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THE EXPANSE Recap: Peace of Mind is a Luxury No Martian Can Afford

THE EXPANSE Recap: Peace of Mind is a Luxury No Martian Can Afford

Fair warning: this recap includes spoilers for The Expanse that will force you to say the Latin names of plants—don’t say we didn’t warn you ahead of time!

After “Here There Be Dragons,” there are only two episodes left in the season, so saddle up for a sprint to the finish line. Hopefully we’ll get to play more I Spy with Dr. Strickland (Ted Atherton), whose kidnapping of Mei (Leah Madison Jung) injected a smarmy air to the already-desperate proceedings. No one has ever pocketed a leaf in a more sinister way than Strickland pocketed a leaf after calming his tiny victim down with science.

Hot on their trail, Holden (Steven Strait), Naomi (Dominique Tipper), Dr. Meng (Terry Chen), and Amos (Wes Chatham) headed toward the old station, still calmly wrestling with individual demons. Naomi related to Dr. Meng about losing her own child; Holden related to Amos about using violence (or, really, paying any cost) to stop the Protomolecule from doing more terrible things. Is that what their lives will be about from now on? Endlessly fighting Proto?

As the team continued to chase Atherton and Mei’s Mario Kart ghost, the cascade of station failure continued, meaning that more on Ganymede would be doomed as it headed for the scrap heap. Orbiting behind another moon, Alex (Cas Anvar) sobered up with the shock of an MCRN priority alert for a ship called Karakum that, despite the No Fly Zone put into effect, had clearance to land. In fact, security didn’t want anyone halting the ship’s progress for any reason. Alex’s ears sufficiently perked by the tell-tale signs of a Black Ops mission, his wedding ring gave him the grand idea to use a lot of moons and a ton of gravity (ha) to slingshot down to the surface without burning the engines (and therefore without giving away his position).

Clever pilot.

The Expanse Amos

Holden’s search and rescue team caught the kidnapping science crew at dinner, but things turned ugly, shots were fired, and Amos caught one in the firefight. Why is it always him? They didn’t find Mei in the backroom of horrors, but they found someone else’s child shrinkwrapped in Protomolecule.

As if they didn’t already have enough fire power to deal with, a stealthy hand dumped a grenade into their room, which Amos (clear MVP of the trip) tossed right back, triggering a bizarre amount of yelling and bullets and grinding metal. When they investigate, they discover a storage room and the gigantic absence of something that’s busted loose of its shackles and ripped the hell out of a wall. Umea (Allison Hossack) sneered at them as she died, bragging that they’d made a controlled version of Proto (unlikely?), and that there was a lot more out there (super likely).

Fortunately, that’s when Alex appeared, explaining how he Deus Ex Machina’d everyone and jumping at the specter of the terrifying beast-weapon that killed Gunny Draper’s (Frankie Adams) entire crew. Time to go hunting? Seems like a bad idea.

As an emotional coda, Naomi gave up on fixing the Protomolecule situation (probably smart money) and went with Melissa, Amos, and the Somnambulist to help get people off the failing station.

Back on Earth, Draper got dressed down by Captain Martens (Peter Outerbridge), who told her she wasn’t a soldier following her field trip to the beach (he meant to say “Marine”). This tactic seemed doomed from the start: browbeating a talented member of your team who’s starting to question your guidance and leadership. The argument had a real Baby Boomer vs Millennial flavor to it, too, with the wrinkled babysitter blathering about her generation being soft, simply because she was trying to do the right thing.

So it was pretty cool when Draper beat the ever-loving snot out of the guy until he gave up doubleplustopsecret intelligence. Make no mistake, Martens was a weak, sniveling loser. In the recording he showed Draper, we got to see the beast-weapon of Project Caliban, proving to the distraught sergeant that her team was, in fact, slaughtered for a product beta test. Naturally, Draper ran, and then requested political asylum in what must be the most incendiary completion to a narrative arc yet. The dedicated warrior switching sides.

The Expanse Avasarala

On the custodial front, Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) proposed using the eldest Mao daughter, Clarissa, to smoke out Jules-Pierre (François Chau). Avasarala, in turn, warned him that he would be the focal point of the Eros hearings. He acted so contrite. Was it genuine? Or is it just a seasoned player recognizing that he ended up on the wrong side of the game and accepting it? Or was Errinwright positioning himself in front of Avasarala’s pity cannon?

As if conjured by his name being repeated three times, Mao popped his head in with a message to Avasarala requesting a face-to-face meeting. Is it a trap? Duh. It’s definitely a trap, so Avasarala accepted. Lucky day, indeed.

On the edge of Venus, the Arbogast crew decided it was time for a new map, plotting a way to get their weak-shielded drones to the surface to see what’s going on down there. It work, and the drone feed revealed a gorgeous, craggy mountain of Protomolecule.

Great news, everyone.

SOME STRAY THOUGHTS:

  • If you need sacrificial lambs, maybe don’t choose the best Marines. Choose the second best. The best is only going to bloody your nose when you fail to kill her.
  • Woo, girl, they’ve given Alex some really cheesy lines to deliver this season.
  • They also gave him a super cool video game to play in order to stay on the complicated flight path toward Ganymede’s surface. It’s an insane technological age, and he’s lining up between colored squares.
  • Is it time to invest in the company that makes “Misko and Marisko”

Images: NBC/SyFy

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