DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse episode “The One-Eyed Man” contains more spoilers than the number of unfolding biblical events on Ilus. It’s the end of days, folks. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Beltalowda! The Expanse binge-athon continues with “The One-Eyed Man,” the eighth episode of Season 4. We’re in the home stretch, y’all! Does it have to end? Holden and Okoye raced against time (and blindness) to find a cure for the infection ailing Belters and Inners alike. Avasarala faced staunch criticism for her failed military mission to capture Marco Inaros. Drummer and Ashford contemplated their futures within the OPA. Lots of intense thinking and doing. Just how I like my thought-provoking sci-fi.
Alright, ready to delve into “The One-Eyed Man?” Time to flip and burn, Screaming Firehawks.
Now, we open with Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) forlornly preparing for her busy day. We can see the unbearable weight of the failed UN mission weighing on her. She watches a clip of Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) blatantly condemning the actions of the Earth military for slaughtering innocent Belters. Then, Avasarala receives a formal resignation from one of her most trusted officers. He asserts that he cannot support her after her actions ended the lives of honest soldiers.
Next, Fred Johnson in the flesh arrives at Medina Station. Drummer (Cara Gee) gives him a piece of her mind. Ashford (David Strathairn) is also present. He supports Drummer when Johnson chastises her for voting to keep Marco alive. That’s what bros do, you know. Drummer, irate, informs Johnson that she quits her post. She storms out in a huff.
Now, times are tough on Ilus. Everyone is now blind, including Amos (Wes Chatham), Okoye (Lyndie Greenwood) and Murtry (Burn Gorman). Holden (Steven Strait) is now the camp babysitter for both the Earth faction and the Belter settlement. He deserves to be awarded Camp Counselor of the Year. Murtry pulls Holden aside and attempts to save his own skin, yet again. Holden asserts that, when they leave, they all leave together. No one is left behind. That’s why Holden is in charge, folks.
Next, we check in with the crew on Mars. Draper (Frankie Adams) is sitting with Esai (Paul Schulze), Leelee (Dayle McLeod) and newcomer Beltran (Tim Campbell). She still doesn’t trust Beltran, as he brushes off all her questions and fails to reveal the details of their impending big mission. Esai trusts him though, so she has to either sh*t or get off the pot.
Later, Holden notices that Amos has wandered off toward the pool that’s infested with slugs. Every time someone wanders off to said pool, they never come back. Those slugs are murderous little buggers. Thankfully, Holden catches Amos before he reaches the pool. He urges his friend to cling to life, citing that he needs Amos. Also, they will find a cure for the blindness. Soon!
Meanwhile, Ashford finds Drummer alone in deep contemplation. I told you, lots of thinking in this episode. He reveals that Johnson gave him her old post. Also, Ashford plans to embark on a sojourn to take out Marco once and for all. He’s in dire need of a capable XO, and we all know Drummer is more than capable. She considers his offer.
Next, we see Drapper paying Esai a visit at his home. He appears to live a normal life – a wife and two children, a nice home. He’s a family man with a steady, seemingly honorable vocation. Esai reveals the true reason behind his black market escapades. He plans to win big money from their upcoming mission – enough to move his family to a new planet within the Ring. Once the blockade is lifted, it’s fair game for everyone. Esai realizes that Mars is not the Mars it once was – the planet’s top scientists are departing for uncharted pastures. Nobody will be left to run things. Time to move on!
Then, Okoye continues to conduct tests on Holden to figure out why he’s immune to the eye infection. Of course, since she herself is blind, Holden must conduct said tests on himself and read the results to her. He takes fluid out of his eyeball via needle. After hearing the results, she reveals that he might want to seek out a physician when all of this is over. He has precancerous cells in his eye. That’s when Holden reveals his exposure to immense radiation on Eros, and the cancer-killing drugs he’s currently on.
Now, Okoye is hit with a revelation. Holden is immune because he’s on cancer-killing drugs. Bingo was his name-o! Okoye gets to work on utilizing Holden’s medication to craft a cure. Go team!
Later, Avasarala attends the memorial for the fallen soldiers on the Pizzouza. Arjun is also present, as is her opponent Nancy Gao (Lily Gao). Initially, Avasarala commences her speech via teleprompter, but her words feel disingenuous. Stereotypical high-ranking government official talk. Empty words. So, she ditches the teleprompter and opts for a more genuine approach. Avasarala regales the crowd with a tale of her own son’s death by Belter hands. He was also a military officer. When he passed, she merely wanted to know who did it, and why. That’s when she pinpoints herself as the perpetrator, the inadvertent “murderer” of those soldiers.
Now, she urges the grieving audience to blame her for the failed mission. For their sons’ and daughters’ deaths. Not a dry eye could be found in the audience. Even Nancy Gao appears to be in awe of her opponent’s touching speech.
Next, Draper learns that her boyfriend Thomas (Michael Xavier) has accepted a job on Europa, and he wants her to come with him. He knows that she’s involved in some shady dealings in the black market, hence her now overabundant cash flow. Draper retorts that she doesn’t need anyone saving her. She can save herself. Thomas leaves in a huff, and claims he hopes to see her when he returns in 10 months. Damn straight. My Draper is her own savior.
Meanwhile, Drummer visits Ashford aboard the Tynan with a bottle of liquor and bad news – she won’t be joining him on Operation: Kill Marco Inaros. She vows to stay out of politics, although she’s not sure of her next move. Ashford, while slightly disappointed, is understanding of her choice. He urges her to keep the bottle for when he returns victorious. I adore this pairing. Drummer and Ashford have come a long way from last season.
Now, we see Naomi (Dominique Tipper), Alex (Cas Anvar) and Lucia (Rosa Gilmore) attempting to haul the Barb onward and upward. The cable that Felcia crafted is currently being tightened and is ready for launch. Go team!
Meanwhile, Holden decides to take a gander at his outside surroundings. He climbs out of the mountain and notices that the flood waters are raging on, with no sign of recession.
Next, Nancy Gao is pestered by journalists after Avasarala’s poignant speech. She casts her opponent in a favorable light, praising the Sec-Gen for her humility and vulnerability. Women supporting women. Beautiful.
Now, we see Arjun and Avasarala locked in a heated argument in the latter’s office. Arjun believes his wife exploited and politicized the death of their son for her personal gain. Avasarala claimed she needed to take a different approach to “change the narrative,” to flip the voters over to her side. However, Avasarala also reminds him that her words were genuine. She is still a grieving mother, after all. Arjun departs in a huff.
Later, Okoye finishes up the cure with Holden’s cancer-killing medication and administers it to the populace. Everyone is, slowly but surely, regaining their eyesight. Success! Holden returns from topside, and is blindsided by the reappearance of an old friend – apparition Miller (Thomas Jane). Where the eff have you been, Miller?
Now, that Murtry is one shifty dude. Gorman is excellent in this role, and Murtry is a multi-faceted antagonist with an understandable objective – find the people responsible for the death of his crew. However, the methods he employs to achieve said objective are questionable. A lot of that is happening this season – people we empathize with who use questionable means to get what they want. Aghdashloo also shone brightly this episode, conveying a vulnerable side of Avasarala that we don’t often see.
Do you think Avasarala will win the election and remain the incumbent Sec-Gen? How will Murtry go about ensuring Holden doesn’t leave Ilus alive? How far will Draper go before she’s steeped in too many felonious offenses? 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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