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Episode Recap: Intransigence
While The Rocinante maneuvers to evade capture, Naomi must come to grips with who she is and who she wants to be.
The Behemoth is still experiencing power failures after firing its missile at the Rocinante. Naomi, being the chief engineer, should be working on that, but she just wants to know whether the missile hit its target or not. Ashford tries to give her orders, and when Naomi resists, Drummer says it was she who gave the order to fire and she who's ordering Naomi to get to work. Drummer offers an apology if she's killed Naomi's old crewmates, but she says, "Hate me later, work now."
Aboard the Roci, Alex, Holden, and Amos are trying to make sense of what's happening. They're in some kind of suspended bubble at the doorstep of the ring, their comms don't work, and the missile that was headed right for them is barely moving. There's also the matter of whoever sent that message of Holden as a Belter terrorist; Amos realizes it was Cohen who'd been snooping about the ship. To Monica's angry surprise, Cohen admits it, though he promises he didn't know he was doing anything quite so terrible.
Meanwhile, the MCRN ship Xuesen is following the Roci and trying to hail them via target lock. Holden says they need to get comms back online ASAP, then heads off to speak to Miller again. "What do you want me to find?" he asks to an empty room, but Miller isn't showing up.
Anna and the other passengers aboard the Thomas Prince receive a message from Secretary General Avasarala that, in light of the attacks, all civilian ships are being called back to Earth.
Meanwhile, as Melba chats with some other workers about hazard pay (for those who stick around) and Ren (who the others assume died on the Seung Un), she overhears a woman talking to Anna whose voice she remembers. She flashes back to being at a very fancy party, seemingly on Earth, where this woman was an oblivious socialite.
At this party, Melba heads off to find the guests of honor and — surprise! It's Jules-Pierre Mao and his daughter Julie, the latter of whom we last saw crashing into Venus with Miller aboard Eros. But this is back when Julie was a Razorback racer and the rebellious daughter of a wealthy industrialist, and — surprise number two! Melba is Julie's sister and Jules-Pierre's other, more responsible, more loyal daughter. We see Julie quit her racing team in a huff after telling her father she wants nothing to do with him and his corruption. Melba quietly volunteers to take Julie's place, but Jules-Pierre brushes her off without a thought.
Back on the Roci, Amos tries to get Cohen to help him get the ship back online, but Cohen doesn't seem to know much about the sabotage plot he's a part of. He presents Amos with the slide he added to the ship's machinery, but Alex doesn't know what to make of it ("that's a Naomi problem," he says). So Amos tries threatening to kill Monica if Cohen doesn't provide more answers.
The Xuesen launches a pair of probes at the Roci. One goes too fast and gets caught by whatever drew the Behemoth's missile away (by tracking the speed of that probe, both the Xuesen and Alex are able to determine how fast is too fast to move within the Ring). The other one approaches the outer edge and promptly blinks out of existence. So … not a great option either. Holden and Alex have to figure out a plan before the same happens to them.
The MCRN sends out a message that the Xuesen is pursuing the Roci on the other side of the ring, but all other ships should stay put. Aboard the Behemoth, Ashford goes to find Naomi, and tells her that the Roci is likely still intact if the MCRN is pursuing it. He also says they're planning on heading through the Ring themselves, orders be damned. He can tell she's thinking about returning to the Roci and tries to convince her that it's just her guilt talking. They need her here on the Behemoth. Naomi is for sure conflicted, though, and doesn't give him an answer either way.
After checking on Holden to see if he's communicated with the ghost of Miller yet (Holden wordlessly shuts the door in Alex's face, then resumes hollering for Miller), Alex then spots Amos ready to space Monica and Cohen. Everybody thinks Amos has lost it, but Amos coolly reasons that they need to get communication to the other ships, and the MCRN isn't looking to arrest two documentarians, right? While Monica and Cohen don their space suits, Alex comes around to Amos's rationale. Alex then begs Monica to tell the MCRN the truth about the Seung Un. Monica gives a look that isn't quite sure how she's going to paint these people who are forcing her out into open space.
