DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse contains more spoilers than the number of times Holden has uttered the words “I need coffee.” Hey, our Cap cannot function properly without his daily caffeine intake. You’ve been warned. Prepare for interplanetary war, and enter at your own peril.
Welcome back, Roci crew! The Expanse blessed us with another heart-pounding episode this week. While the majority of said episode felt like a slow burn, it was all leading up to that massive cliffhanger of an ending. As per usual, I was left with a Roci-sized hole where my heart should be, craving for more of our favorite space opera. Curse you, The Expanse Powers That Be, for crafting such a brilliant series.
Now, Holden spent the episode trying to decipher what exactly the Miller apparition was telling him, while simultaneously testing himself for “brain abnormalities.” Hey, seeing dead people can make one question one’s insanity. Just ask Haley Joel Osment. Meanwhile, the rest of the system attempted to suss out the meaning behind Maneo’s tragic death, and what the Ring is truly capable of.
Alright, ready to delve into “It Reaches Out?” Just be sure to keep an eye on Monica’s cameraman, Cohen. He’s a slippery one, that cameraman.
We open with Anna (Elizabeth Mitchell) and the crew of the UNN Delegation ship still en route toward the Ring. Everyone is watching the footage of Maneo’s fatal trip through the Ring, wondering why his ship managed to slip through unscathed. Oh, and now the Ring is “awake,” whatever that may entail. Perhaps it feasts on human flesh? That would explain why Maneo morphed into bloody goo. The UNN crew also ponders whether the Belt is behind this, or if Maneo acted of his own free will. Anna attempts to pacify the crew and reminds them that Maneo was just trying to impress a girl back on Ceres. Young love, am I right?
Meanwhile, Holden (Steven Strait) and the Roci crew are also analyzing the Maneo footage. Alex (Cas Anvar) wonders if they can expect alien ships to traverse through the Ring now. Hey, anything can happen. It is a fictional future, after all.
Next, we see Naomi (Dominique Tipper), Drummer (Cara Gee) and Ashford (David Strathairn) in the command deck aboard the Behemoth, doing the very same thing everyone else is doing – sussing out the Maneo footage. Our trio questions how long it will take before Earth or Mars decides to heave the blame on the Belt. Of course, this makes their mission to get to the Ring first all the more crucial. Time to show the Inners that the Belt deserves to be taken seriously!
Later, Holden heads to the kitchen for a much needed cup of joe. He spots the Miller (Thomas Jane) apparition again, still muttering incoherently. He urgently asks the ghost of Miller what he wants, but instead finds Monica (Anna Hopkins) where said apparition used to be. That’s the thing about apparitions – they tend to vanish whenever they choose. Monica urges Holden to fully commit to her project. She senses he’s holding back tremendously. Monica also reminds him that she’s technically funding the Roci’s maintenance and general usage, to which Holden responds that he’s grateful for her financial assistance. Holden warily agrees to give her everything she needs for the documentary – no holds barred. No pulled punches.
Meanwhile, Melba (Nadine Nicole) wakes from her super-strength slumber aboard the UN Seung Un to find a lifeless and bloody Ren (John Kapelos) laying opposite her. She instantly recalls slaughtering him and feels instant remorse. Melba summons her super strength once more to dispose of the body. We see her frantically cleaning the bloodstained floor, wiping away any trace of the crime. Then, she continues installing the explosives from the previous episode. Uh oh. This won’t end well.
Later, Amos (Wes Chatham) catches a sneaky Cohen (Brandon McGibbon) in the act of meddling on the command deck – again. That cameraman just doesn’t know when to quit. Amos promptly kicks Cohen out, but not before the latter tries to come on to our Roci mechanic – again. He’s just not that into you, Cohen. After Amos closes the door, we see Cohen discreetly procure a pair of pliers from his shirt collar. What did he do?
Next, we see Holden is in the med bay, strapped to a chair. He’s testing himself for any brain abnormalities or any diseases that may explain why he’s suddenly seeing a dead man. Miller reappears next to him, still mumbling nonsense. But hey, he’s sporting his detective fedora and reminiscing of the good ol’ private eye days on Eros. God, I miss Miller so much. When nothing abnormal comes to fruition from the brain scan, Holden decides to scan himself for potential influence from the protomolecule.
Meanwhile, Melba is back on deck in the repair ship, flying her and Stanni (Ari Millen) back to the main UNN Delegation ship. Stanni, of course, questions Ren’s whereabouts. Melba remains silent on the issue, and is overcome with flashbacks of the former Captain and a rush of guilt for what she did. She’s so consumed with remorse that she forgets to fly the ship, and they almost collide with another vessel. Thankfully, Stanni steers them away to safety.
