The Expanse Recap: Identifying Friends Or Foes Is Easier Said Than Done In IFF

the expanse

The crew of the Roci were right when they guessed that Dr. Strickland was hiding out on the decommissioned Helium-3 refinery owned by Jules-Pierre Mao. This week, we got to see what the doctor was working on there.

Strickland has discovered that the kids from Ganymede, with their unique genetic immune deficiencies, have the power to inhibit and control the Protomolecule. Basically, he plans to turn these kids, including Prax’s daughter Mei, into glowing blue weapons of mass destruction. Mao couldn’t be happier.


But the Roci crew were wrong when they thought the old refinery would be their next stop. On course for Io, they pick up a Martian distress call coming from a ship whose signature identifies the owner as Julie Mao. Holden wants to ignore this new intrigue and stay on course to find Mei, but Alex argues that he took an oath to help other Martian Marines no matter the situation. Prax awkwardly casts the deciding vote and they come to the ship’s aid.

Of course, it’s none other than Chrisjen Avasarala and Bobbie Draper on board, attempting to outrun a half-dozen UNN nukes heading towards the razorback—Julie’s razorback—that they used to escape certain death aboard Jules-Pierre Mao’s cruiser. Some smart maneuvering sees the Roci knock both engines clean off the attacking UNN ship, stranding it in space so that they and the Razorback can make a getaway. The two ships link up and Bobbie boards the Roci, carrying a very sick Avasarala in her arms, and begging the crew to “Help her, please.”


As the war between Earth and Mars escalates, Secretary General Gillis brings in an old friend to help him get Earthers on his side. There are protests outside the UNN headquarters that are on the verge of turning violent. Gillis’ friend, the reverend Anna, is something of a mystery. We know that she’s a reverend and a doctor with a wife and young daughter at home, but she appears to have had another life before this one. She’s agreed to visit Gillis and to help him, even though there’s clearly some bad blood between the two. We find out that Anna and Gillis collaborated in the past, during a different war. She was his speech writer then, and she regrets it. Now she’s consented to do that same job again in exchange for funding for her free clinic.

She seems like a nice person, but she’s not much of a negotiator.

5 questions we have about this week’s episode

1. We’ve got the same question Amos had for Prax: Why delay going after Mei to answer the razorback’s distress call? Is he afraid of what he might find when he finally reaches his daughter?

2. What’s the backstory between Anna and Gillis? It almost seems like it might have been a romantic partnership and a working partnership. Did he betray her?

3. When is that tiny splotch of Protomolecule still hidden in the Roci going to come into play?

4. If the Roci heads for Io now with Avasarala in tow, Errinwright and Mao are both screwed. But will Avasarala even make it? She didn’t look too good.

5. Why is Anna helping Gillis even though the war is clearly something she doesn’t believe in? Does she owe him or does she have a bigger plan… to get close to him again? To get him to trust her for some other purpose?