DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse contains more spoilers than the number of times Amos has avoided questions prying into his personal life. Our mechanic is quite the enigma. You’ve been warned. Prepare for interplanetary war, and enter at your own peril.
Welcome back – Martians, Earthlings and Belters alike! The Expanse continued plowing full-steam ahead with their best season to date. “Delta-V” had a small time jump – we traveled a few months into the future, getting a glimpse at a post-protomolecule sphere system. The protomolecule itself has evolved into a giant ring, situated just beyond Uranus. We’ll call it The Ring.
Now, don’t confuse this with the film franchise of the same name. Holden and the Roci crew collectively agreed to be filmed by documentarian Monica Stuart, who struck a nerve with Amos in particular. Meanwhile, Naomi took a position as chief engineer aboard the newly-christened Behemoth (formerly the Nauvoo), working in tandem with Captain Drummer. Avasarala resumed her position within the UN and gave a rousing speech to the system at large, while Errinwright was imprisoned for his crimes and Gillis resigned.
Alright, ready to delve into “Delta-V?” Just be sure to try out Alex’s new stroganoff. It may not be as good as his lasagna, but he doesn’t need to know that.
We open with Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) back on Earth, reinstated at the United Nations. She’s donning her fanciest government clothes, and I know this sounds materialistic but I’m so tickled to see her in her political garb again. Those dresses are extraordinary. She gives a rousing, uplifting speech to the system at large. Errinwright, the traitorous snake (my words), has been imprisoned. Gillis resigned, leaving two positions within the UN utterly vacant. Will Avasarala fill the shoes of Secretary-General? Methinks she should. She would do the position wonders. Her speech ushers in a new era, a post-conflict world where everyone works together to fend off a new systemic threat – the protomolecule sphere.
Now, fast-forward a few months ahead. We see a young Belter slingshot pilot named Maneo (Zach Villa) speeding across the universe in his slingshot racer. He’s a rebellious sort that gets his rocks off (See what I did there?) on thrilling action. We see him racing, akin to a slingshot, around the rings of Uranus. Side note: the imagery here is truly breathtaking. The VFX team for The Expanse should win all the technical awards. How was a show like this cancelled? Still scratching my head over SyFy’s decision not to continue forward with this series.
Anyway, Maneo has a girlfriend at home named Evita (Bo Martyn) that he’s trying to impress with his death-defying stunts. Unfortunately, Evita finds solace in the arms of Maneo’s brother. Maneo’s never there, you know. This sends Maneo into a deep depression. However, the young pilot is hellbent on winning her back…with another stunt. He’s going to race through The Ring. Just call him Evil Knievel, folks!
Meanwhile, Holden (Steven Strait) and the Roci crew have inexplicably invited documentarian Monica Stuart (Anna Hopkins) aboard the ship to interview them. Holden deflects Monica’s questions with humorous, dry responses. Alex (Cas Anvar) tries to proffer enthusiastic remarks for the filming session, but Monica rebuffs him. Amos (Wes Chatham) gives her the cold shoulder when she turns the camera on him. In short, nobody except Alex seems keen on her being there. Hey, I would film Alex in a heartbeat. Don’t rebuff my favorite Martian pilot!
Later, we see Naomi (Dominique Tipper) has settled into her new role as chief engineer aboard the newly-christened Behemoth (formerly the Nauvoo). She’s working under Captain Drummer (Cara Gee), as the Belters attempt to make a name for themselves in the system. They want to prove their worth to the “Inners” (Earth and Mars). A delegation arrives from Ceres, being led by Commander Ashford (David Strathairn), who’ll work as Drummer’s Second-in-Command. Oh, and none other than Diogo (Andrew Rotilio) is his right hand man. Blast from the past!
Then, we see a UN Delegation ship heading toward The Ring to observe the phenomena more closely. Now, The Ring is the protomolecule, stretched into an inexplicable formation. Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) is tagging along on this mission. She launches into a debate on whether the protomolecule is man made or something more fantastical with Kolvoord (Chris Owens). He’s shocked to see a Reverend participating in a mission of the scientific persuasion, but Anna responds succinctly that she can differentiate between the two. I love Anna so much.
Meanwhile, Alex eagerly shows off his latest culinary creation to a nonchalant Monica. Meet Alex Kamal’s Mariner Valley Stroganoff! Lasagna is so pre-protomolecule sphere. Stroganoff is where it’s at now. However, once again, Monica brushes him off in favor of pestering Amos with unwanted questions about his past. According to her, the only Amos Burton in Baltimore was a mob boss. Say what? Our Amos has a shady past? Of course, Monica strikes a nerve, and Amos smashes her camera in a fit of rage. Monica pulls him aside and tries to win him over with promises of horizontal tangoing, but Amos coyly responds with, “I don’t s**t where I eat.” Not going to lie, I was a bit hot and bothered by the interaction, but what can I say? I’m an Amos fan.
Later, Naomi, Drummer and Ashford continue their rounds about the Behemoth. Ashford runs into a former acquaintance named Grigori (Brock Johnson), who tries to attack him. Ashford has a seedy past, it would seem. Suddenly, a construction skiff malfunctions and the pilot isn’t responding. Naomi urgently works to bring the worker back to dock. They pull his lifeless body in and discover he’s dead. As it turns out, the worker took a hefty dose of pixie dust, a drug being passed around the ship. Uh oh. Drugs are bad, kids.
