLL By Kollin Lore (March 16, 2017, 3:00 am)
In 'Pyre' we are introduced to another character in this ever expanding universe of The Expanse in the form of Ganymede botanist, Prax Meng.
The beginnings of his storyline in the show is drastically different than in the book, Caliban's War. In the source material, Prax' story more closely resembles and replaces Miller's story as we see the botanist staying on Ganymede to investigate the disappearance of his daughter. This is of course similar to Miller's investigation into the missing Julie Mao. Many of the details, such as Dr. Strickland and his role with the protomolecule, is revealed through Prax' investigation as he interviews various people.
'Pyre,' on the other hand, did a great job at introducing to viewers and hurrying along Prax' story while not missing important beats and adding quite a lot of depth and heart to his character at the same time. In Caliban's War Prax' friend, Doris, is an inconsequential character who simply goes separate pathways from him early on in the book, this is in contrast to the much larger and important role she plays in the show. Doris' death introduces to Prax, who lived quite sheltered on Ganymede, the harsh realities of the conflict between inners and belters. The scene itself is disturbingly beautiful and haunting as we see Doris take her last breath after getting spaced - a visual that definitely sticks with you emotionally and visually.
Seeing Prax lost among refugees and then watching his only friend get murdered in front of him adds a certain tragic element to his character, that makes him so much more relatable, and it is also a reminder to the realities of the world viewers are living in and humanity in general. Atrocities like what happened to Doris occurs everyday on this planet.
Another positive in 'Pyre' is Amos, who continues to be a joy to watch week in, week out. In this episode we see a very dark side in him as he confronts Alex. That line about not fighting him because who would pilot the Rocinante was very shocking. Amos is not right psychologically, and the confrontation with Alex sure as hell gets that across. It'll be interesting to see how Amos' storyline will lead to.
Amos, however, is not the only character we see going down a darker path. Last week, Holden peculiarly went down to Cortazar's cell in the middle of the night with a firearm. We find out that he indeed intended to kill the scientist, going against his own moral code that he had passionately stuck to over the course of the series.
'Pyre' also continues the events of last week with Anderson Dawes defying Fred Johnson and his operations on Tycho Station, albeit via video. Seeing the renegade belters take over the command room added a level of excitement and tension that this episode needed to kick things into a higher gear.
Overall, 'Pyre' did a fabulous job in introducing to viewers Prax Meng and making us care for him right off the bat, while also strongly furthering along both Amos' and Holden's development. One of the consistently stronger elements of The Expanse has been the seamless interweaving of stories. The episode this week took a break from Avasarala and Bobbie to introduce us to Prax, and it was a joy watching his story unfold this week, while simultaneously developing the Rocinante crew's adventures on Tycho Station.
What did you guys think? Leave your comments below and be sure to vote in the poll your rating!