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The Weeping Somnambulist (episode)

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"The Weeping Somnambulist" is the ninth episode of the second season of The Expanse. Overall, it is the nineteenth episode. It aired on March 22, 2017.

Synopsis Edit

Bobbie becomes a political pawn in the struggle between Earth and Mars.

Recap Edit

The Weeping Somnambulist is a relief ship en route to Ganymede. They're suddenly boarded by a crew with space helmets on. Turns out, it's Holden and the Rocinante crew, who need to commandeer the ship so they can get onto Ganymede and search for Dr. Strickland.

Meanwhile, Bobbie Draper is on an MCR dropship bound for Earth. The Martians are told to prepare for the switch to Earth's high-gravity environment. They are required to take pills in order to withstand the stress.

The UN ship Arboghast is approaching Venus, on a fact-finding mission about Eros. On board, Colonel Janus and Dr. Iturbi verbally spar about their conflicting world-views. Janus thinks Iturbi will twist the facts to suit his beliefs in alien life. The two men are interrupted by a signal from a Martian ship.

The Roci crew is still docked with the husband-and-wife crew of the Somnambulist. Neither of whom are thrilled to see them there, though the wife, Melissa, is the angrier of the two.

Dr. Praxideke Meng records a message to Doris' family expressing his sadness over her death but his gratitude for her helping him get off Ganymede. He goes to send it, but he's not authorized. He angrily asks Amos if he's a prisoner on the ship.

On Earth, the summit has begun. Earth shades the Martians about their struggles responding to Earth's gravity. Both sides posture their way through a moment of silence for the lives lost on Ganymede.

On the Arboghast, the Martian ship is not responding to communication requests. Janus broadcasts a message that they are on a scientific mission, and if they're interfered with, any aggression could be seen as an act of war.

After getting tipped off by Amos, Meng demands answers about the protomolecule. Holden tells him enough, then Meng says that his daughter, Mei, has a genetic disorder, one Dr. Strickland was helping her with.

Reluctantly wearing her Purple Heart, Draper testifies before the panel. As instructed, she lies and says she and her team mistook an Earther training exercise for aggression and fired first. One of the Martian delegates on the panel offers up the late Private Travis as a scapegoat, and Draper goes along with it. Avasarala, however, is eyeballing Draper the whole time.

Afterwards, Draper is angry about throwing Travis under the bus, but Martens tells her that Travis, in death, may have averted a war by taking responsibility.

On Earth, the Secretary-General tells Avasarala and Errinwright that Mars is offering reparations for Ganymede as part of a settlement. While he instructs Errinwright to "squeeze those arrogant Dusters [the Martians] for everything you [he] can get," Avasarala is skeptical that Travis seems like too perfect of a scapegoat.

With Alex staying behind on the Rocinante, Holden, Naomi, Amos, and Meng pilot the Somnambulist.

Just as the UN/MCR hearings are about to close, Avasarala demands that she question Draper again. She meanders in her questioning a bit, with the intent of making Draper feel guilty for incriminating Travis. She gets Draper off guard, and Draper eventually mentions seeing the figure who wasn't wearing a vacuum suit. Martens interrupts, earning him an epic clap-back from Avasarala, but the interruption gets Draper to revert to her story.

On the Arboghast, the Martian ship appears to be shadowing them. Janus and Iturbi resume their argument about the possibility of alien civilizations, but they're interrupted by visuals of the Eros impact crater on Venus.

Later, Iturbi communicates to Avasarala that they're seeing biological compounds in the atmosphere on Venus above the Eros crater that should be impossible.

While Alex parks the Roci behind a moon to observe Ganymede, the Somnambulist lands among MCRN patrols. The ship is boarded by some opportunistic dock workers who want to take their usual cut from the Somnambulist haul. Only this time, they want everything, including the ship. There's a tense stand-off, with the pirates holding a gun to Santichai and Melissa's heads.

Holden and Naomi burst out of hiding, and there's a gunfight that leaves the pirates dead, but also Santichai. Melissa is inconsolable, devastated. She orders Holden and his crew to get off her ship, and heavy with the weight of guilt, they do.

Cast Edit

Main CastEdit

Guest Starring Edit


Media Edit

Images Edit

  • † The architectural style is Neo-Romanesque, and the brickwork is rusticated, as in there are deep grooves around the perimeter of brick for the sake of artistic flair.