Aboard the Thomas Prince, Anna watches ruefully as everybody makes their plans to return home. She spots Miss Fagin, the socialite from earlier, and approaches her. She got the sense that Fagin wasn't going to be leaving the ship – correct; Fagin is using her parents' business connections to stay aboard — and wants help getting to stay herself. Why is she so determined to stick around when danger lurks? Anna: "It's the first miracle that's happened in my lifetime." Fagin puts it in more sensual, earthbound terms: "You want to indulge in a selfish desire to be part of something amazing."
Melba and her crewmates clean out Ren's locker and gossip about the Holden recording, with Melba making sure to get a dig in about doubting everything else about Holden that's supposed to be true. When Soledad finds Ren's list of performance reviews, she reads them out, including one about how Melba could be a great technician with some mentoring. Too bad she murdered him!
In another flashback, we see Melba and Julie have an argument, after Julie walked out of that party. Melba says she's selfish and condescending and ungrateful of everything their father has done for her, but Julie is unmoved. "Our father is a damaged man," she says. "You're never gonna be good enough for him."
On the Roci, Holden laments not being able to conjure Miller anymore. With time running out, and with no one being all that confident that the documentarians will clear their names, Holden says their only good plan is to surrender to the MCRN and try to set the record straight. It'll mean they lose the Rocinante, though. "I didn't think it'd end like this," Alex says, a bit disbelievingly.
As the Behemoth approaches the Ring and prepares to push through, the mood onboard is trepidatious. So Drummer delivers a fiery speech about Belter pride, firing up the crew — all except Naomi, who looks as conflicted as ever — as they stomp their boots in unison. And so the Behemoth passes through the Ring.
On the Thomas Prince, Anna pulls her priest friend out of the line boarding for Titan. She excitedly tells him she's found a way for them to stay, but he pretty much immediately shoots her down. He has a family to think of, for one. For another, he's changed his mind about why they're out there. "God is not with us out here," he surmises. Meanwhile, an ensign trying to leave the ship gets caught as a deserter and dragged back to his unit.
Anna then spots Melba and introduces herself. "Now that I'm committed," Anna says of the trip through the Ring, "I'm feeling overwhelmed." Melba says she knows what that's like. Anna then asks Melba what made her decide to stay, and suddenly we're in another flashback, after Julie stormed out of that party. As insolent as Julie was, Jules-Pierre can't help but speak of her with admiration, while despite Melba's loyalty, he can only sneer at her that all she does is plan parties. Back on the Thomas Prince, Melba lies that it was the hazard pay that had her signing up for this mission.
Melba then finds the bags they packed for Ren and finds his communication device, upon which she records a message. She tells whomever gets the device, probably Ren's kid, what a good man Ren was. She then asks that this message be delivered to her father, Jules-Pierre Mao. "Daddy," she says, "everything you feared about the protomolecule has come to pass. And instead of being held as a visionary, you're rotting away in jail. I can't fix that, but I can destroy the man who brought you low. That's something Julie never could and never would do for you. I just wanted you to know that."
Naomi tries to quietly board an exit hatch and get off the Behemoth, but she's caught by Drummer. Stung, Drummer asks why Naomi would want to desert the ship, and specifically her. Naomi says she left the Roci for the wrong reasons. Drummer, genuinely wounded, then asks why she was trying to sneak away without so much as a word, and Naomi says she was afraid Drummer would say no. But Drummer proves her wrong and opens the bay door for her. "You underestimate me," Drummer says, and lets Naomi leave.
Elsewhere, the Roci slows down in preparation of being boarded. Of course this is when Miller decides to appear to Holden again, wondering why they're changing course. Miller is still speaking a lot of jargon, but he's much more focused and in the moment. "Signal's pretty good inside the Ring," Miller explains. He tells Holden he should be trying to get to the nucleus, that faraway ball that appears to be drawing faster-moving objects into itself.
From her ship, Naomi tries to hail the Rocinante, but gets no luck. "Hang in there," she says to the dead air. "I'm coming.
Holden has donned a space suit and is standing on the exterior of the Rocinante, taking in the glowy weirdness of the Ring. He spots the dark ball that is the nucleus in the distance, takes a breath, and then launches himself off the ship, headed to uncertainty.