DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse contains more spoilers than the number of times the Rocinante has almost gone kaput. Thankfully, Alex’s baby is a tenacious fighter. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Beltalowda! The Expanse binge-athon continues with “Displacement,” the sixth episode of Season 4. The protomolecule became more proactive on its path toward destruction, forcing the Ilus encampment to contemplate evacuation. Draper took on a dangerous new job – supplying muscle during black market trade deals. Upside? She’s now swimming in cash and making friends with benefits (i.e. Thomas). Meanwhile, Ashford and Drummer dealt with the fallout of the Sojourner attack on Earth. Thus, the armistice between Earth and the Belt was jeopardized.
Alright, ready the delve into “Displacement?” Time to flip and burn, Screaming Firehawks.
Now, we open with Naomi (Dominique Tipper) and Alex (Cas Anvar) studying a new phenomena erupting on Ilus – one of its islands exploded like a reactor. They share this information with Holden (Steven Strait), who is still in the encampment attempting to diffuse a hostile situation between volatile Belters and equally volatile Inners. A series of cataclysmic events are set to take place over a period of 10 hours – aftershocks, tsunami-like waves, etc. In short: Naomi and Alex tell Holden to get the eff out of there.
Next, Holden relays all this info to the encampment. The Belter leader, Carol Chiwewe (Patti Kim), is skeptical. She urges Holden to support the Belters in their quest to claim Ilus as their own. Holden, naturally, replies that he can’t speak for Avasarala or Earth, but he’d do the best he could to help them out. With everyone on board with evacuating, including Murtry (Burn Gorman), the camp begins to pack it all up.
Later, on the Roci, Alex informs Lucia (Rosa Gilmore) that her daughter Felcia is safe aboard the Barbapiccola. She is giddy with excitement and asks Alex to phone Felcia. However, Lucia’s daughter is irate, citing that she spoke with Jakob (Steven McCarthy), who revealed Lucia’s darkest secrets. Now, Felcia is abreast of her mother’s attempt to sabotage Murtry’s crew. What a mood killer. Lucia is heartbroken that she garnered her daughter’s wrath.
Suddenly, the reactor on the Roci goes kaput. Not just the Roci – the Barb and the Edward Israel are also in the dark. None of the three ships orbiting Ilus can generate power to move. Sounds suspicious to me. That stinkin’ protomolecule!
Later, we see Draper (Frankie Adams) carrying out her first mission under Esai’s (Paul Schulze) command. She successfully takes out the buyer’s lackey in one fell swoop. He was attempting to ambush Esai mid-negotiation. Boom! Don’t mess with Roberta Draper.
Next, Naomi and Alex fill Holden in on their reactor dilemma. The time window is closing in on evacuating everyone off Ilus before the major weather storm hits. Now, the Barb is unable to hold out for long without power, and it’s falling lower and lower into Ilus’ atmosphere. Naturally, this news worries Lucia, as her daughter is aboard the Barb.
Then, we see one of Murtry’s shuttles attempting to land on Ilus. It’s incinerated before even making a proper descent through the atmosphere. Everyone watches in awe as one of the moons appears to be “melting,” and this is giving me some Book of Revelation feels. Anyway, back to evacuating.
Meanwhile, an officer from the UNN Tripoli boards Medina Station for a little chat with Drummer (Cara Gee) and Ashford (David Strathairn). The UN is peeved with the Belters for seemingly bluffing about the Sojourner‘s status. Drummer reveals that they genuinely thought the ship was long gone – sold for parts. Drummer also informs the officers that Belter rebel Marco Inaros is most likely behind the attack. They plan on capturing and killing him shortly. The armistice is already tenuous, and this attack on Earth could spell the end of uneasy peace for Earthers and Belters alike.