Then, Holden tries desperately to solicit information from the Miller apparition in the med bay. Alas, nothing comes of it. Miller simply repeats the same story from his detective days on Eros. Amos pops in and finds Holden talking to, well, nothing. He can’t see the apparition of Miller. Amos offers an ear to listen should Holden ever need to unload on him. Our Roci Cap has endured so much these past couple months, what with Naomi leaving for the Behemoth and Monica’s crew invading his privacy. Holden assures Amos that he’s perfectly fine. That’s usually what one says when they’re not fine, dude. Anyway, after Amos takes his leave Holden scans the med bay for any footage of Miller, only to find that it appeared that he was talking to himself.
Meanwhile, Melba is back aboard the UNN Delegation ship. She’s eating in solitude, while Anna sits with the rest of the crew. Anna notices the lone new girl and how down in the dumps she appears to be. Melba flees the dining area, and Anna follows suit. Anna approaches Melba in the outside corridor and asks the girl if she’s okay. Melba brushes the pastor off.
Next, on the Roci, we see Cohen observing Monica’s continued interview of Holden. Holden is confessing his worries of a potential strain in his relationship with Naomi, especially given the latter’s departure for the Behemoth. We see Cohen tampering with the communication logs, which is the opposite of what he should be doing. He also spies on Amos and Alex in a revealing conversation regarding Holden. The pair discusses whether Holden is losing it. Amos informs Alex that Holden scanned himself 35 times for any sign of protomolecule influence. That’s not something a sane person would do.
Back in his room with Monica, Holden is struck with a thought. He pulls up footage of Maneo’s death trip through the Ring, and it just so happened to occur at the same time he started seeing the Miller apparition. It’s all connected! He urges Monica to leave at once, as it’s not safe for her here.
Later, Melba is stowed away in a locker room, where she remotely activates the explosives aboard the UN Seung Un. The small ship explodes immediately, and everyone nearby is notified of said explosion. Holden is ushered to the command deck by Amos after the incident.
Suddenly, Alex is unable to access the controls on the Roci. A video of a somber Holden fills the screens, and is broadcasted to everyone aboard the Behemoth as well as the UN Delegation ship. Holden takes credit for exploding the UN Seung Un in the name of the Belt. He pledges his allegiance to the OPA, and vows to destroy anyone who stands in his way. Alex and Amos are horrified, and immediately ask Holden why he sent that video. Holden insists that he didn’t do it, and the Roci crew comes to the conclusion that they’ve been framed. Holden urges Amos to lock him away so he can speak with the Miller apparition again.
Meanwhile, Melba looks on knowingly during Holden’s message to the system. She seems to have been involved in the framing somehow. She does despise Holden with a burning passion. The UN urges the Behemoth to fire its missiles at Holden for said explosion. The OPA wasn’t behind the attack, and this hurts the Belt and their mission to be taken seriously by the system at large. Naomi tries to plead with Drummer, assuring the Captain that Holden wouldn’t do such a thing. Naomi also believes that the Roci was framed. However, Drummer orders her guards to escort Naomi away and, with the urging of Ashford, fires a missile at the Roci.
Now, Alex tries to out maneuver said missile from the Behemoth. Amos brings a weak Holden back up to the command deck. Holden reveals the information he was able to glean from the still incoherent Millers ghost. Our Cap urges Alex to head straight toward the Ring, and immediately slow down once they approach it. Amos stands behind Holden on this and also encourages Alex to do the same.
So, our favorite Martian pilot speeds away from the missile just until they come in close proximity with the Ring. Our crew passes out from the intense speeds and wakes up directly in front of the Ring. We see the missile is still on their tail, but it appears to be hanging in suspension. Everything has slowed to a stop within the Ring’s atmosphere. The missile is just feet away from impact. Miller’s advice proved to be helpful – the Ring inexplicably saved the Roci from destruction via missile.
Good lord, The Expanse just gave me heart palpitations with that ending. I’m so glad this series was saved from extinction thanks to Amazon Prime. We need at least 30 more seasons of this groundbreaking show. We’re now at the halfway point, Screaming Firehawks, and things are only getting more intense. How in the Belt the Roci crew will save themselves from death by missile, I don’t know.
How do you think the Roci will be able to extract itself from the missile’s range once out of close proximity with the Ring? Do you think Cohen is in cahoots with Melba in regards to framing Holden? Will Naomi eventually return to the side of the Inners? 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.