Expanse Recap: Julie Mao Can’t Go Home

We didn’t have to wait long for answers about where Eros is heading. Right off the top of this week’s episode, we learned that it was Destination: Earth for the protomolecule-infested asteroid—one that’s three times bigger than the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs. So, new question: WTF is everyone going to do about it?

The UN has decided that unleashing an arsenal of nuclear missiles in Eros’ direction is the best course of action, despite the fact that the bombs could send fragments of protomolecule scattering across the galaxy to do who knows what. At least Avasarala was smart enough to give Mars a heads up, so war with them can be, uh, postponed? For their part, Mars agrees not to launch a counterattack, but doesn’t offer Earth any assistance. The guy responsible for the possible destruction of Earth, Jules-Pierre Mao, has gone dark and Errinwright is understandably freaking out. You want to keep tabs on a guy like Mao.

Meanwhile, Holden and the Roci are tailing Eros as it careens towards the planet and Miller is still stuck on the asteroid with his wonky nuclear bomb. Their new plan is to get the nuke to the heart of the proto-colony—to the Blue Falcon, where the molecule’s first victim, Julie Mao, was infected. Miller hypothesizes that while it infected her, she may have infected it back. Bits of her memories echo through the station, making Miller believe that she may be the one piloting the asteroid.

A shaky agreement to work together is forged between the UN, the OPA, and the Roci crew, who know that Earth’s missiles are heading for Eros. The Rocinante is the only ship who can light up the fast-moving asteroid now that it’s managed to disappear itself from all radar. The only reason the Roci can see it, is because they’ve got actual eyes on it—but that’s getting more and more difficult as the protomolecule picks up speed and the Roci is forced to go after it at a great cost to its crew. Eventually, they’re convinced to give up the chase—by Miller, who’s new plan is everyone’s only hope now.

Hearing her voice as he gets closer to the epicentre of proto-everything, Miller becomes convinced that he can reason with proto-Julie and get her to steer Eros away from Earth. That’s when things get super weird and his obsession with Julie Mao is fully revealed. Lying naked in a web of proto-matter, Mao is at first frightened by Miller and what’s happening to her. She wants to go home, she tells him (home being Earth, the place she’s subconsciously navigating Eros towards). He manages to calm her and convince her to head for Venus instead, sealing the deal with a kiss.

That’s the end of Miller, Mao, and Eros… but we can’t say the same for the protomolecule—there’s still the sample that Holden hid out in deep space.