DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse contains more spoilers than the number of times Murtry has enacted violence on Belters. He sure is one trigger happy dude, that Morty. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution. 

Welcome back, Beltalowda! The Expanse binge-athon continues with the fifth episode of Season 4. We’re officially at the halfway point! This season has been as hypnotically thrilling as ever, and I can’t wait to see how the back half plays out. Momentum is building and I have no inkling as to where the chips will land. The Belters and Inners squared off while Holden revealed his big secret. Avasarala debated Nancy Gao over policy, averted a potential crisis courtesy of the missing Sojourner ship and Naomi had a heart-to-heart with Lucia. That latter bit was an incredibly moving scene. 

Alright, ready to delve into “Oppressor?” Time to flip and burn, Screaming Firehawks.

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Now, we open with Lucia (Rosa Gilmore) in a flashback – she’s with the Belters who sabotaged the RCE landing on Ilus. Apparently, nobody was supposed to die. Her job was to cause said ship to lag so they’d take longer to land. As a result, this would buy the Belters time to formulate a plan and build their case for why they should remain on Ilus. However, Murtry’s ship arrived 10 hours early. Coop (Kris Holden-Ried) essentially said “fork it” and overloaded the drive, thus causing the ship to crash. 

Suddenly, Lucia wakes up in the Roci med bay. Naomi (Dominique Tipper) is still in recovery while Alex (Cas Anvar) is tending to them both. Such a good Martian nurse! 

Pictured: Cas Anvar

Meanwhile, Chandra (Jess Salgueiro) pays the imprisoned Amos (Wes Chatham) a visit. They start to get a bit frisky when Holden (Steven Strait) bursts on the scene to save Amos. Murtry (Burn Gorman) also appears. Holden orders Amos be freed. He also wholeheartedly believes the encampment should evacuate, as more protomolecule crap is surely on the way. Murtry orders Chandra to let Amos go. See, you don’t need violence to solve your problems, Morty! He also agrees that evacuation is necessary if they’re really in imminent danger. 

Next, Murtry tells Chandra that, should they leave, they’ll be the last two people to do so. Murtry also phones one of his lackeys to rig one of the ships up like a bomb – you know, just in case something needs demolishing. 

Meanwhile, Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is preparing for her impending debate with Nancy Gao. Arjun (Michael Benyaer), along with Avasarala’s aides, are helping her smooth out her image. They urge her to come across as more “friendly.” “Matronly,” even. However, in true Avasarala fashion, she shirks off their suggestions and doesn’t believe in wasting time on frivolous sh*t like public image. You go, girl. 

Pictured: Shohreh Aghdashloo

Then, Murtry pays Okoye (Lyndie Greenwood) a visit. He wishes to delve deeper into the work she’s doing with Holden. His connection to the bugs, the lightening strikes and the digging. She agrees to transparency on her part. Morty is such a Nosy Nancy. 

Later, Sarkis (Zach Smadu) contacts Naomi regarding the data the Roci has collected on Ilus’ weather patterns. The lightening strikes ceased at a cluster of islands on the planet, and they’re displaying signs of volcanic activity, despite no evidence of actual volcanoes. Naomi acquiesces. Lucia receives a call from her husband Jakob (Steven McCarthy). Their daughter is missing. Naturally, this worries Lucia. Jakob puts two and two together, realizing that Lucia being targeted by Murtry has put their daughter in harm’s way. He chastises Lucia for causing the ship wreck in the first place. After the call ends, Lucia is in utter despair. She notices her gunshot wound is bleeding profusely, but she decides not to call Alex for help. 

Now, the Belters are concocting a plan to overtake the Inners. They hold Murtry’s men captive, thereby causing a standoff between the two groups. Okoye pulls Holden aside and demands he tell her the truth. Let the cat out of the bag, Holden! 

Then, Holden reunites with Amos and Chandra, who are observing the situation from afar. Carol Chiwewe (Patti Kim), the leader of the Belter settlement, sends a message regarding their stance on the Inners attempting to oust them. Ilus is their home, and they will not be swayed to leave. 

Meanwhile, Avasarala is in Denmark for the debate. So far, she’s keeping Nancy (Lily Gao) under foot. Get it!

