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THE EXPANSE Recap: Mars Shot First

THE EXPANSE Recap: Mars Shot First

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

Before the start of “The Weeping Somnambulist”—an episode title clearly in honor of International Poetry Day—things at Tycho station had completely unraveled, Holden (Steven Strait) and the crew found their next mission in Dr. Meng (Terry Chen), and Sergeant Draper (Frankie Adams) was foisted with the task of testifying the false narrative that Mars had shot first on Ganymede. Who knows whether that could stave off war.

She got her chance, though: Draper went to earth, hand held firmly by a minder named Martens who stopped her from leaving her purple heart behind and made it clear how much was riding on her speech. Gotta keep up appearances and sell the image and all. Jacked full of medicine that will help her Martian body adjust to Earth’s atmosphere, she purposefully left her sunglasses behind. Was she trying to punish herself? Grinding against survivor’s guilt? Even after her initial and secondary testimony, she tested her fortitude against the sunshine blazing through the windows.

The Expanse Draper

Of course, Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) traded barbs before the UN/Martian summit, arguing whether Eros really met its end when it crashed into Venus. Errinwright swore that he’d share any information he got with her—presumably bursting into sinister laughter immediately after leaving the room because everyone knows what a load that was. The good news is that Avasarala has her own source of information: a cocky, philosophizing scientist on Colonel Janus’ (Conrad Pia) mission to Venus aboard the Arboghast. Their ship was heavily shadowed by the Mars contingent there, but they ultimately discovered something shocking in the Eros crater: life in an environment that melts lead. The Protomolecule truly is a game-changer.

The Expanse UN

Draper’s testimony went according to plan, setting up the crew from Mars to negotiate reparations for the destruction on Ganymede and the disruption of the farming routes, but they placed the full blame of the incident on Private Travis (Mpho Koaho) and his apparent need to prove himself as a Martian. This left Draper scrambling, livid, fuming with her lonely medal on the desert of her uniform. She was aching for another chance to speak the truth, and Avasarala obliged.

Her suspicion couldn’t be tamed. It led to two of the most Yas Queen Avasarala moments of the entire season.

  1. Her scowling “Wherever I goddamn liiiiiiiiike.”
  2. “Whoever the fuck you are, stand down and let her speak.”

Frozen perfection. Her owning other people who think they’re in charge has become a highlight of each episode.

She questioned Draper about Travis, flustering her to the point of telling the truth about the monster without the vac suit, but after asking what made him open fire, she reverted back to her original story about Travis (despite no one in that room believing her anymore).

Meanwhile, Holden and Amos (Wes Chatham) hijacked a cargo ship called The Somnambulist, operated by Melissa Suputayaporn (Valerie Buhagiar) and her husband Suputayaporn (Peter Williams) in order to use it as cover to get down to Ganymede.

The Expanse Avasarala

Meng tried to send a message but was blocked, so he used his knowledge in order to get information from Amos about what they were really doing, why they were hunting down Dr. Strickland, and what the Protomolecule has to do with all of it. They gave him what he wanted, but it led to more questions than answers. What does his daughter Mei have that Strickland wants? Does it have something to do with her genetic disorder, Myers-Skelton Premature Immunosenescence? If so, what’s the connection between the disease and the Protomolecule?

Their plan was to get through to the docking station undetected while Alex (Cas Anvar) cooled his heels behind one of the nearby moons, waiting as a backup to swoop in and save them if things went sideways.

And wouldn’t you know it, things went sideways. The cargo ship (which only wanted to deliver some much-needed supplies to the poor people of Ganymede!) was boarded by more hostiles (that’s two hijackings in as many days), which led to a sloppy firefight and Suputayaporn’s death. Holden’s mission began in earnest while Melissa wailed in mourning.

No, they were not off to a good start.


  • Holden let Melissa get behind him during his cargo sweep. Not great tactics there, captain.
  • Can you do a mission without lasagna?
  • Apparently Baltimore is under heavy construction.

What do you think will happen next week? Is war still on the table? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: NBC/SyFy

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