DISCLAIMER: This recap of The Expanse episode “Redoubt” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Screaming Firehawks! It’s hard to believe there are only two more episodes of our favorite sci-fi show after this week. I don’t know about you, but my coping mechanism will be religiously rewatching The Expanse in perpetuity.
The theme of “Redoubt” appears to be “fallout” — navigating the repercussions of Holden’s decision not to nuke the Pella, fallout from the Ceres Station explosion, Avasarala treading the waters of a humanitarian crisis and Marco saving face after losing to the Roci.
I love the parallels between Avasarala and Marco in this episode and their struggles with integrating mercy into their leadership vernacular.
Filip’s journey continues to be one of the most enthralling, well-written arcs on television, along with Clarissa’s path to redemption. “Redoubt” moves the needle for Filip, and we see him morph into a mini-Marco in the final scene with his emphatic speech condemning Drummer’s message.
This episode is a masterstroke of sci-fi writing, replete with The Expanse‘s signature stunning visuals, compelling characters and heart-pounding action.
Ready to delve into “Redoubt”? Let’s get to it.
We open on Laconia, with Gary (Daniel Jun), Dot (Dianne Aguilar) and Cara (Emma Ho) mourning the loss of Xan (Ian Ho). We see Laconians attend a wake for the young boy, including Admiral Duarte (Dylan Taylor). Duarte chats with Cara about grief and how that translates for adults.
Interestingly, this scene is our proper introduction to the infamous Admiral Duarte, one that makes him appear empathetic and understanding. Of course, Cara doesn’t know Duarte’s history. He also talks about sacrifice and how he gave up something he loved (Mars), something that broke his heart, for something better — Laconia.
Suddenly, Cortázar (Carlos Gonzalez-Vio) barges in with news for Duarte regarding their ongoing project. During Duarte’s conversation with Cara, the young girl encouraged him not to give up on what he loved. So, that night, when her parents are asleep, Cara takes the slab with Xan’s body and makes haste for The Glade.
Meanwhile, on Ceres, Sanjrani (Jo Vannicola) delivers an impassioned speech to their fellow Belters after the water tank explosion on the station. They urge Belters not to fall prey to the Inners’ tactics. Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), Gareth (Ted Dykstra), Admiral Sidiqi (Conrad Coates) and Admiral Kirino (Krista Bridges) watch the scene unfurl as Belters feel empowered more than ever to turn against the combined forces of Earth and Mars.
Kirino asks Avasarala if the MCRN/UN fleet can stage an attack against Medina Station near the Ring Gate. Avasarala doesn’t see the point in doing such a thing, so she refuses to send the UN. After the Secretary-General departs, Kirino sends a message to Admiral Preston that Avasarala won’t allow the stealth mission to disarm Medina. Thus, Preston declares the MCRN will follow through with the plan alone.
Avasarala finds Monica (Anna Hopkins) among the dead, reciting facts about the fallen for a recorded segment she plans to use for the Sec-Gen’s commissioned documentary. Gareth rebukes Monica for recording, but Avasarala appears moved by the display.
Naomi (Dominique Tipper) organizes all the data she has on the Pella to transmit system-wide while Holden (Steven Strait) watches. His decision to disarm the warhead flying toward Marco Inaros weighs heavily on him.
Next, we see Amos (Wes Chatham) and Bobbie (Frankie Adams) listening to music while working. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams plays, and the pair recognize it as a favorite of the late Alex Kamal. They reminisce about their fallen friend and sing the tune together. It’s a sweet moment of commemoration.
Clarissa (Nadine Nicole) shows Amos an alarming discovery — proof that the warhead speeding toward the Pella wasn’t defective but disarmed by Holden. Amos vows to take care of the situation.
Then, Marco (Keon Alexander) tells the senior officer aboard the Granicus to space the two seniormost officers on the Lauber for how they failed to help the Pella win the battle against the Rocinante. After he ends the call, he orders Rosenfeld (Kathleen Robertson) to send the Granicus official outside the airlock if he complains about his instructions.
Meanwhile, Filip (Jasai Chase-Owens) must work with repair technician Tadeo (Joe Perry) as punishment for losing the Roci fight. Rosenfeld pulls Filip aside and encourages him to apologize to Marco, even though the latter is wrong.
Later, Holden joins Amos outside to conduct repairs on the Roci. He confronts Holden regarding Clarissa’s findings. Amos trusts Holden to do the right thing. Holden fires back that he doesn’t owe Amos an explanation, leaving out the core reason for his decision: Filip, Naomi’s son.
Tadeo shows Filip the repair technician ropes and the pair bond over family. Tadeo discloses he hasn’t heard from his brother since the explosion on Ceres. The Free Navy tech gushes about how close he is with his sibling. Filip’s defensiveness begins to melt away.
Naomi continues with her data assessment while Holden finally confesses his disarming of the warhead. Naomi’s not a happy camper — now, Marco’s and Filip’s future kills rest on her shoulders. Holden’s choice puts pressure on her. Holden explains he couldn’t lie next to her at night knowing he murdered her son.
