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THE EXPANSE Recap: Bad Day at Tycho Station

THE EXPANSE Recap: Bad Day at Tycho Station

Fair warning: this recap includes spoilers for The Expanse that will steal your nukes—don’t say we didn’t warn you ahead of time!

It’s become clear within the last few episodes of The Expanse that Miller was the gruff glue holding the universe together. His climactic crash into Venus with Mao was a catalyst for chaos, and now we’re back on the brink of war, factions are splitting up, and we’re dealing with refugees in the shadow of the remaining Protomolecule.

After the fallout of the bizarre attack on Ganymede, “Pyre” introduced us to Dr. Praxideke Meng (Terry Chen) on his way to Tycho Station with another load of refugees from Ganymede and a silver biological canister in his pocket. He connected with Doris (Grace Lynn Kung), who told him that the bulk of the mirror crash happened in the sector where his daughter, Mei, was at a doctor’s appointment. Hopefully you didn’t get too attached to Doris. After being told the beautiful lie that they were docking with a ship that would take her and others back home to Earth or Mars, she was spaced by a Belter who is fighting his own little war. A war that has gone street level.

Doris and Dr. Meng (with his massive head wound) both illustrated the cost of it.

At Tycho, Meng was given an empathetic shrug of the shoulders when he relayed news of the group murder. What can be done? Justice comes slow or doesn’t come at all here in the wild West.

THE EXPANSE -- "Pyre" Episode 208 -- Pictured: Terry Chen as Praxideke Meng -- (Photo by: Rafy/Syfy)

And it’s gotten wilder. Dawes (Jared Harris) has calculated and enacted an even greater division between Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) and the other OPA faction leaders. It’s a split between those who want to fight and those who want to talk. Clearly Harris was hired for this season solely to give barn-burning monologues because he gave yet another one, speaking to Johnson about his Proto-secret weapon and his gross inability to keep it hidden from the rest of the Belt. Great sower of discontent and distrust that he is, Dawes’ broadcast was also sent to Staz (Alden Adair) to rile up his crew.

The division also deepened between Naomi (Dominique Tipper) and Holden (Steven Strait) with a large helping of dramatic irony that saw Holden apologizing for keeping his knowledge of existing samples of Protomolecule secret despite Naomi being the one with the far bigger Protomolecule-based secret. It’s like someone just wheeled in a fan, a catapult, and a bucket of shit.

Naomi accessed the station’s antennae to see where Cortazar was scanning, only to find that, surprise, he was checking out Ganymede. The tangled web gets another strand. Unfortunately, Johnson’s response was less than thrilling, arguing that they simply need to accept that the Protomolecule is out there and mentally deal with it. In other words, don’t do anything at all.

THE EXPANSE -- "Pyre" Episode 208 -- Pictured: (l-r) Steven Strait as James Holden, Chad L. Coleman as Fred Johnson -- (Photo by: Shane Mahood/Syfy)

As if that neutered stance weren’t enough to knock him off his throne, Staz and his crew took over the control bridge and held Johnson and Drummer (Cara Lee) at gunpoint to get the nuclear launch codes from them. After playing tough, Staz shot Drummer and started checking his watch while his traitorous insider tried to hack the system. It’s a monumentally stupid move, born in desperation along with Staz’s belief that sending the nukes toward Earth (and having them retaliate against Tycho) will somehow be a rallying cry to their cause (and not just a bloody depletion of their friends and colleagues).

Meanwhile, Holden and Naomi tried to find a link between Protogen and Ganymede, coming up with good old Dr. Strickland (Ted Atherton) who was playing doctor on the farming outpost–specifically playing pediatrician to Dr. Meng’s daughter.

Naomi and Holden confronted Meng, discovering that he’s been carrying a super non-lethal soybean in his canister and that there’s a good chance his daughter Mei (Leah Jung) is still alive. After checking surveillance footage for Dr. Strickland, they found him leaving the sector with Mei almost an hour before havoc rained down. The conclusion? Strickland knew what was coming. But why does he want Mei?

THE EXPANSE -- "Pyre" Episode 208 -- Pictured: Cara Gee as Drummer -- (Photo by: Rafy/Syfy)

Throughout all of this, Amos (Wes Chatham) has been in an apathetic haze, and it took Alex (Cas Anvar) to punch him out of it. True hero of the episode, Alex also noticed that a missile launch was imminent, alerted Holden and Naomi, and set in motion Amos’ spacewalk to turn off the oxygen in the main bridge. With everyone knocked out, they rescued Johnson and Drummer, who repaid Staz’s bullet with one of his own. A lovely parting gift right through the forehead. Drummer continued to not play around.

Meng joined the Roci crew for their new mission to Ganymede, seeking answers about Strickland and the Proto there, and as they left, Johnson issued a strange ultimatum that they wouldn’t be allowed back at Tycho. It’s a hollow threat that Holden bristled at, scoffing at Johnson for being, now, completely uninvolved. A general with no platoon.

Johnson’s lost control, but it doesn’t look like anyone else has it either. We’re in for a bumpy ride.


  • So all you have to do to take control of a station is kill the oxygen inside the hub from the outside? Terrorism seems super easy in The Expanse.
  • Speaking of which, Amos is so skilled that he goes from utter depression to no-sweat, space-walking sabotage within about a half-hour.
  • Do you think Johnson and Dawes don’t get along because they’re feuding over who has the deeper, scratchier voice?

Images: NBC/SyFy

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