DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse contains more spoilers than the number of times Avasarala swears in any given episode. We may need to set aside a swear jar for her. You’ve been warned. Prepare for interplanetary war, and enter at your own peril.
Welcome back, Roci crew! The Expanse blessed us with an explosive episode this week. So much happened! This is proof positive that The Expanse is the most captivating sci-fi series on TV today. Errinwright, Earth’s resident snake, was finally unveiled as the traitor he really is. Prax reunited with Mei, reminding me that I need to stop cutting onions while watching this show. Bobbie faced off against the Katoa/protomolecule hybrid and won, like the bad*** Iron Man she is. Seriously, step aside, Tony Stark. Bobbie’s Martian suit is a sight to behold. Cotyar lost his life on the now decimated Agatha King, after one of the protomolecule pods struck the ship. Oh, and said pods are all heading for Mars. Finally: a mysterious blue sphere has risen from Venus’ gaseous atmosphere. It begins!
Alright, ready to delve into “Immolation?” Just be sure to give Avasarala some time to really rough up Jules-Pierre Mao. Well, verbally, I mean. She’s a mighty warrior when it comes to words.
We open with the UN war council in session on Earth. Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) is present, along with Sec-Gen Gillis (Jonathan Whittaker). Everyone has been briefed of the mutiny aboard the Agatha King, and the UN ships currently firing at each other. Gillis demands to be connected to the Agatha King, but their comms are down.
Meanwhile, our crew on Io is watching in simultaneous awe and terror as the protomolecule pods streak the sky. Holden (Steven Strait) urges Alex (Cas Anvar) to find a way to shoot them down. Alex quickly obliges and begins shooting away. Unfortunately there are too many, and the remaining pods escape his grasp. Naomi (Dominique Tipper) attempts to decipher the pods’ destination, but she discovers that they’re “stealth tech.” And with the pods’ controls only being accessible to the Agatha King, it’ll be damn near impossible to change their course. Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) believes the protomolecule pods are heading to Mars. Jules-Pierre Mao owns the helium refinery on Io. Mao himself, in turn, is essentially owned by Errinwright. It’s all connected! When the pods make contact, everything on the red planet will be subjected to the elusive substance. No stone unturned, nothing unscathed.
Next, Jules-Pierre Mao (Francois Chau) and Dr. Strickland (Ted Atherton) are aware of the Roci crew’s presence in the refinery. They suss out a plan. Mao hopes to turn himself and the whole operation over to them, believing the crew is of Martian origin. Strickland, however, doesn’t want to see Mao’s work swirl down the drain. Mao changes course and orders the remainder of the staff are notified that the crew is intent on killing them. Time to fight for their lives. Mao, Strickland and the children head for a ship to flee in. But first – Strickland pays the Katoa/protomolecule hybrid a visit surreptitiously and releases him. The hybrid is looking mighty scaly today.
Later, Holden and co. are storming the corridors of the refinery, on a mission to save Mei. They run into a handful of staff brandishing weapons, but Bobbie’s (Frankie Adams) suit quickly takes care of them. Tony Stark would be impressed with the capabilities on that thing.
Then, back aboard the Roci, Avasarala asks Alex to give her a glimpse of what’s around them. They notice the Agatha King is in close proximity, but it’s looking worse for the wear. Patches of iridescent blue dot the entirety of the massive ship. Apparently, one of the pods struck the Agatha King and now it’s infected with protomolecule. Eros all over again, folks.
Meanwhile, Cotyar (Nick E. Tarabay) wakes up floating in the med bay in the aftermath of the collision with a protomolecule pod. Thank the gods he’s still alive! Suddenly, a woman and a man infected with protomolecule burst into the med bay, locked in a bout of fisticuffs. Cotyar, although still bound to his chair, swoops in and attempts to help. The woman procures her gun and shoots the infected man in the head. Game over! Cotyar persuades the woman, named Ensign Larson (Sydney Meyer), to release him from his restraints. Cotyar and Larson discover that the latter has come in contact with the luminous blue substance. However, Avasarala’s bodyguard attempts to convince the ensign that she’s not out yet. They need to find help. Larson decides to stay behind though, and die an honorable death with pistol in hand. May the gods be with you, Ensign Larson.
Thus, Cotyar dons a vac suit and sets out solo. He surveys how the protomolecule has already laid so much to waste aboard the Agatha King. Never touch the blue goo, folks.
Meanwhile, Bobbie detects a hybrid is present in the refinery and makes the executive decision to pursue it alone, much to the dismay of the Roci crew. Bobbie even orders Avasarala to shut up, and nobody does that and lives to tell the tale. My Gunny puts Chuck Norris to shame. Holden, Amos (Wes Chatham) and Prax (Terry Chen) set out to find Mei.
Later, Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) barges into Gillis’ office with ammunition. She finally shows him the footage of Errinwright admitting to treason. Bingo! Gillis stands there, mouth agape, as he views the video condemning his subordinate. Sweet justice!
Next, Holden and co. discover exactly where the children are headed. Amos and Prax attempt to cut them off before they can escape while Holden tracks down Mao, who’s seen roaming the corridors with his bodyguard. Holden has some questions, y’all.
Meanwhile, Bobbie crosses paths with the Katoa/protomolecule hybrid. Shots are fired. Bobbie commences her pursuit of the scaly glowing thing on foot. Take him down, Gunny!
Then, Alex decides to pay the ill-fated Agatha King a visit in the hopes of changing the course of the still roaming pods. Mars is his home, and he’ll do anything to save it. Naomi tags along, ready to provide support to her friend. Avasarala stays aboard the Roci to supervise the rest of the crew on Io.
