Holden And Miller Work The Same Case In “Rock Bottom”

Being a Star Helix detective on Ceres is dangerous work. With Havelock still in the hospital recovering from his near-death experience during the early days of the Medina riots, his partner Miller finds himself in equally dire circumstances after he’s kidnapped by a pair of Anderson Dawes’ OPA thugs. Dawes wants to know what Miller knows about Julie Mao but Miller doesn’t want to share, even after Dawes asks really, really nicely.


So Miller spends most of the episode held captive in some dank back room on Ceres where he’s treated to multiple interrogations, copious tasings, and the sad tale of the death of Athena Dawes—Anderson’s Belt-born sister whose beautiful bones were too fragile to support her body. Rumour had it that Athena died doing dangerous OPA business, assigned a mission by an older brother who cared little for her safety. But Anderson’s version of how she met her end is more tragic: Dawes tells Miller that Athena became so ill and his family was so poor that he killed her himself. Afterwards, he cried so hard that blood came out of his eyes. Belt life isn’t easy.


What is easy, apparently, is ordering the death of a Star Helix detective. After telling Miller that Mao, the object of his obsession, would have “spit in his face”, Dawes orders his underlings to dispose of Miller. Just as they’re dumping him into an airlock, Detective Muss shows up and puts two bullets in their backs, saving Miller’s skin.


His bad day, however, is just beginning. Handing over the Julie Mao data chip he fought so hard to keep out of Dawes’ hands to his superior, Captain Shaddid, Miller is unceremoniously stripped of his security clearance and shown the door. Did she not like what the video Miller showed her had to say about a bio-weapon and Phoebe Station, or has Dawes finally gone over Miller’s head and bought off his boss?


On the surface, things are going slightly better for Holden who has docked his small crew on Tycho Station and hammered out a deal with OPA leader and self-styled “peace broker” Fred Johnson. In it, Johnson gets the crew’s recorded testimony about what happened to the Canterbury and the Donnager to take to the UN and in return, Holden gets to set out in the Rocinante with his crew on a mission to find out what happened on the Scopuli and to attempt to retrieve a lone survivor, code name: Lionel Polanski. We’d say this so-called deal works heavily to Johnson’s advantage but then again, Holden is really attached to the coffee supply on the Roci.


The question is: can the crew really trust Johnson? Naomi clearly doesn’t, despite the fact that she’s made a deal of her own with the OPA bigwig. “The Butcher” has a dark past and his current actions (why did her discreetly remove that data chip from Lopez’s flight suit? was that his spy recording Holden and Naomi’s every move in the bar on Tycho?) are suspect.


What’s intriguing is that, unbeknownst to either of them, Miller and Holden are working the same case. Somewhere, somehow, will they eventually cross paths and trade information?

The Expanse Episode 6: By the Numbers

1: Number of people Miller has shot in his entire career with Star Helix

2: Number of people Detective Muss shot in one day

6: Number of shots downed by Holden’s crew in Tycho Station’s finest drinking establishments

3: Martian trade zones the Rocinante will have to sneak through on their new mission

2: People tossed into airlocks

0: Copies of the encrypted data chip that Miller handed over to Captain Shaddid… or is there?