The Expanse S01 E05: Back to the Butcher


I may have doubted the success of The Expanse after watching the first two episodes, but not anymore. Last week’s episode was dead on with the special effects and the suspense. While Miller went data digging on a corpse, Holden and his crew escaped on the Tachi. Someone from the Tycho Station has made an offer they can’t refuse. Should they accept?


On the last episode, we watched how the Belters enjoyed their down time. Slingshotting is an illegal sport in which people bet if a pilot can safely maneuver around the gravity traps between planets. Unfortunately for the pilots, the house usually wins. Miller has gone from one dead end clue to another in his search for Julie Mao so maybe this explains his not so nice reaction when he visits the hospitalized Havelock.


While Havelock defends his relationship with Gia to Miller, the people behind the attack are still on the loose. Captain Shaddid wants to make an example of the attackers. The Star Helix is not popular, but they can’t have people pinning their officers to the wall. Shaddid tells her officers to make the man responsible disappear permanently.

I like some of the technology shown in this show like that memory crypt that Miller pulled from the corpse. It’s a hologram map with information on a ship called the Anubis. Julie was supposed to meet with that ship. The mystery about Julie Mao and what made her leave the rich life to become a rebel has dragged on long enough already. Hopefully, Anderson Dawes has a lead for Miller.

The Tachi

Damn! Corporal Dookie is dead and that is a shame because I liked this character. Without the protection of Dookie, Holden and his crew are considered fugitives; extremely lucky because they survived the destruction of two ships, but still fugitives.


As far as anyone knows, the entire crew of the Donnager was destroyed, but Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman) is making them an offer they can’t refuse. Come to Tycho station and be granted sanctuary. Should they trust this man? Should we? Johnson is called “The Butcher” by the OPA, and it’s time to learn how he got that name.

Anderson Station

The Butcher of Anderson Station is a short story in The Expanse series that was published in 2011 and is a prequel to Leviathan Wakes. Anderson Station was a resupply station at the far end of the Belt. After the station’s administrator added an unfair tax on the workers, there was a revolt led by Marama Brown. The revolution, although short, was mainly because medical aid was denied to the children of the station. The children were suffering from hypoxic brain injury from living with too little oxygen.


The people on Earth don’t like their colonies to revolt so they sent their army to take control of Anderson Station. Even though Marama Brown sent several messages of his surrender, Fred Johnson destroyed Anderson Station along with every man, woman and child on that station. Although treated as a hero for the cause, Fred Johnson knew he was a murderer. He is now associated with the OPA and apparently offering sanctuary to the crew of the Tachi.

Julie Mao

We’ve only seen this character in episode one and everything we’re learning about her is from Miller’s dogged investigation. Miller so obsessed with this woman that he doesn’t go looking for the man who attacked his partner. Anderson Dawes comes right out and tells Miller that Mao was OPA, but how did a rich girl get out to the Belts? Her friend and lover, Neville Bosch (Rossif Sutherland) tells Miller that Julie was changed after helping victims of a mining accident.


Thomas Jane plays Detective Miller as a tough, unlikable cop who is nasty to his partners, and yet, I find myself wanting Miller to succeed. He knows that Mao is somehow involved with the Canterbury and the uprisings on Ceres, but I’m getting tired of waiting for the answers. I think the writers could have spent more time on the connection between the mysterious Anubis and Julie’s mission.


On the other hand, Holden and his crew are growing on me and I like how they interact with each other. The crew decides to trust Johnson after he tells them how to change the transponder code that identifies the Tachi. The Martian ship has a new name, Rocinante, which is the name of Don Quixote’s horse. As the ship heads towards Tycho Station, Amos finds a bottle to drown out the pain of his broken leg and Holden finally finds enough coffee to keep him happy.


Although this episode sorely lacked the suspense of the previous episode, Miller did get a great lead from Dawes (Jared Harris) about a man named Sherpa. We are left to wonder what was inside the mechanical hamster in Julie’s apartment because Miller is kidnapped and, we still don’t know who blew up the Donnager and the Canterbury. I’m waiting for answers.


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