DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse episode “Mother” is riddled with spoilers. You’ve been warned, Beltalowda. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, Screaming Firehawks! The Expanse‘s third installment, “Mother,” really amped up the action. Bobbie fought off low-level petty officer assailants like the badass she is! Naomi finally reunited with Filip, albeit it wasn’t exactly the reunion she wanted. Drummer discovered hidden files courtesy of Ashford that essentially widened the moving target on Marco Inaros’ back. Filip kidnapped his own mom! Holden and Fred Johnson delved deeper into the mission to find Monica’s attacker. The episode boasted quite the explosive ending … literally. Marco’s Martian tech-cloaked asteroid crash-landed on Earth. God, this show is a gift amid these troublesome times.
Ready to delve into “Mother”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and Delgado (Michael Irby) getting some outsider’s perspective on things. They bring in someone who works in the private sector on Luna to muse upon their findings. He notices that the hunks of rock that were observed by the vanished science ship appear to be parts of a whole — an asteroid. Each piece of debris is enacting high readings on only one side. After their new friend leaves, Avasarala suspects that Martian stealth tech was utilized by Marco on said asteroid before he sent it hurtling toward Earth. She urges Delgado to speak to a higher power about restocking the watchtowers. Yes, they used to be pointed at Mars, but the red planet no longer wants to decimate Earth. At least not on a blatant scale.
Later, Drummer (Cara Gee) is slumbering on her ship with her crewmates. Apparently, everyone sleeps together. Hey, whatever fuels your vessel. Anyway, she wakes to learn that Tynan is close at hand. Everyone dresses and boards the desolate ship. Drummer orders that certain commodities be transferred from Tynan to their ship. However, there seems to be no sign of Ashford’s backup files. Drummer suspects he’d conceal something like that.
Meanwhile, Monica (Anna Hopkins) reveals footage from an attack on Ceres to Holden (Steven Strait) and Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman). Cortazar (Carlos Gonzalez-Vio), one of the initial protomolecule curators, is filmed at the scene of the crime. However, Monica has trouble connecting the dots from that attack to her own. Additionally, she cannot recall details regarding her assailants, only that she remembers fighting off two people. Holden and Johnson quickly leave, to which Monica retorts that they’re hiding something from her. Johnson urges Holden and Bull (José Zúñiga) to look into Monica’s attackers first, who are still at large, before jumping into the protomolecule thing.
Then, we see Naomi (Dominique Tipper) pulling into Pallas Station. She hits up the bar and heartily reunites with Cyn (Brent Sexton) and Karal (Olunike Adeliyi). Well, she’s more excited to see the former. Karal is not a fan of Naomi. After briefly reminiscing, Naomi reveals the real reason she’s on Pallas — she needs to find Filip. Karal asserts that Filip wants nothing to do with Naomi, while the latter believes the boy should make that decision himself. Cyn and Karal leave.
Later, Bobbie (Frankie Adams) and Alex (Cas Anvar) are hashing out a game plan. Alex is wining and dining with Lieutenant Babbage in an effort to get dirt on Admiral Sauveterre. He still upholds the belief that the decorated admiral has clean hands regarding the Martian black market affair. Bobbie is wholeheartedly convinced he’s their guy. Next, we see Alex and Babbage (Lara Jean Chorostecki) on their date. She wants to know all about Ilus, so Alex regales her with the nitty-gritty. She artfully evades any questions asked about her and answers even less about Sauveterre. She’s definitely hiding something. Shady lady is shady.
Meanwhile, Drummer and her crew are still picking apart Tynan. So far, nobody has found Ashford’s files. That is until Drummer goes snooping. She locates a fire hydrant with an opening at the bottom. She procures a recording device that contains audio of Ashford’s last conversation with Marco Inaros. Literally, Ashford’s last words, including his singing, right before he was spaced. Drummer pockets the device.
Then, Drummer’s crew is celebrating … again. They do quite a bit of that. Amid the celebrations, Drummer reveals that they’re going after Marco themselves. The bounty on his head is a cool 20 million. They could save that money and have it last for years to come. Her crew is reticent to accept their new mission, but accept it they must. Drummer is out for blood.
Next, Johnson, Holden, and Bull learn about the owners of the shipping container in which Monica was trapped. Holden and Bull barge toward said owners’ residence only to find them dead. Someone else got there first. A conspiracy is afoot, y’all!