Meanwhile, Bobbie and the hybrid face off in an epic battle. They leap across vast spaces, from scaffolding to scaffolding. Bobbie continuously shoots at the hybrid, but the latter manages to remain unscathed. Finally, the hybrid lunges at Bobbie and the pair tumbles over a precipice, landing with a collective thud several feet below. Oh no! Get up, Gunny. You can do it!
Later, Gillis calls Errinwright into his office. Anna sits off to the side, observing the interaction about to unfold. Errinwright essentially confirms that the footage is true and he is a treasonous snake. However, he condemns Gillis for being “spineless” and Anna for swaying the Sec-General. Errinwright vows that everything he did was in service of Earth. Yes, and I’m the Queen of England. Anyway, Gillis has Errinwright arrested for treason, and the heavens rang with a chorus of “Hallelujahs.” But, Gillis is merely happy that he can pin all of his mistakes on Errinwright. He now has a viable scapegoat. Hey, progress is progress, Anna, even if the steps are minuscule. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Next, Amos and Prax find Strickland with the children. The evil doctor feigns innocence and claim he was merely trying to get the Ganymede kids to safety. Mei (Leah Madison Jung) spots her father and the two are gloriously reunited. My eyes are raining, folks.
Meanwhile, Holden tracks down Mao and takes him as prisoner. Mao asserts that, like Errinwright, everything he did was in the name of stopping this war. He was attempting to prevent the event on Venus from escalating. However, Mao hasn’t found a solution for anything. Holden hasn’t had coffee in a while, Mao, so I wouldn’t test him.
Then, Prax introduces Mei to his “best friend in the whole world,” Amos. Once again, I wonder why I insist on cutting onions while watching The Expanse. Even Amos’ face softens at Prax’s statement. Prax urges Mei to stay with Amos while he talks with Strickland.
Next, Prax pulls the evil doctor aside and brandishes his gun. Strickland claims he never laid a finger on Mei, and never would have. Well, we know better. We know Mei was next in line to morph into Katoa 2.0. Prax wavers, his finger hovering over the trigger, while the doctor beseeches for his life. Amos flits to his best friend’s side, and eases the gun out of Prax’s hand. He insists that Prax isn’t that “kind of man.” However, after Prax leaves, Amos informs Strickland that he is that kind of man. A gun shot reverberates as Amos fires on Strickland. Bye bye, evil man! Also, kudos to Amos for having the coolest line in the episode.
Meanwhile, Alex and Naomi board the Agatha King. They reach the command center and find an injured Admiral Nguyen (Byron Mann). Our duo attempts to reroute the pods, while Nguyen hurls insults at them and claims it can’t be done.
Later, Bobbie attempts to move after her perilous fall, and finds the hybrid atop her chest. The Katoa/protomolecule hybrid is compressing her chest, which definitely doesn’t help matters. Thankfully, though, our Gunny pulls through and she blasts the hybrid in the head. Said hybrid falls lifeless at her side. You go, girl!
Next, Naomi is making some progress with rerouting the pods, but it’s slow going. She has to manually change the course of each separate pod. Time is of the essence, though.
Meanwhile, we see Cotyar is crawling on hands and knees, infected with the protomolecule. No! He’s sending out a message to all surrounding ships that the Agatha King is unsafe to approach. Cotyar is also in the process of blowing up the ship. Avasarala orders Naomi and Alex to connect her to Cotyar, but the comms are only one way. However, Cotyar has a feeling that she’s listening, and says his parting words to her. Once again, The Expanse finds a way to tear my heart asunder. Naomi convinces Alex to abandon ship, and that she has another idea in mind for destroying the pods. They quickly flee on the Razorback as the Agatha King incinerates in their wake. Thankfully, before leaving, Naomi activates the pods’ transponders so they can be located.
Later, Naomi and Alex contact Holden with a proposition. Naomi suggests they hand over the pods’ location information to Fred Johnson. Tycho is on the way to Mars, and Johnson has the tool necessary for destroying said pods. Of course, this could reek as a political move, especially on Johnson’s end. However, the Roci crew agrees that it’s their best bet for saving the red planet. Naomi reaches out to Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman). He wholeheartedly agrees to this, especially since it will make the Belt look favorable in the solar system’s eyes.
Next, a montage takes place: we see Prax tucking Mei into bed, a look of pure bliss on their faces. Holden brings Mao to Avasarala, and I can tell she has a lot to say to him. Holden and Naomi partake in the horizontal tango, and I’m tickled to see that things are smoothing over between the lovebirds. Love is needed now more than ever in this war. Finally, Fred Johnson sends missiles from Tycho and obliterates the passing pods. Mars is saved!
Then, we see news footage of a mysterious blue sphere emerging from Venus’ atmosphere. The protomolecule has clearly evolved and is hellbent on destruction. Amos is doling out food to the Ganymede children when he notices said footage. He lets an f bomb drop, and I had to chuckle to myself in spite of the harrowing situation. I can imagine Amos being a brash but loving father.
The Expanse just gets better and better, with Season 3 being its best endeavor yet. SyFy choosing not to fund a fourth season boils my blood. How can they cancel a show that literally epitomizes what the channel is all about? However, there is hope, Screaming Firehawks. Our Powers That Be for the show are working tirelessly to find The Expanse a new home. Not to mention, we’re all making plenty of noise on social media which undoubtedly helps. In the meantime, I’m thrilled that we have over half of the season left for viewing. Let’s enjoy every second of it.
What do you think the blue sphere plans to do, and is it sentient like the hybrids? How will Fred Johnson’s heroic act impact the ensuing war? What will Errinwright’s punishment be? Join me next week as I continue to recap The Expanse, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Expanse airs Wednesdays at 9pm on your SyFy affiliate.
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