Expanse Recap: Holden Has To Choose Between The Monster And The Rocket

After seeing Holden vaporize what was once some poor Ganymede dweller’s kid last week, we were left wondering if it was him that had the empathy lobotomy on Tycho instead of Amos (the one who’d actually been contemplating it). Holden’s protomolecule obsession seemed to be the thing that drove Naomi to give up her relatively safe seat on the Rocinante in order to stay behind on the station to see what she could do to help the people left there. Choosing an uncertain future on Ganymede over following your boyfriend on a proto-witch hunt? Harsh—but probably the right decision.

Despite serious reservations held by both Prax (whose daughter may well have been proto-fied by Dr. Strickland) and Alex, Holden goes after a fleeing proto-being with vicious tenacity for the length of the episode. The only thing that snaps him out of it is when the Somnambulist, with Naomi, Amos and 50 refugees on board, comes under fire by an MCRN ship.

Back on Ganymede, Naomi had been attempting to repair the humanitarian aid ship that the Roci crew inadvertently got shot up by pirates. With the clock ticking and the station’s air supply failing, she manages to get the Somnambulist into space-worthy shape—the catch is, they can only save 50 or so of the people waiting just outside their airlock.

Expecting a riot, the Somnambulist’s pilot insists on taking off without risking opening the airlock but Naomi objects. Putting herself in danger of being trampled by a terrified mob, she leaves the ship to confront them. With the help of another brave Belter, they convince the group to let just 50 people board, children and young women and men first.

Then comes the attack from the MCRN. Luckily, Alex pulls Holden out of his proto-daze just in time for the Roci to blast a Somnambulist-destined torpedo out of the sky and threaten the MCRN fleet with mutual annihilation.

Speaking of mutual annihilation, Chrisjen has decided to take Jules-Pierre Mao up on his offer of an unprotected visit on a random ship in a location of his choosing—but it’s Errinwright who (big surprise) proves to be the more shady character. With Avasarala stuck in space (Bobbie Draper in tow), he threatens the entire group, saying he’ll destroy them all if Mao doesn’t return to work on the protomolecule project—for Earth and Earth only. To prove his point, he takes out an MCRN ship on its way to collect a batch of protomolecule from Ganymede.

With just one episode left in the season, a protomolecule-free future doesn’t appear to be in store for the Expanse universe. Holden’s going to be so bummed.