Next, we see Bobbie (Frankie Adams) is aboard the MCRN Xuesen, video chatting away with Alex. She did a huge solid for him by popping in to check on his family on Mars. Oh, and Bobbie was reinstated as a Marine. Yay! However, I hope this doesn’t mean we won’t see more of her.
Meanwhile, Naomi informs Drummer that she caught a dealer in the act of selling pixie dust to the worker that perished. A black market exists within the Behemoth, but Drummer isn’t surprised to learn of this. People get bored.
Then, we see Anna video calling her wife Namono (Raven Dauda). Her wife tearfully beseeches Anna to come home, that she misses her. Of course, Anna is devoutly loyal to the mission at hand, but she too longs for her family.
Next, we see a three person crew depart the UN Delegation ship and dock a service vessel. Melba (Nadine Nicole), the new girl, has a deep-seated hatred for Holden and what he represents. Ren (John Kapelos), the one in charge of said crew, helps Melba settle in once they reach the UNN Seung Un. He instructs her on what kinds of repairs she’ll be making. Melba becomes incredibly nervous about the task at hand. After Ren leaves, we see her planting a set of explosives aboard the vessel. Well, that escalated quickly.
Meanwhile, the cameraman who’s part of Monica’s crew finds Amos alone with the Roci’s plant supply. We learn that Prax has returned to Ganymede with daughter Mei to help rebuild after the destruction from last season. Amos forlornly admits that Prax is his best friend in the whole world, and I question why I’m cutting onions while watching The Expanse. The cameraman observed Amos turning down Monica previously, and decides to take his chances with the Roci’s resident mechanic. However, Amos rejects him too. Nobody is getting Amos action as far as he’s concerned.
Later, we see Drummer has captured the pixie dust dealer on the Behemoth, and plans to make an example of him by “spacing” him. Naomi strongly disagrees with the Cap’s executive decision. Ashford strolls into the scene, and tries to persuade Drummer not to send said dealer to his death. Instead, he addresses the growing crowd with a proposition: everyone hands over their black market contraband within a certain time frame, and the supervisors will “look the other way,” as it were. No repercussions. Drummer reluctantly agrees to this and saves the dealer from death. Of course, Drummer doesn’t appreciate being undermined by her Second-in-Command, but the crew eagerly adheres to Ashford’s terms. Nobody undermines my Drummer and gets away with it.
Next, we see Maneo is chatting with his former girlfriend Evita. Apparently, Evita has discovered Maneo’s plans of speeding through The Ring. Once Maneo successfully pulls off this stunt, Evita hopes to reunite with him on Ceres. Score! Someone is getting some nookie tonight.
Then, Ashford questions Naomi’s allegiance. She hung out with the “Inners” for quite some time. What made her leave the Roci in favor of the OPA? Naomi reveals that she wholeheartedly believes it is the Belters’ time to stand up, and prove to Earth and Mars that they’re worth something. Belters are meant to be taken seriously. I love that Tipper chose to exaggerate Naomi’s natural Belter accent. It makes sense especially considering her extended stay on the Behemoth, being surrounded by Belters. Ashford is impressed with her answer.
Meanwhile, Ren pays Melba a visit to check in on her. He discovers the explosives she implanted in the vessel. Ren promises to “make this all go away” as long as she cooperates. They can work through this. Of course, Melba responds of her desire not to hurt him, but he stumbled upon something he wasn’t supposed to. She summons an extraordinary surplus of strength and kills him in one move. Melba collapses next to him. Say what? That strength she summoned within herself didn’t appear to be of human origins. Who exactly is she?
Later, we see the Monica’s cameraman is searching around the Roci, unattended. He stealthily uses the camera to track down the schematics of the ship. What’s his deal? The camera lingers on “mechanics.” Is he going to murder Amos for spurning his affections?
Meanwhile, Maneo receives a call from the UNN Hammurabi for approaching unauthorized airspace. Nobody is supposed to go near The Ring without proper authorization. However, Maneo ignores the warning and surges forward regardless. Suddenly, Maneo speeds through The Ring and gets utterly blown to bits. We’re talking bloody goo – human guts floating every which way. Maneo was literally torn to pieces. The imagery is haunting.
Next, we see Holden heading back to his room for a bit of rest and relaxation – away from the cameras. He’s had enough of Monica’s prying for one lifetime. Suddenly, he hears a familiar voice muttering aimlessly. None other than Joe Miller (Thomas Jane), long dead from steering the hurtling Eros into Venus’ atmosphere, is sitting on Holden’s bed. However, Holden closes his eyes in disbelief. He reopens them, and finds his bed vacant once again. Miller has disappeared.
The Expanse changed the game this episode. We’re now officially at the halfway point, and with the the war between Earth and Mars officially kaput, the looming threat of the protomolecule sphere takes precedence for everyone in the system. Of course, the Belters are coming up through the ranks, and I think this will eventually drive a wedge between Naomi and Holden. In addition, The Ring appears to have the ability to blow humans to smithereens, and also some weird mind-bending capabilities. Why was Holden seeing a clearly dead Miller sitting on his bed, muttering about nothing? Why is the protomolecule now shaped like a ring? So much to unpack here, folks.
Do you think Avasarala will take over as Secretary-General amid Gillis’ resignation? Who is Melba, and why was she trying to blow up that ship? Why does she have superhuman strength? Will Ashford try to overthrow Drummer as Captain? Will we see Prax again soon? 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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