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Episode Recap: IFF

It's déjà vu all over again as Holden answers an unexpected distress signal. Elsewhere, a mysterious captor hunts Bobby and Avasarala


Mei wakes up screaming from a nightmare in whatever research facility Dr. Strickland is keeping her in. She's scared, but he pats her on the head and sends her to get her meds, before he returns to whatever protomolecule research he's conducting.

Jules-Pierre Mao lands on Io — at the same decommissioned helium refinery Holden sniffed out last week — and meets with Dr. Strickland. Mao is not happy.

Meanwhile, Draper and Avasarala are floating quietly among a debris field, trying to evade detection. Avasarala is still being quite thorny, even when Draper expresses condolences for what they both presume was Cotyar's death back on Mao's ship. Suddenly, they're being pursued, and Draper kicks it into high-G speed. But those speeds are taking their toll on Avasarala. They could kill her. They decide to send out an anonymous message for help.

On the Roci, Prax is earning his keep by installing energy gardens across the ship. Meanwhile, Alex and Naomi receive a distress signal — it's from Draper and Avasarala.

On Earth, the anti-war protests outside the UN are massive and agitated. A blonde woman is getting hustled past the crowds when a barricade breaks. The riot police begin beating a young protester, and when the woman, Anna, intervenes, she gets clocked on the head for her trouble. Undaunted, she provides care to the protester and uses whatever clout she has to demand that he be taken to a doctor.

Anna is brought in to see Secretary-General Gillis; it turns out, they're old friends. Gillis dismisses a perturbed Errinwright and then asks Anna if she'll help him write a speech that will help soothe the agitated people of Earth. Anna is clearly harboring some old resentments, but she mostly doesn't want to help Gillis sell his war. He presses, though, and she says if he will agree to fund her free clinic for undocumenteds, she'll help him.

On the Roci, Alex brings the recording of Draper's distress call to the rest of the crew. Alex is pretty gung-ho to go help a Martian in need, but Holden says they're out of the rescuing business. He doesn't even budge when Naomi radios in to say she's discovered the ship belongs to Julie Mao. Holden says they can't keep putting off the search for Prax's daughter. Suddenly, all eyes are on Prax. Would he put his quest on hold to make a rescue?

On Io, Mao fumes over Errinwright's demands and doesn't seem to be all that keen on handing the protomolecule over to people who only want it for war. Draper tries to get herself and Avasarala to safety without the high-G environment killing Avasarala. Chrisjen says if she dies, Draper needs to make sure the truth gets out. Suddenly, multiple UN ships fire on the little razorback, and Draper can't escape them. That's when two friendly missiles fire past their ship and draw the other missiles away, while a few others float alongside the ship, as if guarding the ship - it's the Rocinante!

On the Roci, Holden and Alex plan their attack, while below deck, Amos questions why Prax would vote to help someone else and put Mei on the back burner.

Back at the UN, Anna places a call home to her wife and daughter to detail why she'll be staying for a while. Anna doesn't feel comfortable being the mouthpiece for a wartime government, and moreover, she thinks Gillis doesn't bring out her best. She's still so angry at him over ... something.

With the UNN ship firing on them, the Roci kicks into high-G, which means Prax and Amos have to strap in down below. Only Prax didn't fully latch the tool-cabinet lock, and suddenly a dozen or more incredibly dangerous tools are flying around their heads. One disconnects Prax's oxygen tube, and Amos has to make a daring rescue.

At the UN, we learn that Anna once helped Gillis write a rousing wartime speech that she now regrets being a part of. Errinwright tries to make inroads with her, but she doesn't take to him, with his slurs against Belters and willingness to use extreme force. On Io, Strickland shares his belief with Mao that the children they're experimenting on are the key to controlling the protomolecule. He says they all share the same immuno-deficiency that might allow them to inhibit the molecule. Meanwhile, Mei makes a friend among her fellow experimentees, Katoa. He reveals that the experiments are making his arms glow blue.

The Roci is able to draw away more of the UNN's missiles, and then finally, using those explosions as a shield, they're able to fly in close enough to knock out the UNN ship's engines. They've saved the razorback, but have now essentially declared war on Earth.

Prax and Amos try to repair the busted gardens, and Amos tells Prax that he can't ever give up on Mei. Meanwhile, Draper and her ship are safe, but as she boards the Rocinante and faces the crew, she's holding Avasarala's seemingly lifeless body. “Help her,” she pleads.