Next, Holden fills Naomi in via call on all the ensuing chaos below. Naomi believes he should lay everything on the table – the protomolecule, apparition Miller and the potential danger on the horizon. Let the Belters make their own decisions. He comments on how he used to be that way – fair and just. They bring out the best in each other. 

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Later, Alex decides to give Lucia some of his famous Martian broth. When she fails to respond, he realize’s something is up. That’s when he finds her unconscious, floating weightless and bleeding out. He hurries her to the med bay and, with Naomi’s help, attempts to save her. Initially, Lucia is resolute in dying. She declines their help. However, Alex urges her to walk him through the necessary steps to stave off her internal bleeding. She relents. Thankfully, her vitals become stable once more, and the bleeding ceases. Life saved! 

Meanwhile, Amos and Chandra have a heart-to-heart. He appears to be catching feelings for her, as he confesses he hopes she won’t get injured in the ensuing melee. How cute. Our little psychopathic mechanic is all grown up!

Now, the subject of Eros comes up at the debate. What if Ilus is another Eros? Avasarala asserts that she’ll save the planet as she did before – diverting the crisis and ensuring the safety of Earthers. Great answer. However, the topic of Nancy’s supposed cheating is broached. Nancy targets Avasarala as a member of the elite – having friends in high places and never having to “interview” for a job in her life. In fact, Nancy marks the current debate as Avasarala’s first interview. That’s a ding for our Sec-General. 

Suddenly, Avasarala is brusquely escorted out of the debate room due to a potentially cataclysmic emergency. Now, back on her ship, she learns that a civilian ship called the Sojourner is on a collision course with Earth. Belters claimed the ship was destroyed and sold for parts. Said ship was not responding to Earth’s hails. However, once they did receive a message, the ship claimed to carry women and children on board. Avasarala ordered her men to decimate the ship. We see a slew of nukes making a beeline for the ship and boom! Crisis averted. 

Of course, Nancy utilizes the Sojourner explosion for political gain, taking a dig at Avasarala over her decision to destroy it. But the Belters did inform the UNN that the Sojourner was out of commission, so why would it be flying toward Earth? Perhaps a faction of Belters are infringing upon the truce? 

Pictured: Dominique Tipper

Meanwhile, Naomi and Lucia have a heart-to-heart over her suicide attempt. Naomi regales her with the story of her immense guilt involving Marco. How she inadvertently killed over 500 people because Marco manipulated her to do so. When she tried to leave and he snatched her son Philip away. Naomi longed to walk out of an airlock, to end it all. But she kept going. Naomi reveals that she wanted to give Lucia the chance to consider life over death. This scene it me hard. As someone who struggles with depression and self-harm, this scene tugged at the heartstrings. Hats off to The Expanse writers for writing such a beautiful piece with grace and sensitivity. 

Later, Holden is standing between the Inners and the Belters, attempting to prevent them from killing each other. He finally spills the beans – his visions regarding Miller, his trip to the Station and the strange weather phenomena that followed his arrival. Naturally, everyone finds it hard to believe that a ghost is talking to Holden. One would think our dear captain has lost his marbles. However, Amos vouches for him. 

Next, Alex is jamming out to some tunes aboard the Roci. It’s nice to see our favorite pilot returning to his old hobbies. Suddenly, he spots something alarming on the radar – a series of hot spots on Ilus. Then we see a volcanic like explosion erupt on the surface of Ilus. Uh oh. That can’t be good. 

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Now, this episode may be one of my favorites of the season so far. Of course, there’s still five episodes of The Expanse Season 4 to go. The seeds of battle have been sown. This episode was heavier on character growth and dissecting human behavior. What I love about The Expanse is how relatable these characters really are. If you strip away the science fiction and the glitzy futuristic technology, you get humans who are just trying to live. Trying their best to make what they feel are good decisions. Even Murtry’s cause is understandable – his methods of achieving his objective are questionable, though. 

Do you think Murtry will really gas the planet, and will Holden go along with it? Will Avasarala’s popularity take a nosedive after the Sojourner incident? When will we see Melba, Anna, Jules-Pierre Mao and Prax again? Join me next time as I recap The Expanse, here on Geek Girl Authority. 

The Expanse Season 4 is now streaming on Amazon Prime. 

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