Later, Alex and Babbage share a goodnight smooch. Alex learns that Babbage is shipping out on a routine supplies run in the morning. She reluctantly agrees to a second date. As Alex is entering his apartment, he’s jumped by two strangers. One of them injects him with a powerful sedative. He spills the beans regarding his covert mission to uncover Sauveterre’s dealings and that Bobbie is his accomplice. Truth serum, says what? Suddenly, Bobbie bursts on the scene and seamlessly knocks the intruders unconscious in the most badass way possible. I really missed Bobbie’s ass-kickings.
Then, the police show up to arrest the attackers. We learn that they’re dishonorably discharged petty officers. Most likely they’re working with Sauveterre since they really wanted to know why Alex was prying. Bobbie seizes this as an opportunity to send Avasarala more intel. The assailants might be part of the whole shebang.
Meanwhile, Drummer is aboard Tynan and sitting in Ashford’s old chair. The plan is to revitalize Tynan for future travel. She’s cradling the bottle of Scotch she tried to give him last season prior to his sojourn to track down Marco. However, he urged her to keep it so they could open it together upon his return. We see Oksana (Sandrine Holt), her crew member/lover, enter the scene. Oksana comforts Drummer in more ways than one. After their tryst, Drummer decides to send Ashford’s audio files to Johnson.
Later, Naomi reunites with Filip (Jasai Chase Owens). Apparently, Cyn pulled through and arranged the meeting. Let’s just say it’s not an entirely happy reunion. Filip is irate at his mother for abandoning him. Naomi admits her wrongs and apologizes. She doesn’t expect forgiveness and asserts she only wants him to be safe. Naomi reveals that the vessel in which she arrived is actually for him. Once he leaves, she’ll send him all the money he’ll need to start over. Extricate himself as far away from Marco’s destructive aura as possible. As expected, Filip gruffly declines the offer and believes that everything Marco told him about her was true. Brainwashed person, says what?
Next, we see Johnson receiving the files from Drummer. Holden and Bull arrive. Johnson reveals that the vessel meant to transport the shipping container, Zmeya, has yet to arrive. Whoever orchestrated Monica’s capture still believes she’s inside the shipping container. Bull suggests they set up a team inside the container, then when Zmeya pulls in they surprise the crew. Boom!
Meanwhile, Naomi enters the ship she purchased for Filip to find him, surprisingly, present. However, Cyn and Karal appear from the shadows and shock Naomi until she’s barely conscious. Filip is now commandeering the ship and his own mother is his prisoner. Not cool, kid. You’re too young to kidnap people.
Then, on Luna, Delgado informs Avasarala that he failed in persuading the Powers That Be to restock the watchtowers in preparation for Marco’s impending asteroid. Delgado is losing faith. Avasarala urges him to stay the course, but Delgado believes that you have to know when to quit. So he quits. This is upsetting because Avasarala doesn’t have that many folks in her corner. Avasarala, taking her daughter’s advice, reaches out to her husband Arjun. She leaves him a voice message. Suddenly, her phone gets a notification, and it’s Fred Johnson with the Ashford audio files. She hears Marco and Ashford’s last conversation prior to the latter’s murder. There’s her credibility.
Lastly, we see a man on Earth donning the FishFinder 5000. I hope they have them on sale! Anyway, he can spot the fish but not the incoming asteroid that’s hurtling at breakneck speed toward the ocean. Suddenly … boom! Everything, including the poor man who was merely observing the fishies, goes up in flames.
“Mother” is the best installment thus far and we’re only three episodes in. The Expanse never ceases to amaze me. While the Ashford files plot is reminiscent of the audio that led to Errinwright’s downfall, it’s exciting nonetheless. Even seemingly repetitive plot points are still interesting. I’m assuming Filip’s plan is to bring Naomi to Marco. The protomolecule conspiracy on Tycho keeps finding new ground, so I’m curious to see where that leads us. Gee is the MVP in this episode. Drummer’s scene with Oksana was heartbreaking. She was finally able to grieve Ashford, and it was truly beautiful to behold. Her toying with the Scotch bottle killed me. Also: that asteroid!
How will Earth recoup from the asteroid? Since Avasarala has proof, will folks believe her when she explains that Marco orchestrated the asteroid hit? Where is Filip taking Naomi? Join me next week as I recap The Expanse, here on Geek Girl Authority.
New episodes of The Expanse are available to stream every Wednesday on Amazon Prime.