Safe – Doors & Corners
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What a great start to season 2 of The Expanse. The first part “Safe” was a bit slow however things really picked up during the second half “Doors & Corners”
In this week’s podcast after sharing some news from The Expanse, I talk about the double episode premiere. I end the podcast with some great listener feedback.
Or listen to the audiobook version through Audible
The episode starts on Mars. A team of Marines led by Bobbie Draper successfully complete a training mission before getting orders that they’re shipping out to Phoebe Station.
Later On board the M.C.R.N. Scirocco en route to Phoebe Station the Marines learn of their mission to secure Phoebe until a science team arrives to investigate
Gunny, Bobbie Draper and her team are eager to engage any U.N. Forces in the area to pay them back for what happened to the Donnager. But Lieutenant Sutton orders Draper to cool her head until they know exactly what happened.
When the U.N.N. ship Nathan Hale appears on a vector that will beat them to Phoebe Sutton orders the Marines to prepare to drop. However, the Scirocco instead fires its missiles towards their U.N. Counterpart.
U.N. Undersecretary Errinwright and Jules-Pierre Mao discuss the Martians investigation of Phoebe Station. They must deter anyone from looking into it or Eros until their plans come to fruition.
Elsewhere, After deflecting questions about the stealth ships towards Fred Johnston Avasarala narrowly escapes an attack on the plane she was about to board.
Errinwright tries to get her to take a break and skip the upcoming meeting of the U.N. Assembly.
At the meeting, there is much dispute over what actions the U.N. should take. Some think they should put up a show of force while others think they should wait to see what Mars does first.
Avasaraly, still trying to figure out who all the players are in this new game she’s playing sides with those wanting to deploy the U.N. Fleet.
She later secretly meets up with a man named Coytar, an ex-black ops spy. She asks him to join her security detail. She knows she’s being set up to be a scapegoat and needs his help.
When word reaches earth that the Martian ship approaching Phoebe has fired on the U.N.N. Nathan Hale the U.N. Assembly try to decipher the action. Many want to retaliate but Avasarala convinces the Secretary-General to hold off until they know for sure what is happening. They are later told that the missiles were not intended for the Nathan Hale, their target was Phoebe Station which was destroyed and the fragments spiralled into Saturn.
Back on the M.C.R.N. Scirroco Lt.Sutton informs Drapper of why they changed their tactics. She’s upset. It’s obvious that Bobbie won’t be satisfied until she finally has the battle she’s been training for.
On the Rocinante, Holden, while undergoing medical treatment for radiation exposure envisions himself and Naomi infected by the protomolecule before waking with a start.
Both he and Miller will have to undergo regular treatments for the rest of their lives.
The two of them discuss what happened on Eros Station. Holden wants truth and justice whereas Miller just wants everyone responsible dead.
Meanwhile, Under Naomi’s supervision, Amos opens up the safe they found on the Anubis. Inside they discover frozen samples of the Protomolecule. As well as Anthony Dresden’s video lab notes of the devastation that transpired on Phoebe Station when they released the Protomolecule. And his desire to see what happens if they release it in a larger controlled environment such as Eros.
After much debate on whether or not they should destroy or hold onto the sample of the protomolecule in their possession, they decide to hide it by putting it inside a missile and parking it in an abandoned asteroid mine.
The events of the last few days finally catch up with them and Holden and Naomi finally give into the feelings they’ve been holding back for each other.
Much to Miller’s dismay, who wants to chase down those responsible for what happened on Eros, the crew of the Rocinante instead head to Tycho Station to enlist the help of Fred Johnson.
Later, Miller and Amos come to uneven blows over the shooting of Miller’s friend Semi. Amos being Amos, impassionately explains how things went down. Miller takes offence and strikes at Amos only to be laid flat by the powerful engineer. Naomi intervenes and stops Amos from killing Miller. She tries to explain Amos to him but Miller doesn’t want to hear any of it. He tells her of his thoughts and visions of Julie Mao.
