Expanse Recap: Humanity Discovers We’re Not Alone In Paradigm Shift

You have to pick a side.

The brief period of cooperation between the OPA, the UN, and Mars (to the extent that they didn’t shoot Earth’s Eros-aimed nukes out of the sky, anyway) is over. Tension and suspicion have regained their regular place in the dealings between each faction as the debate over whether or not to publicize the existence of the protomolecule rages on. Miller, for his part, has become a martyr for the Belter’s cause.

Ultimately, secrecy wins the day. Fred Johnson is covertly holding onto the UN’s missing missiles and insisting that what happened on Venus needs to stay on Venus. Chrisjen Avasarala wants to secretly interrogate Jules-Pierre Mao (anyone who saw her question that Belter in season one knows what that means). And Holden and the crew of the Roci have decided to destroy the second batch of protomolecule in secret (they decide to, but they don’t).

Technology changes everything. 137 years ago, Expanse time, Solomon Epstein invented the Epstein Drive, a modified fusion drive that made the colonization of Mars and other nearby locations in the Belt possible. Now the UN’s (missing) nukes are equipped with the technology. The protomolecule is another kind of technology—and the fact that it’s not man-made means that we aren’t alone in the universe. On Earth, they’re already hypothesizing that the protomolecule is proof of alien life.

On Ganymede, Draper and her MCRN squad engage in a tense standoff along the border between the territory claimed by Mars and that by Earth. But something’s not right (like, more than usual). Someone has jammed their comms and the squad is cut off from their command ship above—not that it matters for long. In seconds, the Martian warship is shot out of the sky and Draper and her MCRN mates are being charged by a UN unit. The next time we see them, the squad’s been flattened to the dirt (and quite possibly dead).

Only Bobbie is still seen to be breathing. Opening her eyes she sees two things: a ship hovering high overhead and someone/something not human hovering over her… for a minute, anyway, before it’s blasted to dust.