Videos Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The spaceship Weeping Somnambulist was featured in this episode.
  • A Somnambulist is a person who walks in one's sleep or under hypnosis.
    • Incidentally, a Somnambulist have been known, to eat, have sex, and even murder while in a "sleepwalking" state.[1]
  • The location which served as a stand-in for the Martian Embassy on Earth is actually the Science Wing of The University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus:
  • The location of the Earth-Mars Peace Summit was the ballroom of Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
  • According to NASA[2], Mars recieve less than half the sunlight that would have been cast on Earth, due to an inverse square relationship between the intensity of incident sunlight and the distance from the sun, or I ∝ 1/d2 where I is the intensity and d is the distance (Note, ∝ is actually a proportionality symbol, as oppose to an equal sign, it is a way to compare information or establish a relationship between two variables). Even though Mars has a thinner atmosphere, it still does not receive the same intensity of light as the Earth, and that is why Martens told Bobbie Draper to wear the sun vizors.
Sun Inverse Square Law

The Intensity (or brightness) of a source of light falls off as the inverse square of the distance from the source. This is because the light's intensity can be thought of as being spread out uniformly over the surface of a sphere. At greater distances, the sphere is larger, so the same amount of light is spread over a larger area. This makes the light source appear dimmer as the distance from it increases. Credit: NASA

  • Martens said that Bobbie needed a blood oxygen booster, muscle fatigue inhibitor, and a rapid bone-density enhancer (apparently with the brand name Osteo-X). The therapeutic regimen is necessary due to the Martian gravitational field being a bit smaller with respect to Earth, because of its smaller size. As a result, less exertion is needed to move on the Martian surface, therefore blood does not need to carry as much oxygen and in turn the skeletal structure does not have to be as dense to counter the stresses of the gravitational pull.
    • There are contemporary analogues to the pharmaceuticals mentioned above:
      1. Epogen - blood oxygen booster, in the case of Epogen, it stimulates the production of Red Blood Cells, which in turn enhance the delivery of oxygen to one's muscles, through the use of EPO protein or hormone signal given by the kidneys
      2. Collagenase Santyl - muscle fatigue inhibitor, Collagenase is an enzyme that breaks down collagen in damaged tissues within the skin and helps the body generate new healthy tissue. Collagen is a type of protein that connects and supports fibers in body tissues such as skin, tendons, muscles, and bone.
      3. Forteo - In the episode, Osteo- X is the brand name, and the generic name is teriparatide. In the real-world, the drug goes by the name of Forteo ( derived from Spanish, meaning strong). It is of recombinant DNA origin, as in, it is a byproduct of manufacturing from bacteria, and it is a synthetic version of what is produced in the human body called the parathyroid hormone. The hormone, in high quanities, causes the bones to release calcium into the blood; bones are simply the storage system for calcium
    • On a sidenote, the long term effects of residing in deep-space, is similar to the aging process. That is why John Glenn .

[3], elder statesmen and pre-eminent astronaut, returned to space for a second time, to conduct experiments in order to understand the process better, in doing so he was better able to appreciate the effects of aging on his body.

  • Dr. Iturbi introduced the Drake equation in this episode. This speculative formulation was first proposed by Frank Drake of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia[4] in 1960. It was used to determine the probability of the existence of intelligent life within the Milky Way galaxy.
N = R • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L
— Drake's equation
N = The number of broadcasting civilizations.
R = Average rate of formation of suitable stars (stars/year) in the Milky Way galaxy
fp= Fraction of stars that form planets
ne= Average number of habitable planets per star
fl = Fraction of habitable planets (ne) where life emerges
fi = Fraction of habitable planets with life where intelligent evolves
fc = Fraction of planets with intelligent life capable of interstellar communication
L = Years a civilization remains detectable
National Radio Quiet Zone

The NRQZ spans WV, Virginia, and parts of Maryland.

  • Another incidental fact, Green Bank, West Virginia, is located within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ), where all forms radio communications and electromagnetic emissions from equipment are highly restricted by Federal and State Authorities, to minimize interference upon radio telescopes and electronic intelligence gathering systems of the NRAO and US Navy/National Security Agency respectively.


Cast credits on-screenEdit

External links Edit

Icon-syfy-22x22 Season 2 Episode 9 - The Weeping Somnambulist

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