Black Girl Squee!

Women of The Expanse podcast, Ep. 3

Episode Notes

Welcome to the Women of The Expanse podcast, where host, Didi Jenning (1/2 of @blackgirlsquee) tries to recap each Season Five of Amazon Prime's The Expanse by focusing on the women characters. This time, we find out why Drummer, Bobbie, Naomi, Sakai and several other characters are "Down and Out". 


Contact Info: Twitter: @blackgirlsquee, Tumblr: blackgirlsquee Email: blackgirlsquee AT gmail DOT com with 'Women of The Expanse' in the subject line. 

Intro Music is "The Expanse Theme" by Clinton Shorter

Outro Music is "First Steps" by Clinton Shorter

Episode Transcription


I’m sure many people consider episode five called, “Down and Out”, to be a “filler ep”. I’m not a fan of that term, but I do think this was a transitional episode in that it lets us know where a lot of characters are literally, as well as emotionally and mentally. Sometimes episodes like this are necessary to set up big events later on in the season. 

Now let’s talk about what The Women of The Expanse got up to in season five, episode five, “Down and Out”. 

Camina Drummer

In Drummer’s scenes with her family/crew, we see them watch the feed of Marco’s speech/admission of genocide plus the news that Fred Johnson is dead. We also get an idea of how factions of the OPA that are not aligned with the Free Navy expect to be treated by the Inner Planets. Josep says, “Every inner ship and station will be on high alert. They will restrict traffic. Business just got harder.” Oksana adds, “All Belters will have to answer for Marco’s deeds now.”

Drummer is feeling even more guilt now that the asteroid attacks have happened. Oksana tells her that if Marco hadn’t done this someone else would have. But Camina can’t hear what her wife is saying or if she does hear it, she can take no comfort from it. “I’m the one who had him in an air lock and let him go.”

I like that she spares a thought for Naomi and what she might be going through, even through her mountain of grief and guilt. Wait till she finds out what’s happened to her friend. 

She’s called in by Marco to talk about “the future of [her] faction and The Belt”. Camina decides to accept the meeting.

Bobbie Draper

Bobbie decides not to go after the protomolecule sample taken from Tycho Station in favor of following The Barkeith and getting proof of Martians selling tech to Belters. She gets spotted and has to burn hard to get away from them. Her comms are jammed before she can get a message out to Avasarala. 

Naomi Nagata

She gets dressed down by Marco for refusing to eat. She confronts Karal who hints that her code that was used to destroy the Augustin Gamarra is still being used for terrorist attacks. That just adds another ton of guilt to Naomi’s shoulders. She and Drummer are going THROUGH it, y’all. So much guilt.

She tries to stab Marco in a fit of rage and gets stopped and scolded by her murderous teenage son. Is that irony or do we need a bigger word to describe this moment? 

She confronts Cyn for not steering Filip away from Marco’s toxic beliefs. But Cyn has those  same beliefs. “They make us thirst for water. They make us gasp for air. The inners will never share the bounty from the new worlds. And we can’t go and claim them for ourselves.” 

Naomi figures out that her Gamarra code was used to sabotage the Roci. She takes Cyn’s hand terminal and sends a message to Holden just in time. Holden would be food for the mushrooms without the women in his life, especially when you consider Naomi here and last episode when Monica Stuart saved his life twice.

Clarissa Mao

Clarissa bravely fights through the blockers on her mod that seem to make her weak and drowsy to climb up a ladder to the surface of the U.N. Penitentiary, which is about ten stories shorter than it used to be, thanks to a nearby asteroid attack. She almost activates her mod to protect Amos from being killed by another body modified prisoner who doesn’t have any sense of right or wrong, the way she does. Konacheck is every bit the monster that Clarissa thinks she is right now. 


Sakai continues to be creepy and annoying to the people at Tycho Station. A guard punches her for it. She sabotaged the Roci using Naomi’s code which is a new low for her. Remember how buddy-buddy she was with Naomi in the first episode of the season? I really wanted to like Sakai because she brought Bantu Knots into the 23rd century, but damn, she makes Book!Sakai look like a Boy Scout. She had the nerve to say she kind of liked Fred Johnson  - aka the man she shot in the back several times. Girl, hate me if that’s the way you like people!

She’s sort of interrogated by Holden and Bull for a few minutes until they get a lead in the form of Sakai’s flight plan for the Zmeya. She tells them that her dream is not to work for Earthers or to be their ‘favorite pet’. She wants to live in a free and independent Belt. 


Karal tips Naomi on to the fact that Marco is still using her Augustin Gamorra code to destroy ships and commit terrorist acts, putting more blood on her hands. She also lets Naomi (and the audience) know that Marco told his crew mates a remixed story about ‘what Naomi did to him’ and why she left. 


That’s it for episode three of the Women of The Expanse podcast. If you’d like to comment you can contact BlackGirlSquee on Twitter or email blackgirlsquee AT Gmail DOT com and put ‘Women of The Expanse’ in the subject line. You can also find this and all episodes on blackgirlsquee DOT simplecast DOT com. Thanks for listening!