While on route to Tycho. Alex prepares a meal for the crew to share. They bond with Miller over a story about contraband cheese on Cerise Station.
Doors & Corners
On Earth, The U.N Assembly is debating why Mars destroyed Phoebe Station. The general consensus they need to retaliate. They decide to destroy a small Mars space station as a show of force. Admiral Souther won’t hear any of it and steps down as fleet commander.
Later, Avasaraly meets him at a bar. She managed to get him his old job back, however he’s not grateful. She explains that one way or another, the U.N. had to put on a show of force against the Martians. She presses him for information on Fred Johnston and he tells her the true story of what happened on Anderson Station and how the former colonel was used.
After hearing the story, she asks Coytar to send a message to Fred Johnson saying she wants to talk. Nobody can know because talking to him could be considered an act of treason.
On Tycho Station, Fred Johnston is not happy to see the Rocinante return without Lionel Polanski or that they were missing without any communications. He’s shocked to learn that they were on Eros. They explain to him what they saw and what is happening. They ask for his help in attacking an abandoned research station where the masterminds behind the Phoebe and Eros attacks are held up. But before they can land an attack force they need to deal with a stealth ship that is guarding the place.
Holden, in his strange idealistic way, feels responsible for what is happening but he doesn’t want to put his crew at risk. Naomi shoots him down saying that she, Amos and Alex can make their own decisions and they choose to fight.
Meanwhile, Fred Johnston recruits belters to make up the ground force to attack the station. A Black Wind member challenges his OPA authority, being a human ordering belters around but Fred makes short work of him, ejecting him out an airlock.
He then inspires the belters to join the cause.
Alex runs through simulation after simulation but he can’t defeat the stealth ship. When Holden tells Miller he doesn’t want him along for the assault the ex-detective tells him he’s going to be part of the ground forces anyway. Someone has to keep the belters in line. Holden tells Miller there’s a space on the Rossi for him when they get back.
Near an unregistered Spin Station in the belt, the Freighter Guy Molinary piloted by Fred Johnson approaches the station with the Rocinante hidden in their wake. Two freight containers attached to the freighter contain the belter assault force. On board with Miller is Diogo who we last saw floating in space after being ejected by his uncle. For some reason, the Ceres degenerate takes a liking to Miller.
Once close enough to the spin station, Fred orders the Rocinante to disengage act like dislodged cargo container giving the Freighter an excuse to pursue it closer to the station.
When the Rocinante is within range Alex fires up the engines and they make a run to engage the stealth ship while the Freighter launches the two breaching pods.
The discovery of defence cannons on the station puts the pods at risk and the Rossi has to evade the stealth fighter as she takes out the cannons. They manage to destroy it but not before it takes out one of the breaching pods killing half the landing force.
Close quarter combat proves too much for the stealth ship and the Rocinante takes her out.
Meanwhile, the remaining breaching pod lands on the station and the belters encounter minimal resistance. The station security are equipped with weapons more suited to guarding prisoners than repelling a boarding party.
Searching the station they find a cluster of scientists all neurally hooked up to to a machine completely oblivious to their presence. When Miller shuts it off they all start screaming which causes the belters to open fire on them killing them all except for one.
Miller continues alone and finds Anthony Dresden.
Holden and Fred Johnson arrive to take control of the station and Dresden tries to negotiate a deal with them in order to continue his work. They discovered an organism that can repurpose other life forms and use them to evolve. They are trying to figure out how and why. He believes that they can harness that power to turn themselves the into gods and remake themselves into anything they want.
They believe the protomolecule was sent there for a purpose. Earth was its target. It intended to use humans for its own ends.
He doesn’t care who controls the project, just as long as he gets to continue his work. He pleads with Johnson. Fred agrees, providing Dresden gives him the names of everyone involved with setting up the experiments. The scientist agrees but is cut off by a bullet to the forehead. Much to Fred and Holden’s surprise, Miller shot him.
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