The episode after everything blows up is always a difficult one. When all the adrenaline and excitement is gone, the only thing left is to sift through the debris and deal with what’s happened. “Back to the Butcher” has that kind of vibe to it. It feels like the characters are weighing their options in every single scene, trying to get a sense of what to do with their new reality. For the Canterbury crew, it’s about where exactly they need to go. Sure they managed to escape the Donnager alive, but their predicament is once again dire. With the only Martian officer that knew the truth dead, they couldn’t go to Mars lest they be branded terrorists and arrested on the spot. Their problems seem to be resolved when Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) contacts them and offers them safe haven at Tycho Station, but siding with the Outer Planets Alliance is divisive to the crew. Jim Holden (Steven Strait) sees no other option but to seek the help of Johnson for they really have no place to turn, but Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) refuses to trust him. There is a sense that Naomi has some specific history with Johnson even though she denies it, but it definitely raises some questions about who she is. Johnson has his own history that is well known amongst the Canterbury crew, which the show fleshes out in this episode. It’s a lot of backstory to give a secondary character but serves the purpose of fleshing out this world. Johnson earned a reputation throughout the galaxy as “Butcher of Anderson Station” during his time as a United Nations marine. The story is told through flashbacks from the perspective of a miner on the station named Marama Brown (Billy MacLellan). They are part of a group of workers that forcefully took over a station owned by a large corporation in an effort to demand more rights. It backfires horribly on them when they misjudge just how much the company and the UN values their lives. Johnson becomes the public face of a massacre, which is a reputation he still carries with him. It’s unclear whether Johnson will become a much larger figure in the series, but his story is a neat piece of world building that highlights the influence corporations have in space. They are not just employers, but also control the very living spaces people inhabit. When here you live is under the control of an organization driven by profit, that could definitely spell trouble. For Detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), the mystery of Julie Mao is deepening amidst increasing tension on Ceres station. His partner Dimitri Havelock (Jay Hernandez) was nearly killed by OPA thugs, which draws the ire of those in charge of security on the station and spurs them to seek vengeance. It’s hard to tell whether he genuinely likes Mao, or simply wants to prove that he’s still got what it takes to solve this case. He is not the type to stick his neck out for other people and he actively discourages other people from doing it as a matter of survival, yet Miller is willing to go against his bosses and the better judgment of others to pursue the Mao case. His interest proves to be spot on as he figures out that Mao was on a ship called the Anubis, which was on Phoebe Station at the time. Turns out Mao boarded the Scopuli in order to intercept that ship. This is is yet another thread that links the story of Canterbury crew and Miller’s and further broadens the overarching mystery. Miller’s quest for information leads him to another character and some more tidbits of world building. The investigation leads him Anderson Dawes (Jared Harris), an OPA leader on Ceres station. Dawes sees Miller as an ally of circumstance and potential sympathizer to his cause. Julie was loyal to the OPA and so Dawes wants to use Miller as a way to figure out what happened to her. Miller, of course, doesn’t trust Dawes or anybody that is willing to let anybody else die for them but can’t really turn down information on the whereabouts of Havelock’s assailant. What’s more interesting about Dawes is his perspective as a Belter. Much like Lopez in the previous episode, he comes to represent the motivations and goals of the group as a whole. Unlike Martians or Earthlings, Belters have no home and Dawes believes that Ceres station should become that place for them. Anderson is interesting simply because of what his aims are. He wants to make Ceres Station the symbolic home for all belters and sees the group as eventually taking over. “Back to the Butcher” was a good chaser to the action that preceded it. It was a welcome reprieve that offered a chance to learn a little bit more about this world and its history through the characters that inhabit it. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.