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Episode Recap: It Reaches Out
The Thomas Prince is stunned as a rogue tech enacts a terryfying plan.
Aboard the UNN research ship, the gathered elites try in vain to make sense of the footage of Maneo getting eviscerated as he entered the ring. Particularly curious was that his ship remained intact, according to the footage. Anna tries her best to calm down any notions that the Belters sent one of their own into the ring as a probe, and generally tries to calm everyone down about everything.
Also reacting to the Maneo footage is the crew of the Rocinante. Alex seems certain that a fleet of alien ships will soon be passing through the portal, while Holden — still reeling from seeing that vision of Miller — doesn't know what to think.
Over on the Behemoth, the central command of Drummer, Ashford, and Naomi wonder how soon until the Inners blame the OPA for Maneo's rock-hopper misadventures. Their well-earned cynicism tells them they'll get the blame for anything that goes wrong, but Earth and Mars will be quick to claim any miraculous discoveries.
Holden's pouring himself coffee when Miller appears again. He's speaking semi- comprehensible gibberish again ("bones like chalk") and Holden can't tell if he's trying to communicate or not. But when he shouts, "Are you trying to talk to me?!" it's Monica who's really there. She can obviously see he's coming undone, and that sounds like great fodder for her doc. She wants him to fully commit to letting her cameras capture what's going on with him.
On the UNN Seung Un, Melba comes to after bashing Ren's head in. Clearly, whatever super- powered state she went into when she attacked took a lot out of her. She's haunted by what she's done, but she also needs to clean up her mess so she won't get caught. At one point, she needs to super-charge herself again so she can crunch Ren's dead bones to fit him behind an access panel. It's gruesome work, but clearly she has a job to do. She then sets the hidden explosive and gets back to her ship.
On the Behemoth, Ashford approaches Drummer with some church wine and three glasses. He proposes a toast to Fred Johnson and Anderson Dawes for telling Secretary-General Avasarala that the Behemoth will not be deterred from its course towards the ring. What they really end up toasting to is to their bold rockhopper brethren, Maneo.
Amos catches Cohen, the documentary camera guy, snooping in the command deck. He blames his blindness-induced circadian rhythms for his night wandering, and then he makes one more play to get into Amos's pants, which – respect, but also – not gonna happen, unfortunately. Amos leads him away, and when Amos is gone, Cohen pulls out a pair of pliers, clearly having been tinkering with something.
Aboard her repair ship, Melba is distracted with guilty feelings and flashes of the violent death she delivered to Ren. In her distraction, she almost crashes her tiny repair ship into another ship in the UNN fleet. She's unraveling, a bit.
Elsewhere, a paranoid Holden runs a series of diagnostic scans on himself, looking for brain damage and, most crucially, the presence of protomolecule in his system. The tests are negative for both, which is a relief, except what is causing these hallucinations? Speaking of which, Miller returns, complete with private-eye fedora, which Holden can't handle. Miller's words seem to cohere better now, but he's still babbling about old Star Helix stories. Holden eventually gets feed up with the gobbledygook and starts yelling back, which is when Amos shows up to see his friend and captain yelling at an empty room. Amos is actually remarkably cool about it, and Holden promises to tell him if anything is truly amiss.
Back on the Thomas Prince, Anna chit-chats with her fellow pioneers while another religious leader bloviates to the room. Anna's attention drifts to the woman eating alone and looking pensive: Melba. Anna asks if she's doing okay, but Melba brushes her off.
On the Roci, the documentary cameras capture more than the crew realizes. Monica is interviewing Holden, while at the same time, Amos and Alex are discussing whether Holden is going insane. Amos says he checked Holden's med logs and saw that he tested himself for protomolecule 35 times. Negative every time, but he keeps doing it. Alex is very concerned; Amos says they need to keep an eye on him. Meanwhile, shifty Cohen loads a slide into a communications panel. Holden gets a flash of inspiration and asks to see Monica's logs of all the video that's been recorded on the ship. He sees that his initial Miller hallucination happened at the same instant that Maneo ran his ship through the ring and "woke up" whatever was in there. He tells Monica she needs to go, and when she leaves, Miller shows up again. Of course, now that Holden has something he wants from Miller, he's doubly more frustrated that he can't get a straight answer out of him.
Melba, hiding out in the ladies' locker room, remotely arms the bomb she planted and it detonates, destroying the small Seung Un.
The explosion sends the entire flotilla into panic mode. Holden asks Miller if the Ring is trying to get to him through this Miller apparition. Miller's jabbering seems to hint that this might be the case, but he's only halfway coherent. Amos starts banging on the door, telling Holden something's happened. Holden desperately tries to keep Miller in the room, but the next time he turns around, he's gone.
Meanwhile, Alex is struggling at the Roci controls, thinking something's wrong, when a broadcast from Holden — originating from the Roci — goes up. On it, he claims to represent the OPA, claims responsibility for blowing up the science ship, threatens to strike again, and claims rightful ownership of the Ring for the Belt. From her ship, Melba looks on knowingly, as if she's in on this plot. From the Roci, Holden looks on, horrified. Alex — who is locked out of his own ship's controls — can't believe what Holden's done. Monica desperately wants to produce this all as a TV show. Holden protests his innocence, but Amos says he hasn't been himself lately. From the Behemoth, a frantic Ashford says they have to fire on the Rocinante as soon as possible, to show the Inners that they are not aligned with Holden. He thinks Holden is plotting to get the Behemoth destroyed and the OPA with it. Naomi, ever the loyalist, doesn't believe that was really Holden, that it must be a composite or something. Understandably, Drummer and Ashford have trouble sharing her faith. When Naomi won't calm down, Drummer has her removed from the deck.
The Rocinante has clearly been sabotaged. Amos says the ship's defenses are all down, and Alex is getting target locks from the UN and the Behemoth. Alex wants to try to outrun the missiles, but Holden gets an idea. Amos thinks Holden's gone fully nuts, but Holden begs for one moment alone. He calls upon his and Amos's long service together, and Amos relents. The UNN gives Drummer one minute to blow the Roci out of the sky. Naomi begs Drummer not to do it, but Drummer commands, "FIRE!" The attempt to fire overloads the Behemoth's grid, though, so they'll have to power up again.
Holden finally gets Miller to show up again, and Miller's mumblings give Holden an idea: they're going to speed towards the ring as fast as they can. Alex and Amos think he's nuts, but what choice do they have? This time, though, rather than hit the Ring full speed like Maneo, they're going to — per Miller's ramblings — slow down right as they approach. When the Roci crew comes to, they, and the missile that was chasing them, are suspended in space, right in front of the Ring.