DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse episode “Saeculum” contains more spoilers than the number of times Miller has sported a fedora. Hey, when you’ve got a fedora…you wear a fedora. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Beltalowda! We’ve reached penultimate episode territory in our The Expanse binge-athon. “Saeculum” marks the ninth episode in Season 4. So, Miller finally reappeared while the Ilus encampment was sequestered away inside the mountain. He joined Holden in a race against time to save Ilus by setting off a “bomb” that would render the protomolecule inert. Meanwhile, the remainder of our Roci crew also raced against time to save fellow ship Barbapiccola from falling to their death. Essentially, there was a lot of racing in this episode.
Alright, ready to delve into “Saeculum?” Time to flip and burn, Screaming Firehawks.
Now, we open right where we left off – with Holden (Steven Strait) grilling Miller (Thomas Jane) regarding his whereabouts. Holden notices that Miller is bereft of his signature fedora. That’s when our favorite Ceres cop reveals that he’s being controlled by the protomolecule. Holden has been in cahoots with “The Investigator.” He sports a fedora akin to Miller’s real one. At this juncture, Miller was able to stave off “The Investigator” for the time being. Makes sense. This version of Miller seems more coherent – more like himself.
Next, Miller reveals that there is a “bomb” of sorts on Ilus. One that, if set off, will render the protomolecule inert. The only issue is setting off said bomb without the protomolecule finding them out. A door is opened within the mountain, and Holden follows Miller inside. Okoye (Lyndie Greenwood) overhears Holden seemingly talking to no one and decides to follow him too. Follow the leader!
Meanwhile, Naomi (Dominique Tipper), Alex (Cas Anvar) and Lucia (Rosa Gilmore) are hard at work attempting to keep the Barb aloft. So far, the cable is strong enough to withstand the distance between the two ships and their collective weight without snapping. Now, here comes the real challenge – getting the Roci juiced up enough to fly while dragging another ship behind her.
Later, Amos (Wes Chatham) is on the hunt for Holden. Murtry (Burn Gorman) is intending on killing our cap that very day. Chandra (Jess Salgueiro) informs Amos of Murtry’s plan. Amos urges her to steer clear of him. He doesn’t want to hurt her, but protecting Holden takes precedence over whatever feelings he harbors for Chandra.
Next, we see Miller revealing a small sinkhole in the ground beneath Holden’s feet. Holden sticks a hand through it, and we see that the invisible shield within said hole has a purple tinge to it. Miller orders him to jump through it. Then, Miller disappears himself. Okoye reveals herself to Holden, having followed him the whole way. Holden urges her to flee the scene. However, she refuses. Holden takes a leap of faith and he vanishes down the hole. Down the rabbit hole!
Meanwhile, aboard the Edward Israel, Sarkis (Zach Smadu) is maliciously chastised by a security officer. Overall, the atmosphere feels tense, and his interaction with said officer raises alarm.
Next, we see Okoye return to camp and inform Amos regarding Holden’s escapades. Murtry grills the good doc on what exactly Holden is doing. However, she keeps mum on the subject. Meanwhile, Holden is falling down the hole, and it seems to go on for infinity. Miller reappears when Holden finally reaches the end of his fall. Now, he leads Holden off to a new location – one that hopefully houses this bomb.
Meanwhile, Amos and Okoye also take the leap of faith down the purple hole. Adventure time! I imagine stoners would not enjoy jumping into the aforementioned hole.
Later, Sarkis sends a message to Alex on the Roci. Sarkis informs Alex that Murtry ordered a shuttle be sent to the Roci. However, it’s meant to deter the Roci from its course, and it’s heading right toward them. Uh oh.
Suddenly, we see the shuttle hurtling toward them. It strikes the Roci, knocking poor Lucia out of the ship. She is catapulted into space, spinning uncontrollably in the process. Naomi launches herself after Lucia, making sure to harness the cable for this rescue mission. This scene, while obviously terrifying, is breathtaking to watch in action. The visuals, once again, leave me floored. Thankfully, Naomi is able to grab onto Lucia and reel her back inside the ship. Success!
