Expanse Recap: Here There Be Dragons (And By Dragons We Mean Protomolecule)

As we close in on the end of The Expanse’s second season, things are getting dark. Who would have predicted good guy Holden’s easy-going, coffee-loving personality to be completely subsumed by his obsession to defeat the protomolecule? As the molecule advances across the galaxy, Holden becomes more and more ruthless, adopting an Amos-like habit of firing first and asking questions later. How many people is Holden willing to sacrifice for what he sees as the greater good?

Perhaps even more surprising than Holden’s defection to the dark side is Bobbie’s defection to Earth. Sgt. Draper’s entire existence is tied to her role as a Martian Marine. It would take something drastic to change the course of her life—the sacrificing of her entire squad to create a marketing video for a weapons program, for example. When Draper finds out the truth about what happened to her crew in Ganymede, she goes AWOL and seeks out Avasarala (who’s having a really good day, btw).

On Ganymede, Holden and his crew are still searching for Prax’s daughter and Dr. Strickland. We get a glimpse of what the doctor and his colleagues are up to at the top of the episode when he lures Mei away with a story about a chrysalis that becomes a butterfly—foreshadowing for the big reveal, a program that seems to be taking kids from Ganymede and turning them into protomolecule-fuelled super soldiers. Of course, we’re still speculating at this point, but the vac suit-less figure Holden sees at the end of the episode goes always to back up this theory.

The other big breakthrough in the pursuit of the protomolecule happens far from Ganymede, on Venus. Encouraged by Avasarala’s scientist pal to flout laws and conventions, the mission manages to finally land a probe on the planet at the site where Eros crashed into it. What will they find… and do we even want to know?