The Expanse Recap: Reload Or Die Trying


The crew of the Rocinante has their Martian disguise work to their disadvantage on this week’s episode of The Expanse. Far from their destination and running low on both fuel and ammo, the ship is forced to dock next to a destroyed Martian warship and raid it for supplies. While searching for the things they need to get them to Io, they’re surprised by a barely breathing trio of survivors who Holden (he’s so predictable) insists on rescuing.

After an initial wave of relief over the whole not dying thing, the young Martians quickly deduce that the people aboard the Roci aren’t Martian (or, in Alex’s case, not Martian enough). Worse than that, they’re a bunch of battle-dodging, peace-loving, anti-war pacifists. Is there anything a Marine hates more? We doubt it. The three overpower Alex and attempt to take control of the ship. What they failed to take into account, however, was that Sergeant Bobbie Draper was on board. The highlight of the episode comes when one of the Martians throws his hands up in defeat after just one look at her. She’s such a badass.


After an embarrassing defeat, the Martians accept their Holden-determined fate: they’ll be sent to Jupiter on their own ship (made flight worthy by Naomi), the site of a standoff between Earth and Mars, where they’ll deliver Avasarala’s evidence of Errinwright’s treachery to their superiors—who will hopefully pass the intel onto the UN and reveal that this whole war is based on a lie.

As a kind of insurance policy, Chrisjen manages to convince Holden to send it directly to one other person, even though the transmission risks revealing the ship’s location to everyone that wants them dead (so, like, everyone). That same footage of Errinwright ends up in the inbox of the only person who might hate him more than Avasarala herself: Anna Volovodov, whose words about peace and working together were Frankenstein-ed with Errinwright’s own ideas about Martian inferiority in a speech delivered by Secretary General Gillis to the entire planet (and beyond). Just as Anna was about to head home, suddenly Avasarala’s message gives her a reason to stay—and take down Errinwright. We hope.


The faster the better, because there’s a horror show unfolding on Io that someone needs to stop. Jules-Pierre Mao has ordered that the protomolecule experiments be halted after he sees the potential negative effects it could have on children like Mei—who he has a soft spot for. Dr. Strickland, however, has been keeping the project going in secret, continuing to dose Mei’s friend Katoa with the blue juice. When Mei leads Mao to the locked room where Strickland is keeping her friend, Mao orders it unlocked. He shouldn’t have. The scene is so bloody and disorienting that we kind of wished we were back on Eros. Say no to protomolecule, kids.

5 questions we have about this week’s episode of The Expanse:

1. What are Fred Johnson’s ultimate plans for the repurposed Nauvoo? Does he have a target in mind for the soon-to-be battleship or is it merely a symbol of the Belt’s potential to wage war or defend itself? We’re guessing that depends on Anderson Dawes’ involvement.

2. What is red kibble and where (outside the Belt) can we try it?

3. What will Anna do with the information Avasarala sent her? Will she get to use it before Errinwright finds out she has it?

4. What do Katoa’s strange computer-voice monologues mean? Why was Mao so excited about them, calling them/him the ‘key to everything’?

5. Which Expanse scene was more gruesome: Julie Mao’s body on Eros or Katoa’s dismembered nurse on Io?