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Episode Recap: The Monster and the Rocket
The hunt for the Protomolecule hybrid is on, while Avasarala and Bobbie walk into the lion's den.
On Earth, Undersecretary Errinwright spends time with his young son. He's clearly haunted by the testimony he's going to have to give to the panel on Eros. As he tries to impart lessons about growing up like "listen to your heart," you get the feeling he's not planning on being around for much longer. Still, he tells his son that everything is going to be okay.
The Rocinante — with Holden, Alex, and Prax aboard — takes off from Ganymede and begins scanning for the Protomolecule hybrid creature that escaped. They find it in the AG dome, and while Holden wants to eliminate it, Prax thinks it could be — or once could have been — his daughter. The two men argue, but Holden doesn't want to hear dissent. Alex is forced to take evasive maneuvers to avoid MCRN detection, though, and they lose the signal on the hybrid.
Avasarala tries to assure Errinwright that the hearing will be okay. She also tells him about her upcoming meeting with Jules-Pierre Mao. Errinwright tells her to make him a peace offer, as it may be their only chance to "stay in the game." He truly believes Mars will use the Protomolecule to destroy Earth, and he tells Avasarala to convince Mao of the same.
On Ganymede, Melissa, the captain of the Weeping Somnambulist, is trying to herd refugees into ships when Naomi approaches with an offer to fix the Somnambulist. "You people are shit magnets," Melissa scoffs, but Naomi correctly points out that Melissa needs her. Time is short for Ganymede.
Avasarala — along with a bickering Bobbie and Cotyar — prepares to leave for her meeting with Mao. She's nervous about traveling off planet, and Cotyar teases her. Bobbie is pissy about being there in the first place. Avasarala: "Any sh*t that goes down, I expect you [two] to get me out of it." Cotyar distracts her with his misgivings about this meeting with Mao.
Meanwhile, Errinwright is in his office and signs what appears to be a suicide note and then lingers over a vial of what appears to be poison.
Having evaded detection, the Roci approaches the AG Dome. Alex tries to maneuver the ship inside the crumbling structure, and Holden tells him to keep pushing. They see the hybrid and fire upon it. They miss, but Prax goes nuts. He and Holden have another argument, and we see that Holden is crazed about eliminating this hybrid before it can do any more damage.
On Ganymede, Melissa is having trouble controlling the crowd of refugees, who try to overrun her. Amos tries to help with crowd control, but they ultimately have to shut the doors. The pressure is on for Naomi to fix the ship soon. Amos, who is still bleeding, needs a shot of painkiller. Melissa informs Naomi that the ship can hold 300, but they only have air enough for 52 people. There are over 100 refugees, and they're all going to rush onto the ship once those doors open. Naomi says they can take off with 100 and then send the overflow to the Roci when they rendezvous, but Melissa isn't banking her oxygen on the Roci being there. Melissa doesn't think they can open those doors at all, but Naomi is adamant. "We're not f**king leaving those people here."
Martian defense minister Korshunov meets with Errinwright in his office, where they attempt to negotiate over what to do about Bobbie Draper and her defector status. Errinwright stresses, "Let's not let the next war become our last war." Korshunov makes the case for new technology as a game changer. It could shave a century off of their terraforming efforts, if nothing else." But while the meeting has appeared to be civil, suddenly Korshunov drops to his knees, clearly having been poisoned by Errinwright, who monologues about a poison they discovered that only affects Martians. "You were right," he says. "One of us has to lose."
The unrest on Ganymede continues. The big muscle guy whom Melissa hired for crowd control is turning on her, and the hordes might bust down the door. On the ship, Amos tells Naomi that Melissa is right: they can't open that door. They'd doom themselves if they did.
While Bobbie and Cotyar continue to bicker, she catches on to the fact that he served in the military, so that's something they can bond over. They talk about his secret ops service, and he says he got Avasarala's son killed.
Meanwhile, Captain Malick greets Avasarala and welcomes her to Mao's ship. It's very ornate, and Avasarala makes sure to mention it. Jules-Pierre Mao soon joins them, and while he starts with small talk, Chrisjen interrupts: "Just get to the f**king point."
The Roci continues to search the AG dome for the hybrid. They're also tracking the MCRN ship Karakum when it suddenly disappears from radar. Alex thinks someone blew it up.
On Ganymede, there are explosions outside, as something big has fallen out of orbit. The Karakum? Crisis and panic sets in, and Melissa tells Naomi to prepare to shove off.
Mao demands Avasarala stop persecuting his family and un-freeze its assets. He wants to keep Earth and Mars in balance re: access to the Protomolecule, to which Avasarala notes that what Mao really wants is to keep himself wealthy in the middle of Earth and Mars. Suddenly, there's a video message from Errinwright, who announced both Minister Korsunov's death and the destruction of the Karakum over Ganymede. Errinwright threatens to destroy Mao where he sits, but he also turns to Avasarala: "Chrisjen, you taught me that Earth comes first." He tells her she betrayed her. He orders Mao to kill Avasarala and return to Earth alone, so they can resume their partnership. Mao's people draw their guns on Avasarala, Cotyar, and Bobbie, as Mao exits.
On the Somnambulist, Naomi wants to try talking to the refugees. Amos tries to stop her, so she shoots him up with a double dose of painkillers. Naomi strides out to the doors and opens them; the hordes stream in. The muscle Melissa tried to hire tries to choke her out, but she tells him they need to get only 52 on the ship or they'll all die. She says she didn't do enough before she left Eros, and this is her chance to atone. He agrees to help, and they manage to get the Belters to put their women and children onto the ship first, followed by an orderly procession thereafter. The cutoff point is hard for everyone to take, but the Belters are strong. Naomi offers the crowd-control guy her place on the ship, but he pushes her onboard: "You're not finished yet."
The Roci continues to maneuver inside AG Dome when the hybrid appears. Prax wants to go make contact, but Holden says no. Alex says they need to rendezvous with the Somnambulist and defend it: "Our family needs our help right now."
The Somnambulist gets a final no-fly warning from the MCRN, and then the Martians fire a torpedo at the ship. It's about to destroy them when the Roci intercepts. Alex got it! More targets are now locked on the Roci, but Holden gets on an open channel and says any ship that opens fire on them, they'll all die together. "Stay clear." The Martians remove target locks.
Melissa tells Naomi they did well as the Somnambulist and the Rocinante fly off together. But we see the Roci has some company: the hybrid got onboard before it left Ganymede.