Naomi divulges how she tried relentlessly to help Filip see reason, but Marco’s influence runs too profoundly.
Then, we see Filip and Tadeo inspecting the ship’s damage up close and personal. They locate the MCRN warhead lodged in the vessel’s side, but Filip and Tadeo notice it’s disarmed once they reel it in. The duo carries it inside.
Drummer (Cara Gee), Josep (Samer Salem) and Liang Walker (Stuart Hughes) approach Marco’s supply depot. Once inside, we see supplies aplenty, along with graffiti including “Pashang Inyalowda” — F**k Inners. At the same time, Michio (Vanessa Smythe) stays aboard the Tynan to look for potential oncoming ships.
Suddenly, guards stationed within the depot open fire on Drummer and her forces. Initially, Drummer wonders if they might be raiders as well. But now, she believes they could be Marco’s soldiers waiting for another vessel to whisk their stores away.
Drummer orders her crew to take no longer than an hour to collect supplies and get the hell out of dodge.
A mini explosion detonates, sending a massive container heading groundward. Josep knocks Drummer out of the way. He’s subsequently pinned beneath the said container, and it looks beyond painful. Michio, the medic, comes to the rescue. Unfortunately, if they lift the container, Josep will bleed out. Michio tells Josep she loves him and apologizes for what she’s about to do next.
With Drummer holding Josep, Michio removes his arm. I’m not a squeamish person, but this made me squirm.
Holden and Clarissa share a chat in the kitchen. She tells him that Amos found out about the disarmed warhead through her. Clarissa reveals the moment she decided not to kill him. It happened when they were all on the Behemoth, and Holden called for an end to the violence. Why not try something else?
Clarissa talks about how heavily her actions weigh on her. She supports Holden’s decision, citing that if you don’t need to kill someone, don’t do it.
I’m enjoying these scenes with Holden and Peaches. If he can have friendly chats with someone who tried to murder him, we can surely all get along.
We see footage of the older Belter man with his cat named Lucky Earther. We hear a translation of his conversation in Belter with Monica spliced together with the horrific Ceres explosion scenes. The man reveals he doesn’t hate anyone — he only wants food, water and a good life for his family. We see him help the injured after the catastrophic event.
It’s incredibly touching and tear-inducing.
However, Avasarala’s not impressed. She vehemently tells Monica that this documentary makes Earth look weak. Monica counters that this is the point; it makes everyone appear feeble. It levels the playing field. She urges Avasarala to see things from the Belters’ perspective. Monica believes showing mercy amid this humanitarian crisis is their best course of action. Mercy over might.
After watching Michio comforting Josep aboard the Tynan, Drummer records a biting message for Marco Inaros. She encourages him to raise the bounty on her head, but he’s done more to hurt the Belt than help it. We see one of the supply depots broken free from the rest.
Rosenfeld informs Marco that the two seniormost officers of the Lauber received the airlock treatment. Even though the Granicus SO asked Rosenfeld to grant the Lauber soldiers mercy, she didn’t send him out into space, much to Marco’s irritation. It’s also against his orders.
Rosenfeld explains that sometimes Marco needs to show mercy.
He’s Marco Inaros — this s**t rolls off his back. I love how we get two almost back-to-back scenes featuring the leaders of the UN and Free Navy getting lessons on mercy. The mirroring is fun.
Marco appears to see her side of things. He asks Rosenfeld what her goals are once the war is over. She states she wants the governorship of Medina Station. In the books, Rosenfeld serves as governor of Pallas Station.
The pair get cozy over drinks. Methinks they’ll be bed buddies soon enough.
Meanwhile, Filip sits with Tadeo in the kitchen. We learn that Tadeo hasn’t heard from his brother yet. Everyone receives Drummer’s broadcast to Marco, and they all watch as the system’s most badass bosmang verbally castrates Marco. I love that she says she’s “unbowed, unbent and unbroken.” House Martell, anyone? Drummer mentions the abandonment of Ceres and the supply depots.
After her message, Tadeo questions Marco’s intentions. Filip delivers a blistering speech, defaming Drummer and anyone else impeding their path. It’s the Marco Inaros Way™ or bust! He tells the crowd that the blood spilled and beratnas lost would be for naught if they bent the knee to Drummer and the Inners. “There’s no turning back now!” Filip exclaims as he walks out.
“There’s no turning back now,” indeed. We’ve reached the turning point as we barrel toward the end of this epic space saga. I’m curious to see whether the strange dog on Laconia can revive Xan and if he’ll return to life sans complications.
Will Avasarala try mercy on for size when interacting with the Belters? Will Marco retaliate against Drummer for her incendiary message? How long before Holden’s drawn back to the Ring Gate? We’ve only got two more episodes to find out!
New episodes of The Expanse are available to stream every Friday on Prime Video.
- HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Season 2 Gets Teaser, First-Look Images and New Cast Announcements - December 2, 2023
- The World Is on the Brink in First Teaser for THE BOYS Season 4 - December 2, 2023
- Explosive FALLOUT Teaser Trailer Introduces the Wasteland, The Ghoul and More - December 2, 2023