Later, we see Draper enjoying some post-horizontal tangoing with Thomas (Michael Xavier). So, now she’s got money and a hot new boyfriend? I want to sell valuable tech on the Martian black market! We also see her enjoying drinks and a new business scheme with Esai, David’s “girlfriend” Leelee (Dayle McLeod) and a new buyer Beltran (Tim Campbell). Beltran brushes off Draper’s questions at every turn. Draper develops a mistrust of him – especially since Esai has no idea what they’re stealing for him. Shady!
Now, our Ilus crew decides to seek shelter in the metal mountain formation Holden explored previously. It was created billions of years ago, so it should be capable of withstanding a series of Armageddon-esque weather events. A small opening is made in the front via explosives. Holden decides to return to camp to ensure everyone is finding cover or en route to the mountain. Murtry pulls Chandra (Jess Salgueiro) aside and makes sure her allegiance is still to him. If Belters must die, she’ll carry out her tasks as commanded. But…would she be willing to let Amos (Wes Chatham) die?
Meanwhile, Okoye (Lyndie Greenwood) is in her lab packing up her equipment. She notices a strange anomaly in her eyes after running a scan. Tiny green organisms appear to be taking up residence in her eyes. It’s similar to the eye infection spreading around the encampment – itchy eyes, seeing green, etc. Uh oh. Hulk-o-vision is in effect!
Next, we see Ashford aboard his ship, the Tynan, watching an old video of himself singing to a baby. His baby, perhaps? His body is free of scarring, so this takes place much earlier than the present.
Later, Draper and co. are heading to a hydraulic door to gain access to the merchandise. However, the door won’t budge. Draper realizes that she must manually disconnect the hydraulic system. She dons a space suit with very little oxygen and heads outside to climb the terraforming tower that houses said hydraulics. Look at our brave little Martian Marine go!
Next, Amos prepares to make his descent into the mountain. Chandra plants a good luck smooch on him. Despite being on polar opposite sides, these two are pretty cute. Once Amos calls out that the coast is clear, they begin lowering people down one at a time.
Meanwhile, Holden is surveying the almost desolate encampment. He urges everyone still behind to brace themselves for impact. He finds Okoye still in her lab attempting to haul a massive printer with her. Suddenly, a surge of dust and wind accompanied by a massive aftershock sends glass shards flying and flattens the camp. Holden and Okoye emerge after the shock to find a handful of dead bodies. Our captain also finds a small boy named Chike (Nathaniel McParland) crying for his parents. Apparently, his father went out to rescue his mother and the pair never returned. Holden takes the child under his wing and the two head for the mountain.
Next, Drummer and Ashford discover Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander) in a video call from the freighter ship Pizzouza. Now, they have a new mission on their hands – track down the Pizzouza, board it and take down Marco for good.
Later, we see Draper still scaling the side of the terraforming tower. Once inside, she severs the hydraulics system and Esai is able to open the door, overriding the codes for said door. However, Draper’s oxygen runs out and she collapses. Thankfully, someone called for help and saved her in the nick of time.
Then, on Ilus, we see Holden making sure that everyone is safely ensconced within the mountain. He notices the horizon darkening by the second, an ominous warning of the storm to come. They constructed a massive metal sheet to act as a door rigged up to a pulley system. Holden urges the team to shut it as quickly as they can. Then, he hops outside to give it a good push. Finally, we see the door closing and Holden diving inside…just as a huge tsunami-like wave of water crashes against the mountain. A giant flood now covers every inch of Ilus. Noah’s Ark what?
Now, we’re over the halfway point in Season 4, Beltalowda. This season is just as captivating and breathtaking as its predecessors. The Expanse Season 4 is truly a masterful work of art – even the visuals are better, which is saying a lot. The protomolecule-fueled weather phenomena, coupled with the massive flood at the end, gave this episode a biblical tinge. Very reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica, which often covered topics such as religion, politics and science. The trifecta.
Do you think the Ilus crew can survive the storm? Will Naomi and Alex figure out a way to save the ships orbiting Ilus? How far will Draper follow the black market gang until someone finds her out? Join me next time as I recap The Expanse, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Expanse is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
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