The Expanse Season Premiere Recap: The Roci Crew Can Either Fight Or Flight

The Expanse - Season 3

We’re right on the brink of a war between Mars and Earth in the Season 3 premiere of The Expanse as both factions make moves to get their hands on a batch of the protomolecule. We probably don’t need to remind you what the alien tech does to the human body after last season’s jaw-dropping meet-up between Miller and the thing that used to be Julie Mao. Needless to say, it’ll be bad news if either side uses the weapon on the other. But at this point, the only person with the protomolecule in hand is Fred Johnson, a Belter who seems a little too keen on putting himself in the seat of power.

It was Naomi that handed the molecule to Fred (which explains why no one on the Rocinante will currently deign to speak to her unless absolutely necessary) but the rebel leader still lacks the wherewithal to turn the technology into an actual threat. Anderson Dawes holds that piece of the puzzle in the form of a scientist who knows how to weaponize the protomolecule. Johnson has already reached out to Dawes (infuriating Drummer, his closest conspirator) to suggest they mend fences for the good of the Belt. His plan involves sending Drummer out on a salvage mission—to bring back the Navoo and convert it into a warship.

The Expanse - Season 3

On another familiar battle-worn ship, The Rocinante, the crew is at odds with each other and struggling to accept Naomi’s betrayal. Their dwindling supplies will soon force them to dock… somewhere. But where? Fred Johnson is the last person the crew wants to see but he owes them, and Naomi is pushing for the Roci to set a course for Tycho Station.

They’re resistant but so far no one has a better idea. As they clean up after their encounter with the proto-being (although not well enough—uh oh), they begin to accept that Tycho is their best option… until Holden realizes that the crew is in debt to Prax. They said they’d find his daughter and they failed. Now Holden has an idea of where she might be: on a distant decommissioned refinery owned by Jules Pierre Mao. Naomi is outvoted and the crew decides that this will be their next destination.

The Expanse - Season 3

Of course, the season premiere also catches us up with Avasarala’s latest predicament, stuck aboard Mao’s space yacht with Bobbie Draper with a batch of UN missiles heading straight for them (courtesy of Errinwright’s treachery). It’s up to Bobbie to get everyone off the ship, preferably along with the life-saving evidence that will clear Avasarala of the various conspiracies Errinwright has charged her with. After a tense few hours, Bobbie manages to strong arm the group out of there and they take off in two separate ships just as the missiles hit Mao’s pleasure cruiser.

That. Was. Close.

5 questions we have about this week’s mega-tense premiere 

1. Is there a world in which Anderson Dawes could actually share power with Fred Johnson (or anyone)?

2. What’s going on on Venus? When we last visited the planet it was basically the new protomolecule central. Is there any chance that Miller is still alive… or something like alive?

3. Are things over between Holden and Naomi? Say it ain’t so!

4. What kind of welcome will Avasarala and Bobbie receive back on Earth (if they make it that far)? Errinwright has set her up as a traitor—will she be given the chance to prove her innocence?

5. Will Holden be able to get a replacement coffee maker where they’re heading or will he really have to switch to tea?