Last week we were introduced to Dr. Meng; a Ganymede agricultural scientist with a daughter under the care of Protogen doctors. We witnessed Fred Johnson briefly lose control of Tycho, and Holden and the crew of the Roci took off to Ganymede in search of Meng’s daughter and the protomolecule. This week, we revisit the traumatized Draper, got a peek at Venus, and watched as Holden made decisions that he will likely regret.
Major Spoilers! Major Spoilers! Major Spoilers
The episode opens with a supply ship on its way to Ganymede to help with its survivors. Before the ship can make it to its destination, it’s boarded by a Martian patrol, which conducts a rather thorough inspection of the ship. The crew of the ship, a husband and wife duo, are annoyed by the interference and a conflict ensues. Luckily, no one is killed, and the identity of the Martians (they’re wearing obscuring protective masks) is revealed; it’s Holden and Amos! The captain of the ship recognizes Holden from the news, and Amos sarcastically exclaims, “This is off to a good start” as he and Holden commandeer the ship.
It’s a little surprising that Holden and the crew of the Roci would think commandeering this ship would be a good idea. Sure, they need the ship so that they can slip onto Ganymede unnoticed, but stealing and involving innocent bystanders in their pursuits seems unethical. This will end badly.
Anyway, back to the recap. The Martians are back and this time they are on Earth. Last time we saw them, our favorite Martian, Draper, was grappling with the knowledge of the Seventh Man; the mysterious space breathing creature that attacked her team two episodes back. In this episode, Draper is told by her superior (Captain Martens) to lie about the incident during Mars’ meeting with the UN; a decision that Draper feels conflicted about. However, feeling the pressure to protect her planet from all-out war, she heads off to Earth to do her duty. When she arrives, she is curious about the blue planet, and though Martians experience the effects of Earth’s bright sun and higher gravity (it makes them vomit), Draper is determined to resist these symptoms.
Meanwhile, Chrisjen is catching up with Errinwright and they discuss the Venus mission. Chrisjen, knowing that Errinwright is a traitor and likely won’t be truthful on what is found during the Venus expedition, feels confident that her inside man, Dr. Iturbi, will keep her updated on what they find. While she verbally spars with Errinwright, we catch up with Dr. Iturbi on the Venus-bound military science vessel, The Arboghast. Iturbi is flirtatious with the vessel’s crew, a fact, along with his ideas about extraterrestrial life, that is unwelcomed by ship Captain, Janus. Iturbi and Janus challenge each other’s ideas on science, life in the universe, etc. Their discussions focus on bad science versus good science and is a real nice shout out to what is presently happening with the sciences and the Trump Administration.
While The Arboghast approaches Venus, Holden and the crew are headed to Ganymede. Our protagonists, who are feeling some guilt about their actions, are forced to come clean about their mission to Dr. Meng when he refuses to cooperate. After Amos tells him about the protomolecule and how his daughter’s pediatrician works for Protogen, Meng informs the crew that his daughter has a rare genetic disease and was receiving special treatments from the Protogen pediatrician (Hmm, a bit of protomolecule immunization, maybe?). With this information, the crew of the Roci is determined more than ever to figure out what the hell is going on with Ganymede.
As Holden and the crew make their way to Ganymede, Chrisjen is listening to Draper’s testimony with a skeptical ear. As usual, Chrisjen is excellent at sniffing out lies and half-truths. When Draper gives a shaky testimony on what happened on Ganymede during the UN/Mars peace negotiations, Chrisjen calls bullsh@t on her version of events. She questions Draper and gets her to slip up and mention the Seventh Man, which Draper immediately retracts. However, it’s too late and the damage to the Martian’s story is done; Chrisjen knows that there’s something funky going on Ganymede and is determined to root it out.
The episode ends with two reveals; the protomolecule is getting busy on Venus and Holden and the crew have become what they detest — killers. Venus, the home of Miller and Julie’s protomolecule bliss, harbors life at the Eros impact site (whoa!). It should be interesting to see what Miller and Julie have going on down there. While the Iturbi and Janus tripped out about what they found on Venus, Holden ends up getting one of the captains of the supply ship killed. Guilt-ridden and unsure of what they have become, the crew of the Roci continues with their mission with heavy hearts (except for Amos and his lack of empathy centers).
This episode was admittedly slow, but that’s how The Expanse works. The world building and character development is an intrinsic aspect of the show and allows viewers to really get into the nitty-gritty of its world. With everything that happened this episode (Venus has life!), there’s a lot to look forward to next episode. Until next week, yam seng!
Catch The Expanse next Wednesday, March 29th on the SyFy network.
Jahkotta Lewis is a professional archaeologist, an amateur astronomer, and an aspiring writer. When she is not documenting Pacific Island archaeology, she spends her days hiking through native forests, spelunking within the depths of an active volcano, and watching/reading all things fantasy and science fiction. Follow her on Twitter @jahkotta
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