And now, our two “new” story lines. The UNN fleet heading to the Ring gives us Anna Volovodov finally away from the politicking Errinwright and Sorrento-Gillis (now replaced with a well-coiffed yet still vulgar Avasarala). Mitchell isn’t given a lot to do, but it’s not nothing, and it retroactively gives a bit more meaning to her earlier use in the show: We don’t need to spend time getting to know this character now, because the first five episodes did that heavy lifting for us.
Oh, show. You almost give us too much. The Expanse has always had good actors, and a few brilliant ones, but now in this season we get first Elizabeth Mitchell and now David Strathairn? We don’t deserve this.
Then, we see a UN Delegation ship heading toward The Ring to observe the phenomena more closely. Now, The Ring is the protomolecule, stretched into an inexplicable formation. Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) is tagging along on this mission. She launches into a debate on whether the protomolecule is man made or something more fantastical with Kolvoord (Chris Owens). He’s shocked to see a Reverend participating in a mission of the scientific persuasion, but Anna responds succinctly that she can differentiate between the two. I love Anna so much.
Then, we see Anna video calling her wife Namono (Raven Dauda). Her wife tearfully beseeches Anna to come home, that she misses her. Of course, Anna is devoutly loyal to the mission at hand, but she too longs for her family.
As part of the UN’s delegation heading toward the Ring, Anna asks all the right questions (is it a lifeform, or an example of alien culture?), but gets very few answers at this point. While her wife back on Earth gives her a guilt trip about being gone—this episode has an ongoing theme about people who’ve been left behind by partners who are roaming space—it’s probably best for all of humankind that someone as sharp and level-headed as Anna is helping lead Earth’s investigation.
So, the brief interlude about the three-person service crew that departs Anna’s UN ship and boards a nearby fleet support ship was hugely important. After the “new girl”—the one who hates James Holden—activates the explosives, she channels some inner superstrength when one of her co-workers discovers her handiwork. If you’ve read the books, you’ve probably already figured out who she is, and how she ties into the larger story of The Expanse going back to the beginning.
Obviously Julie Mao’s sister.
And speaking of unexpected, the sudden rise of Avasarala to the height of power, although perfectly logical, seems meteoric even with the unmasking of Errinwright’s conspiracy. However, her new position explains Anna’s presence on the UNN Thomas Prince, which in turn provides an excuse to speculate on the metaphysical nature and origins of the protomolecule now that it has formed itself into a shape that’s less organism and more mechanism. The pastor is still missed at home, but with our attention now turned once more to what the protomolecule wants, her higher-order perspective is welcome.
The Expanse will have a season 4 on Amazon.
It’s official: Amazon Studios has closed a deal for season four of former Syfy drama The Expanse.
3x07 - Anna Volovodov - Elizabeth Mitchell - Projects - Reviews - Reviews - The Expanse