3 Body Problem – Season 1 Episode 2 “Red Coast” Recap & Review

Red Coast

Episode 2 of 3 Body Problem begins with news of the unexplained blinking stars spreading across the news. Saul shows up at Vera’s mum’s place, (who is Ye Wenjie of course) and they get talking about the theory. Saul believes it’s complete BS given none of the satellites saw it nor do they have any data corresponding to it. Sault thinks it may be a huge deepfake but he’s not sure exactly who could have pulled this off. Ye Wenjie definitely knows more than she’s letting on.

As for Auggie, she’s distracted and concerned regarding the countdown timer. It’s unfortunately reaching crunch time at work, and she has 9 minutes left on her timer. After a successful nano experiment, Auggie caves and heeds the advice given to her. She decides to shut the experiment down. As she leaves the office, the countdown stops.

Clarence Shi happens to be out there waiting for her, and he wants her help.

Back in Mongolia 1968, the experiments continue. They’ve been transmitting their message for several years now but they’ve received nothing so far. Ye Wenjie believes it’s too weak and they need to strengthen their signal. She wants to get a Californian scientist in on the gig to help but Yang, one of the workers there, is not sure. However, he’s taken a fancy to her and gets her the details for Dr Peterson.

Peterson is a genius in this field and Ye Wenjie explains that his team similarly received an intense radio burst on the same day they did. Now, it would appear that the radio wave came from Jupiter and used the Sun to amplify the signal. Their theory is to use the Sun in the same way to extend and amplify their signal to reach out across the stars. Although it could take many years, Ye Wenjie is confident it’ll work and wants China to be at the forefront of Interstellar communication.

Ye Wenjie’s work is stolen by Yang and passed off to the Commander Lei Zhicheng as his own. Once again, she can’t trust the men around her but thankfully the Commander doesn’t think it’s a good idea and reprimands the pair of them. Ye Wenjie though, decides to rebel and actually moves the satellite across to the sun before the experiment is conducted. The others don’t realize, thankfully, but she heads outside to see if it works.

We don’t actually see the outcome of this experiment but Ye Wenjie continues to push boundaries. She finds solace in an American who shares her worldview, but the other scientists up at the Red Coast base aren’t happy when they heed her advice and choose a different site to do their work.

However, they do help to quench her thirst for revenge. Specifically, coming from the girl who lashed her father in episode 1 and killed him. She’s lived a horrid life, with her arm being cut off after suffering from gangrene. She’s now forced to do manual labour; back-breaking, horrid work. However, she’s got a tough mind and refuses to repent for killing her father.

Back in the present, Da Shi questions Auggie around Vera’s relationship with Mike Evans. He owns the biggest private oil company in the world so his arrival at the funeral is certainly a point of contention. How did he know Vera? He also has stranger news too. Remember that woman from the alleyway? Well, Clarence has pulled the CCTV footage from that night… and she doesn’t exist. At least, not in the footage and it doesn’t appear to have been tampered with according to their team.

Someone did light Auggie’s cigarette given her own lighter didn’t work so Clarence believes Auggie was talking to someone but doesn’t have any solid evidence right now. He also explains that the countdown is very real and appears to be a phenomenon among other scientists, all of them across the globe have quit when they see this… or quit like Vera did.

Jin becomes curious over the game and dons her headset again. She’s approached by some NPCs, one of which happens to be called the Count of the West. He wants her to solve the riddle of this world and encourages her to choose a name. She chooses Copernicus. She has to choose when a civilization is stable or chaotic. Bizarrely, as the sun raises, Follower heads out into the sun and dehydrates in the blink of an eye. Then they… roll her up?

When Jin takes her headset off, she encourages Jack to get involved. He puts her headset on but when he turns around, he sees a woman approach who tells him that he’s “not invited” and slices him up. Jack hurriedly takes the headset off but every time he puts it back on, the same result. Unbeknownst to them, Clarence has actually bugged their phone so he hears everything they’re talking about.

When Jack heads back to his house, he finds a headset of his own, and a card asking him to join in. The game is kinda similar to Jin’s, but the NPC here is garbed in Middle English gear and he’s told to “rehydrate the masses”.

Jack’s excitement with the game is doused when he learns Will has Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer. Jack refuses to believe this is true and encourages his friend not to give up on his own life and try to find a solution.

Interestingly, when Clarence head to the graveyard to pay his respects to his wife, that strange woman from before shows up. She laments the futility of death and asks what happens to his lover. Turns out it was breast cancer, while she explains that her own father was killed with a bullet to the head. As they both walk away, we pan down to a grave for someone called Edith Marsh.

Auggie tries to contact Saul, who’s too busy out doing acid with some girls. Auggie is not happy when he shows up at her door in the morning, sporting a blonde hair on his head too. “You’re a child Saul, it’s not cute anymore.” Auggie says and walks away. It’s clear she can’t depend on him.

Jin continues to become engrossed in this game, and winds up heading over to the nearby temple, where the Count has laid out a whole bunch of sticks on the ground. Jin doubts the validity of using divination to give the answers surrounding rehydrating the masses. The Count ignores her and explains they have another 8 days of the chaotic era and when it’s over they’ll have a stable era for 63 years.

Zhou, believing the Count’s words, asks for the sky to open up and as it does, Jin touches the ground and exactly 8 days pass. And just like that, the world is renewed. There’s a glorious sea as far as the eye can see, and these dehydrated bodies are thrown into the water and rehydrate again. Jin does the honours to rehydrate Follower, whose thankfully wearing clothes. The rest of the men and women however, are not. Unfortunately, this period of stability is completely wrong and a massive storm blows in and causes everything to turn to chaos.

Follower begs Jin to help her, but as she approaches the young girl, the freezing, biting winds cause her to shatter and turn to dust. The same goes for everyone else. In the aftermath of this, a strange woman shows and explains that Civilization number 137 was obliterated by extreme cold. But Jin’s predictions about science are correct so she completes the level.

Now that they’re about to start Level 2, she needs to use science to save the next civilization.

We then end the episode back in the 60’s again. Ye Wenjie is in the office alone at night when she notices a signal coming through from the satellite. Everyone else is asleep but she checks the log and notices a whole bunch of numbers. This is then followed up by the incredibly ominous “Do not answer” in Chinese symbols. If she does, then her world will be conquered.

Ye Wenjie does what any human being would do in this situation. Curiosity gets the better of her and she writes out a message in reply: “Come. We cannot save ourselves. I will help you conquer our world.”

The Episode Review

The second episode of 3 Body Problem is the longest of the season and it certainly packs a lot of drama into its run-time. We learn a bit more about the different characters, while also seeing more of this game too, which appears to be a massive part of what could be a “test” for humanity.

It’s worth noting at this point that despite having the books on my shelf (I will get round to reading them!) I’m going in blind, just like many others experiencing this show. The mystery is certainly intriguing though, although the characters are a bit one-note and could do with more fleshing out.

However, there’s enough to get sucked in to the plot and overlook this, and that ending with Ye Wenjie seems to hint that aliens are involved in all of this somehow. We’ll have to wait and see for sure but episode 2 deepens the mystery in a really intriguing way.

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