Later, Holden and Miller reach the end of the tunnel. It opens out onto a cavernous, massive space with a metallic bridge fixated in the center. Miller and Holden begin to cross it. Our favorite apparition cop reveals that if Holden fell he would essentially do so for eternity. Mind boggling to think that much space exists beneath Ilus’ surface.
Next, our Roci crew is despairing over how they’re going to save the Barb. Lucia tearfully orders them to cut the floundering ship loose. Alex vows they’ll transfer the crew over to the Roci, so everyone will be spared a horrific death.
However, our favorite Martian pilot also comes up with a new idea, and it’s a risky one – utilize the batteries from their rail guns to act as a thruster of sorts. Naomi reveals that it’s not a gentle push. Once Alex surges the ship forward, it will feel like dropping off a cliff. Desperate times call for desperate measures, Screaming Firehawks. They decide to go through with the last-ditch effort.
Now, we pop in for a Holden-Miller scene. They finally hit the end of their sojourn. We see a glowing hole – a golden ring with a dark center – afloat within a chamber of sorts. Millers reveals that he plans to project himself into an inanimate object and fling himself into said hole. He’s ready to be rid of the protomolecule for good, and to finally rest in peace. Seeing Miller as himself in this episode felt like catching up with an old friend. Jane is so spectacular in this role. Holden and Miller share parting words. Holden tells him that rain “tastes like water.”
Meanwhile, Amos and Okoye run into Chandra after falling down the purple rabbit hole. Chandra tries to reason with Amos – appeal to the romantic buried deep within him. However, despite his affection for her, Amos asserts that he’ll go through her if need be. Suddenly, the pair brandish their guns at each other and fire. Amos kills Chandra instantly. Murtry fires from afar and takes off a few of Amos’ fingers. Why is he always the one to get shot? Okoye flees the scene.
Next, Okoye reunites with Holden and informs him of Amos’ gunshot wound. Holden makes a beeline for his friend. Okoye finally meets Miller. We hear him speaking through metallic pieces hanging off the walls. Like hearing the voice of God, perhaps.
Now, Holden runs into Murtry on the bridge while en route to Amos. It’s all led up to this. The big showdown between Murtry and Holden.
Meanwhile, Miller asks Okoye for her assistance. He’s pieced together some metallic parts to form the shape of a person, and is slowly on the move toward the glowing black hole. Miller needs Okoye to push him through said hole. She acquiesces.
Then, we see Holden and Murtry fire simultaneously at each other. Both suffer wounds that aren’t fatal. Murtry collapses on the bridge and his gun takes a nosedive into the infinite depths below. Check and mate! Holden leaves Murtry on the bridge.
Next, Miller is impeded during his slog toward the hole. The protomolecule discovers his intentions and casts him aside. Suddenly, a swarm of the metallic bugs from the beginning of the season is unleashed on Okoye. She dives down and covers her head. However, once the bugs make contact with the hole, they dissipate.
Now, Holden returns to find Okoye falling backward into the hole. Uh oh. That can’t be good for a mere human to experience. It would appear Miller is no more. Perhaps the protomolecule finished him off when it flung him aside.
Now, that’s a penultimate episode! What a wonderful sendoff – albeit a slightly strange one – for Miller. He gets to be the hero once again. At least we were blessed with a dose of his self-deprecating, wisecracking humor prior to his actual demise. His scenes with Holden this season have been gold. On a more glum note, I’m sad to see Chandra go. Well, more like I’m sad that Amos had to kill someone he actually liked. Perhaps this will make way for more Melba-Amos action.
Do you think the protomolecule is finally inactive? Will the Roci successfully save the Barb? How will things pan out for Draper? Join me next time as I recap The Expanse, here on Geek Girl Authority.
The Expanse Season 4 is now streaming on Amazon Prime.