The Expanse Episodes

Season

3

Episode

1

Fight or Flight

As news of the protomolecule snakes its way around Earth, Mars, and the Belt, everybody is preparing for war. On Earth, the UN meets to figure out their next step. Errinwright — who's lying about Avasarala's whereabouts — pushes for a first-strike on Mars before Mars uses the protomolecule to gain military dominance. Secretary-General Gillis is reluctant but is ultimately convinced; he calls for a full Security Council vote to authorize war.

Up in space, the seriously demoralized crew of the Rocinante scan the hull of the ship for signs of the protomolecule. It's clean. But Prax can't stop thinking about the hybrid creature they killed and whether or not it was his daughter, Mei.

Elsewhere, Amos and Alex are tense with each other, and they talk about what to do next now that Naomi's deception has been revealed. Alex says they need to keep their "family" together, but Amos says they're no such thing and is planning to cut loose to Ceres. Alex presses Amos to say what he felt when he heard what Naomi did. Amos: "She's not the person I thought she

was."

On Jules-Pierre Mao's ship, Avasarala fights to keep Cotyar alive. Bobbie Draper, still in her armored suit, says there are more hostiles onboard and needs to leave for a few moments. Avasarala is NOT very happy about that. Draper goes and digs out Theo, that panicked tech who helped her out earlier, from his hiding spot. She needs his help and isn't interested in taking no for an answer. "Today," she says, "you get to be a hero."

Prax is pretty much the only one on the Roci still talking to Naomi, so they bond a bit over what they should name the transponder. Prax suggests "Contorta," since it's a pine that can only survive by dying with fire. Naomi seems to take some small comfort in that.

On Tycho, Fred Johnson sends a video message to Anderson Dawes on Ceres, saying he has the protomolecule, and they need to work together to help the Belt against Earth and Mars. On Mao's ship, Cotyar is (slowly) recovering, and he warns Avasarala that Errinwright surely knows they've survived. They'll need a plan of action. When Draper opens the pod door, a nervous Avasarala opens fire before she sees who it is. The bullets bounce off of Draper's mecha-suit, and Draper congratulates Avasarala on a job well done.

At the UN, Errinwright fabricates a half-true story to Gillis in an attempt to throw the blame for Eros at Avasarala's feet. He says she's been running a shadow government (true) and helping Fred Johnson (true) and running the weapons tests on Eros (false). Gillis ends up buying it and gives the order to have her apprehended "at all costs."

Elsewhere, Drummer is working out HARD and really punishing her body that's still healing from the attempted coup on Tycho. She's interrupted by Fred, who tells her about the protomolecule and his plans to share it with Dawes. Drummer, who has her own dark past with Dawes, flips out at this.

On the Roci, Naomi tries to convince Amos and Alex that they should go to Tycho. They're being sought by both Martian and Earther patrols and won't last long on their own. Tycho and Fred Johnson are their only allies. Amos and Alex are too furious with her to properly consider it. Amos and Alex finish up their repair work, but out of their sight below deck, some remnant protomolecule goo remains undetected.

On Mao's ship, Avasarala and her allies come upon the flight crew, who feign innocence until Draper and her mecha-suit step on some kind of electrical barrier. In the ensuing shootout, Cotyar's sharpshooting skills take the whole crew out.

Amos updates Holden on their efforts to go unnoticed as they travel. Then he says they should go to Tycho like Naomi suggested. Even if they're all mad at her, she's right. Later, Naomi checks in on Holden, and he still doesn't seem to want to talk much. After she leaves, though, he takes out his anger on an unsuspecting coffee machine.

Aboard Mao's ship, they learn that Errinwright is sending missiles from a nearby ship to destroy them. Cotyar remembers someone mentioning that Mao keeps a racing ship for his son aboard. They need to get to it. But Avasarala sends Theo to retrieve the ship's communication logs so she can nail Errinwright upon their return.

Holden and Prax have a nice conversation about learning to let go of the past. Holden sees that Prax is still tormented, and he tries to assure him that the hybrid they killed wasn't Mei. Prax says they'll never know for sure, and he'll have to live with it.

Theo retrieves the comm logs, and Cotyar hustles the group to find this racing ship. They find it, but the bad news is it's a two-seater. And they can't even get to it with the doors locked, which they will remain as long as the ship is at full burn. Draper heads off to handle it.

Alex records a message to his family, apologizing for not being there for them. Meanwhile, Draper has cut a hole in Mao's ship and is walking the exterior hull in her mecha-suit in order to manually open the hangar doors.

Holden surprises his crew with a new plan: he says they never looked hard enough for Prax's daughter, and now he's got a lead on one of Mao's stations on Io. Naomi objects and says Tycho is the only place they're safe. Holden assures her he's put the protomolecule betrayal behind him, and that going to Io is what's right. Amos and Alex concur, and a course is set.

On Tycho, Drummer is still pissed at Fred for trading away the dream of a new way forward for the Belt, just to get in cahoots with Dawes and the protomolecule. Fred, meanwhile, needs Drummer to lead a mission to salvage the Nauvoo, last seen pushing Eros across the system. With the hangar door open, Draper and Avasarala are free to launch (Cotyar and Theo are taking the drop ship). Avasarala and Cotyar share an emotional goodbye, and then Avasarala and Draper bicker all the way into their ship. Draper speeds their ship away just as the missiles destroy Mao's ship.