Is It Just Me, Or Is THE EXPANSE What’s Between Julie Mao’s Ears?

If you’re currently watching Seasons 1 and 2 of THE EXPANSE or plan to do so in the future, please be aware there be spoilers here.

Okay, so first off, I really do like THE EXPANSE. It’s a fine show, with great interplanetary sci-fi action, and wonderful acting. I haven’t gotten around to starting Season 3, yet, but that is a question of time, which is in very short supply right now.

But I have to ask, am I the only person who thinks that Julie Mao was a complete idiot? I mean, the character herself is understandable, and is a great example of overused-trope-done-well. She’s a spoiled child of privilege who decides that the pathway to righteousness and holiness is to wreck Evil Daddy’s stuff. She’s determined to become the White savior (Asian savior, yeah, I know, but the principle is the same, and that sort of thing seems to have shifted a bit in the intervening 200 years) of the downtrodden Belters. So far, she’s not really different from today’s trickle of rich white kids who decide to go join ISIS or a leftist terrorist group because Mommy and Daddy didn’t fulfill them enough and there’s poor people and this proves that AMERIKKKA IS TEH EVILZ!!

But Julie outguns these poor saps because she knows that her Daddy is actually screwing around with something that’s apparently a fusion of nuclear weapons, killer AI and zombie virus, so she decides to arrange to steal it. And apparently is utterly unconcerned that she might be playing with something she barely comprehends, is incapable of controlling, and might cause literally billions of deaths if she screws up.

Hmm. Is it an accident that Julie’s name is “Mao?”

And then of course, like so many in her actual situation, is shocked to discover that she and her friends are actually the low-level bottom feeders of politics rather than an unstoppable revolutionary force, and that she has been outthought and played, all of which leads to her death and the deaths of — “revolutionaries” take note — thousands of people, almost all of whom are the very “downtrodden Belters” she was trying to “save.”

I’m sure the people of Eros were very grateful to her.

In the end, Julie Mao reminds me of no one so much as Osama bin Laden. All for the cause, kumrads! And it matters not how many we kill, because our ideology is pure!

Or am I missing something?

Honestly, I can forgive Julie Mao because she does come to a pretty bad end, and the character of the detective who falls in love with her because she represents to him a willingness to fight for what he’s given up on is compelling. I’m honestly not certain whether the writers wanted us to see irony in Julie Mao or whether they were in earnest. Hell, maybe I AM missing something. Thoughts?

One thought on “Is It Just Me, Or Is THE EXPANSE What’s Between Julie Mao’s Ears?

  1. I like the series, but the truly mythic thing between Gruff Detective and Misguided Idealist Rebel is a hard act to follow. I think she comes off really well as the naive firebrand, and the “blinded by emotive compassion” thing fits well enough with a revolution-minded young woman that it’s hard to question it.

    It also meshes with the hard-bitten detective who’s got so much common sense it’s killing him.

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